My daughter has a pre-ceramic 2000 Mercedes which has been kept washed but never had a hand wash or wax job. Other than a few deep dings from fatheads opening their doors into it the finish was remakably free of major visible defects. The color is a light metallic desert sand. All right, that's the starting reference. Now for the good stuff.
After a hand wash with Gold Class shampoo and a thorough claying it already looked better. Next up I applied Ultimate Compound using a PC and a 5.5" LC white flat foam pad cleaning on the fly as I went. After only two section passes working in about 24" square sections the entire car was transformed from an ok but dull looking 11 year old car to one that virtually glowed. I was very pleased as was my daughter. The car had been owned by my ex since new and she was blown away with the results. The paint was clear, vibrant and finished down ready for LSP. Final step was to apply a thin coat of liquid #26 Hi-Tech wax with the PC and it looked like a different car. Second coat of wax to go on this week for complete protection.
And before I get chastised, I apologize for forgetting my camera so no before and after pics available