Polishing & Detailing

Introduction

I provide a personalized approach to polishing, detail and protection for all vehicles for all levels of work done.

The reality of polishing is that every car is different. Its condition in terms of swirls and scratches, how old it is, how its cared for, stored, paint type i.e. soft or hard, is the paint original or resprayed etc

Your expectations in terms of level of detail and budget is also different to anyone else’s

To achieve the best results its then very important to treat each car and customer individually and not by a one size fits all approach.

Detail = ( Product + Equipment + Expertise ) x Time

To at least give you an idea of costs, I have three groups of services namely:

  • Paint Correction – intensive
    • 3 Customisable services from R1500 to R7500 depending on level of correction and detail required and size of vehicle.
  • Paint Enhancement – general
    • 2 Set services that is fixed at R1500 for sedan size. ( Up to R2000 for larger vehicles )
  • Glazing / Waxing – cost efficiency
    • 3 Services from R400 to R1500

The main differences between these services is how much polishing is done , level of detail and time spent.

Each service has a short description of who it may suit e.g. daily driver and the level of correction e.g. 70-90%, this percentage rating refers to the amount of swirls, scratches and other defects that is expected to be removed.

No matter how these services can be described, It can still be confusing as to which service will meet your needs. The reason for this is that polishing and detail is visual. You cant read about it, it needs to be seen for yourself.

I suggest all customers to read through these services and then contact me to discuss it and arrange with me an inspection where I can assess your car and do a test spot on it with you, so you can see for yourself what to expect and what will meet your needs and budget.

If a pre inspection is not possible and you would like to just book and take it from there, thats fine as well, when you drop off your car, I will then do the test to ensure what you have booked for will meet your expectations or we simply change it up for you!

All packages includes 4 general car care steps as standard :

  1. Wash
    • Includes:
      • Interior vac and wipe off
      • Glass clean
      • Tyre and trim dressing
  2. Paint Decontamination
    • Clay treatment by machine is standard.
  3. Polishing
    • Extent depending on service
  4. Paint Protection
    • A sealant either polymer or ceramic based depending on package
    • Ceramic Coatings optional extra

Detail

With any package you choose a standard amount of detail is included.

Standard detail for example will be things like a go over of the wheels, door jambs, metal work and exhaust with a general polish / wax.

These can also be done with more detail to it and higher performance products as per your requirements.

Extra Detail examples:

  • Polishing glass
  • Ceramic glass coating
  • Wheel off cleaning, polishing and ceramic coating
  • Metal detail, restoration etc

Detail is always discussed in the inspection, quotation phase and pricing would’ve been quoted to you.

To learn more about the Car Care Cycle I have a article you can read here


Paint Contamination

There are many different contaminants that lands on your paint and bonds to it that cannot be washed off.

Some are visible, like the ‘brown spots / iron flecks aka industrial fallout’, tar, tree sap, cement, paint splatter or overspray etc and others that might not be seen but gives your paint a roughness.

It is not proper to polish this as it will end up redistributing on the surface, scratching it and other issues.

Clay by machine is included as standard for all packages. If more decontamination is required example; extra clay by hand or chemical treatment, I will advise and quote you.

It is impossible to have designed services that can cater for all the random variables that I encounter. Consider this; You have paint splatter … Some variables would be; what type of paint is it? How long has it been on? Is it hard or soft? Is it over the whole car or only on one panel…

So contact me and we can discuss and arrange inspection etc


Paint Correction

Paint correction is another name for buffing or polishing. It’s the removal or improvement of swirls, scratches and other paint surface defects as well as the creation of gloss / reflection / shine.

The term also includes wet or dry sanding. Which is used to remove either deeper defects in the clear coat or to level orange peel / paint texture where polishing is incapable, inefficient or more of a risk as a method.

This is a fully custom service. I first inspect your vehicle with you, discuss your needs, expectations, what and how much detail you want and how you use the vehicle and then proceed to testing on your car with polish to see what level suits you best. Once all aspects are agreed upon we can then book the car and commence the work.

The variation in price between the different services is affected by size of vehicle, condition and how much detail you want i.e. how close you want to look at your car i.t.o. perfection, how much gloss or wetness, level of protection and other miscellaneous detail.

I start first with single stage correction before stepping up. I find that for most normal people and daily driven cars this level of correction meets these needs perhaps with a little more detail or protection added.

A stage is when your car is polished all over or in an area with a combination of polish, pad and machine. When any part of that combination is changed, then it is considered another stage or step.

I have a collection of the latest polishes and the best polishing equipment on the market to provide you with the most efficient and maximum results at every level.

1. Single Stage


Perfect for daily drivers or a custom Paint Enhancement level of work.


Pricing: R1500 to R3500

R1500 to R2500 for sedan size & up to R3000 for larger.


60-80%+ Correction

Time: 4 – 6 hrs

2. Multi-Stage


For the Ultimate finish or Restoration possible by polishing.


Pricing: R1500 to R7500

Based on how many stages you require and size of vehicle.

We determine the amount of work required by test polishing an area so you can choose what suits your eye, expectation & budget.


75-95% Correction

Time: 6 hrs – 3 days

3. Full Day Multi Stage Correct & Detail


For the Ultimate Correction & Detail achievable in a day!


Price: R4000 flat

A full day of polishing & detailing with 2 staff

Minimum 14 man hours minimum !


75-90% Correction

Time: Full Day

Extra Protection & Detailing:

As detailing is a personalised service, Correction, being the polishing side of detail covers paintwork defect removal as above.

I can give straight pricing on Protection but extra detail is something where I need to assess your vehicle and then discussed with you in terms of your expectations and budget.

Protection:

Please Note: The standard paint protection included with any of our Paint Correction is a Ceramic based sealant. Its maximum longevity is up to 6 months depending on vehicle exposure, care and storage. Here are some extra options you may want to consider:

  • Ceramic Primer from R750 for normal sedans up to R1200 for larger vehicles
    • If you want extra gloss and shine
    • Its a base layer with ceramic based protection of up to 1 year!
    • PS: This is not the same as a coating or sealant! It’s an excellent primer for a sealant or ceramic coating.
  • Other Wax or Sealant from R150 to R1500
    • As mentioned earlier a Ceramic Sealant is standard. If you wish for us to apply a different product speak to us.
  • Ceramic Coating from R1000 to R15000 contact us for a pricelist
  • Glass Coatings i.e. windscreen – Pricing On Inspection
  • Wheel Polishing & Protection from R350 for wheel waxes to R2500 for heavy polishing and ceramic coatings
    • As a standard we apply a good automotive grade polish to bring some pop to your wheels. There is however circumstances that this is not enough. For that purpose we explain that there is an extra cost where specialised treatment and protection is required.

Detail:

Please Note: All the detail below is price on inspection.

  • Wet or Dry sanding
    • I have the latest ferrous / non ferrous Paint Thickness Gauge to help assess your paint in terms of risk flattening out the texture or removing deep defects.
  • Vehicle stripping / assembly / disassembly
    • e.g. The removal of plates, emblems, door handles etc for better access and detail – Pricing On Inspection
  • Wheels up and off
    • We have a lift to raise your car for better detail and cleaning
  • Special Chrome & Metalwork
    • e.g. exhaust Polishing or trims
    • As a standard we apply a good automotive grade polish to clean your exhaust or trims. There is however circumstances that this is not enough. For that purpose we explain that there is an extra cost where specialised treatment is required.
  • Exterior black trim restoration and or protection

Paint Enhancement

A Paint Enhancement is intended to elevate your paintwork at a fixed price.

The two options here balances correction and protection depending on your cars condition.

Both are set services in that we work within the results of a polishing system, i.e. a specific polish and machine, a set number of passes.

Pricing is R1500 for a sedan sized and up to R2000 for larger vehicles. Time 2.5 to 4 hrs

4. Paint Enhancement


50-80%+ Correction

Perfect for daily drivers and budget correction work!


Up to 6 months paint protection.

5. Ceramic Glaze


Fine polishing for gloss / reflection / shine

For a car that is already looking good swirl and scratch wise i.e. you are happy with its condition.


Up to 1 Year Ceramic based protection*


Glazing / Wax

A polishing Glaze has a fine polishing capability but I prefer to explain it as a cosmetic. Think ‘foundation and sunblock’ in one for paint. It tends to fill and mask defects than cut it out and it contains a protectant in the Glaze formula to protect the paint.

A stand alone or separate Wax also improves the look of a car by filling capacity but not as full as a Glaze would.

I keep a selection of great performing Glazes and Waxes that I select based on your car to give it the best appearance possible.

A glaze or wax will improve the look of your paint making it appear smoother, glossier and reflective, but will need to be redone depending on how your car is used, stored and generally cared for. If you come up close to your paint, i.e. 1 or 1.5m away, you will only then start to see the heavier scratches and swirls. The end result after applying either a Glaze or Wax will depend on the original condition of the car.

In my Custom Glaze / Wax service we can add extra spot polishing to permanently remove deep scratches that may be “here or there” to give an overall better look, ( see below options) . However if you have deeper swirls and scratches everywhere on your car, a Paint Enhancement or Single Stage Correction would be better for you.

Note: The Maintenance Glaze / Wax services does not include Clay and its intended for cars that has previously been treated by us or anyone else. If applied to a car that needs clay or other decontamination its only going to improve the look not the feel.

It’s ideal for pre sale prep, tight budgets , time or simply for paint that is fragile i.e. thin, old, vintage, classic and so forth.

6. Custom Glaze / Wax


Price: From R850

For sedans larger extra. Depending on options, conditions and size of vehicle.


Time: 2- 3 hrs

7. Maintenance Machine Glaze / Wax


Price: From R650

For sedans and up to R850 for larger vehicles. Final price on inspection. No Clay


Time: 1.5 – 2 hrs

8. Maintenance Hand Glaze / Wax


Price: From R350

For sedans and up to R600 for Larger vehicles. Final price on inspection. No Clay


Time: 1.5 – 2 hrs

Custom Glaze Options:

Note: These options are only for the Custom Glaze

  • Pro rata Compound polishing to remove deeper scratches and swirls
    • From R150 per door or fender
    • From R250 full Bumper, bonnet or roof
    • Top Half from R650
    • Note: if the entire car needs compound level polishing then my Paint enhancement or Paint Correction services would be better choices.
  • Extra sealant from R150

Other information

Read more about what Paint Correction means, terminologies and the different types of polishing

Another term for polishing is to buff. It means the same thing i.e. polishing is buffing!

Another term used is to ‘Cut & Buff’, where the ‘Cut’ part refers to an aggressive polish known as a compound / cutting cream / rubbing compound and the ‘Buff’ part refers to the follow up with a milder set of polishes that would refine the finish even further.

To Glaze or Glazing, is also a type of polish but very mild. Its more like cosmetic ‘foundation’ in that it fills and masks light to medium swirls and scratches and will wash out eventually. So it needs to be considered temporary unless otherwise indicated (like our Custom Glaze).

Therefore Paint Correction is advised for the long term as the type of polishing (or sanding) that permanently removes paint defects like scratches, swirls & fading ( aka oxidation) and refines paint for a deep and wet look.

We keep Paint Correction seperate to our Glaze & Wax packages

Polishing is also refered to in “stages” or “steps”. This means how many different polishing grades was done e.g “3 stages”. With the latest polishing technology we use today, less stages or steps is required that balances both the look & the preservation of paint. If you are doing a 3 stage type package you maybe removing more paint than you should!

In polishing the term ‘set/s’ is also use. This is how many times a combination of a polish, pad and machine combination has gone over a vehicles panel to get to the desired finish. The moment an element of the combination changes it would be

Paint correction may also include advanced bodyshop techniques such as wet or dry sanding to remove deep scratches or the Orange Peel texture from original factory paint or due to a bad spray job. While this sounds dramatic, in the right circumstance it is better than machine polishing.

Read more about what Detailing is

Car Washes, Valet centers and body / panel / spray shops all offer washing, polishing and interior cleaning.

These are typically standard cookie cutter type packages applied to every car in a production environment regardless of whether it’s suitable for the individual circumstances of that car. This skips the true potential of the car and possibly damaging it more than what it went in for. Your car ain’t a cookie!

You may also even find glorified Detailing companies in all but name (Buyer beware!) and most definitely between detailers a difference in knowledge, experience, work ethic, quality control and service. So do you homework and choose wisely!

To get a better idea of detailing consider these examples showing the lack of detail: 

  1. A body shop may polish the car but leaves traces of polish everywhere… 
  2. Car washes, valet centers and even body shops typically uses only one machine, one pad size and cost cutting polish products to get any and every car out and done in the same way. This approach will leave many areas of the car underdone, unrefined and likely with holograms, burned edges (i.e. no paint!) and damaged or stained rubber and plastic trim
  3. 3 Stage polishing – this is a throwback to older polishing systems using non diminishing compounds. Todays technology minimises these steps perhaps down to even one like in our Paint Enhancement package. To give you great look and preserving your paint!

True Detail or Detailing is therefore greater effort, care and time put into cleaning, polishing and restoring the different parts and materials of a car with proper tools and products.

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