Polishing and detailing can be done with different levels of detail and precision. My approach is technical and thorough and not comparable to what you may get at a car wash, valet center or even panel beater/spray painter.
My interpretation of detailing is that detail means personalized and that’s how I deliver all my services.
“How much is it to polish my car?“
“How much is it to polish my car?” is a question I get asked daily. There is no quick or simple answer and certainly not if you want it done properly and safely.
There are three main factors that determine the amount of polishing your car needs;
#1 How thick is your car’s paint.
This sets the limit on what scratches, swirls, defects etc can be removed or only improved, safely, without compromising the thickness or integrity of your paint. By integrity i mean where it fails like peeling etc.
#2 How deep is the paint defects/scratches etc
In order to remove scratches, swirls or other paint defects we need to polish (i.e. cut) the paint to the depth of the scratch in order to remove it. If the scratch is too deep, it can be improved or perhaps glazed. So scratch depth also determines how much polishing can be done within the limits of your car’s paint thickness. So it must be considered with point #1
#3 How hard/soft is your paint.
This makes polishing easier or more difficult. Physical testing by polishing is the only way to determine this.
This page has been written to inform you of this and other factors and what polishing is all about, so you can make an informed decision.
All content on this website is written by myself. I’ve tried to be as brief with the main content where possible but I have extra information in drop down boxes as well as a dedicated Frequently Asked Questions section.
I realise that it can be intimidating or tiresome to read through this kind of content. In this regard I offer you two options:
- The best is arranging a free inspection with us where we can visually assess your car, test polish to see what works and and show you what to expect. It also allows us to quote accurately.
- Photos cannot convey the information needed. For example, it cant tell me if your car’s paint is hard/soft.
- If you aren’t able to make it for an inspection, schedule a call with me, I can answer any questions you may have and give you options and estimates.
Read More on what we do in an inspection
- Book a time with us to inspect your car. Its free!
- PS: Your car needs to be clean for us to check it!
- Your paint work is inspected visually to identify:
- signs of prior repair/respray
- previous polishing (which would mean your paint is thinner than original)
- Too deep scratches
- watermarks on paint and glass
- any other paint surface defect/damage.
- A test spot is polished where we can identify if the standard polishing is effective or if there is a better combination of polish / pad / machine & technique.
- The thickness of you paint determines how much polishing can still safely be done
- The deeper scratches and swirls is where “more polishing” is required
- The harder / softer paint is the easier or harder it is to polish
- We then discuss:
- paint protection
- after care
- Inspections where we only visually inspect paint and test polish is absolutely free!
- If we see the need or you request, we can perform a full paint measurement report at a cost of R350
- Where you require a written quote for example to submit to a third party like a car dealer etc I charge R200, which is deducted from the job once we do it.
What is Detailing?
Detailing is the thorough and intensive cleaning, polishing and minor restoration of a car, aircraft or marine vessel
The results of Detailing is determined by; 1. Expertise, 2. Time, 3. Product and 4. Equipment
A Suit can be bought from a shop or you can go to a tailor that can design and cut a suit to fit you specifically. Even an expensive suit doesn’t match a tailor made suit. Auto Detailing is tailored cleaning and polishing of your vehicle, done the way you want it to be done. You can go into more detail in cleaning, polishing or restoration of a vehicle.
Read More about the Standard Detailing we include:
Detail includes any cleaning, polishing or restoration of a vehicle.
It’s determined by how much and how thorough it is done. By the expectation of a client or what the detailer can see.
It is typically above the norm. Like a car wash would wash a car but a detailed wash may involve soaking the car, gently drying with microfibre, using air, washing in the grooves and seams etc to get out gravel dust, old polish or debris from standing. These would be examples of detail in cleaning.
Detail in polishing examples; how much polishing is done, choice of combination of polish/pad, technique, buffing machines use for example the smaller the machine and pad the more intricate polishing can be done i.e. more detail as well as other tools that are used that contributes to the quality of the job, like lighting and even a pad washer.
All Paint Correction packages includes Standard Detailing. This is steps like washing, clay (i.e. decontamination), interior work etc. If there is something that doesn’t appear on this list we can discuss it as extra detailing.
- Exterior washing
- As with everything in life a “strong foundation” is important. Cleaning is the foundation for a good detailing!
- We do several cycles of washing :
- First wash
- We pretreat for bugs and if there is a light of tar before washing
- Presoak – to remove maximum dirt
- Wheel cleaning
- we spend approx 10 min on this focusing on the wheel face primarily
- Optional: If your wheels needs more attention we can spend more time with them on the car or remove them and clean them thoroughly.
- Wheel arches
- We spend approx 5 min cleaning them.
- Optional: for neglected exhaust tips we can use more aggressive chemicals and polish them.
- High Pressure rinse
- Foam up and hand wash
- Clean with a detail brush through of rubbers, channels, emblems and grill
- We allocate 10 minutes around the car.
- Complex front grills may require more time and possible polishing after cleaning
- Cleaning in the seams, mouldings etc especially if a cra has been standing long, under a tree or has old polish stuck in places.
- Post Paint Decontamination / Final wash
- Please Note: This is done after claying and if optioned iron remover. This is necessary to properly remove contaminants that has been lifted through claying.
- high pressure rinse
- hand wash
- towel dry
- Pre coating wash – This is only done if we are ceramic coating to remove and polish residue.
- high pressure rinse
- soak with a co-polymer remover (removes the polish)
- hand wash
- towel dry
- First wash
- Paint Decontamination
- Clay bar / pad/ cloth treatment to remove bonded dirt.
- We allocate 30 min of normal time to do this with 2 staff. This equals 1 man hour and is sufficient for most cars.
- Iron remover between joints, badges, seams and wherever clay wont get to.
- Optional: If your car has a high level of iron / rust deposits we can apply to the entire car.
- Clay bar / pad/ cloth treatment to remove bonded dirt.
- We use only the best quality brands of polish on the market namely:
- Premium production brands as our standard option e.g. Meguiars, Autoglym, Menzerna, 3D etc
- High End brands e.g. Koch Chemie, RUPES or SONAX is available*
- Our polishing machines is from RUPES, Flex, Cyclo amongst others and includes all polishing movements namely: Rotary, Forced Rotation and Dual Action movements.
- We also have polishing diameters from 8″ down to 1″ for maximum efficiency.
- Each package includes an optimal combination of polish, machine and pad size for the best results in the allocated time.
- We use only the best quality brands of polish on the market namely:
- Paint Protection
- We have a wide selection of Glaze, Wax, Sealants and Ceramic Coatings that can further enhance your vehicles looks and protection.
- Our standard options include premium Ceramic Sealant technology amongst others
- We spend 15 minutes on your interior and focus on the following:
- Interior blowout, brush up and vac
- Wipe down with Autoglym’s car specific disinfectant and cleaner of your vehicle interior’s high touch points, i.e. dash, steering, gear shift, door handles
- Glass steam cleaned inside and out
- PS: We offer full valet / deep cleaning the interiors
- We spend 15 minutes on your interior and focus on the following:
- Tyre cleaned during washing cycle and tyre dressing applied.
- Exterior plastic trim cleaned during wash cycle & dressed
- Exterior rubber trim cleaned during wash cycle & dressed
- Standard exhaust polish to clean and improve shine (5min)
- If there is detail that we havent listed here that you require then let us know to quote you.
- As part of our COVID19 protocol, during our wipe down we use a multi surface disinfectant from Autoglym purpose designed to sanitize.
- Before hand over, we go over your steering and other controls, inside and outside door handles to ensure the highest level of safety.
- Keys is disinfected before hand over
About Car Paint
It’s important to know some key facts about automotive paint before deciding to polish your car. If you just go ahead an polish without knowing about your paint, you risk over polishing, leaving your paint to thin or damaging it.
Read more about Car Paint
Car paint is very thin. It’s anywhere between 1 to 1.5 times the thickness of a human hair. (80-120 microns)
It’s made up of three layers, the top is your clear coat, the middle is the colour coat or base and the bottom layer is the primer that bonds the whole structure to the metal.
Your clear coat typically makes up half of that entire structure. It’s the layer that protects your colour and takes the daily wear and tear. It’s the layer we polish to remove scratches from and and refine to make it more glossy/wet/reflective.
When your car’s clear coat was mixed, they would’ve thrown into the formula UV inhibitors. As your paint cures, this migrates to the top of your clear. Approximately the top 25% of your clear coat layer will contain these UV protectants.
This means that you can technically only polish out defects from the top 25% of your car’s original clear coat.
Do you know what Scratches Are?
The most common reason clients call us to polish their car is scratches. The problem is that not all scratches can or should be buffed out.
And vice versa, some people think they need to respray their car because ‘that scratches looks to deep/bad,’ meanwhile they could easily have been buffed out.
It’s therefore important to know what can and cant be done to correct your car’s paint and more importantly, prevent it from happening again.
Read more about scratches
There is different types of scratches. What makes them different is their depth within the clear coat.
Only the top 25% of the original clear coats thickness should be removed to prevent paint failure e.g. peeling, fading or cracking.
The shallowest type of scratch is called a swirl. This is the most common cause is from bad washing, leaving the car dirty and unnecessary/incorrect contact with the paint. It’s more dense, i.e. there is typically alot of swirl all over the surface which makes your paint look dull. It can camouflage deeper scratches.
The next type of scratch is marring. It’s deeper than swirl and less dense.
Deep scratches are usually isolated and randomly placed. They could be from vandalism, dogs, accidental scrapes etc. Their signature is a deep v shape. If you can feel such a scratch, the you cant entirely remove it. You can however soften the crown of the scratch so that it doesnt reflect and stand out as much.
Watermarks is caused by minerals in the water that lands on your car, like well or borehole water, or from water mixing with the dirt that was on your car. as the water evaporates, the minerals burn into the paint. I always try to chemically remove them before polishing.
Bird Poo is highly acidic. It’s not a blessing as some may say. remove it carefully as soon as you can as it will burn through your paint. We can try polishing or applying heat to remove them.
What is Polishing?
A polish,( a liquid containing an abrasive and lubricants), is used to cut paint in order to remove, improve or refine paint surface defects. It’s applied by; hand rubbing or machine buffing.
The amount of polishing your car needs depends on; #1 How thick your car’s paint is, #2 How deep the defects are and #3 How hard/soft your paint is.
There is two ways to polish paint, Glazing and Paint Correction. The choice of either is according to the existing paint condition, your needs and budget.
What does a Glaze do?
A Glaze is a polish that does not cut paint so therefore doesn’t thin paint or remove scratches or swirls. It works by filling/masking light swirls and scratches, much like cosmetic foundation, to give a smoother appearance with brilliant shine.
Glaze & Wax
READ MORE about our Glaze & Wax package
A Glaze is ideal for:
- If your paint is to thin we should only glaze it.
- For car paint that has been over polished or
- classic, vintage or any car where originality is critical
- Low cost polishing for example
- preparation in selling or purchase of a car
- Preparation for an event
- You just want your car shiny and protected
- On white and light colours a difference will be seen in ‘how clean’ it looks.
- On dark colours it looks most impressive as it fills the swirls and light scratches for a smooth reflective appearance.
The standard formula contains a “wax” and can be upgraded with a longer life sealant or wax.
- Basic Detailing:
- Wash car body & Microfiber Towel Dry
- Blowout water from crevices with hot air
- Tyres & Trim Dressing
- Interior Vacuum and wipe down (15min)
- PS: In and effort to keep things simple and have a really affordable package I don’t include as much detail. If you do require more, consider the Paint Enhancement Package
- Machine applied Glaze & Wax
- We can apply by hand. No difference in cost.
- Time: Approx 2 hrs with 2 staff ( = 4 man hours)
- Autoglym Enhanced Gloss Protection (EGP) i.e. Sealant, protects up to 30 washes! From R150
- Autoglym Ultra High Definition (UHD) Wax is Autoglym’s latest and finest wax. It was engineered for the ultimate mirror-like shine, providing more detail, depth and with a durability of up to 6 months. From R450
PS: A Ceramic Coating cannot be applied over a Glaze.
What is Paint Correction?
Paint Correction is the detailing industries term for polishing / buffing.
With the latest polishing technology there is only two stages, ( aka steps, types or levels) of Paint Correction/Polishing:
A compound polish is used to remove or improve surface defects such as; scratches, swirls, fading, water marks, haze or marring.
Most clients contacting us primarily want scratches, swirls an defects removed so a single step of polishing is all they would need. In this regard we look at test polishing to see what the least aggressive (and cost) combination works for them so we remove as little paint as possible.
We would first see if Paint Enhancement (light polishing) can be done or Paint Renovation. In our Paint Renovation package we have a starting polishing combination (polish/pad/machine/technique), and only as necessary, do we increase intensity. This is done with your input i.e. we increase intensity until you the results we get you are satisfied with by what you see. As mentioned, every effort needs to be made to avoid over polishing.
Read more on our polishing process for defect removal
We offer 2 stages of paint polishing. Stage 1 to remove scratches and Stage 2 to refine and increase gloss/wetness/depth.
The most complex is Stage 1 as it depends on; how much defects there are, how deep they are into you paint, how thick your paint is, (so that limits what we can remove) and how hard or soft the paint is ( which can increase time)
Results depends on what you use to polish with. The precision or art lies in combining the variables, i.e. polish, pad, machine and technique, with a “just enough / least aggressive” methodology to preserve your paint thickness while balancing the finished result to meet the client/your expectations.
So a detailer or polishing technician should have a precise process in order to reach that goal.
Our Polishing Process:
- We start with the least aggressive combination in order to protect your paint thickness and integrity.
- Our starting combination is a single step of polish, pad, pass and forced rotation type machine combination for scratch and swirl removal.
- A single stage/step of polishing is all thats needed for scratch and swirl removal 80% of the time with no need to increase intensity.
- Closeup, i.e. under a half meter distance from the paint surface, we should see at least 80% plus removal of defects
- Normal viewing distance, from 1.5- 2.0 meters away paint should look perfect.
- Our starting combination is a single step of polish, pad, pass and forced rotation type machine combination for scratch and swirl removal.
- If the starting combo isnt satisfactory then we increase the polishing intensity by first changing the polish and pad.
- This is far more efficient than trying to do more passes for both time and heating cycling the paint.
- Typically, the change of polish and pad is to a more aggressive and consequently higher end polish in terms of pricing.
- If the change of polish/pad doesn’t yield results, the next change is in changing the buffing machine.
- We use Forced Rotation machines like the FLEX XCE or Rupes Mille machines as standard
- The next better buffer is the Rupes Bigfoot DA. it yields a superior cut, finish and detail but takes longer and is more expensive to operate.
- We have all the machines mentioned here and multiples of them to allow us to efficiently work on a car.
- If this doesn’t work, we will try additional sets of passes.
- If all the above doesnt work we would be the limit of what polishing by itself can be achieved.
- The last resort is to “wet sand” and then polishing.
- This is the limit of what can be done to your paint within the detailing correction process.
- So if this doesn’t give the results we are seeking, it is best to look at respraying that area or the entire vehicle.
What about Stage 2 polishing?
We offer an optional second stage of polishing for customers wanting the best look, highest gloss, wetness, reflectivity etc.
In some cases a stage 2 polishing may be required to refine haze or swirl on finicky paints versus “polishing more” aggressively in Stage 1. But the point to made is that stage 2 isnt a direct contributor to removing scratches or other defects.
The cost / quote on polishing is therefore either base on the best polishing combination you require, vehicle size or your expectation and budget.
A fine polish is used to refine haze, micro swirl or scratches and increase gloss, depth, reflectivity and give it a wet look.
Stage 2 is done either; after Stage 1 i.e. after scratches, swirls etc has been removed or if there is little to no scratches and swirls and enhancement is wanted. This type of polishing does not remove significant paint film due to it’s engineering.
It is not as ‘variable’ as Stage 1 type polishing in terms of paint thickness, scratch depth or hard/softness so can be quoted “flat”. If your car doesn’t have scratches and swirls etc, then a Paint Enhancement, which is a Stage 2 type of polishing , is done by itself/stand alone.
If scratch, swirl, defect removal is needed as well as fine polishing, then our Perfect Finish package has both steps of polishing. This is recommended for black paint and finicky paint. Finicky paint, like soft or Asian car paints etc, tend to micro swirl or haze, needing an additional refinement.
Either your car needs Stage 1 type polishing , Paint Renovation or Stage 2 type polishing, Paint Enhancement, or if you want the best he best look both stages, like we do in the Perfect Finish package (i.e. we first do Stage 1 and then 2)
This is best determined during an inspection where we can test polish so we can test what works and you can see what meets your expectation.
Please Note: Packages Listed By order of intensity
“A light polish to remove minor swirl and scratches and enhance paint colour and gloss”
The type of polishing we do in Paint Enhancement is Stage 2.
If your paint is in an ‘already good state,” i.e. little to no swirls, then this is also appropriate to check out as it’s intended to enhance.
If your paint is soft, this level of polishing may be all that’s needed to correct your paint from polish-able defects such as scratches, swirls etc. Typically resprayed cars, import Asian vehicles like Honda or Suzuki will have soft paint.
Time: From 3 hours with 2 staff (this equals 6 man hours)
My Paint Renovation package is a Single/First Stage Correction polishing to primarily remove scratches, swirls and other paint surface defects, if possible, in one step of polishing for maximum efficiency, least aggressiveness for your paint and lowest cost to you.
This is accomplished by testing for the most optimal polishing combination and using the latest polishing technologies available to provide efficiency, quality so that we can preserve your paintwork, i.e. its thickness, and it’s integrity for the future.
Time: From 4 hours with 2 staff (this equals 8 man hours)
To achieve a Perfect Finish, we need to go beyond polishing to remove paint surface defects. We need also need to REFINE
This package is recommend for; Clients wanting the best look, black and darker colour cars as well as finicky soft paints or Asian car’s like Honda, Suzuki etc paints. These colours and paint types tend to show haze or micro swirling which a fine polish is the best way to remove.
Time: From 6 hours with 2 staff (this equals 12 man hours)
Advanced Polishing Options:
The following options are available if increased intensity is needed.
Upgraded Polish/Pad Combination
Older polishing systems utilises ‘fixed grit/grade/strength polishes’ that come in 3 stages, i.e. heavy, medium and fine, that need to be followed in sequence to get a result. 3 Stage polishing today is obsolete with the polishing technology we have today namely DAT, (Diminishing Abrasive Technology) and SMAT, (Small Micro Abrasive Technology).
We can achieve complete correction in just one step, with a secondary step becoming optional for the clients wanting the highest gloss etc.
We use premium brands in everything we do. In my standard/starting polish combinations, we use products costing up to R900 per liter with pads up to R250 each. These are currently from Autoglym, Menzerna, MIRKA etc.
90% of our work is accomplished with our starting polish/pad combinations without the need to upgrade.
Only IF, my starting combination does not provide a satisfactory result, will we change up to a more aggressive/higher cost polish and pad. I keep a wide range of high end aggressive polishes such as I.e. Rupes, Koch Chemie, Sonax, etc that we can upgrade too. These polishes costs us from R900 up to R1500 a liter and from R250 up per polishing pad.
It is always better to change a polish/pad combination than keep buffing with a combination thats not working and you just end up spiking heat into the panel.
Pricing: from R250 to R1000 per stage.
Rupes Bigfoot DA Polishing System
We use Flex or Rupes made Forced Rotation buffers for an efficient and high quality buffing as standard.
I offer as an upgrade, the use our Rupes Bigfoot DA buffers to polish your paint . The Rupes machines offers a superior cut, finish and level of polishing detail than any other buffers!
The choice is either yours because you want it or we find that the forced rotation buffers cant cut enough and gives us the result needed.
The Rupes with their Bigfoot polishing system, was the first to develop and market long throw dual action polishers. The dual action, or DA, referred to, is a free spinning orbit as well as rotation. Traditional DA Polishers had an orbit of 8mm and weren’t known for professional polishing. More for sanding or fine polishing after you had done the serious polishing with a rotary. What makes Rupes system unique is there larger orbit, 15mm and 21mm to be exact. It’s this buffing movement that offers the Best Cut, Finish & Detail as compared to Forced Rotation and Rotary polishers.
However, this necessitates the use of multiple machines in different sizes to be able to polish the panel (larger sizes like 6″ and 5″) and then intricate areas like the edge of a panel, contours, small areas etc (smaller sizes like 3* & 1″)
We have 150mm/6″, 125mm/5″, 77mm/3″ as well as 24.5mm/1″ size polishers in all movements, orbits and actions.
Pricing from R1000 ( to upgrade packages from Forced Rotation to Dual Action)
Wet sanding is part of the polishing process. It’s a cooler process than polishing where polishing/buffing creates heat as you are buffing on the paint. This heat can burn the paint or seriously compromise your paint’s integrity. So it’s the best alternative when faced with orange peel or deeper paint surface defects but your paint has to have sufficient thickness.
Pricing is dependent on your vehicle’s size and how many grit levels is needed to go through. I.e. from 1500, 2000, 3000 and 4000grit.
We need to assess and test on your paint what combination is required and quote accordingly.
Price On Inspection
Masking eliminates the risk of polishing through your paint on edges and body lines and protects rubber and plastic trim. I highly recommend it although I’ve made it an optional service. My reasoning is so that we can keep costs low and have reduced turnaround time on our packages.
Price from R350
Paint Thickness Measurement Report
Measuring your paint thickness gives you a definite idea of how thick your paint is currently, how much a treatment may remove and most importantly how much will be left for the future.
It reduces the risk of burning/striking through your paint.
We have the latest digital gauge that generates a PDF report.
This and masking is highly recommended to reduce risks. But in order to keep main package prices accessible, I have to make them optional.
Price from R350
If you would like to know more, this article goes beautifully in depth
- Classic, Super / Hyper Cars, Luxury and Custom cars are quoted at inspection.
- Vehicle Size
- Prices quoted includes small cars up to standard sedan sized vehicles e.g. Toyota Corolla.
- Larger vehicles e.g. Long/larger sedans cars, Range Rovers/X5’s, Bakkies with canopies, SUV’s, MPV’s minibus etc is priced on inspection.
- The reason for price difference isn’t only the area of polishing, but there is more area to detail and clean. For example: taller vehicles like 4×4’s, the use of ladders is required and hence takes more time.
- Exterior trim removal and refitting e.g. badges, side vents etc
- Extra dirty vehicles e.g. excess sand, mud or pet hair etc is extra
- We allocate 15 minutes to a courtesy vacuum and interior wipe down. Interiors that requires more cleaning time, only if you want it, will be extra on a pro rata basis or you can add a full valet.
Protouch offers a wide variety of Ceramic Coatings so that we can give you the best coating for your budget and needs!
- Protouch is accredited with GTECHNIQ, Feynlab, Autoglym.So we can offer warrantees on specific ceramic coatings.
- The prices below is for small to standard sedan vehicles e.g. up to a Toyota Corolla. Contact us for a full price guide for other size vehicles.
- The ceramic coatings below needs to be matched to a Paint Correction package above. If you require no polishing a minimum of a Maintenance Detail base package would be needed.
- The Ceramic coatings below has been grouped by target market and arranged from low to high cost.
Entry Level – From R1000 to R3500
Autoglym UHD Ceramic Coating from R1000 with 1 Year Longevity from R1000
SONAX Nano Paint Protect from R1500 with 1 Year Longevity from R1500
GTECHNIQ EXOv4 with 1 Year Longevity from R2250
Professional Coatings with warranty – From R3500 to R10000
5 Year Warranty
GTECHNIQ C1 from R3500
GTECHNIQ C1 with EXOv4 from R5500
Feynlab Ceramic Ultra from R4000
Autoglym Carbon Shield from R4500
GTECHNIQ Crystal Serum Light from R5000
GTECHNIQ Crystal Serum Light with EXOv4 R6500
9 Year Warranty
GTECHNIQ Crystal Serum Ultra from R7500
GTECHNIQ Crystal Serum Ultra with EXOv4 R9500
Self Heal Ceramic Coatings– From R11000 to R20000
All the coatings below exhibit self heal capability from swirls and light scratches when exposed to a source of heat like the sun.This “reflows” the coating layer and allows it to fill the swirls and light scratches.
All of the following coatings is warranted by the manufacturer for 5 Years
Angelwax Enigma Genesis From R11000
Feynlab Heal Lite from R12500
Feynlab Heal Plus from R15000
Ceramic Coating For Protecting PPF & Vinyl Wrap
Ceramic Coating For Protecting Matte Paint/Vinyl
Ceramic Coating for Glass e.g. Windscreen
Ceramic Coatings For Wheels
Ceramic Coatings For Interiors
Ceramic Coating for Protecting PPF & Vinyl Wrap
GTECHNIQ Halo from R2500
The price for GTECHNIQ HALO includes wash and chemical decontamination.
Ceramic Coating for Protecting Matte Paint/Vinyl
Please Note: The prices below includes wash and chemical decontamination. No polishing or clay can be done on Matte paint. i.e. this should all that is required.
GTECHNIQ EXOv4 for Matte from R2850 /2 Year
GTECHNIQ C1 Crystal Lacquer for Matte from R4000/5 Year Warranty
GTECHNIQ C1 Crystal Lacquer with EXOv4 for Matte from R5500/5 Year Warranty – best water and dirt repellency
Ceramic Coatings for Glass
GTECHNIQ G1 – P.O.A
GTECHNIQ G5 – P.O.A
Ceramic Coatings for Wheels
GTECHNIQ Wheel Armour – P.O.A
Ceramic Coatings for Interiors
GTECHNIQ L1 Leather Guard – P.O.A
GTECHNIQ Matte Dash – P.O.A
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
If you have any suggestions or to expand this area or comments, please let me know!
“How much is it to polish my car?”
It isn’t “how much is it to polish my car” as much as:
- How much polishing does your car need i.e.
- How deep is the scratches and swirls? – this must be seen in person
- Do you have swirls and scratches just “here and there” or is it over the whole car? – this must be seen in person
- How hard / soft is your paint? – this must be tested by polishing
- How thick is your paint? – this can be measured
- Is your car’s paint original or has it been completely or partially been resprayed? – this must be seen in person
- What polishing can be done considering paint condition e.g. how thick is your paint? This is the number one issue.
- Your budget…
- Your eye / expectation
- You might not even be worried about polishing to take out scratches, you might just want your paint squeaky clean and protected!
- What’s practical for how you use your car or even if you are selling it
Theses are critical considerations so that safe and quality results can be achieved.
It is best to arrange a free inspection with us where can visually identify paint conditions and test by polishing out a small area.
We always start with the least aggressive methods so that we maintain paint thickness and integrity.
This affords you the opportunity to see for yourself what expect and control costs.
“How much is it for an Inspection or Quote?“
There is NO i.e. ZERO cost to an inspection!
I recommend booking an inspection to help you decide what will be the best in terms of polishing for your car.
There is so many variables such as how deep your scratches are, whether your paint is hard or soft etc, that makes looking at a photo of your cars paint to estimate impossible. Generalisations can be made but it would be not be exact!
In a physical inspection we inspect your vehicle and do a test polish on a small area to show you what polishing would look like on your own paint so you can make a better decision in terms of what suits your expectation / eye / budget.
If you arent able to make it for an inspection before booking, I would suggest we schedule a call and we can discuss options based on your perspective, i.e. the way you see your car.
If you require a “written quote”, I charge R200 which is deductible from the job when we do it.
Paint Thickness Measuring
I offer digital paint measurement & reporting which can measure your paint thickness if your paint is suspect or you want a deeper insight.
Please read more about Paint Thickness measurements further in our FAQ
“What makes ProTouch different to other Detailers?”
Our approach and passion.
Besides our many years of experience. ..
I recognize that each vehicle and its owner is different. I offer different Levels of Paint Correction to suit the different conditions of paint, customer expectation and budget. We can personalize any of these services even further to ensure the best result.
I spend a lot of our profits on new products, pads and machines in order to keep ahead and ensure we are using the most effective solutions.
My process is to always start from the least aggressive and work up as necessary. This is important in preserving paint thickness and therefore its originality, avoiding unnecessary respray of your paintwork and helps controls your budget.
Each Level can also be tailored to suit your needs especially in regards to detail.
I invite clients to arrange a no cost inspection with us where we can polish out a test area and show you what works and what to expect for yourself. I can work with your perception and expectations and don’t impose mine.
“Why is it so important to know so many things, I just want to have my car polished!”
It’s actually not important its CRITICAL.
You cant just pick up a machine and product and start applying it to paint!
The paint thickness on your car is limited. If its damaged its expensive to replace properly.
In fact, factory original paint, is about the same thickness as a Post It Note / Sticky Note with only the top 20% layer of clear coat being polishable.
Over, incorrect or unnecessary polishing is therefore highly risky.
Polishing, at least paint correction, should be done with precision.
You need to inspect paint and lookout for tell tale signs of damage that may increase risk of polishing through paint, maybe measure the paint to be more certain. Choose the right strategy of polish, pad and even type of machine to polish you paint etc…
If done by someone without experience and care, you will be left with very little paint or damage which would require you to respray, so you want to be sure you get the right people and service to suit you and your car!
“I have *something* stuck on my paint”
If your paint feels rough or you have anything “stuck on your paint”, it needs to be first Decontaminated and then polished. We need to determine if the standard Clay method, which is included in all our packages, or more intensive methods, needs to be applied.
Clay is the most common method of paint decontamination. I do not offer clay work if im not polishing as the tendency of clay is to swirl / marr the paint due to it being a mechanical process.
It is not good practice to try and buff a car smooth i.e. not claying and using a buffer to remove contaminants. Polishing without claying will only drive the contamination into the paint!
“What is the difference between Detailing, Paint Correction & Polishing?”
Detailing is the thorough and precision cleaning, polishing and restoration of a vehicle.
In my opinion detail is a state of mind. It’s how thorough and attentive the person(s) that’s doing the cleaning or polishing is and how much time you as the client want to spend that determines the amount of detail. Polishing is a part of detailing and not detailing in itself. As with the definition of detailing I gave, polishing can be done superficially and it can be done with detail.
I include a standard level of detail that occurs in the cleaning process before polishing and then when finishing your car. I’m happy to quote anything outside this scope.
Polishing & Buffing refers to the “same thing” in the auto industry today.
Paint Correction is a detailing industry term for polishing or buffing.
There is two major ways to polish, to Correct paint, where defects is permanently removed or Glazing, where defects is filled / masked for a period of time.
“What is a test polishing?”
The first time I would do a test polish would be part of an inspection before we book the actual work.(PS: inspections is free) so you and I can see what your paint responds to in terms of polish/pad/machine combination and if the results meets your eye / expectation.
The only costs would be if you want:
- A written quotation, which is R200 and its deductible from the job when / if its done.
- A Paint Report where we measure paint thickness around the car and then submit it as a report from R350.
- measuring paint assists in reducing polishing associated risks.
I have different polishes and pads on hand that suits different conditions. With the polish technology today, it makes more of a difference on pad and machine choice as well as technique before we change out to a more aggressive polish.
The actual difference between my packages is the selection of polishing equipment I would be using on your car. This is done to optimise results inthe scope of time & budget.
When I test polish in an inspection I usually only show one combination of polish, pad for a given package. When we eventually do the job, I further test extensively combinations that would give you the most optimal and best result.
This does become complicated when a car has had multiple different repairs over it. This then means that each area, where paint differs, will need a different polishing combination to achieve maximum results.
For scratches and swirls my Level 1 to 2 is sufficient. The best in terms of correction and gloss is Level 3.
A great benefit of testing is that it limits unnecessary polishing which translates to preserving your paint thickness, which reduces risk as well as minimising costs which could always be spent better elsewhere like on a ceramic coating or detailing/valeting your interior!
“What is Paint Protection?“
Paint Protection is a sacrificial layer on top of your paint
In each of my polishing packages we include paint protection.
A paint protectant is referred to as sacrificial, meaning its there to take the brunt of wear and tear instead of the paint itself. This also implies that its not permanent, will eventually wear out and need to be reapplied periodically.
All paint protectant’s help protect your paint from fading due to the suns UV Rays, makes it easier to clean and repel water and dirt. Ceramic Coatings takes this even further by enhanced longevity in the measure of years, ph resistance, swirl resistance, heat resistance, corrosion and graffiti resistance.
Both my Wax based Glaze and Paint Enhancement packages will last about 3 months. The Ceramic based Glaze offers up to 1 year paint protection but in comparision to other package combos, it doesnt offer a huge difference in scratch and swirls removal so therefore suits people that isnt worried about scratches and swirls and wants good protection.
While more protection can be put on top of these packages, I recommend to rather come in every 3 to 6 months for followup maintenance. You can learn more about this on my Maintenance Detail page.
In all my Paint Correction options, the standard protectant is GTECHNIQ C2v3 Liquid Crystal which is a ceramic sealant that can protect for a solid 6 months. We can also finish with a wax or Glaze if the situation requires and upgrade to full Ceramic Coatings starting from R750 up to R7500 for conventional ceramic coatings and from R7500 to R20000 for either high end technology like self heal coatings.
“How does Polishing work?”
Polishing is the microscopic “cutting” of the top layer of your paint in order to remove the relevant defect. The deeper the scratch, swirl or defect, the deeper we must cut the paint thereby thinning it.
Its important to realise that the paint on your car has a limited thickness. The average is 120 microns for the total film of paint from the factory when new.
To put this in perspective:
- The average human hair thickness is between 70 microns to 90 microns
- A sticky post it note is 108 microns
- The average human fingernail is over 400 microns thick!
- FYI: fingernails is hard enough to scratch paint!
If your car has been resprayed, typically they spray or “blow over” your existing paint. This is to save cost in terms of removing your old paint i.e. taking down to the metal. This does not contribute to thicker better paint.
What Is the Point Of This?
Scratches and swirls is damage that penetrates into your paint. It has “depth”. In order to remove scratches and swirls, we need to polish them out. Certain or even all the scratches on your car may not be safe to remove because they are too deep and would mean to much paint would be removed leaving little to nothing for the future of the vehicle.
This is why
Rule Of Thumb: If you can feel a scratch with your fingernail its too deep to remove! It may be improved though.
“How does polish and polishing machines / buffers influence results?”
Its critical that all aspects in polishing given proper consideration for the proper and careful processing of your paintwork.
Firstly its important to understand polishes, as in the liquid used. All polishes does not “cut” the same. A few years ago and still in common use today, is different grades of polish. These have “fixed cut” characteristics like sand paper.
Sand paper comes in different “grit” sizes. The lower the number the more coarse. The higher the number the finer. Polish is in fact a liquid form of sand paper with and even finer grit than sand paper. In vehicle finishing i.e. after a car has been sprayed. Sand paper would be used to level the paint quickly and without heat. Multiple grits would be used. progressively going finer to displace the previous grit size. To a certain point, on car paint as early as 1500 grit, a liquid polish would be applied and buffed (rubbed) to refine until the polished results is acceptable.
Back to polishes. The old system of polished were fixed in cut and finish grade for example;
- “Stage or step 1” would be a heavy / coarse / cutting / rubbing compound,
- “Stage or step 2” would be a medium polish and
- Stage or step 3 would be a fine / finishing polish.
These types of polishes is completely outdated. Using them today will “look good” but will take longer, perhaps remove more paint than is necessary but for the worse will not give you accurate / true correction due to the solvents they contain filling scratches instead of cutting them out permanently. So after a few washes the scratches “comes back”. Another nasty side effect is that the solvents is driven into the paint and it’s hard to remove. This has a knock on effect for paint protection particularly if you intend on applying a Ceramic Coating.
The latest polish technology can accomplish all three stages in one single bottle due to intelligent engineered “abrasives” that can either break down as you polish (diminishing abrasives aka DAT) or their “shape” is consistent (aka SMAT).
With just a change in pad and technique, ( as well as polishing machine) you can alter the effect of the polish. This reduces time, increases efficiency and its far safer for your paint in that it doesn’t unnecessarily thin the paint or over heat it. (heat is bad for paint!) It does need some patient understanding of how polishes work, but once mastered it will yield a mind blowing finish.
We find the use of one or two polish systems more than enough to give you the results you want. If you are willing to study / research any of the top detailers in the world, it will be glaringly
Another important input into polishing is the buffer or polishing machine type. Yes you get multiple types of polishing machines! You get Rotary, Forced Rotation (Dual Action) and Random Orbital (Dual Action)
A rotary polisher spins a polishing pad from the center axis. Technique is critical to getting the right result.
It is predominantly used in the panel beating and spray painting industry due to its durability and high speed “results”.
Due to lack of technique and attitude by the operators, we see a lot of damage caused with this polisher. From holograms, a type of swirl that moves as you eyes does, to burn or strike through of paint is common.
I began polishing & detailing when there was no other polishing option so we have experience in the proper use of one. When necessary, we use a RUPES Rotary polisher which offers the lowest RPM in the world for precision polishing capabality.
Forced Rotation Dual Action
A forced rotation polisher has both rotation and an orbit (dual action) but in a “constrained” pattern. i.e. the “orbit is inwards”
It achieves this by a gearbox between the driving motor and spindle / backing plate / pad assembly. It is this combination of assembly that has made machines using this movement heavy, hot and prone to vibration.
The latest machines have become more advanced ironing out these issues.
The result is a machine capable of cutting like a rotary but safe with more “detail” around small areas and curves.
We use The RUPES Mille Forced Rotation machines for the best results!
Random Orbital Dual Action
A Random Orbital Dual Action machine rotates and freely / randomly orbits outside of the center axis.
These polishers don’t create swirl marks, (unless the pads used it dirty!) and the probability of damaging paint is low but not impossible!
They come in various sized orbits, which is categorised as long throw (a big orbit) i.e. 15mm or 21mm and short throw (a small orbit) of 8mm or 12mm.
Smaller orbits exists but would only be suitable for sanding applications.
The higher the orbit, in millimeters, the longer the orbit and higher the cut would be and vice versa.
If the correct orbit size and pad/compound is used, it can deliver awesome results in as little as one step.
When using the Random Orbital movement, because of it’s outer orbit. It requires different tool sizes in terms of pad diameter, to cover every area of a vehicle’s paint work, especially on edges, curves and in tight/small spaces.
We use the RUPES Bigfoot Random Orbitals. We have all the different orbits and different sizes to give our clients the best!
“Another detailer is offering me a 101(+) step detail and you only offering XYZ?“
A stage or step is used to describe the different things done to a car in an overall detail or polishing specific process.
Every detailer uses these terms differently. Sadly a lot of the time, its used to wow people by numbers.
Some people count the various types of polishing done with or without the paint protection step. Some count everything from putting water into their bucket to saying hello and goodbye to you. I’m not kidding, I’ve seen detailers offer a 100+ step detail!
In my services, I refer to steps or stages of the polishing I do because that is a differentiator. Each of my correction packages includes standard detail which is quite extensive. Not to mention the paint protection that we do.
I have it structured like this so that everyone can understand it clearly.
Bottom line: Be thorough and careful in assessing what you are getting from who!
“What Is A 3 Stage Polish / Buff?”
I go into more depth of what a 3 stage polish is in my “How does polish and the machines influence results?” FAQ
To me, the most important use of the terms “steps and stages” is in describing the amount of polishing done as it has serious implications in terms of thinning and over stressing paint by over polishing.
Just a few years ago there used to be the concept of a 3 stage polish job. This used to be a heavy / coarse cut, then a medium cut and a finishing fine polish to process your paint. At this time, it was necessary to go through all steps without skipping in order to have a proper result. Where 2 stages were offered, it would start with a medium cut and then finishing polish.
With the cutting edge polishing technology we have available today, its possible to do all polishing using a single polish (with the key difference in the pads and or techniques used) to do these multiple steps and most often in just one step with even less passes than ever before!
This is tremendously significant in that its more efficient and does not over polish your car and thin it out like older polishes and methods. If thinning paint isn’t a concern, polishing causes heat by the buffing or rubbing friction. Over polishing can therefore pass too much heat, that it can swell the paint causing paint to get damaged by burning or failing down the line. (modern paint is plastic!)
I have different polishes, pads as well as machines in all available movements rotary, forced rotation, dual action as well as in different diameters, from 7″ down to 1″ to give you the most optimal and efficient results. We currently use RUPES branded polishing machines / buffers.
The Risks of Polishing
The biggest risk in polishing is unneccesary polishing. This is primarily caused by incorrect washing, drying and other contact with the paint that causes swirls, which dulls the look of paint. (which is why I ask customers how their care will be taken care of before I advise what to do!) If you keep on having to polish to remove swirls or other scratches, you will in short order have nothing left.
Another is chasing perfection. Getting that last deep scratch out might be impressive but the cost of someone having to respray is less so!
As you would’ve read by now, polishing reduces paint. In specific the top clear coat when you are polishing to remove scratches and swirls. Please note this excludes glazing or gloss / fine polishing. So if you polish too much then the chances of leaving the paint too thin or even burn or strike through of the clear coat is extremely high.
Polishing is irreversible, once you’ve removed a layer of the clear coat, it cant be replaced other than respraying it or minimally improving it by adding a ceramic coating.
The clear coat is a protective top layer, over the base colour coat, that shield’s it from UV rays, dirt and grime to help it maintain its colour and integrity. Thin clear coat may not be apparent to you now, but will manifest down the line by your clear coat fading and peeling or when polishing some time after ward. All of which will require respray to rectify.
Burn through or strike through, is if you go through the clear coat or even the under lying base coat. Other than thin paint from prior polishing, it can also be caused by the operator using a rotary polisher, aggressive pads or runs high rpms or a combination of these.
It is expected that a factory original paint work can be heavy (using a compound) polished a maximum of 3 times. It can however be Glazed (its a polish that fills rather than cuts i.e. non abrasive) or it can be gloss / fine polished.
From our side, we mitigate risk by careful washing and drying both before a polishing job or in our maintenance details as well as claying before polishing. Keeping to the recommended rpms , setting 3-4 rpm for the RUPES brand, as well as starting from the least aggressive polish and pad combination. It is also part of our standard operating procedure to continually monitor and control surface heat while polishing.
Before starting to polish each section, staff is trained to check every panel before they are about to start. If any damage or issue is found they alert me and I raise it with you. You may not be aware of the damage and when you bring the car to us, its likely dirty, so neither party can see anything until we start on it washing etc.
Checking the panel beforehand also allows us to baseline the paint condition before and if our “process” is producing the intended result. If my staff don’t get the right result, which is shown to them when either myself or a senior does a test area, then adjustments in polishing will need to be made. The reasons for this is perhaps the panel was resprayed and it’s harder or softer than the rest or simply the scratches on that panel they working on is deep.
Another strategy is that we polish with the vehicles doors, bonnet and boot open when polishing on them or adjacent panels to reduce the risk of edge burn through. I however recommend taping up with masking tape all prone areas like edges, body lines, vents, emblems, badges, rubbers, seals etc to reduce this risk. Taping up is an optional service.
Another way to reduce risk is to measure your paint with a Paint Thickness Gauge (PTG) before polishing and after so that your can get a better idea of whats going on and we can devise the best polishing strategy. This is optional.
A paint gauge works in the following way:
- Measure the depth of the paint of your car’s door jamb to see how thick it is.
- This will be used as a reference because it usually doesnt get polished or resprayed.
- Use the gauge on a panel to get a reading of how thick it currently is.
- Subtract the panel reading from the door jamb reading and this will tell you how much paint has already been removed.
- Measure the paint after test polishing to get and idea of how much paint is removed through the process.
- Decide on the least aggressive approach or whether to risk for maximum result.
Most new cars give a reading of around 120-150 microns. This includes all the layers, primer, base and the clear coat. You don’t want to go below 90 microns.
Using a paint depth gauge isn’t a guarantee that it’s safe to polish. It’s meant to be a useful guideline.
You should also consider a Ceramic Coating to provide a protective layer that preserves the look of your paint from the elements and to add extra protection against swirl type scratches in particular.
“How Thick Is My Paint?”
A Paint Report is an optional service where I identify defects and measure the paint thickness gauge from the beginning till after the paint has been corrected.
Our gauge measures the total paint thickness from the metal to the top clear coat.
It does not give individual readings. ( A gauge like that is well over R60000! which not a lot of detailers in the world owns! )
While we don’t have a precise read of how much clear coat, we can determine an average thickness, compare body paint thickness to door sills as well as comparing to general thickness by manufacturer.
It benefits any intensive polishing by reducing the risk of damage like burn through of the clear.
As this service takes additional time, I do charge for it.
This is also a great service if you are buying a vehicle and want to be sure of the condition of paint on a potential car purchase.
“I didn’t see that before?”
If you have ever washed or polished your own car you will know for yourself that you will notice new scratches and swirls each time.
It’s especially the case when polishing. Many times after we polish we notice a scratch or other defects more prominently. This was likely “camouflaged” by swirl. So that lone deeper scratch is now isolated and stands out by contrast.
Either more polishing would be needed. Which would further thin the paint. In this regard its best to take a measurement of thickness with a guage.
Or simply let it be.
“What Is Wet Sanding?”
Wet sanding, aka flatting, is a method of removing or improving deep scratches and leveling paint texture, known as orange peel, ( because it resembles the skin texture of an orange) It is an alternative method of leveling or cutting the top portion of your paint system compared to polishing.
Like polishing, It removes the top most part of the paint which on modern cars is a clear coat layer and older paint systems, which is known as single stage, the colour. In fact, pre 90s it was also called colour sanding.
I regularly use this method for spot scratches but for a whole car I would prefer it done by a spray painter. My main reason for this is risk and a secondary is that spray painters are more efficient at it as well as if things goes bad, which the risk is high, the car is right there to be touched up / done over.
The only time you would want to do a whole car is if its severely scratched all over or the orange peel is bad.
Here is a recent example of deep scratch removal using the wet sanding method. While I don’t have photos detailing the process, the area was cleaned and decontaminated with clay, sensitive areas ( folds and edges in metal ) was taped up and then we proceeded to start sanding. For consistency, we count our strokes i.e. back forward draws. We constantly check by cleaning and drying our progress. This area required 60 strokes. After sanding we cut with a rotary polisher followed by a Dual Action machine to refine and leave the surface hologram free.
“What is a Glaze?”
A Glaze will improve the look and protect your paint by making it appear smoother, glossier and reflective.
It’s a light polish with minor cut capability but I prefer to explain it as a cosmetic treatment, think ‘cosmetic foundation and sunblock’ in one for paint. It fills and masks defects rather than correct it.
If you come 1.5m and closer to your paint, you will then start to see the deeper scratches and swirls it couldnt fill, ( which a Paint Correction or Enhancement will sort). So the end result after applying either a Glaze or Wax will depend on the current condition of the car.
This service is ideal for pre sale prep, you have a tight budget, time or for paint that is fragile i.e. thin, old, vintage, classic and so forth.
Note: I can add extra spot / “here or there” of panel polishing to permanently remove deep swirls and scratches ( I have to see your car physically to quote you). However if you have deep swirls and scratches everywhere on your car you need to consider Paint Enhancement or Correction.
What Does A Glaze Include
- Wash – to remove loose dirt
- Clay – to remove bonded contaminants / dirt / fallout
- Microfibre Towel Dry
- Machine (or hand applied if your prefer) Glaze with Wax based or Ceramic
- Glass cleaned in & out
- Tyres & Exterior Trim
- Interior vac and dash wipedown (15min)
“When should you Glaze and when should you Correct paint?“
A Glaze works by filling and is temporary (i.e. weeks/months) while Correction cuts paint to remove or improve scratches & swirls permanently but reduces paint.
The importance of understanding this difference is knowing what you are getting as well as if its safe to do.
I advise a Glaze when you have a tight budget, your paint is thin / comprimised, you have a classic / vintage car and you want to preserve maximum paint. Or when you want to sell a car. It’s the make up of the car care world!
Correction is best if you have the paint thickness for it, when you are keeping your car, just bought it or want to get maximum value out of your car when selling it.
After care must however always be considered and done carefully to avoid unnecessary polishing as much as possible. Unnecessary polishing will typically result from bad washing, drying and unnecessary contact with the paint like touching it whether clean or dirty.
After care / Follow Up Maintenance
The main aim of careful maintenance is to avoid unnecessary polishing that would thin or comprimise your paint
I offer products so that you can DIY as well as Maintenance Detailing Services if you want us to take of things for you.
Follow Up Maintenance needs to be done periodically to maintain the look and protection of your car and the frequency is dependant on how your car is used, stored and generally cared for.
The most critical aspect is when washing and drying your car. In general avoid unnecessary contact with your paint like touching it.
Follow up maintenance includes:
- Regular washing as needed.
- Avoid letting dirt pack on, harden and overwhelm your paint protection.
- Careful washing and drying technique
- This is mainly to avoid swirls from washing, which would force you to polish again, which in turn thins your paint!
- Using a QD (Quick detailer)
- boost protection wash to wash
- gives you a safe solution to “detail” clean your car after washing
- increase shine and slickness
- Periodic boosting of protection with a spray wax / sealant / ceramic sealant as appropriate.
- Periodic decontaminaton with a protection booster
- decontamination removes “stuck on” dirt
- if you have a ceramic coating, dirt can still build up and harden if washing was irregular. decontamination will help for that