These days it doesn't matter if the subject is welding, photography, or doing income tax returns there's a steady influx of high-tech products entering the marketplace designed to relegate skills once regarded as the exclusive territory of seasoned professionals and put them into the hands of enthusiastic amateurs. The automotive field is no exception and the trend has moved into the arena of professional paint care. Two of the top brands in the premium car care field are Mothers and Meguiar's and they both offer complete systems right down to the power tools necessary. Both companies have gone to great lengths to provide the DIY crowd foolproof equipment, but of course there's still consequences if the job isn't handled right.
To help us walk CCT readers through the steps of maintaining a high-dollar paintjob without causing any unnecessary damage we asked our friend Andy Uphoff at Andy's Detail Service based out of Costa Mesa, California, to give us a hand. Andy rolled up to "Boss" Bob's Garage in his '63 Chevy C20 outfitted to handle mobile detailing and laid it all out. In addition to the '63 Chevy as a guinea pig Andy worked a little magic on "Boss" Bob's '56 F-100, featured on the August '07 cover of Custom Classic Trucks as well. Bob's '56 can fool you, it looks like it never leaves the garage, but as evidenced in CCT's coverage of La Verne, California's Cool Cruise the truck has been driven to shows where it has rained during the event.
On the day Andy showed up it was pouring rain, so the '63 Chevy had to have major mud washed off and, stored inside, the '56 only needed a minor bath. A former custom painter and auto detailer myself, I helped Andy wash the trucks. We used Meguiar's and Mothers car wash soap on both trucks to see how well they worked. Then we dried the pair off, and moved onto claying any areas that felt rough to the touch while we were drying. With the pickups clayed and ready, the toe-to-toe comparison moved on to testing the power tools. For those of you gun shy when it comes to using a machine on your paintjob, have no fear; neither devise is capable of doing any more damage than a complete flunkie can do by hand with a rag.
The best product to buy for someone that doesn't want to invest a lot of money to find out whether or not they are any good with a machine is Mothers Power Ball 4Paint. The folks at Mothers have developed an entire line of unique foam balls, plus a cone that turn any electric drill into a professional level polishing machine. Next in line for the guys who really want to step up their game is Meguiar's G110 dual-action polisher. The folks at Meguair's really did their homework when they designed the G110. It's the last polisher you'll have to buy, whether you're a pro or a private user.
The final word in detailing products and how to use them is all about personal preference. We're confident this guide will help you avoid the snake oil cures and know good products when you find them. Remember the most important thing to learn is how to train your eye to recognize flaws and teach yourself the skills to correct them-everything gets shinier from there!
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