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I Love Porsche Paint!

by

Just about every auto manufacturer uses different paint / clearcoat formulas…some are hard as granite and very difficult to polish (Audi), some are soft as butter and a swipe with a microfiber towel will mar the finish (BMW Jet Black), some are finicky (Rolls Royce), and some are just a pleasure to work with.

I’ll put Porsche into the category of a pleasure to work with (at least the modern Porsche models). It’s soft and therefore corrects easily, but not too soft that the slightest wrong look will cause marring and swirls. Each car is different, and everybody will have their individual needs, however all things being equal a Porsche will require much less time for paint correction than most cars. So for Porsche owners out there, a full correction job on your car will require a smaller investment.

This past week I worked on a beautiful 997 Turbo in black. It had a moderate level of swirls, but I knew that I would be able to make it look really good in a relatively short amount of time. My client just wanted a mid-level paint correction on it, so I we decided on a simple one-step polish to get rid of 50% – 75% of defects and restore as much gloss as possible. With previous experience on modern Porsche paint, I knew what I could expect in a given amount of time on the car and figured that my correction estimate would be low, and my time estimate would be high (I’d rather under-promise and over-deliver than the other way around!).

So I broke out the Meguiar’s M205 Ultra Finishing Polish, my Porter Cable 7424XP, and a Lake Country Black Finishing Pad and went to town. With a very quick process, I was able to achieve an overall correction rate of roughly 80-85%. On the pure black finish I could notice just the slightest amount of haze when inspecting the paint with my Brinkmann Dual LED light (but not in the sunshine), so I quickly went around the car with Optimum Poli-Seal again on a black pad. This completely cleaned up any haze that might have been left over…haze that was so slight that most people could never have even detected it.

The entire process, which included wash, clay, rotary work on the 3M Clear Bra, interior clean, Leatherique treatment, and then the polishing process…took only 7.5 hours!

I only wish all paint was this easy to work with! Thank you Porsche…

This is what the car looked like when I was finished:

Thanks!

Todd Cooperider Esoteric Auto Detail
Todd Cooperider
Esoteric Auto Detail
Columbus, Ohio
EsotericDetail.com

18 comments on I Love Porsche Paint!

  1. Brendan says:

    Do you recommend a particular product for caring for the 3M Clear Bra?

    • Brendan,

      For regular maintenance, I would recommend checking out this article: Clear Bra Maintenance.

      For polishing to remove swirls, I like to use Menzerna 106FA on a white or black pad with my rotary. You could also work it with a Porter Cable using 106FA on a white or black pad, and if you have heavier swirls you could try Menzerna PO203S Power Finish on a white pad.

      • David Patterson says:

        I recently did a 2010 gt3rs and the paint was was very soft. I did multiple tests before starting to decide my route. I ended up removing about 80% (so similiar to your experience) with 3M ultrafina. I was experiencing small swirling with my da as well. I was especially surprised how soft the paint was not being an “expert” in porsche paint. I knew it was soft but it really does cut the time down. I love reading your articles and tips!! thanks.

        • Thanks David, I’m glad you enjoy the articles.

          Yes it doesn’t take much effort to correct Porsche paint. I wish the other German manufacturers would use the same stuff! Audi clearcoat = Granite.

  2. Marc T says:

    Todd, great job on the Porsche detail!!! That black paint looks amazing!! I can’t believe it only took you 7.5 hours to do M205 and Optimum poli-seal (can be considered 2 step right?) with interior to boot. Please share your secrets!!! :)

    • Thanks Mark. You might be able to call it a 2-step, but quite frankly the Poli-Seal stage doesn’t take any longer than applying your favorite sealant. It’s just a matter of efficient workflow, and really knowing how M205 works. And having such soft paint to work with certainly helps too!

  3. Aaron Baumann says:

    I wish the black Porsche I recently worked on was this easy! Unfortunately, it was all repainted a few years back, so the paint wasn’t quite as easy to correct as this probably was! Great work! Isn’t it fun to do an “easy” detail every once in a while?

  4. Rich says:

    Todd..i agree with the rest of the readers, your articles and insights are a pleasure to read, and instrumental in taking care of our loved ones..my loved one is my Acura RL! are there any articles that you know of that categorize ‘hard’ or ‘soft’ paint of the various car companies?
    thanks..Rich..Allegany,NY

    • Thank you Rich!

      We’ve talked about the need for a comprehensive guide on types of paint, but haven’t gotten it done yet. As for your Acura, it should be relatively soft paint. I have a TL-S myself, and know Acura paint quite well.

  5. Mike says:

    HI thanks for another great article.

    I was wondering if the harness of the various manufacturers paints are the same for the different colors the have? Is it the clear coat hardness we are talking about here? Do they use the same clear coat for all colors?

    Thanks again for all your help.

    • Thanks Mike,

      Not all paints from the same manufacturer will be the same. Take BMW for instance…most of their paints (clear coat) are quite hard, but Jet Black is ridiculously soft (even on the exact same model car). As a rule of thumb, you can generally assume that one color from the same manufacturer/model is going to be the same, but there’s always the exception to the rule. And sometimes the clear coat may change from one model year to the next, even with the same color.

      • Javier says:

        Hi Todd, nice job. Wanted to ask you why are you using a black pad instead of something a bit more abrasive like a orange pad…I am no expert, so just wanted advise around working with Porsche black paint…thanks!

        • You always want to use the least aggressive method to achieve the results you’re looking for. In this case, a black pad with 205 was all that was needed to get rid of the defects and finish down as fine as possible. Had I used something considerably more aggressive pad like the orange, then it would have left significant marring that would have required a lot more time in a secondary process to get rid of the marring and to refine the finish.

  6. Balam says:

    Do you know of aynone on the east coast that does what you do if I get the doctor paint chip kit. I just purchased a polar silver porsche 993 and it has alot more chips around the car than I thought. I would try it myself, but my hands are very shaky. Any advice would be great. Thanks

  7. Leon says:

    oooo that black looks smooth. The orange peel finish on BMWs was always annoying. They told me BMWs last so long that with time and care you wind up with a smooth finish. Ok that`s right but it took years. My GT silver Porsche has a wonderful smooth glow. This was easily accomplished with Mothers Carnauba Car Wash and hand dry, Mothers carnauba liquid wax, then a day later finish with fast coat of, you guessed it, Mothers California Gold detailer wax. These products are so fast and easy to use, plus inexpensive. I know, we are meant to use that multi-step stuff that Aston Martin uses. Just don`t have time for all that. I got the Mothers routine from high end show car people who insisted that even on a frequent driver you need not repeat these steps for a while. The finish is super tough and lasts through many washes. I do little touch ups with the detailer and scuff repair with Mothers cleaner wax. Oh and ONLY wash or wax cool paint in the shade. With real car wash soap. Nice work. Porsches are indeed a pleasure to look after.

  8. Mark Bernhardt says:

    Todd,

    I just purchased a 1992 Porsche 968 Cabriolet with nice original paint. I want to do a detail job myself on the vehicle but looking for some advice. There are some swirls on the paint that will need attention but overall appears to be in good shape. Is this a soft paint in 1992? Just do not want to use anything to abrasive. Thank you.

    Mark

  9. Adam Rosewarne says:

    Greetings from Downunder,

    I, too, am the proud owner of a 6-speed ’92 968 Cab. Schwartz, cashmere, Tiefschwartz. In Australia, a very, very rare car.

    I have just purchased my first DA polisher and was searching for the same info. Hopefully, someone with some experience will chime in soon.

    Cheers,

    Adam.

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