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Color Correction and Ceramic Quartz Application DIY

Joined
7 January 2015
Messages
383
Location
Cape Coral, Florida
I recently completed a color correction and application of C Quartz on my 91 Red/Black NSX, and after posting before and after photos on FB a few guys asked me to provide some insight into the process.
First let me tell everyone that I am not a detailer and I had no previous experience in doing a color correction. I was actually pretty apprehensive of doing it, but after seeing what detailers charge on the average for the process I decided that I had no choice but to do it myself. I also don't like anyone else working on my car. This is only for a car with a finish that's in reasonably good shape, but has swirl marks and minor surface scratches. Deep scratches will require using heavier cutting compounds or even light sanding. Unless you have experience in removing deep scratches and you are experienced with measuring the depth of a finish I would not recommend doing it.

To start with I would recommend doing your homework by doing some advance research like I did by watching YouTube video's and asking opinions of others who have done it. My favorite YouTube poster is the Junkman2000
The Junkman's videos will give you the basic knowledge you'll need to complete a color correction and in greater detail than what I can provide here. Also check out the manufacturer's videos on any of the products you are considering using. I will add a few of my own notes based on what I found worked best

There are basic tools and supplies you'll need for doing the color correction regardless of the quartz/ceramic finish you finally choose. Most of the supplies I get come from Detailed Image, Autogeek, Chemical Guys or Amazon. Detailed Image runs sales regularly. I've provided links to just about all the products listed here. A note on pads. Pad colors are standardized so it's only the texture that changes from one brand to the other. The Hex-Logic pads I list here have textured surfaces for cutting whereas the Ultra Soft Red pad is smooth.

  • Random Orbital Polisher such is Porter Cable, Rupes, Torq etc. I decided on the Porter Cable 7424XP package from the Chemical Guys, which gives you a head start on the supplies you'll be using.
  • 5" Hex-Logic Buffing Pads - Orange for cutting and White for polishing. You will need at least 2 of each since more than likely one will be drying (pads can take a day or two to dry) after cleaning and you'll want another one to continue.
  • Optional - Red Ultra Soft polishing pad.
  • Pad Cleaner
  • Pad Cleaning Brush
  • Meguiar's 105 Ultra Cut Compound and Meguiar's 205 Ultra Finishing Polish.
  • Double Thick Edgeless Soft Towels 16x16 - Excellent for removing the compounds and wash up nicely. I bought 4 and then bought another 4.
  • Suede Microfiber Cloths 16x16 - Used for removing quartz finish. Get a minimum of 4.
  • Clay Bar - I gave the new Mothers Speed Clay 2.O a shot which worked out just fine.
  • Latex Gloves
  • Bright LED light for inspection.
  • Touch Up Paint from ScratchWizard and AutomotiveTouchUp
  • Isopropyl Alcohol and spray bottle.

Regarding the quartz ceramic finish. They are all somewhat similar so do you research. I compared 3 brands. C Quartz, Opti-Coat and Gyeon
I finally decided on 30ml CarPro C Quartz because of it's claim to last the longest (2 years) and its ease of application. I did not go with the UK version due to a few stories I read about hazing, but now I think that was more likely due to poor prep and application and not the product. Gyeon is not alcohol based so it tends to take longer to dry (might require heat lamps to cure) and it's not prone to flashing like the others can if applied on hot surfaces.

Now on to the How To
  1. Wash your car - Find some shade when doing this or be ready to move the car into the shade immediately after washing and before it has a chance to air dry. Make sure you always use at least the 2 bucket method. I also do a pre-wash with a foam gun. Do an initial wash than go over the entire car with the clay bar using either a clean bucket with a car wash soap/water mixture or a detailer spray for lubricant. The clay bar will remove contaminates embedded in the surface of the paint. I like to blow the car off with a leaf blower, but only if the car is cool. If the car is hot you'll need to get the water off immediately and before it has a chance to dry and leave spots.
  2. If you have rock chips now is the time to fix them with some touch up paint. Make sure any touch up you do is cured before you move onto buffing.
  3. Now you're ready to start buffing. Get your latex gloves on (they will keep the polish from embedding in your skin and keep sweat and skin oils off the car).
  4. Using blue painters tape mask off any area that you don't want buffed. I taped off the badges, side markers, the NSX on the door handles, the rubber between the hood and the front bumper and the rubber between the front bumper and fenders. If you get compound on any of the rubber trim some alcohol will take it off.
  5. Conditioning the Pad - Starting with the orange pad coat the entire surface of the pad with the Meguiar's 105 and rub it in with your fingers, let it sit for a for 5 minutes then blow of the excess with compressed air. If you don't have an air gun you can spin it off inside a bucket or cardboard box using the polisher.
  6. Pick an area to start in and keep it limited to 2'x2' sections. The 105 has a limited working time and must be removed from the surface while it's still yet so you need to keep the area small.
  7. Set the buffer to the appropriate speed per Meguair's instructions. This is usually the slowest speed setting on the buffer.
  8. Place 4 nickel size drops of compound equally spaced around the pad, then dab the pad on several locations within the area you're working. Before turning the buffer on place it on the section you're going work then turn it on and proceed with the buffing using firm pressure. Overlap your passes and make at least two with firm pressure and then you can follow with 2 more passes at light pressure. Deeper scratches and swirl marks can take several more passes. Avoid overheating an area by constantly moving the buffer.
  9. When a section is done, immediately remove the compound with a MF towel. If the compound dried before you could remove it go over the dried compound again with the buffer and some fresh compound.
  10. Keep your pads clean and switch out MF towels as needed. I used one towel for the primary wipe down followed by another for the final. When the primary towel loaded up I took it out of service and rotated a fresh towel in. Some clear coats like Formula Red are tinted so you will see red on the pad. Do not use pads with dried compound in them. When you're done with the pad spray the cleaner on it, work it in with the fingers then wash it in hot water and then hang it to dry.
  11. When you've completed the first pass inspect the finish with the LED light. There should be no swirl marks along with minor scratches. Repeat buffing on areas that need additional work. I had a few deeper scratches on the hood of the car that looked like they came from dragging a car cover across them. I was able to get a lot of them out, but on others I was only able to reduce their visibility. I decided not to keep working on them without first knowing the depth of the paint. Perhaps next time.
  12. Now you are ready to move on to the 205 and white pad. The rpm setting on the buffer remains the same and follow the same instructions for conditioning the pad.
  13. Follow the same instructions for buffing with the 105. Working time is longer for the 205 so it's a bit easier to remove, but it still needs to be removed when wet.
  14. When you've done the entire car inspect it again with the LED light.

Application of the CarPro C Quartz. I highly recommend watching the video's on Detailed Image and reading up on their how-to instructions. The biggest mistakes that are made come from leaving wax, compound or oils on the car and/or from wiping down the C Quartz too early or too late.

  1. Using a 50/50 mixture of water and alcohol in the spray bottle wipe down the entire car with a MF towel being careful to remove any compound residue that may have been left on the car. I used one of the Erasure Wax/Oil removal sprays first, but found that the alcohol worked better.
  2. Inspect the car after you think you've completed all the compound removal.
  3. Next is to follow the directions for the C Quartz. I was able to do a panel at a time except for the front hood which I divided into two sections. Use the 16/16 MF Suede cloths to wipe of the excess. Make sure you get it all. If you wipe off too early or too late you'll get marks. Missing any will leave a haze spot, which will not come out unless you start the compound process all over again. There should be slight drag on the towel when removing the excess. No drag means you're it's not dry enough.
  4. A 30ml bottle is enough to do 2 applications provided you're not heavy applying it to the applicator. C Quartz can be applied to black plastic trim pieces, but don't apply it to any flat black surfaces. I didn't have enough left to do the wheels only because I probably got a little heavy on the first application. Don't forget to also do your painted or powder coated calipers.

That's all there is to it. It's not hard, but it does take time. Total time for me was about 12-15 hours spread out over a few evenings and weekend afternoons.
For some reason prime is limiting the number of photos I can upload so I put the before and after photos and a few of the equipment in a shared Google Drive folder. Click here to see photos. Color Correction

 
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Nice write up. I was about to do mine. I had done several of my cars before, result is fine and it is part of learning curve. I am wondering if you can detail how you did the clay bar. Because I think clay bar is probably one of the most important step before everything starts. If the paint has containments, the polish process will make it worse or dirty you pads to me it worse. But I found the clay bar often create more scratches to the paint. Do you really rub one small path (in one direction. no rub back), reshape, spray lubricant, rub one more small path and repeat the steps?
 
Hi Shinjyo, I've used clay bars before and I always had a problem with contaminates embedding in the bar. I would fold it over and reshape it, but occasionally I found it doing more harm than good as more contaminates got embedded in the bar. This time around I decided to try one of the new non clay bars by Mothers , which is made out of what appears to be neoprene rubber. I have a photo of the Mother's Speed Clay 2.0 in the Supplies folder in the Google Drive linked in my post. I also decided to use a good quality car wash soap & water as the lubricant rather than a detailers spray, which allowed me to keep the surface wetter for better lubrication at the same time flushing contaminates by repeatedly rinsing off the pad. I went in a back and forth motion. I was happy with the results, but I have to say the finish on my car was already pretty free of contaminates.
 
Thanks! Good to know, I will look into that product!
Hi Shinjyo, I've used clay bars before and I always had a problem with contaminates embedding in the bar. I would fold it over and reshape it, but occasionally I found it doing more harm than good as more contaminates got embedded in the bar. This time around I decided to try one of the new non clay bars by Mothers , which is made out of what appears to be neoprene rubber. I have a photo of the Mother's Speed Clay 2.0 in the Supplies folder in the Google Drive linked in my post. I also decided to use a good quality car wash soap & water as the lubricant rather than a detailers spray, which allowed me to keep the surface wetter for better lubrication at the same time flushing contaminates by repeatedly rinsing off the pad. I went in a back and forth motion. I was happy with the results, but I have to say the finish on my car was already pretty free of contaminates.
 
Have any one used CS-II Titanium Coating? It is good for DD.

Just watched a video of some guys lighting a car panel on fire to show how well this protects the car, crazy crazy stuff.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1V1VXmfBOc0
 
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Have any one used CS-II Titanium Coating? It is good for DD.

Just watched a video of some guys lighting a car panel on fire to show how well this protects the car, crazy crazy stuff.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1V1VXmfBOc0

Not me. There several coatings on the market that are only available to installers who have been trained (and paid for the training) in the application process. Protection with some of these coatings can last up to 10 years, but they come at a price.
 
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