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Premium Member
TrailblazerSS AWD
1,790 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
(It’s a long write up so make some coffee or something)
So today I got my hands on the most oxidized paint I have ever touched on a car! IT was pretty unique too. Customer asked me to detail his car, he assumed the paint was so bad it would need to be repainted, but was willing let me have a shot at it before he resprayed it. The car was a 2001 toyota Sequoia in white. What was so unique about this car was that the front half of the car was nowhere near as oxidized as the rear of the car. Immediately I thought the front half must of be repainted recently, that’s why it looks so much better. (Pictures attached at bottom of post) The owner however told me its all original paint, so I couldn’t understand why half the car was 10x worse than the other half. We came to the conclusion it was where he was parking. Every day for years he parked at the train station, under a little over hang. The overhang blocked the sun from the front half of his car, but left the rear of his car to bake in the sun day after day. With Zero wax/sealant on the car the sun did one heck of a job oxidizing the paint. Check out the pictures youll be amazed at how bad the paint was.

So the paint was Dead. There was not even the slightest bit of reflection in the paint. It was so badly oxidized that when you touched the car you would get white chalk all over your hands, as if you were touching an old oxidized gutter on your house. It was unbelievable how bad the paint was. I knew I was getting into a big job, but I was excited to see how I can correct this.

I started with a 2 bucket strip wash using dawn dish soap. Cleaned the wheels and tires, then went on to claying. I used an opti-clay towel instead of traditional clay bar for a few reason. Its much much faster then regular clay, it was cold out so kneading the clay over and over would be very hard, I didn’t want to waste an entire clay bar on the car, and the towel is much more aggressive then the clay I have. The car needed a serious clay job, my opti clay towel which they say is good for 50 clay jobs, seems to be pretty much done after doing this car. As I was claying the quick detailer I was using as lube was turning brown with all dirt I was pulling up from the surface, I kept having to hose off the panel and keep claying. It was horrible but eventually got done after probably two hours of just claying.

Finally finished claying the truck and moved on to the real correction work. I immediately figured I would have to use the most aggressive pad and compound combo that I have. With how bad the paint was I figured theres no point in starting with the least aggressive. So I immediately went to M105 and a microfiber cutting pad on the Flex3401 VRG. I did a test panel and the results sucked. I was pulling off so much dead paint that it immediately clogged up the microfiber pad, and it was no longer useful after a few seconds of buffing. I then switched to a foam cutting (yellow) pad, because it wouldn’t clog up nearly as fast as microfiber, foam could handle a lot more of a beating before needing to be cleaned.

Tested out the next spot with M105 and the foam pad, and still was not right. M105 is a great compound for taking out serious scratches/marring. It cuts Super fast and allows you to get right on to polishing. But in my case here it wasn’t working well for me. M105 dries up super fast, it probably only has about a 20 second buffing cycle before its dry. It wasnt staying wet long enough for me to pull the dead paint off, it was drying WAY to fast. I tried out a couple other compounds like M101 and a DAT compound from menzerna. They all just wanted to dry up on the dead paint. It wasn’t working out.

So finally I tried M205. M205 is a light polish used to remove compounding haze. The reason I tried this was because it has a ridiculously long buffing cycle, stays wet for ever. I realized I didn’t need the crazy cut from the compounds, I needed a cut just enough to pull the dead paint off. This combo turned out the be the clear winner. I used a light polishing pad (green hex logic) with m205 and went to town with the flex on speed 4. This pulled the oxidation off like I couldn’t believe. The only problem I ran in to was the need to constantly swap to a new pad because they were getting so clogged with dead paint. I used about 8 pads across the whole car. But it came out great. Also while I was buffing I would mist a spray of water onto the panel to extend the buffing cycle even more and just keep everything moist. This worked out well! (thanks Kevin brown)

Final step for me was to Wax the car. I always use Adams buttery wax when I detail cars because of how easy it is. Easy on, easy off, no matter what the weather is. But today I decided to go with meguiars finishing wax on a microfiber pad. The finishing wax is a polish and wax in one, so using this allowed me another shot of polishing the paint without spending any extra time on the car. More importantly I was polishing the paint directly after all the oxidation was removed, so it helped to refine the paint even more. Where as when I polished with the m205, it really was just pulling dead paint off and not really polishing the clear coat.

The car came out great. I was super happy with it. The customer was not looking for a swirl free finish, and was “not expecting miracles” as he told me, he was just hoping to maybe get some shine back in to it. He really had his doubts I would be able to do anything. But im sure he’ll be blown away. Hes picking the car up tomorrow, I cant wait!

Here are some pics!
This is how I received the car, notice the front door is 1000x better then the rear door. Its amazing the damage the sun does.

Making some progress on the rear door. Getting some shine back! Upper right corner hit with m205

This is what was coming off on my hands when I touched the paint

dead paint mixed with polish that was flying off my pads because they were getting so clogged up.

50/50 shot of the hood. Right side was untouched left side just polished.

50/50. look how yellow and nasty that white paint is!! That was after washing and claying it!

Also polished out his headlights cause im a nice guy.

and the finished product, finally got a shine back.

Premium Member
'08 Silver TBSS
4,509 Posts
The before and after shots are crazy. Incredible results! Great writeup!!!
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