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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

With a SUV just purchased that's got minor swirls on it I need to do a bit of polishing correction.

I really think a full wash and clay bar will take half a day and then the need to polish at another several hours....so
Question I've got is does anyone just clay/polish a panel or section and then gradually finish the vehicle THEN do a full deeper wash and seal/protection up?
 

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What I have done in the past is give the car a really good clean and then when polishing another day clean the panel of interest with ONR. Each panel can then be given a coat of something for protection.
 

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Don't see why not, may feel a little odd driving around between panels but it's your own pace, I would say go for it, then pop round and do mine please.
 

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I'm king of the panel by panel correction! Well okay, maybe not, but with a couple of kids, a busy job, a new house to build and family stuff, i almost never have more than 2 hours free in a row.

The good news is that doing things one panel at a time is entirely possible and I actually find quite rewarding as you get to see progressive results and you don't feel tied to the DA for an extended period of time.

There's probably a bunch of ways to slice it but I literally do one panel at a time, going through all the wash, decon, compound and seal stages at my own pace. A big benefit of this for those of you who still have to deal with UK weather is that a rogue rain shower can at worst undo the work of a single panel, not an entire car.

Probably the only hassle with doing this is that you kinda need to go mad with masking tape, since all adjacent panels will be dirty and you don't want that dirt catching into your pads as you compound. But that's a small price to pay for security and flexibility.



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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Im in the same boat with a nipper now.

And yes, the taping hassle crossed my mind.

I'll see how long a full wash takes as by rights after a holiday driving trip it needs it.

I may do the body work wash then do under wheel arches etc before winter.
 

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I'm actually in the process of doing a full correction on the car we bought last year. It's virtually new so swirls are minor but the paint is fairly hard so needs to be worked a bit with two stages to get the best from it.

The masking up really isn't that bad in truth, only takes a couple of minutes in the end. It'll probably end up taking me another month or something to get the whole car done but that's as quick as I can manage with the time I have. At least then the paint is corrected and just needs protection being topped up which is much easier.

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That's an utter faff, why not just tackle panel by panel after each weekly wash so you don't have to cause damage by masking over a dirty or dusty car?

Or use a rinseless wash and extend the area to the adjacent panels?

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If you had some minor scratching on a single panel and no where else then you'd do that one individually wouldn't you so no reason you can't take your time and do it how you want to do it.

You'd probably want to get some protection on the newly done panels if you're leaving it any length of time before getting back round to them though pal.
 

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Doing one panel at a time is my preferred method as you have to focus on one area, and you don't end up missing anything.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for the tips/input.

Another issue I have is the sun shines across my drive from 3/4pm so limits possible slots and days to be able to work on it.

I think it'll be a full wash and then as many panels as I can do in a couple of hours.
 

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It's been a couple of months now since I machine polished my roof & bonnet - 3 series Touring - I'll get round to doing the drivers side soon, because I see it most, and the other side by Christmas ;)

:)
 

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.. and chasing your tail.. and in some cases result in an inconsistent finish.

If doing this over a period of weeks and only applying short term protection in particular.

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I think it'll be a full wash and then as many panels as I can do in a couple of hours.
Personally I think if you're going to do it panel by panel, starting with a full contact wash of the entire car is losing you time. It makes sense if you're doing a couple of panels each week after the weekly wash, but if you're only doing a panel a day on random days as you can manage, your best bet is to just wash down the areas you are working on in that session (plus a bit extra for safety!). ONR or similar is perfect for this actualy, assuming the car is not covered in filth. I would also suggest sealing each panel as you go round and then you get the satisfaction of a section full completed and don't have to revisit it.

Going panel by panel will be more time and effort in the long run.
This is a fair point, albeit not a deal-breaker I don't think. It's true that you will spend more time overall on things like unpacking/packing up all your gear, cleaning pads etc. The actual wash/decon/correction/seal processes don't really take any longer as a result of doing it panel by panel though.

.. and chasing your tail.. and in some cases result in an inconsistent finish.
If doing this over a period of weeks and only applying short term protection in particular.
I actually think you likely get an as good or more consistent finish doing it a panel at a time as you give each panel the time it needs, with full focus and no rushing. Plus you're always fresh and ready to go for each panel. When you try and correct an entire car in a day, it's inevitable that your process varies slightly across the entire day, say because you started too slow and are rushing to finish towards the end, or even just because your arms/back get tired after hours of correction. No one is immune to fatigue after all. A seasoned pro with years of experience might suffer less from this, but for your avergabe home detailer, it's more likely to be an issue I'd say.
 

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By inconsistent results I mean by the time you reach the end of your panel by panel detail some panels have a months worth of defects induced and if you've applied a short term lsp, probably isn't beading as strong/needs re doing.

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Ah I get what you mean now! . I guess if you're looking for that one completely perfect photo opportunity then it doesn't work so well for sure. Ultimately none of us are immune to swirls no matter how careful we are, so they're always going to happen eventually.

I 100% agree though that if you're going to do some correction, be it the whole car or just a panel, it makes sense to take the opportunity to put a good long-term protection down. After that if you enjoy trying a new wax each month or something then you can, but at least you have a good base.

Those of us who are time-poor such that we need to do things I've panel at a time are probably most likely to be putting down strong protection and then just focusing on a safe wash after that.

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There's a big distinction between correcting/improving a daily driver and a garaged weekend/show car
Horses for courses - do what you need to do in the time you have but most of all enjoy the process and the results!

:)
 
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