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Maybe we should have called this the Zaino forum

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 #132927  by mendon mafia
 March 29th, 2007, 11:23 pm
I want to get my car buffed soon and i was wondering how severe of scratches buffing will remove and if it is even worth the money. i am expecting the car to look like it has just been painted/cleared, are these reasonable hopes or are they just dreams. I would definitely pay $100 for my paint to shine like brand new. And one more question will buffing my car compromise the durability of the paint?

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 #132931  by velobard
 March 30th, 2007, 12:06 am
The answer is, it depends. First of all, I would expect a quality buffing job by a pro detailer to run at least somewhat over $100 in most parts of the country. You need to try to avoid the hacks that can leave rotary holograms and swirls all over your paint, like unskilled detailers at too many car dealers seem so talented at. You also want to find someone who is actually removing the swirls, not just using some product with fillers that will wash out after a few washes or rains. I don't claim to be up on prices to speak of, but I'd be suspicious of anything under $125 or more, depending on the condition of your car and the specific detailer you hire. Any scratches you can feel with your fingernail are too deep to fix completely with just buffing, but even then sometimes they can at least be improved a little.

If your paint is in otherwise good shape, most swirls and scratches should be able to be polished out by a good detailer without causing harm.

Better yet, you could make the investment of time and money to learn how to do it yourself. You can learn quite a bit on this and also sometimes find good detailers for hire on Visit the forums there and look at some of the examples in the Click and Brag section to see what's possible. Dark cars are a special challenge, they show every little flaw.

Even if you do hire someone to do this for you, study up on Autopia about how to avoid causing damage after it's polished. Proper care takes some effort and knowledge.

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 #133068  by mendon mafia
 April 1st, 2007, 10:45 am
thanks velobard for the info. I will let you know how it turns out if i decide to go the route. My paint is not in the bad of condition except for some chips in the rear bumper (which obviously cannot be fixed by buffing) and some scratches on my front bumper. I bought this sealant the goes on after wax and is supposed to make the car shine really good so i will try that out and see if that is good enough.

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 #133071  by velobard
 April 1st, 2007, 11:10 am
If you want to try polishing specific scratches by hand, like you describe on your bumper, you could just try doing those by hand. Meguiars ScratchX works OK and it's easy to find. A better option that you could order online is 1Z Einszett polishes although they do cost a bot more and are much better if you work with a couple of them for a multi-step process. For aggressive work you can use the 1Z Ultra/Extra, then for final polishing I understand the Metallic polish in the round can (it's the pro version, without the word Wax in the name) is the best. You can find them at

What sealant did you buy? There's plenty of good ones on the market. IMO the biggest differences are durability and personal opinions on appearance. Usually I see folks applying sealants before a wax. Are you talking about a spray product?

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 #133078  by mendon mafia
 April 1st, 2007, 12:06 pm
its a nano sealant from i received it free with my interior lights. but it is a rub on sealant and is applied like a wax or polish. it says to wash and polish car before applying i meant to say polish not wax. but apparently there is no need for wax after the sealant is applied its supposed to be very durable and glossy.

About the scratching, i am kind of afraid to use my rubbing compound on them for fear or eating through the paint but i have tried polish compound which worked a little bit but not very good. i think that once i get the sealer on, it will look better, at least i hope.

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 #133091  by velobard
 April 1st, 2007, 2:15 pm
Working by hand you don't need to worry much about wearing through the paint. However, if the scratches are too deep you also have the option of hiding them to some extent by using a wax or glaze with fillers. It usually won't hide one's that bad altogether, but it might make them a little less noticeable. A pro detailer can give you a better assessment if he looks at your car and a good one will have a paint gauge, although if this is on the plastic bumper he won't be able to get a reading.

You're right, a quality sealant is a good alternative to a wax. Basically all it means it that it's synthetic instead of carnauba wax.

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 #133119  by mendon mafia
 April 1st, 2007, 9:46 pm
yea that's what it said on the website i think, that it was like a synthetic wax. i will post some pics, hopefully soon if the weather ever gets better in Rochester, NY (2nd worst weather in the nation to Seattle)
 #225942  by wallisstgeorge
 May 12th, 2010, 3:59 pm
The cost of "buffing" depends on how badly the clear coat is damaged. The deeper the damage, the courser the grit in the polish has to be used.
It is very simular to sanding wood. You take out the deeper scratches with the courser grit, then work your way
to the end product (polish).
There are very few people that can polish a car properly without leaving swirls! Many will claim that they can, but they will cover their mistakes with a number of products available. Unfortunately it is next to impossible to tell if your detailer has used a cover up product immediately after the polish. The best way to check the final product is in the bright sunshine.
This process can be very involved and time consuming. Please do not attempt to do this process on your favorite vehicle. You will definately want to practice on another vehicle first.
Be absolutely certain you don't have any silicone product on the paint as this is guaranteed to create swirls.
I have found that the best products to use for this job are made by Meaguirs.
You have a limited number of times that you can do a polish on a car. Each time you do a polish you take of a certain amount of clear coat off the finish.
The most expensive and most attractive paint jobs are polished after each coat of paint. This makes each layer of paint as smooth as possible to allow the most light to be reflected.
What you see when you are looking at the finish of the car is the reflection of the light off of the paint. The smoother the layers of paint the deeper and more luxurious the finish will appear.