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Detailing in detail – a detailed description

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How do you achieve the results from the videos about detailing? What is being shown in the video, and why? How can you learn from a video showing a detailer in action?

Detailing in detail

Describing the actions in a detailing video will give you a clear impression in what the detailer is doing, why he is doing that and what you can learn from it. An amateur detailer can learn a lot from observing and studying these kinds of video’s.

The video

*It is recommended to choose for HD quality to get the best impression.

0:00 – 0:15 Intro
0:15 – 0:20 Showcasing the car
0:20 – 0:27 Snowfoam has been applied and is loosening the dirt
0:27 – 0:33 The snowfoam has been rinsed off and the car is washed by hand with a washmitt
0:33 – 0:40 Small details are cleaned thoroughly with the use of a softhaired brush. The washmitt is to big to really get into these small crevices
0:40 – 0:47 Claylube is sprayed over the surface and a claymitt is wiped over the surface to remove stubborn contamination
0:47 – 0:54 The shampoo is rinsed off with a pressure washer
0:54 – 1:00 A microfiber drying towel is used to dry the surface. This prevents waterspots and makes the surface ready for the next step. The use of a microfiber towel is recommended because it is designed to soak up as much water as possible while also lifting up any dirt it comes across. This greatly minimizes the risk of swirls or micro-marring.
1:00 – 1:07 Delicate areas and crevices are taped off to prevent polish from getting into places it shouldn’t get.
1:07 – 1:14 Showcasing the surface imperfections, the majority of imperfections shown here are swirls (scratches caused by inproper washing techniques), oxidation (faded color) and RDS. There is also slight marring visible, which is a very common side effect from claying.
1:14 – 1:21 Polishing the surface with a rotary polisher. Notice how the detailer is looking at the paint from an angle. He is looking at the imperfections via the reflection of the lighting, closely following the motion of the polisher.
1:21 – 1:28 Showing the results from polishing. The surface is free of surface imperfections and shows a clear reflection. The greatly enhanced refractive index of the reflective surface causes the color to look much deeper with more contrast.
1:28 – 1:34 Showing the surface imperfections on the front quarter panel. The difference in the angle that the light is reflected shows how surface imperfections can impact the looks of a painted panel.
1:34 – 1:43 Polishing the surface with a rotary polisher. Notice how the detailer is looking very carefully at the panel and the motion of the polish machine. The polish being used has been working in and is hardly visible. This indicates the right amount of polish is being used and it is being worked in till the abrasives have been broken down.
1:43 – 1:49 The panel is being polished with a finishing polish and a Dual Action polishing machine. When looking right in front of the machine, you can vaguely see the lines of the oils in the polish. This step is done to refine the polishing done in the previous step. Wether this is necessary depends on the level of imperfections and the level of cut from the previous polish. The detailer is looking at the surface via the reflection of the light, trying to spot any imperfections in the surface.
1:49 – 1:55 Showing the results from polishing. The panel shows a very deep color with crisp reflections. The imperfections and oxidation in the surface have been removed to reveal a perfectly smooth and flat surface. The seemingly increased amount of contrast is due to the increased refractive index of the smooth and flat finish.
1:55 – 2:04 Showcasing the front with surface imperfections. This time the angle of light comes almost from straight above, giving another view of how light from straight above impacts the look.
2:04 – 2:09 The surface is being polished with a rotary polishing machine. Notice how the amount of polish is only vaguely visible. This indicates the right amount being used. More polish would clog up the polishing pad and prevent you from seeing how the surface is being perfected. The detailer is now looking at the panel almost from above, looking into the reflection of the lights above him.
2:09 – 2:16 The surface is being refined with a second step of polishing. This time a finishing polish is being used with a Dual Action machine and a finishing pad. The detailer is still looking from above into the reflection of the light, trying to find imperfections and keeping a close eye on the performance of the polish.
2:16 – 2:24 The results are being shown. From an imperfect reflection, into a very crisp reflection and a deeper color.
2:24 – 2:30 Showing the imperfections on the rear quarter panel. The main imperfections shown here is oxidation (faded color), swirls (very fine thin lines in various directions), marring (rows of many fine lines in the same direction) and a few mineral deposits.
2:30 – 2:43 Polishing the surface with a rotary polishing machine. The polish is still fresh, and shows up well on the dark paintwork. Further polishing will work the polish further in and make it less visible. After the first step, it is followed up by a finishing polish on a Dual Action machine. The detailer is closely looking at his machine and the surface he is working on.
2:43 – 2:50 The results from the two steps of polishing is being shown. The paintwork looks much better with a clear reflection of both light and its surroundings. Notice the lighting setup in the reflection, the detailer can use this as a source of light to spot the imperfections with.
2:50 – 2:58 An IPA type product is sprayed on the surface to completely remove any of the polish residue that is left on the surface. Simply wiping off the polish will not remove all the residue. IPA (or similar) will remove the oils and reveal a perfectly clean and residue-free surface.
2:58 – 3:10 the products used for protection are being shown. In this case a ceramic coating is being used.
3:10 – 3:25 The ceramic coating is being applied. A few drops are applied to the applicator, which is then carefully (with hardly any pressure) wiped over the surface. Only a few drops are enough to do a panel.
3:25 – 3:32 The product is being wiped off aver a few minutes curing. This removes the excess product, but leaves behind the layer that chemically bonded to the surface.
3:32- 3:39 The cleaned wheels are being treated to a similar type of product. The product for the wheels is designed to survive higher temperatures and the contaminants it encounters. It is applied in a very similar way.
3:39 – 3:45 The excess if product is wiped off with a microfiber towel. This removes any excess product, leaving behind the thin layer that chemically bonded with the surface.
3:45 – 4:35 Showing the results of the work that has been done. The paintwork has a very rich and deep tone, crisp reflections and a smooth look.


The video shown above belongs to Ideal Valeting and Detailing. DetailingWiki was given permission to use the video on this article. There is no affiliation between Ideal Valeting and Detailing and DetailingWiki. The usage of the video by DetailingWiki is for educational purposes only.

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