Before applying any coating it is important to have your paint surface fully polished and prepped. Proper paint prep will be the most crucial part about the detail as a whole. If the prep is poor, the coating will preform poorly. If the prep is great, you will achieve superior durable results with this Gtechniq combo. With this topic on coatings I would also recommend you take a look at this article on “Consumer Confusion On Vehicle Protection“. This article basically covers how to choose the right detailer and the prep work to have the best coating experience possible.
In this article I have a brand new 2014 Audi RS7 in Suzuka Grey and a Brand new Corvette C7 in Night Race Blue. Both of these vehilces will be getting the same work done, so you can see how each color looks when properly cared for! I’ve found that coatings are very well suited for brand new cars. Prep work is somewhat minimal, to a degree, and minimal prep work means a more budget friendly detail. The cars get started off on the right track with protection. Plus, taking a brand new car and making it look better than new is very gratifying as a professional detailer!
After all prep work is complete, we are now ready to apply the coating.
Step 1) Clean and prep your work environment and get ready for the final steps. Gather up the clean towels that will be used for coating, also the Gtechniq products that will be used (Panel Wipe, C1 and EXOv2). Have the vehicle completely clean from all dust that may have occurred in the polishing stages. If any window treatment/protection is to be done, I usually do it before the coating is applied. Be sure to work in a controlled environment. C1 and EXO will react differently at high temps / high humidity. If you are working in high temp environment, work in smaller sections to avoid hard to remove excess product.
Step 2) Get ready to “Take Your Time”, we do not want to rush a coating process. These products can’t be applied like waxes and sealants, so leave yourself enough time to work slow while getting use to the products.
Step 3) As we said above about the prep being a huge role, the Panel Wipe steps are very important. Take your time going around the vehicle being sure that you’ve not missed any areas of paint-work by working one panel at a time. I usually use two or three towels in this process. Be sure to take long strokes across the entire panel. The first towel will become most saturated with the Panel Wipe. Try to keep this towel going in one direction (not back and forth). The second and third towel can be used for back and forth to remove the remaining polishing residue. The idea here is to lift any and all oils off the paint surface so that the product has the ability to fully bond to the surface. If you do not have Panel Wipe, IPA could be used as an alternative (Panel Wipe is recommended for Gtechniq).
Step 4) Application of C1 Crystal Lacquer (C1 comes with applicator pads)
- Pour a few drops on to the provided applicator.
- I like to define the area that I will be coated by getting the edges done first. Create your box then color it in if you will.
- Work in straight lines (up down, side to side). Overlap each pass to be sure you’ve covered the entire area. One overlapping pattern should be enough.
- Allow the product to set on the panel for a minimum of two minutes. This could vary based on humidity and temperatures. Do your small test spot to see how much time you will have to work with.
- Apply more product when needed.
C1 comes with plenty of applicator pads to complete a vehicle. Be sure to switch them out before they become hard. If the applicator pad does become hard and you still use it, it will scratch the paint work.
Step 5) Get a few clean MF towels ready that will be used for the coating. 3 to 4 towels would be my recommendation.
Gtechniq did a seminar at Detail Fest early this year and they would refer to this as “The Three Towel Method”.
- Towel 1: Use in long overlapping strokes to smooth out the product after application to make sure the coat is nice and even.
- Towel 2: Use to remove any of the excess product from the paint surface.
- Towel 3: This towel will remain as clean as possible and free of product within the fibers. This towel will be used for final wipe downs. If any product gets into this towel, turn it into towel number 2 for the next panel and grab another clean towel for “towel #3″ use.
This is a pretty crucial step with any coating. I will be putting together another article on how to reduce and have no marring during an application process. It will also point out how panels can become marred through the technique of wiping. Stay tuned for this article!
Step 6) Be sure to check for high spots first, then allow the C1 Lacquer Coat to cure. If you are working in a controlled environment and the panels are at a nice cool temp, the C1 will take around “6 hrs” to cure before being able to apply EXOv2. Higher temps or humidity will cause for longer cure time.
Step 7) EXOv2 application: EXOv2 has the ability to flash much faster than C1, so it will be important to work in smaller sections for the second layer of the Gtechniq’s C1 and EXO combo. A brand new clean MF applicator is fine to use for the EXOv2 application. All the towels used in the C1 application need to be discarded and a new set of clean MF towels will be used for the second half of this process.
- Apply EXOv2 to small section (do not wait long).
- Immediately after the EXO has been applied to the section, take a clean MF towel and using light pressure over the section, go over the area with overlapping passes.
- Important note, use minimal pressure while wiping.
- A second MF towel can be used to be sure you’ve completely removed all the excess. Do not go crazy wiping and wiping as marring could occur. Smooth wipes and overlapping your passes with decent technique will be enough to do it right with minimal wipes.
- Repeat this around the remainder of the car, while switching out towels as needed.
- Allow the EXO to cure for 20 min. and apply a 2nd coat for best results (if needed or if EXOv2 is being used as a stand alone coating). 2 coats were not needed in these two details.
Step 8) Allow the vehicle to cure for another 12hrs-ish in my recommendation, before subjecting it back into the outdoor elements.
The results …
Two great brand new cars just got started off on the right track in this article!
Important Note: Be sure to properly maintain a coated car. Detailed Image & Gtechniq carry a number of products to keep the finish of a coated car going strong for months to come. C2v3 Liquid Crystal is a great option and easy to use in between washes from time to time.
Hope you enjoyed this article! If you are in the Orlando Florida area and wish to have this treatment preformed to your vehicle, I’d be happy to help in getting it done for you!