Automotive Paint preparation is one of the many important steps of proper repainting of your car. This process involves things such as washing, claying, cutting compounds, waxing and some other important steps. The best way to do this is to follow the procedures which I described in the next few paragraphs.
Sequence of the steps:
3. Cut Compounds
4. Paint Cleaner
5. Mild Abrasive Polishes (swirl removers/fillers)
6. Glazes (oils and fillers only, things like #7)
What will these processes do?
I think you all know what washing is, so I won’t be describing this process.
What will clay do is that it will remove elements that cannot be dislodged by washing (semi-bonded paint contaminants).
Cutting compounds are rapid surface removing polishes. They are used to remove scratches and blemishes on rough surfaces.
Paint cleaner is going to deep clean the clear coat, like micro-washing. If your paint is in very good condition you could skip cutting compounds process and simply just use a paint cleaner.
Mild abrasive polishes are going to help reduce the appearance of any surface defects that may still be visible (scratches and swirls could not be completely removed). It will “cut” a little bit, but it’s mostly for rounding out swirls edges and filling in gaps with fillers. These also usually contain glazing properties to bring back shine.
Glazes are going to do nothing to correct defects, but just add luster and shine through the use of oils.
Sealants are used to lock-in your now perfect finish that the previous steps should have resulted in. There are many kinds of sealants but some are very durable and can help keep your finish very well protected and not evaporate quickly like waxes do. Many sealants also add shine. Remember if you used glazes with oils and fillers that you need to use a sealant that can bond to that type of oily surface. Some sealants cannot bond to anything but a clean surface.
Waxes are also a type of sealant but they tend to evaporate quickly. There are tons of waxes that do very different things. but if you find the right one or combination of waxes to use with your car color then you can add so much more depth and wetness to the look even on top of what your glazes/sealants provided. I prefer to use pinnacle souveran paste and pinnacle carnauba quick shine wax one after the other.