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New To Detailing: Nooby Questions

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Hi there!

I’m definitely a noob to detailing, but I think I’ve come to the right place! I’ve done a good deal of reading, and expect to do a lot more.

I have a new-to-me 99 LS in black with a gray bottom, it’s one of my favorite color combinations. When I got the car home and in the sun light, I noticed a lot of little scratches by the door, and on the trunk deck lid. Seems like the previous owner might have used the trunk as a spot to put her purse and then dragged it off the trunk once she got her keys. I understand that this black color doesn’t have a clear coat on it. Most of what I have read involves using a compound to level out the clear coat for light scratches. There are also very small portions of the paint that look as though they are hazy.

I would like to bring it back as much shine as I can! Here are my questions:

1. For the black non-clear coated paint, can I use a gentle swirl remover on a rotary?

a. What would the suggestion be on a pad to use?

2. For small scratches where I can see white (which I assume to be primer), I can apply some touch up paint, but I would also like to get the end result as close to factory as I can. I need to get a good tutorial on how to do this. Does anyone have favorite websites they would share?

3. Forgive my noobiness, but am I correct in that claying non-clear coated paint has the same benefits as claying clear coated paint?

4. For paint haze, product recommendations (Megs Ultimate Compound?)?

Thanks so much for the advice. I’ve learned a lot just reading the forum!


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Hey Micah,

Do you have experience using a rotary polisher? If not I wouldn't learn on that car, the paint is so soft you can do a lot of damage.

What you need is an orbital polisher, like a FLEX. Have you read the tutorials I've posted?

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Thanks for your reply! I've read through many tutorials here and on the Club Lexus forums, taking me from absolute zero knowledge base to something a little higher. Some I've learned additional info after my original post. Meguiars has a nice video tutorial. I'm thinking on the Lexus, I will work by hand. It dawned on me today that I could practice paint repair on my clothes dryer, which has tons of scrapes. And if I burn through the paint using the rotary, no big deal.

My wife has some pretty deep scratches on her car that I'm also going to repair. But truthfully, I would rather burn through the Lexus paint than screw up her car, and I DON'T want to screw up my car's paint! :lol:

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By hand you will need to concentrate on hiding imperfections not removing them, so look at nice polishes with lots of oils and plan on keeping a coat of carnuaba wax on it every month or so to keep it looking its best.

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