Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Orbital Dreams: Single Stage Pain(t) service Pt.1

The one gift and curse of this car since purchase was the paint. I've never had a single stage paint job on any car, except for the grey hatch's original factory uni-black paint job which was definitely a different animal all together. This car does a great job of cleaning up well especially due to how bright this color comes off in daylight, but due to both it's color and lack of clearcoat, is quick to oxidize once the temps warm up.

The worst thing on single stage paint is the water spots; with the almost tropical weather that sporadically occurs, in the Mid-Atlantic area, during the arrival of summer is a real pain. Strong sun, broken up by a quick and hard rain, then the sun back out as strong as ever. I get pink polka dots all over the paintwork when this has happened. I noticed this for the first time last year after getting the car setup in for H2oi. I the car parked on my driveway and after a flash rainstorm, water dripping off the side of the house onto the trunklid burned spots into the paint. I had remnants of wax on the car at the time, but not much. Well a few weeks ago it flash rained on a hot day and I got them on the roof, decklid and a little on the front hood too. I got a few days off for Memorial Day and decided to put some work in.

After washing and drying thoroughly I took some before shots for reference; check out the blotches. The only thing you can do to remove these spots is polish the paint down to get to deeper, better paint, then do a better job than me to protect it going forward. The tools for this job were all Griot's Garage products; there are plenty of options out there as many of you know, but since I've bought plenty from GG over the years I decided to invest in their orbitals, pads and products. Machine Polish #2 (light scratches/moderate oxidation), One step sealant (includes mild polish) and Best in show Wax was the lineup. I could've gone coarser with the cut, but not knowing how thick this paint is and being somewhat limited with time, I stuck with this combo to get a solid level of protection for the summer.

After claying the surface clean I started polishing sections of the car starting with the hood. I had a couple scratches and etched paint spots I went at with hand polish first to see what areas would need more effor than others. I also taped off all the trim and wiper arms to keep from having to clean those up later. GG polishes get hard to remove quick so you want to wipe residue off while the polish is still liquid. After a couple passes on each panel I called it a day.

The color was substantially better, but it was completely vulnerable outside, so I put it in the VIP room for a controlled environment. Thunderstorm watch was on the forecast...

No comments:

Post a Comment