Paint Correction on 1958 Porsche Speedster - DRIVE CLEAN

Uploaded by drive on 04.08.2012


Hey guys.
Welcome to another episode of Drive Clean.
I'm Larry from, where we're obsessed with
driving and protecting cars.
Now, on today's episode, we're going to be working on a 1958
Porsche Speedster.
Now, the paint is totally wrecked, so we're going to
restore it.
That's all coming up today on this episode of Drive Clean.
Before we get started, I want to thank all you guys for the
emails and comments I received since the first episode.
They've been spectacular, and I'm really grateful for them.
But the cool part is I've actually kept track of
everything you suggested, and we're going to try to
incorporate them into the upcoming episodes.
So for today, we're going to restore this
1958 Porsche Speedster.
Now, I think the problem was they washed it improperly, and
nobody took care of it, didn't put a cover on it and left
outside, so the paint is totally wrecked.
Now, the first question you want to ask yourself is
whether you want to clean, protect, or restore the paint.
Now, obviously, in this condition, it's so bad, we're
going to need to restore the paint.
Now, the second question is what year is the car and has
it been repainted?
Now, this particular car is a 1958, but it's been repainted
in modern times.
So now I know there's clear coat on it, I can approach it
Now, the third question is a little bit more complicated.
It's deciding whether the paint is hard or soft.
We're going to talk about how to figure that out in the
upcoming steps.
So this episode is going to be a little bit more complicated,
because we're really going to geek out.
So make sure you download the free PDF at
Before we can look at the paint, we have to undress it,
what we call stripping the wax off.
Now, if you guys remember back in the first episode when we
cleaned the Audi R8 Blackbird, we talked about dish soap
versus car soap.
Now, 99% of the time, you want to use car soap.
Because you want to leave all the wax on the car.
In this particular case, you actually want to use dish
soap, because it removes all the wax, and then you can
actually see what's going on in the paint.
Stripping the wax is essential for paint correction and
requires a little more than switching from soft car soap
to strong dish soap, and of course, following the same
steps as you normally would when cleaning your car.
Add a few squirts of dish soap to your clean wash bucket
and/or foam gun.
Then rinse down the paint with hose water to
remove the loose dirt.
Next, use the foam gun or the wash mitt to apply the dish
soap that will emulsify the wax, uncovering the paint
beneath it.
Once the car is completely washed, use your clay bar,
along with the wash mitt and the dish soap as a
lubrication, and remove any contaminants that may remain
embedded in the paint after the initial cleaning.
Now, we can be sure the surface is uncovered, or what
we call naked paint, so that we can see how bad the
scratches really are without waxes or
silicones hiding them.

Now, that the car's been stripped, what I like to do is
use my crazy tools here to inspect the paint at the
microscopic level.
What that does is it shows me what's going on and how bad
the paint is, and it helps me approach it and fix it or
repair it in the best and fastest way.
Mind you, these may not be necessary for the weekend
warrior, but I still think they're pretty cool.
All right.
So the first thing I have here is an assortment of lights,
and my favorite one is this Brinkmann Dual Xenon light.
Now, what I do, is I use it by shining it right here on the
quarter panel, and I can see any of the
swirls that are present.
Remember, we removed all the wax, so what I'm seeing is
actually there.
This is a great tool for visualizing how
bad the damage is.
The second little tool I like to use is my infrared
Now, what I do is I shine it at the paint.
Right now, it's telling me it's 83.5 degrees.
Now, anything under 100 degrees is usable, meaning I
can actually work on the paint here.
If it's above 100 degrees, it's too hot for me.
So I'll let it cool down, or I'll put some water on it, or
I'll pull it inside the garage.
Now, the reason why you want it so cool is the products
happen to flash, meaning they burn up too fast, and it
reduces the rate of abrasion that you can
use to fix the paint.
So this is a very useful tool to figure out what
temperature you're at.
Now, the most useful tool I have is the PosiTector paint
depth gauge.
Now, the way you use it, you take this little cord here,
put it on the paint, and it tells me there's 894 microns
of paint on this car.
Now, if you get to a lower and a lower and a lower number, at
some point it'll tell me that I can't buff the car and I
can't restore it.
So on occasion, I'll come to a customer and say, hey, your
paint is really trashed, but there's nothing I can do
because I don't want to take away the UV protection or the
clear coat on the car.
This machine will tell you that.
And normally, you can't see it just by looking at it.
You need one of these.
They are a bit pricey, but they're worth every penny.
All right, the geekiest tool I have and probably the most
fun, is the Dino-Lite microscope.
Now, the way you use it is you put it on the paint just like
this, and it gives me an image on the Mac here of all the
scratches in the paint.
It helps me determine whether I've actually repaired the
paint or filled it in.
Now, this here, is really, really high tech.
Now, as you can see here, we've
isolated a very big scratch.
All these will come out, but this may give us a little bit
of trouble, so I'll keep an eye on that.
Now, that we stripped the car, clayed the car, and taken a
microscope and seeing all the little scratches so we get a
better idea of how to approach the car, the next thing you
want to do is you want to create a test panel.
Now, what I like to do is pull my masking tape out just like
this, break a little piece off, and the trick is to
lightly tap it on your thigh.
What that does is it removes the extra
glue that's on there.
So when you put it on just like this, when you go to pull
it off, there isn't that line that's really annoying that
you've got to rub it a little bit extra.
And so I'm going to mask off the rest of this and test this
panel right now.
Using tape allows me to see a before and after shot when
determining what products and procedures are working and
when it's not.
Be sure to keep test areas to one panel only and in the
least conspicuous part of the car.

Before we can repair the clear coat, it's important to
understand what makes up the different layers of paint, how
scratches affect your clear coat, and more importantly,
how they're removed.
Brand new paint, or what we call perfect paint, has a
flat, glass-like surface that reflects 100% of the light
back to your eye, much like a mirror.
However, over time, with poor cleaning habits, the clear
coat will develop minor and sometimes major scratches that
reduce the amount of reflection causing it to
appear dull.
Once wax is applied, it acts as a filler to flatten the
surface of the clear coat once again making
your car look shiny.
Although the paint looks repaired, it's actually only a
temporary or cosmetic solution to the dullness.
After a few washes, the wax or filler will degrade and the
once-covered scratch will be exposed again putting you
right back in the same situation.
So what are we to do?
In this case, since we decided to permanently repair the
paint, we need to know a little bit more about
abrasives and how they work.
Compounds and polishes work in almost
the same way as sandpaper.
In fact, they are sometimes referred to as liquid
sandpaper, because they're delivered and applied to the
paint in a fluid instead of the traditional paper.
The trick to understanding the basics of abrasion lies in
this chart.
The lower the numbers, the more abrasive it is.
Likewise, the higher the numbers, the
less abrasive it is.
Although body shops commonly use heavier and more
aggressive products, the sweet spot for detailing and paint
correction is roughly 2,500 to 4,500 grit.
The detailing industry uses what's called
a diminishing abrasive.
It's designed to break down during use or when you're
buffing the paint and finishes off at a lighter abrasion than
you started off with to help minimize the appearance of the
dreaded holograms or swirls commonly found on
dark-colored cars.
There are three general categories of abrasives when
discussing paint restoration--
compounds, polishes, and ultra-fine polishes, or what I
like to call jeweler's polish.
Now, over the years, there has literally been hundreds of
derivations and unique blends to address different damages,
paint depths, detailer skills and, of
course, paint hardness.
Now, combine that with hundreds of different pad
selections, and you might see how choosing what pad and
product to detail your car with might be confusing, but
here is a more simplified approach.
I stick with three core products, along with three
core pads that work 99% of the time, except on those
extremely rare and unique paint-damaged situations.
So here is how it works.
The compound polish and jeweler's polish have their
own respective pads, but sometimes the paint requires
what I call half steps to be repaired perfectly.
For example, if you're using a polish with a polishing pad
and it seems like the paint needs a little bit more bite
but doesn't require the use of a compound, simply switch to
the more aggressive compounding pad with the
polish to make this a half step instead of a full step.
When working on a test panel, it's best to use the least
amount of abrasives that are necessary to complete the job,
because there is a finite amount of clear
coat on your car.
As you can see in this animation, there are a few
small scratches and one deep gouge.
Using the least abrasive product first, which is the
jeweler's polish, does little to remove these particular
scratches because of their depth.
Although in some situations, this might be enough to bring
the paint back to perfect, it doesn't work here, so we need
to bump up to the next most abrasive and retest.
Next, we tried polishing the test panel and got much better
results, but still not good enough.
So we moved on to the compound.
Compound is the next jump up in abrasion while still being
user friendly.
This product should allow you to remove light, medium, and
even some heavy scratches to your clear coat.
Now that you've removed most if not all of the scratches,
the trick is to back out the paint after you've compounded.
This is when you use a less abrasive product than the
previous one to create a flat, glass-like surface.
Now that almost all the scratches are out, it's time
to add paint sealant for increased UV protection and to
fill in any super heavy scratches that couldn't be
fully repaired.
Once dried, the sealant will create a perfectly flat
surface that will reflect light just like a mirror.
Next, I add a thin layer of Carnauba wax on top of the
cured sealant for insane depth and shine found on all
amazing show cars.
Now, that we figured out what products and pad combination
work best to repair this paint, I love pulling up the
test panel masking tape to get a better look at the before
and after results just to be sure I'm happy with the
finished product and because it's really exciting to see
the perfect paint correction side by side with
the thrashed paint.
It really gives you a great perspective, and
it's kind of cool.

Based on the results of our test panel, we figured out how
we're going to approach the rest of the car.
But before we do that, we want to tape off all these little
badges and emblems and lights an of course, these little
guys right here so we don't catch it with our pad.
Masking tape helps protect your car, your buffing pads,
and, of course, makes it easier to clean up at the end
of the day.
Now that everything is taped off, it's time to get to work.
Work in two-by-two areas and complete the rest of the car.

Now that we've compounded, polished and jeweled the
paint, the next step is to seal it.
Apply paint sealant one panel at a time, then remove with a
microfiber towel until every painted surface is covered.
Once cured, the sealant will protect your freshly restored
paint and help hide any scratches that were just too
deep to safely repair during the correction stage.
Now we've sealed the car so it looks
spectacular, and it's protected.
Now, if remember back in the previous episodes, we talked
about putting Carnauba wax on top, and that's exactly what
I'm going to do.
That's going to bring in a pop, that shine
back to this paint.
So let's get started.
The trick here is to add a light, thin layer of Carnauba
wax on top of the cured sealant.
It's possible to do two or three panels before removing
the wax with a clean microfiber towel, and the car
should take no more than 15 to 20 minutes to get
insane depth and shine.
Although the Porsche took about eight hours or so from
start to finish, it was totally worth it.
Remember, we started off with paint that was completely
neglected and in need of some serious correction.
And after a bit of testing, we managed to restore the paint
to near perfection with a safe and easy-to-use machine.
All right, guys.
Well, we finally finished this beautiful Porsche Speedster.
Now, the one thing that we've learned is that you need the
right tools.
You need the right techniques, and a little bit of patience.
And you, too, can have your car look as amazing as this.
Now remember, download your free PDF and product guide at
If you have additional questions, shoot me an email
or visit my blog for other how-to videos.
Well, that's it for you guys.
Thanks for watch another episode of Drive Clean right
here on the Drive Channel.