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Meguiar’s M205: Cutting & Finishing Versatility

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We were contacted to perform a paint correction service on this beautiful Porsche 911 Turbo S and I knew right away it was a great opportunity to use one of my favorite polishes, Meguiar’s M205. This is a polish that cuts like a compound and finishes down like an ultra-fine polish if the right techniques are used. Porsche Atlas Grey Metallic is one of my favorite paints to correct, it’s one of those paints that’s right in the sweet spot between hard and soft clear coats.

I attended NXT East hosted by Kevin Brown, Jason Rose, Mike Stoops and Rod Kraft, which is a really great opportunity to geek out on polishing and sanding techniques and learn from some of the best detailing minds in the industry.  I returned to the shop full of new ideas on how to maximize M205. I had first heard about the system at NXT a few years back but haven’t really given it much thought until Kevin Brown aka the “Buff Daddy” explained that M205, if used in the right doses can be a one liquid system in itself that has tremendous cutting power as well as great finishing ability.

Now M205 can be used in a variety of ways and with a number of polishing pads. I highly recommend checking out Kevin’s full article on M205, where he goes in depth on how this system works. After listening to Kevin speak about how M205 can be used, I started playing with a few different procedures and below I explain just a few combinations that have worked for me, but with M205 the sky’s the limit.

On this particular Porsche, the paint was riddled with swirl marks, light scratches, hazing and a few RIDs hidden throughout. I grabbed a bottle M205 a 5 inch Meguiar’s Microfiber Finishing Disc and my Rupes 21LHR paired with a Rupes Exact Fit 5.5 inch backing plate and starting testing.

Meguiar’s M205 Cutting:

Prime the face of the pad with a copious amount of M205, basically fully saturating the entire face of the pad with buffing liquid. After which apply additional drops of product to the paint surface directly.  Now you have a pad, jam packed with abrasives ready to cut away at the paint. M205 is a very “fluid” polish and the thought process behind this crazy amount of M205 being used, is that it will keep the paint residue or debris floating within the mass amount of M205 and prohibit the microfiber pad from getting loaded up with paint residue, diminishing cutting power. In many cases, this procedure isn’t necessary and a traditional compound will do the trick to eliminate defects. However, on some paints, the accumulation of paint residue being scraped off by the compound abrasives loads up the face of the pad so quickly that cutting stops almost as soon as you turn on the machine. In some cases, you need a buffing liquid that is going to keep that residue from clogging up so quickly and that is where M205 fits it.

Meguiar’s M205 Finishing:

After we cut away the defects with our Meguiar’s MFFD and M205 system, only a slight haze remained. I grabbed a Rupes 5.5 inch Yellow Pad and applied one drop of M205 and a slight mist of water which cleared up the haze, restoring clarity and gloss.  After the polishing procedure was complete, we applied top coated paint protection film to the entire front end and topped the film and paintwork with the exclusive 22PLE ZX Mistico Elemento glass coat.

Meguiar’s M205 is one of the most versatile polishes in our detailing arsenal and I definitely recommend you give it a try. Thanks again to Kevin Brown, Jason Rose, Mike Stoops and Rod Kraft for showing me the power and wackiness of M205 and how it can save you time and a lot of head scratching.

James Melfi
James Melfi
AutoNuvo
Holliston, MA
AutoNuvo.com
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21 comments on Meguiar’s M205: Cutting & Finishing Versatility

  1. Great info, James! M205 is one of the few polishes that has ALWAYS had a space on my shelf throughout the years and you’ve done a great job showing off what it can do here!

    • james melfi says:

      Thanks Zach, M205 is a polish I overlooked for years until Kevin showed me just how amazing it can be when used in a certain way. It’s my go-to for cutting and one steps now!

      • Justin k says:

        Got red line red 2015 charger rt. Ran it through automatic washes during winter and really not happy about swirls and scratches how do I get paint popping and looking beautiful how it was when I got her in the summer ?

  2. Steve K. says:

    Thanks for the article James. I finally picked some up. Now if Flex would come out with the new 15mm…

  3. Abel Celestin Jr says:

    Great review, amazing results as seen in your photo, so if there is slight haze u just use a bit more of m205 on a foam pad (yellow cutting)
    And result is on point. Thanks for the before and after pics

    • james melfi says:

      Thanks Abel appreciate the kind words, for finishing on some paints using a dime sized drop or two of M205 and a mist of water directly on the panel can be a great finishing combination. I would use something like the Meguiars or Rupes yellow pads and on some super soft paints, a black finishing pad or CarPro gloss pad.

      James

  4. Zach says:

    Great write up James! I do have wwo questions if you don’t mind:

    1) What percentage of correction would you personally give 205, when used with proper technique, equipment, on your “average” detail? Like your own magic number your experience has shown you to achieve.

    2) As I’m sure you have a vast knowledge of hard paint to soft paints. With that knowledge, would you still reach for 205 on the harder paints?

  5. james melfi says:

    Zach,

    Thanks for reading,

    I wish I could give you an exact correction rate associated with M205 but it really depends on what pad, machine, backing plate, technique and how much M205 you are using. When using it as a cutting liquid, I use a ton of M205 on a Meguiars Microfiber Finishing Disc, basically I am loading the pad with abrasives which can yield great cutting power. But also keep in mind on hard and even medium paint types I’m reaching for a tradition cutting compound first, like Meguiars M100. If cutting is too slow and paint residue is building up to quickly I then turn to M205 for its ability to keep all the paint residue in motion and suspended in the polish as I cut.

  6. Rick Mulcahy says:

    thanks for the great article. I have water spots on my 2013 Corvetter that will NOT go away:(. How do I determine if M205 is too abrasive for the chevy paint?

    • james melfi says:

      Rick,

      Thanks for ready,
      Deciding on a polish and pad combination to remove the water spotting will greatly depend on the paint type/ hardness and a variety of other factors. What I would do is conduct a test spot and try out a few polish and pad combinations that yield the best results. M205 can absolutely be used to remove pretty severe defects.

  7. Shin Yoo says:

    Why did you go with the MFFD opposed to the MFCD?

    • james melfi says:

      Hey Shin,

      We used the Megs MFFD because it has the potential to cut just as much as the MFCD , while it is more durable under high heat and can conform to curved panels much better.

  8. Great article and love the way the Potsche come up! Looks amazing!!???

  9. Hi , I love reading the tips and tricks about certain products., CAN I GET A SUGGESTION PLEASE?. im looking for easy to use long lasting sealant that wont stain black plastics if it gets on them. THANKS Joe / Md. generaljoe67@gmail.com

    • james melfi says:

      Joe,

      (1) I’d give Sonax Polymer Net Shield 2x coats topped with Sonax Brilliant Shine a try

      (2) A few layers of CarPro Reload

      (3) You could try a entry level coating like CQuartz Classic/UK 1-2 yrs durability

  10. James S says:

    How often, would you say, could one polish their paint without completely diminishing the amount of clear coat on it? What I mean by polish is, maybe a easy one step polish 1-2 times a year followed by a two step compound maybe once every 2-3 years. Im worried about how much Im removing in relation to how much actual clear coat in on the vehicle itself.

    • james melfi says:

      James,

      I’d maybe invest in a quality paint depth gauge, that way you could keep track of the amount of clear being removed each time you polished your vehicle. In my experience with my personal vehicle, and one I definitely polished often, you can lighting polish maybe 1-2 per year and subject the paint to maybe 2 full correction in its life time without risking removing to much clear. Granted every vehicle is different and needs to be addressed accordingly.

  11. Tamzid Nabi says:

    James,

    Great article. How did you go about cleaning the pad with spent product+abraded clear on subsequent passes during the cutting phase? Pad brush/compressed air? Did you have to re-prime the pad at all since in theory you want to keep the abrasives/buffing liquid in contact. Could you use a pad brush on the mf pad?

  12. Dallen says:

    Why didn’t you use a MF CUTTING pad for the cutting step, would that been to much cutting on a softer paint? I would think to use m205 with a MF cutting pad and finish down with a yellow pad or white. Also what speeds were both performed at ?

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