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How many of you guys have spiderwebbing in your paint?

27 August 2003
Loma Linda, CA
Hi everyone,

I was just wondering how many of you guys have swirl marks/spiderwebbing in your paint (mild, moderate, or severe). I just noticed that under direct sunlight, I have some mild spiderwebbing. I've been starting to look more carefully at our cars, other cars on the road/parking lots, and notice that all the cars I've seen have mild to severe swirl marks/spiderwebbing. Is it just inevitable? Thanks!

Re: How many of you guys have spider webbing in your paint?

Yes, almost every car I see (and I look closely) has a less than perfect finish. Sometimes it seems that the owners washed there cars with sandpaper and dried with a pot scrubber. In reality they probably got that way from dirty sponges, bath towels and lots of dawn dish soap!

Black and dark paints are brutally honest in displaying these defects. Tan, silver and white are more forgiving.

You can safely remove these minor defects as long as there is enough clear coat on your car to abrade down or round of the edges of the swirls. This is done almost exclusively by machine/pad/polish. I guess it is possible to do this by hand, but it would take a long, long time.

The other option is to fill the swirls temporarily so the light doesn't reflect so easily off the edges. This is done with a glaze and/or a wax with heavy filling capabilities. This eventually washes off. Sealants such as Zaino don't hide any defects and may even amplify them. Waxes (carnaubas) tend to minimize them slightly.

Whether you decide to pay someone to polish you car or you decide to tackle it yourself, you should make sure that you are very careful not to reintroduce the swirls back into your finish. Usually this is from washing/drying improperly or using a car cover improperly.

You can find lots of obsessive detailing discussions and opinions here.
I make a very serious effort in not adding swirls once I have the car polished.
I spend a lot more time than most in washing and drying the car. Also, since my car isn't a daily driver, I don't have a lot of dirt to deal with so the job is a little easier.

I find that about once, maybe twice a year (sooner if I do a car show or event) I will get the PC out on the nsx. No matter how careful I am with the nose mask (only on highway trips), I seem to get some marks from applying the mask. I guess that is better than a rock chip.

Since I now apply carnauba instead of a polymer on my car, I use a light cleaner/glaze under the wax applied by the PC. This hides minor problems and seems to deepen the paint. The glaze I now use is clearkote's Red Machine Glaze. Here is a picture of RMG under a coat of souveran.
Looks great pt91! I'm just worried about thinning my clearcoat to remove the swirls...I guess I'll just live with them :frown:
Well, if that's the case we can look forward to Lacquer checking as well.
Ask any Corvette Midyear junky about lacquer checking.
Staying out of the sun is the only way to avoid it.
I didn't know the NSX was Lacquer? With a clear coat too boot?

most spider webbing are in the clear coat.. Cause is usually by washing drying your car with a less than super soft towel.

Waxing with a rough or old pad. or anything that will scratch slightly.

They are basically little tiny scratches in the clear coat.
I would suggest polishing the paint to a point where you are happy (doesn't have to be drastic compounding usually). It doesn't take much clear coat abrasion to make a big difference usually. You can deal with the remaining marring/scratches with a glaze/wax to minimize.

Clean, quality MF towels/applicators to dry and/or apply and remove products don't leave marks on a CLEAN car if applied with a light pressure.

What towels are you using and what is your wash/dry/protect process?

I suggest finding out what is causing your defects before you remove them.
I've switch to all micro fiber for my cars now. However not even all MF towels are safe.
The spiderwebbing can be seen on all of the panels, but primarily on the hood and trunk. I'm using a mix of 100% terry cloth towels and microfibers. Everyone tells me that the spiderwebbing/swirl marks were there when I got the car last year, but I think it looks worse for some reason. :mad:
Like PT91 says, avoiding more spiderwebbing is very hard (impossible) to do and any time your touch your paint with either a wash mitt, towel, your hands, etc... will introduce the fine scratches if there is any dirt or microscopic particles on your paint (and you will never know when those particles are there or on the towel). When you wash your car, any pressure on the wash mitt or sponge can cause these fine scratches. Never wipe a car with anything if the car is dirty, slightly dirty or even very slightly dirty (which means if it has been driven or sat around and has dust on it. Better to leave it dirty and wash it next time than to wipe it down with something (like an instant detailer which is made to be used on a clean car)). Also, incorporating a pressure washer into your wash routine will help prevent a major part of the spiderwebbing in the future as you want to spray as much dirt off the paint before even having a wash mitt come in contact with the paint during the wash.