Red single-stage paint restoration/maintainance
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  1. #1
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    Red single-stage paint restoration/maintainance

    Hi,
    I bought a car that you guys might classify as a barn find, except that it was kept outside for a couple of years.

    Instead of a luscious red, the car was pinkish-white, worse than all the oxidized reds I found on the internet. (I have a picture somewhere, but I can't locate it).

    What I did was use a harsh abrasive on it (Sonax Xtreme 3), which worked OK-ish, followed by a rather soft wax (Sonax Xtreme, too). The result was OK, but still somewhat pink-ish:


    Those pictures were taken in a year ago, and the car hasn't been driven at all afterwards but staying in a garage. The paint stated to lighten again (likely the wax leeched into the completely dry paint), and so I washed it with some Dawn, used Ultimate Compound on it, followed by Ultimate Liquid Wax.

    The result is - let's say - different. UC doesn't darken, but brings the paint to a high gloss. ULW doesn't darken either, but adds a glass-like layer. I reckon that this would work wonderfully on basecoat/clearcoat paint, but it doesn't look greak in the case of this car at all.

    So, I need to strip the sealant again and start from scratch, but this time, I want to do it right. My plan is this:

    Wash with Dawn again (and not care about leeching oils because of the next steps)
    Clay because I didn't even know it existed last year
    Polish a couple of times with M07 Show Car Glaze to bring turn pink into red again and saturate the paint with oil (with Ultimate Compound as needed)
    Seal with Ultimate Liquid Wax? (Would you recommend this before waxing?)
    Wax with Dodo Juice Banana Armour or Orange Crush.

    The idea is to have a glowing rather than a wet low.

    Do you have any better ideas?

  2. #2
    Sr. Global Product & Training Spec Michael Stoops's Avatar
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    Re: Red single-stage paint restoration/maintainance

    It sounds like you taken care of most of the oxidation, which is the pinkish/whitish chalky finish that the paint had degraded to. That's all fine and well, but we certainly understand your desire to take the paint to the highest level you can. From a purely personal perspective, I would want the same thing, especially on this Alfa - I want one of these rather badly, to be honest!!!!

    So....Your plan is basically sound but we'd like to recommend a slight twist to it if we may.

    First, we agree that in order to "start over" you'll need to strip off whatever protectant is currently on the paint, especially if you only recently applied it. A very slick synthetic polymer like Ultimate Wax will definitely slow down any correction step you may want to do, so washing with Dawn isn't a horrible idea here (as long as you don't make a practice of it, of course!).
    After that, however, and before jumping in with the M07, you'll need to determine if any correction is still called for. In that case, after claying, you may want to give the car a quick once over with Ultimate Compound again, just to ensure that you're removed any remaining oxidation. If, after washing/stripping/claying you determine the oxidation is essentially dealt with, then an application or two of M07 is a great next step. Doing this will add some much needed oils into the pores of the paint, in essence moisturizing the surface much like a lotion will moisturize your skin. Don't use UC after this, though, as it will only strip those oils out of the paint, and you want them to stay put.

    Once the M07 applications are done, it's up to you what wax or sealant you want to use. Visual differences between different waxes are very subjective - synthetics like Ultimate and NXT can tend to impart a very bright shine to darker colors (a category red paint falls into) while carnaubas are often considered to impart a deeper, wetter look on these colors. But again, even that is subjective; we know plenty of folks who love Ultimate Wax on their black cars and some who like Gold Class on their silver car. It's hard to tell someone that they should prefer one look over another. It's telling someone that they should prefer the taste of fish over chicken, etc. Which wax is best for you? The one you like the most! Now, you don't have to apply a synthetic before you apply a carnauba, but you can if you like. Will you like the look? That's up to you to decide.
    Michael Stoops
    Senior Global Product & Training Specialist | Meguiar's Inc.

    Remember, this hobby is supposed to be your therapy, not the reason you need therapy.

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    Re: Red single-stage paint restoration/maintainance


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    Re: Red single-stage paint restoration/maintainance

    I would never contradict anything Michael has posted, as he's "the MAN", but I would like to add some of my own experience from restoring the paint on my '87 El Camino and a few other older vehicles. I do believe in multiple overnight soaks with M07, like Mike Phillips describes in his restoration articles. Trying to stay consistent with the Meguiar's oil-laden products, I normally reach for M80 as my polish of choice, varying the cut by my choice of pads. That way, as Michael implies, I'm polishing without removing the oils I've painstakingly rubbed in previously.

    Bill

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    Brett Jarhead0754's Avatar
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    When u apply M7 u don't want to follow it up with UC as it will just basically strip the M7 off.
    Have u thought a bought trying 105 and 205. Those will give u awesome results as they do everyone else that's ever tried it. Lol.
    ULW is a great sealant but u could also look into M21.
    And as far as a carnuba based wax I like to stick with meguiars. M26 or gold class will give u a deep wet look ur looking for.

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    Re: Red single-stage paint restoration/maintainance

    From what I understand, those early-90ies single-stage paints, especially red, are most prone to oxidization as they're the first generation of water-based (as opposed to lead-based) paint.
    Here's a BMW E30 of that era, and you can see that "stays pink", too:


    I really hope M07 does the trick.

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    Sr. Global Product & Training Spec Michael Stoops's Avatar
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    Re: Red single-stage paint restoration/maintainance

    Quote Originally Posted by BillyJack View Post
    I would never contradict anything Michael has posted, as he's "the MAN", but I would like to add some of my own experience from restoring the paint on my '87 El Camino and a few other older vehicles. I do believe in multiple overnight soaks with M07, like Mike Phillips describes in his restoration articles. Trying to stay consistent with the Meguiar's oil-laden products, I normally reach for M80 as my polish of choice, varying the cut by my choice of pads. That way, as Michael implies, I'm polishing without removing the oils I've painstakingly rubbed in previously.

    Bill
    Bill, the process you describe is fantastic for moisturizing badly oxidized paint before doing any real correction on it. We also highly recommend this process on badly oxidized gel coat (boats, RVs) since that surface is incredibly porous and will just drink in any oils or lubricating agents in a compound and dry it out pretty quickly. But once the initial correction has been done, things change a bit. Using M80, which is loaded with polishing oils itself, is a great choice for the process you describe, which is why it has worked so well for you in the past. The fact that you state you're varying cut with pad choice also tells us you're seriously done your homework here..... well, that and the great work we've seen from you!! Basically, there's more than one way to get the job done, as is the case with any correction process. And to SmugGuy, you might want to experiment with these two process to see which works best for you.

    Quote Originally Posted by SmugGuy View Post
    From what I understand, those early-90ies single-stage paints, especially red, are most prone to oxidization as they're the first generation of water-based (as opposed to lead-based) paint.
    Here's a BMW E30 of that era, and you can see that "stays pink", too:


    I really hope M07 does the trick.
    It's a bit doubtful that those paint systems were water based as that is very new technology that has come about due to ever tightening emissions/VOC regulations. Even today, the clear coat used in OEM finishes is solvent based since the e-coat (basically an electrostatically applied primer dip) and the color coat (now often a water based powder coat like application) curb VOC output enough to keep the factory within regulations.

    The real culprit here is that the pigments used to make red paint are among the least stable pigments with regard to UV exposure, and without any sort of covering on them (ie, a UV resistant clear coat), the pigments are more quickly impacted and therefore fade faster than pigments used in other colors. That's the real reason why single stage red cars so often look so horrible, but it's also why you can look like a paint polishing super hero after buffing one out!!!
    Michael Stoops
    Senior Global Product & Training Specialist | Meguiar's Inc.

    Remember, this hobby is supposed to be your therapy, not the reason you need therapy.

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