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Old 02-08-2010, 03:39 PM   #1
Roy
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PPF Scratch Repair Guide

I thought it would be useful to document some of the work Iíve been doing recently on Paint Protection Film. Whatever your thoughts on PPF, eventually youíre going to get a car with it installed so knowing how to work with it could make all the difference. Iíve had an ever increasing number of detailers calling me this year needing advice on what to do with the swirls and scratches on PPF, so here is how Iíve been correcting the film.

To be honest in most cases light swirls can be removed and clarity resorted with something like Menzerna Final Finish 106ff a Medium polishing pad using a Dual Action polishing machine (less heat and drag than using a Rotary Polisher) but in all honesty if there are some deep scratches it may not remove them.

Now this isnít a ********** guide! Itís more to show that scratches can be removed from PPF and how I do it. Hopefully it should be helpful as the process should be easily applied to most films. I strongly suggest if youíre not sure or confident itís best to test on an inconspicuous area first as I cannot be held responsible for damage to film. If in doubt Tom at Paintshield knows PPF inside out and is happy to give advice on most films. On this guide I'm working on the Xpel make of film.

Now the thing that makes PPF so good at resisting stone chips and damage can make it a pain to detail. Itís not a hard cured surface like paint itís slightly pliable this means if youíre going to be doing some serious correction work, I find it can take two or three extra stages of correction and refinement.

Right on to the action!

The car in question is a 6 month old BMW 5 series, that had PPF installed. The owner had brought it back with some quite serious issues, basically it had been sponge washed and scrubbed also there was the tell tell marks from an automated car wash machine. So basically I had a combination of medium to heavy wash swirling, parallel car wash marks and deep scratches where I think the owner had been scrubbing insect splats, one of the worst areas was under the passenger head light.

Look away now if youíre squeamish!..





Not pretty! Now I think if this had not had PPF installed this could have been through to the clear coat!

Normally I would use a Dual Action Polisher on PPF but itís going to struggle with the deeper marks, so out with the Rotary a light cutting pad and Gloss It Evolution Cut polish, working the polish fully at speeds up to 1800 rpm. Keep an eye on the panel temperatures as you donít want to overheat the PPF or the bumper in this instance.



As you can see a good improvement has been made but still some work to do, once the panel had cooled with the same light cutting pad pad I stepped up to Gloss It Extreme Cut polish following the same process as before.



With the defects 95% removed in this case, itís now time to restore the finish. Itís not unusual for the film to dull and hologram during the cutting stage, so donít panic!

Next step is to use a softer polishing pad and Gloss It Evolution Cut polish. Using less speed (1500 rpm) and lighter pressure now as youíre trying to bring back the gloss and reduce any holograms in the PPF, this could take a couple of goes.



Itís now time to change over to your Dual Action Machine. Itís not unusual for a few faint holograms to still be present (they can be a pain to remove!) Although this might not make sense I go back to a Light Cutting pad and Gloss It Extreme Cut, after a couple of goes you should be now hologram free! With the film starting to look like new again.



I do one more step with a soft polishing pad and Gloss It Evolution Cut polish still on the DA to really bring back the shine to the film. Towards the end of this process I usually remove any tape and clean up any polish residue, then do one last gentle pass over the film watch out for any lifting edges here. Job done! Add some wax, this time SV Shield and youíre done!

The results









The bonnet came up 90-95% defect free too. (More time would have allowed for a full correction) Problem areas were corrected first on the Rotary with spot pads then refined, and 150mm pads on the DA to finish.





If youíve made it to the end thanks for reading

Kind regards, Roy.
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Old 02-08-2010, 04:58 PM   #2
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Great How-To
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Old 04-08-2010, 12:46 PM   #3
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That's a really excellent guide Roy, thanks for sharing - I can know send a good example link in replies to customer e-mails about film polishing!
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Old 05-08-2010, 08:21 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WX51 TXR View Post
That's a really excellent guide Roy, thanks for sharing - I can know send a good example link in replies to customer e-mails about film polishing!
Wow thanks Rich This was quite an extreme example of whatís achievable. Like I said in most cases Menzerna FF is pretty useful on film.
Regards, Roy.
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Old 05-08-2010, 08:31 PM   #5
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Fantastic write up, I did wonder on how to do it.
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Old 28-10-2010, 07:00 PM   #6
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Good thread Roy, Im loving the RS still. Will get you to do another detail on her before I tuck her up for the winter!
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Old 16-07-2015, 11:41 PM   #7
Luke M
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