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RE: Mira paint correction video + My methods for paint correction and general advice!

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  • RE: Mira paint correction video + My methods for paint correction and general advice!

    Just watched the MCM video on the paint correction on the Mira, I am not a professional detailer, nobody has ever given me money to do a paint correction on their car, but I do it to my own cars, the most notable of which being my 30 year old red BMW... Here is a quick before and after!

    I commend the MCM guys for giving it a go and comparing the various products at the start of the video, but I wouldn't copy the way they are hand polishing the test panel. Apply a fraction of the amount of product they used, work it into the paint with small circular motions with a medium-heavy pressure, working down the area you are working on in slightly overlapping horizontal lines. Leave the compound for a good 20 seconds. And then buff it off with a clean microfibre. When you think you've buffed it enough, buff it the same amount again with an unused bit of cloth.

    Personally I'd just skip this method and use a polisher unless you are only working on isolated scratches.

    The best cutting compound I've ever used is Menzerna Heavy Cut (FG500), though 3M Fast Cut (green) and Meguiars Ultra Cut 105 are both very good too. Wash and clay the panel, use some kind of road grime remover, then use a DA (dual action) polisher with a fairly hard pad. I use a DAS6 Pro, combined with cheap waffle pads from eBay. They don't last as long as an expensive pad, but the difference in price makes it more economical for me. You can then follow it up with a medium-soft pad and the finishing polish of your choice. Meguiars 205 is good, or you could use a wax infused one like Auto Finesse Tripple which is what I use) - Some people like to apply detail spray to the pad as well to "dilute" the compound and help the pad glide over the paint better.

    Look up tutorials online on how to use a DA properly, there are some good videos. But equally there are some very poor ones full of bad advice, so keep an eye on that like to dislike ratio. I'll explain my method below, but I think a video is a better medium to learn something like this.

    The way I do it is basically, slow spin speed and fast movement with no weight on the DA to spread the polish over the panel - you can also just smear it with the DA switched off, the second step is a medium-fast spin speed, slow movement with some overlap, and a tiny bit of weight on the polisher, I mean less than the weight of your arm, don't go smooshing it into the panel. Leave the polish for a few seconds to go hazy, and then run over it again. I tend to use the same pressure for the second run, but the pro in the video recommended using less pressure for this part and I will probably do the same in future.

    Make sure to clean out the pads when the pores are getting a bit caked with polish because it will reduce effectiveness, increase heat, and ruin the pad. And do it a panel at a time, or sections at a time, depending on how big the panel is, otherwise some of the polish you spread over the panel will dry before you get to it.

    You can use a rotary (single action) polisher like in the video, but when using heavy cut compounds it is far easier to get too much heat into the paint and burn through it if you are inexperienced. The nature of a DA wobbling the pad around as well as spinning makes it much harder to ruin your paint. You basically won't do it unless you try and do it on purpose. I like knowing that even if I have a mental block after a few too many cold beers in the sun, I won't damage my paint.

    You could apply pressure to a DA and hold it against your paintwork in one spot for a really long time before damaging it. Minutes. With a rotary polisher you will damage the paint if you stay in the same spot for too long, but if you keep this in mind when you are working on it, and keep the pad moving, you will be fine.

    Don't be tempted to keep digging into a specific spot with a deep scratch. If you find yourself in that position it is time to put the machine down, and reach for the wet and dry paper. If you take an extreme scenario of using cutting compound on a hard pad on a rotary polisher and you apply firm pressure to a single spot, you could burn through your clearcoat in a matter of seconds.

    You can actually use an angle grinder with a pad attachment, or even a drill with a pad attachment if you don't want to spend money on a rotary or dual action polisher, but either of those will of course only be single action, so my warning above applies!

    I dont think you need a buffer, you can use a buffing pad on a rotary or dual action polisher, but personally I just use cheap multipack "Kirkland" microfibre cloths and do it by hand.

    Oh and when you are using a DA or rotary, mask up any trim pieces (glass too if you can be bothered!) - You won't believe how hard it can be to remove paint dust from black rubber. And don't underestimate how far the paint dust will go either. If it is slightly windy it will go in your windows, up your nose, and all over any other cars you might have...

    Hopefully this helps someone!

    Please feel free to correct me, or leave your own methods, or pictures, or anything below!
    Last edited by acme15; 17-08-2020, 04:10 PM.

  • #2
    Just noticed there is a how to forum. Not sure if this would be better placed there, or elsewhere. Mods feel free to stick it wherever you want. (hi cheryl)
    Last edited by Master_Scythe; 19-08-2020, 12:36 PM.


    • #3
      First: Thank you for such a detailed post; we (mods, and the community) really appreciate it
      THIS is what forums are about, and facebook lacks.
      This will be here, and google-able forever (even if MCM goes away, thanks to the Internet Archive).
      Had you put this on facebook, it'd be lost in a few hours.

      The only issue I had with that episode, was that they chose the wrong products in a few of the brands.
      I'd often respect the idea of keeping it 'secret', but the youtube comments and facebooks have already blown the lid WIDE OPEN on what all the products used in that video are; no point keeping the die-hard forum OG's our of the loop.
      But I really only want to approach one of them:

      The bottle with the blue car on the front is 'Meguiars Ultimate liquid Polish'
      Which should really only be used for the polishing step; that is, to get any haze from previous steps, to disappear ("Stage 3" in the 3m kit) .
      They're trying to correct paint imperfections that are visible to the naked eye, it'll work... after a few hours :P

      What they WANTED to use, was this:
      Meguiars Ultimate Compound.
      You know how Moog had that rant, which I'd normally totally agree with, about products that 'do everything' don't do anything?
      Well, for once, it ALMOST does...
      This stuff is unique in that it starts off as a fairly harsh cut, for only a few seconds, then the particles break down; within 30 seconds of hand polishing, it's become as fine as a finishing-grit polish. This makes it TOTALLY noob friendly, because you literally can't work a harsh grit too long (because it breaks down!) and it leaves even the worse paint looking magical.
      While ALL polishes will break down and become finer grits, most take quite a while, up to a few minutes when being machine worked, not sub 30 seconds.
      It's 'harsh enough' to remove even the worst clear coat damage, but fine enough to be used at every polish, without wearing through your clearcoat in the lifetime of the basecoat.... I rarely use this word, but in my experience, it's perfect.
      I was literally able to replace 4 products, and 4 stages, with 1.

      Back to the video, In the end it didn't matter,
      A pro's specific grit 3m kit, and an experienced hand is better than any DIY job, which is why they called in a pro.
      The car is too new and special not to use the trained professionals if you have them at hand

      It's funny;
      Anyone who knows me IRL is always shocked to hear me speaking about a product like this.
      I'm the sort of dude who will argue that brands are price-hikers, there's a cheaper alternative and all that usual "diehard DIY" stuff; right down to chemical hacks and making your own fuel additives!
      But for once, there is a brand I keep coming back to, because (on sale....) they're NOT expensive, and they DO perform the best.

      'Bowdens Own' gives them a run for their money, being Australian Owned I'd love to put them on a pedestal, but the cost is also higher, and they're not universally better.... (their leather and fabric products are to DIE for though! Nothing comes close)

      Marty MOOG if you have cars with less than perfect paint, you REALLY need to try the Ultimate Compound out, it's genuinely a game changer.
      That bottle of polish is a finishing step.
      This coming from a guy who considers a "nice quiet Sunday" to be 6 hours polishing a car with damaged paint :P

      And Bowdens Own make the best Leather treatments, for the 240Z.
      Leather Love, and Leather Guard.
      I own a thousand dollar valued leather coat (purely by accident, it was an op-shop buy, $70, I didnt know clothing brands, I just liked it)
      I've used those products on it regularly; its so 'nourished' and zero slipperyness.
      If it can do delicate clothing; it can certainly do seats and dash boards (and it does; in my Accord and on my motorbike).


      • #4
        Thanks Master_Scythe!

        Have you compared using that Megs product as a single step to using the 105 & 205 cutting compound and finishing polish combo? It might save me some time in future on cars which need a reasonable amount of abrasion (but not as much as my BMW did...)

        I hadn't noticed that they were using finishing polish in the place of cutting compound, I had hoped they would at least have done enough Googling to figure out why that isn't a good idea or a basis of fair testing vs. the other products, but never mind... A bit like using a screwdriver as a hammer.

        If the dynamic duo do poke their heads in here, I want you to know that I am criticising you with love. You are still my favourite car youtubers ever, and nothing gets me excited like a new MCM feature film does... Just bought the latest signed poster to add to my other two, and you have inspired me to travel.
        Last edited by acme15; 19-08-2020, 02:59 PM.


        • #5
          I highly doubt they would be offended; their whole spiel is "We are not professionals" and "for entertainment" etc etc; we can't expect everything they do to be perfect, that's why a community exists to discuss what we see

          Honestly, I used Ultimate Compound to restore a 300ZX, also red (white+pink, like yours was :P), and I had identical results to what your pictures show.
          I was EASILY that bad, if not worse; it had visible CRACKS in the clearcoat (obviously, all it could do is hide those, nothing fixed there); and we found the plastic colour matched bumpers and mirrors were single-stage; so while they turned my rag a bright shade of red, it worked PERFECTLY on the single stage too.

          Is there somewhere you might have missed? Edges of panels, inside door jambs, edges of the fuel-flap?
          For a $20~30 product, it's worth trying. I literally stopped buying ALL types of cutting compound, because I'm yet to find a problem too minor, OR too major, that it cant handle; only ONCE has it needed a 2nd round to cut more.

          I hate sounding like a shill, I really dislike 'big brands', but practically everything I've tried from Megs has been well above expectations, and Ultimate Compound is the golden boy.


          • #6
            Forget places I've missed, the car is getting re-sprayed because lots of it is in red oxide primer now following welding etc haha.


            • #7
              Originally posted by acme15 View Post
              Forget places I've missed, the car is getting re-sprayed because lots of it is in red oxide primer now following welding etc haha.
              Well, sure :P But I more meant so you had an area to try Meg's UC, and see if it does the same outcomes.


              • #8
                Originally posted by Master_Scythe View Post

                Well, sure :P But I more meant so you had an area to try Meg's UC, and see if it does the same outcomes.
                I will definitely buy some if I ever have the need. :P Sounds good.


                • #9
                  Thanks lads for all this, very interesting and informative! Gives me a bit of confidence to give it a go on my daily banger for a bit of practice.

                  Btw, I’ve recently come across a Japanese brand called Soft99 that a few retailers have started stocking over here, does anyone have any experience with their products?
                  Last edited by Kaktus; 11-09-2020, 09:55 AM.


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Kaktus View Post
                    Thanks lads for all this, very interesting and informative! Gives me a bit of confidence to give it a go on my daily banger for a bit of practice.

                    Btw, I’ve recently come across a Japanese brand called Soft99 that a few retailers have started stocking over here, does anyone have any experience with their products?
                    Soft99 are well regarded, I know a few people who use Soft99 Fusso wax and say it is as good as much more expensive stuff. I myself have a tub of Fusso Dark, but I havent had cause to use it yet.

                    There are some good videos demonstrating its water displacement abilities on youtube.