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Paint Correction on a Jet Black Mercedes: CarPro Clear Cut + Reflect Review


It has been a while since I placed a lot of focus on constantly trying new detailing products and working out which ones work the best for me. Over the years we have developed a go-to arsenal of products that work great, and we have stuck with them for the most part. While we grow Detail Peoria there are many other aspects of the business that require our attention. The idea for us has always been to find something that works well and let it rip. What I enjoy most about writing for the Ask a Pro Blog is the opportunity to put my product testing hat back on once and a while and see what new products and new formulations have to offer. In my latest endeavor I put Car Pro Clear Cut and Car Pro Reflect to work on the perfect test mule, a jet black 2011 Mercedes.

Car Pro Clearcut and Car Pro Reflect Professional Paint Correction Formulas

I am no stranger to CarPro Clearcut, you can find my initial impressions here: Clearcut Initial Impressions. When it first showed up on the scene it was well-reviewed and my initial impressions were promising as well. It did not end up a staple in our shop, not because of any inherent performance issues but simply because, as I mentioned before, we like to stick to our old favorites and keep things simple as we grow. I was pretty excited to see how it did on the Mercedes.

We started like all paint correction jobs with a full safe hand wash along with chemical and mechanical decontamination. After that, we can see the true condition of the paint and it was clear it would benefit from a 2 step correction process to reveal a better than new shine. We taped off the delicate areas then set to work. I completed a few test spots and landed on a Meguiars microfiber cutting pad to pair with Clearcut then worked away using 4 to 5 passes on most sections to achieve the results I was looking for.

Compounding swirled black paint with rupes polisher and Car Pro Clearcut

Swirled Black Paint

Compounding swirled black paint with rupes polisher and Car Pro Clearcut

Corrected Black Paint

I was very happy with the correction levels we were achieving. Exactly what we needed on this project. It was now ready for polishing to refine the finish. I went straight for a white Lake Country polishing pad to try out reflect. I was hoping for good results so I could include it in this write up on the same vehicle but you never know what combo you are going to have to enlist to get jet black paint to finish down properly. Not only did it do the trick for this paint system, I immediately fell back in love with Reflect. I had forgotten that it was a common option for us in the early days of the business and how much I enjoyed working with it. I really enjoy working with polishes with long working times. Reflect spreads very satisfyingly across a section and wipes away effortlessly. There is nothing better than wiping it away and seeing perfectly clear jet black paint polished to perfection!

Mercedes Benz V12 Post Correction After Shot

When the correction work was done the car looked better than new and we followed up with a long-lasting coating to help preserve the new finish. I was thrilled that the paint cooperated and let me give these two products a workout on the same project. They were both easy too work with and the results spoke for themselves leaving myself and the owner thrilled with the look of the paintwork. Can’t ask for any more than that. Reflect in particular has made it back into the cabinet in the shop now that I had a chance to remember how much I like working with it. I don’t hesitate to recommend picking up a bottle of either if you are in the market to try a new compound or polish.

Matt Carter
Detail Peoria
Peoria, IL

12 comments on Paint Correction on a Jet Black Mercedes: CarPro Clear Cut + Reflect Review

  1. Abel Celestin Jr says:

    Thanks for review Matt, much appreciated, I’m just your weekend warrior, I have these two polishes they are great , however have the formulas been updated or tweaked during the past year I’ve had my two bottles little over two years

  2. Paul Lavender says:

    Will it play in Peoria? Apparently so. Thanks.

  3. Hank Dixon says:

    Hi my name is Hank
    I am some what new to polishing with a machine however I have a black 2018 3500 Silverado that I would love polish it myself can you give me any pointers what step I need to take is decontamanation safe for a narvis any help would be great

    • Michael V's says:

      Hank… just jumping in here if that’s OK? I always do a chemical decontamination first on all my details before moving on to the claying process. There are several products such as Iron X or P&S Iron Buster. This will get much of the contaminates off before claying which will pick up what is left. Then move to your polishing using the least aggressive compound first followed up by a final polish of your choice. You might even get away with an All-In-One polish for what you have. Don’t be afraid of your machine. Apply moderate pressure and work small sections at a time. Get a feel for what the machine can do for you by moving the pad across your paint in slow even movements for the first pass and then lighter pressure for the polishing with a less aggressive pad. Good luck buddy and have FUN!

    • Matt Carter says:

      Hi Hank,

      Michael nailed it here. The decontamination process prior to machine compounding and polishing is the same for all vehicles. You want to start with a thorough hand wash and move to chemical decontamination. Use a tar remover, bug remover and iron deposit remover to remove as many contaminants chemically before moving to mechanical decontamination with a clay bar or mitt. Once clayed, you will want to start with some test spots using your least aggressive polish and pad and moving towards a more aggressive combination until the desired results are achieved. Let us know how it goes!

  4. Good morning Matt, Thanks for the review and the post. Seeing some of the swirls and light scratches in the finish go away is something near and dear to all of us that want to keep a great looking car/truck. Like Hank Dixon, I have a 2019 Black GMC 4×4 Sierra with light scratches due to improper washings (now, I know better what caused it and taking necessary steps to stop it). I have a Porter Cable 7424 that should do a great job in removing them and was wondering a little more about how you accomplished the steps above.Could you go over a little more about the decontamination process and the number of passes with Reflect as well as what you used to coat it for long lasting finish? thanks so much. Tom

    • Matt Carter says:

      Hi Thomas,

      For this particular vehicle it was 4 passes in a 2’x2′ section with decent pressure for cutting at speed 5.5 on a rupes 21 mkII with 5in backing plate and a washer mod. The polishing step cleaned things up in 3-4 passes at speed 4. We coated this one with Modesta BC-04.

  5. Marc says:

    I have been trying to use Clearcut on hood scratches which are not through the clearcoat. I am using a PC DA but making little progress with a microfiber pad. I have been using speed 4 at moderate pressure. What am I doing wrong?

    • Soggy says:

      Marc, it is possible that although the scratch does not penetrate completely through the clear, it is too deep to be safely removed by abrading away the clear coat surrounding it. You may need to fill it in with clear touch-up paint, which will protect the vehicle and avoid thinning the surrounding clear coat too much. It is unlikely that you will make the repair invisible (to close inspection) but you can at least protect the vehicle surface (with practice these repairs can be almost invisible.) Either that or stop trying to remove it (that is, just live with it) or seek professional consultation.

  6. Warren Horakh says:

    Thanks for the article and information! I have found myself staring at numerous polishes and compounds sitting on my shelves, left there for simple obsolescence reasons. Too much choice with negligible difference in overall results. I have come to the conclusion that I just need two go to compounds and at most 2 polishes. That’s it. If it works stick with it, the holy grail of polishing products is as mythical as the mermaid. I use 3d One and a Menzerna 2500 polish. I am sure there are a abundance of products that work as well as the ones I am using. Yet I have not found one product too date that was so much better that I had to use it. Let’s face it, if I am not getting good results after 2 passes with rotary I am not using the right combination. I have a least aggressive method, foam pad with mild compound or wool pad with aggressive compound. Anything in between has not been necessary, productive, or cost effective. Perhaps I am close minded but with all those polishes languishing on my shelves, maybe just maybe there is some truth in my simplicity lol.

    • Reece @ DI says:

      Warren – While there are so many different polish and pad combinations on the market, the key is finding what works best for you and the paint in front of you. As long as you are happy with the results, what you are using is perfect!

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