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Black Paint Maintenance

jeffc1jeffc1 Posts: 29
edited March 2014 in GMC
I am venturing somewhere that I swore I would never go. I am getting another black car. GASP! Nothing looks better that a clean black car. Nothing looks worse than a poorly maintained black car. What is the best way to keep a black paint job looking fresh?



  • armtdmarmtdm Posts: 2,057
    New 2000 Buick, Black,one year old now. Looks great and I give credit to Zaino polishes.

    I have tried them all and Zaino not only a great shine but outlasts them all.
  • scottc8scottc8 Posts: 617
    and one more idea: If you're ordering a new car, tell the dealer to do NOTHING to it in the way of prep work. No washing, no ham-handed waxing and buffing by low wage detailing "professionals". They don't paint those swirls on at the factory. :)
  • Swirl marks are often caused by tiny particles of dirt and metal that get embedded in the paint. Car washes alone will not remove these tiny particles, they must be lifed out using the clay bar. Use the clay bar prior to waxing and you will have no swirl marks. Mothers sells a good kit and of course Zaino is great as well.
  • rhmassrhmass Posts: 263
    How to take away those swirl marks already on the car? Will clay take them out? I agree carwash will not do a thing for the swirl marks, but rather creat more on the car, unless you go through the "touchless" type which doesn't really clean that well.
  • bretfrazbretfraz Posts: 2,021
    Paint cleaning clay removes the surface contaminents you can feel that sit on top of your paint. Lightly rub your hand on the hood and roof and you'll get the idea. Clays remove this crud by shearing it off. It's easy to do and quite effective.

    Swirls are not easy to diagnose w/o seeing the car. Bad ones need some serious work. Most swirls can be removed using swirl mark remover products from 3M or Meguiar's. This is an area where buffers and polishers really come in handy. Many people remove swirls by hand but it can be tedious.
  • 3M has (or had) a product called "Fill&Glaze" compound. It's a pink liquid that's basically a very fine polish. I've had black cars since the 1970's, and have used this since then.
    The only reason that I'm unsure if they still make it is because the last time I bought it, I bought a gallon, and still have some from that jug.
  • bretfrazbretfraz Posts: 2,021
    3M "pink" is Imperial Hand Glaze marketed to body shops and paint supply stores. I used to use it al the time.
  • I use Meguiar's and 3M with an orbital problems.
  • tntitantntitan Posts: 306
    I had this car custom painted and a guy that shows Corvettes gave me some great advice.

    1. Wash the car often. Always use cool-cold water, wash in the shade, and use a premium wash cleaner that is very mild. Meguiars and Mothers both make great ones. I also use very "soft" water which goes a long way toward preventing spotting along with the premium cleaner.

    2. Use a premium chamois to dry (no towel has ever touched the car). Don't have to worry about lint or swirl marks this way.

    3. The only "wax" used was a 3M spray for the "deep" gloss. Lightly buff it off with 100% cotton padded diapers and make sure you keep the diaper clean.

    It has been 3 1/2 years and every where I go people leave cards wanting to buy the car, wanting to know where it was painted or how I get such a deep reflection.
  • armtdmarmtdm Posts: 2,057
    These can create swirl marks. I used to use one, now the only two things I use is the CA Blade (believe that is what it is called) to remove 90% of the water (this thing is absolutely fantastic) and a cotton cloth to get the rest of the water. 50% quicker then a chamois and no swirl marks.
  • bretfrazbretfraz Posts: 2,021
    One danger of them is that they can drag around little specks of grit. They have no nap like a terry towel so they can't pick up crud and hold it away from the surface.

    I too use a Calif water blade and follow up with a microfiber towel. Very effective and quick.
  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 19,825
    Keeping the black paint in a no uv light garage is the best storage method.

    Using a three bucket system with either a sheepskin mitt or 100% cotton toweling and a great car soap: wash the car from the top down, between soap loads rinse the mitt or towel in fresh water before putting the mitt or towel back into the soap.

    Use a separate mitt or towel, soap, bucket and rise for non body (non paint) parts.

    While this is true for all paints, the less that you touch your black paint the better. So when you wash with your sheepskin mitt, blow dry your paint with a leaf blower. If you have to conventionally dry it, use 100% cotton toweling washed only in liquid soap.

    Some folks also use the CA car DUSTER between washings. If you get any water on your paint do not use the CA car duster.
  • ski1157ski1157 Posts: 16
    how many people have picked up a new black car and found that the dealer washed and waxed it-i just did- a 32 AMG-little white spots on the plastic and swirl marks-ive heard youre not supposed to "do anything" for 6 months, until the paint "hardens"-is it true-what can i do in the meantime to get my paint "back to normal"-thanks!!-are the mercedes products ok to use?
  • ski1157ski1157 Posts: 16
    a portion of the body of my black mercedes slk is plastic-are there any tips on maintaining this section-thanks
  • chevyk10chevyk10 Posts: 12
    Actually ski1157 it used to be that you should wait 6 months for the paint to "harden" but with today's high tech paints the finish is hardened before it ever leaves the factory.
  • sgj55sgj55 Posts: 34
    I just picked up a 2002 Yukon XL, BLACK. Made a few mistakes. I too use a CA blade & find it to
    be very useful, but I went out after a rain &
    used it to dry the car. BIG MISTAKE! Got lots of swirls & scratches. Ruking1 is right: touch your paint as little as possible & never touch your car with anything unless it has just been washed.
    Black shows just how much dust & dirt is in the air & what "clean" water leaves behind. All this
    stuff is what causes the swirls & scratches. Only
    soap & water will remove this stuff safely.

    At the advice of others in Edmunds I tried the
    Zymol wax, (the one in price club, $15.00). It
    works great, goes on easy & off easy, no wait to
    dry. Makes the car look wet. The best part is if
    you get it on any plastic trim it comes right off
    with no white residue.

    It's alot of work, but nothing looks better when
    you get it right!
  • joffficerjoffficer Posts: 169
    I bought some of Macguires liquid gold, but haven't used it yet. Being my first new black car I want to keep it looking good.
    I also bought a car wash brush... it sure makes washing quick and easy, but is it ok for the finish? (I can't recall the make of hand). I keep it very clean while using it, and wash it in the dishwasher between uses.
  • mpynempyne Posts: 120
    i detailed my car this weekend and i was really proud of the job i must say. first thing i did was wash car with dish soap to strip off old wax etc. next i washed with zymol car wash (both time using 2 bucket method. next dried car with California blade then finished with 100% American made cotton towels. then i polished car with zaino
    Z1 followed by Z5 (swirl mark remover) then finished with Z6 gloss enhancer. After 1 michigan winter and noticing a few swirl marks from when i had to wash car at auto car wash i must say my car looked practically perfect. swirl marks gone and i no water spots.
    PS lasted for 1 friggin day until a bird crapped on it but zaino makes it easy to wash off.
  • armtdmarmtdm Posts: 2,057
    On the black plastic trim the best that I have come accross is the Mequiars SHINE liquid product. It actually last a failry long time with a nice sheen to it. Much better then a wax or polish.

    On my black Buick I use two products that have kept it looking great for the past year. The Zaino Polish (stuff really does work and extremely durable) as well as Collinite carnuba wax. Mostly Zaino on hood, roof and trunk and I use the carnuba on the sides. Why, flat surfaces get more abuse and that is where the Zaino excels. I also use the water blade after washing in lieu of chamois etc. after water blade a cotten towel gets the rest and it looks great.
  • lotech1lotech1 Posts: 112
    I'm new to this board, please forgive my ignorance.
  • leadfoot4leadfoot4 Posts: 593
    The "California Water Blade" is some cute looking, hi-tech squegee that clears the water off your freshly washed car.
    I have my doubts, however, just in case I'd missed a spot when washing. I'd hate to drag some grit across the car.
  • joffficerjoffficer Posts: 169
    I've been using a turtlewax water blade for awhile now. Makes drying the car quick and easy. If you miss the dirt, during the wash, you'll still scrap it all over the surface with a towel... the moral of this story "do a good job Washing the car first"!
  • armtdmarmtdm Posts: 2,057
    Is absolutely fantastic. Does not mark or cause swirl marks like a chamois can, wipes the water just about clear off the surface, gets most of the side panels as well, takes 10% of the time a chamois takes. I can wash a car and wipe it down with the blade and cotten towel in 20 min max.
  • sgj55sgj55 Posts: 34
    Price club,(now Costco), sells two in a pack, a
    small & a large for $20.00. That's the price for
    one blade in Wal Mart or K-Mart.

    Like armtdm says, it's fantastic. I can squeegee off my whole Yukon XL before any water dries to
    leave water spots. Try it!
  • venanzikvenanzik Posts: 72
    I usually just wash and wax my car with a good wax, but I hear about waxes, polishes, cleaners, etc. what is the prefered way to protect a car. My car is a daily driver so I am not interested in haveing a showroom finish everyday of the week (I just dont have the time). I am more interested in protecting the finish than having it looking "wet" all the time. Is just a wax good enough? or should a cleaner be used then wax then polish? does the polish protect or is it just for shine? any help would be appreciated. thanks
  • mrdetailermrdetailer Posts: 1,118
  • armtdmarmtdm Posts: 2,057
    have tried many over the years from NuFinish, Mequiares Cleaner/Wax also tried the Mequiares Gold Wax also # 26, as well as Collinite and of course Zaino.

    Nothing protects (defined as long term durability) like Zaino, the Collinite gives a great shine as does # 26 but only lasts 2-3 months. NuFinish, for the price, not a bad deal. CR did rate it # 1 for a while years ago.

    What it comes down to is what you think works for you, really have to form own opinion.
  • mrdetailer,

    Please tell us more about your statement in post #27. How can this be proven? I have used Mequire's Cleaner Wax for several years and have found it to work very well. Water beads up just like with other waxes.

    What information can you share?
  • pj2323pj2323 Posts: 43
    where can i find this wax?
  • armtdmarmtdm Posts: 2,057

    Also, there is a thread on this same board for this products

    As to the cleaner wax. I have this in my stockpile as well and use it for areas that have hard to remove stains. It also can be used to rub out some scuffs as it does have "abrasives" that is why it is a cleaner wax. Yes, it can be used in place of a regular wax/polish but if the car finish is clean you are using an abrasive everyime you use it and are removing some of the finish on the car. Only should be used fro cleaning purposes, not routine waxing.

This discussion has been closed.