It took me 4 days total but it was completely worth it! With a lot of help from Meguiar's Detailer and Ultimate lines.
Removed the wheels, cleaned and dressed the wheel wells, then cleaned and waxed the wheels with Ultimate Wax. Followed by an engine wash and dress. I went very light with the dressing as you can see.
Then it was on to a 2-bucket wash using Crystal Car Wash. That was followed by claying with Meguiar's clay. I used Crystal Car Wash as the lubricating agent. I was amazed at how much stuff came out with that step.
Now it was time for the big job. The car had swirls, but the water spots were truly awful. This was my first time doing this and I was concerned for sure. Not to mention that I don't actually have a polisher. I went with Meguiar's DA Power System and did a pass with Ultimate Compound and the burgundy pads. That took care of the water spots and most of the swirls. Then I did a pass with Ultimate Polish and while there were still some minor swirls I was quite happy with the results. Even though the car was in the shade, the back was exposed enough for me to run into trouble with Ultimate Compound. Man, that stuff is hard to get out when it dries!
Then came Ultimate Wax. For some reason, I decided to not use the drill for this and applied by hand. That is some easy stuff to work with and it buffs out so easily! I finished by applying Ultimate Black on the rear plastic panel below the bumper, some Synthetic X-Press Spray Wax on the panel behind the hood and wipers and then Invisible Glass on the windows.
And that was it. My first true detail adventure. Hard work but I enjoyed every minute of it. I think I'm hooked. I'm actually pondering adding a layer of Carnauba-based paste wax (Gold Class probably) next week. I think it came out great. Not perfect maybe but hey, first time right. Thanks to forums like this one you truly pick up on a lot of info.
1. D-101 All Purpose Cleaner (Great for tires btw!)
2. D-108 Super Degreaser
3. D-156 Synthetic X-Press Spray Wax
4. Ultimate Black
5. Ultimate Compound
6. Ultimate Polish
7. Ultimate Liquid Wax
8. Meguiar's Clay Kit (sans the Detailer)
9. Meguiar's Crystal Car Wash
10. Bar Keeper's Friend (for the water spots in the glass)
11. Invisible Glass (aerosol)
12. Original Armor All (looking to replace this...)
13. Armor All Extreme Gel