Australia's climate is extremely harsh on your car's paintwork. UV rays, salt residue, bird and bat droppings, tree sap and other contaminants attack your car's surface on a daily basis, leaving it dull and oxidized in a short period of time. Professional polishing and waxing on a regular basis will keep your car's finish protected, clean and shiny even after 10 or 15 years from new. The polishing process can safely remove fine surface scratches, oxidisation (fading) and avoid the onset of corrosion ie .. rust spots. Most people do not understand the differences between claying, wet sanding, compounding, polishing and waxing a car's paintwork. I will briefly explain what is generally known as compounding, polishing, paint rejuvenation, paint restoration, cut and polish, paint correction or paint protection.
Compounding is basically a term for using a cutting compound/paste after a vehicle has been re sprayed and wet sanded to remove the fine scratches that the wet sanding has left. Or to cut out surface scratches and extensive hazing and swirl marks.
Polishing is a very broad term which can mean any of the various methods and techniques that are required to restore paintwork.
Waxing is a fairly simple process which can be done by the vehicle owner on a regular basis. After the vehicle has been washed and dried one will apply a layer of wax by hand applicator or machine polisher with a soft foam pad. Once the wax has been let dry then gently wipe the wax off with a microfibre cloth. Best results are obtained when the vehicle has been clar barred before waxing.
Paint rejuvenation, restoration and paint correction are basically the same. This is a term we use when the paintwork is oxidised/faded and heavily scratched which will need at least 2 or 3 stages of compounding, polishing and waxing performed.
Cut and Polish is a 2 step process which is used to remove surface scratches, light oxidation and swirl/haze marks left from the compounding process. Firstly the paintwork is machine polished with a very fine cutting polish which will safely remove the paints imperfections and then a layer of wax applied by hand or machine. (both of these 2 steps are applied using a soft foam pad)
Clay Barring is a term for removing overspray, tar, salt scum and contaminants from your paints surface prior to compounding, polishing or waxing. The product is called "cleaner clay" and I find 3m to be the best
Wet Sanding is a process that is done after a vehicle has been re sprayed to remove "orange peel" or high points in the fresh paints surface. In most cases you would start at 1500 grade and work toward 2000 grade. The extent of this process will be determined on what the paints surface requires and how many coats of paint /clear have been applied. Always wet sand in a side to side motion (NOT a circular motion) so the compounding process can polish the sanding scratches out with its circular motion.