Paint Repair Clinic

This is a BIG topic, and rightfully so. Healthy paint is the foundation of a good looking, well-detailed car. Detailers struggle with paint-related problems more than all other surface issues. This page will help you find the best solution for your car’s paint problems.

Before Attempting Paint Corrections… Read This!

In order to get you the help you need finding a cure for your car’s paint woes, I’ve broken up the material up into different pages. The links at the bottom of this page provide easy access. But if you don’t already own and know how to use a dual-action (DA) car polisher, like the Porter Cable 7424XP, read this section FIRST!

The Solution to Paint Problems

At the risk of sounding like a broken record (does anyone even remember what they sound like?), 90% of the solutions to all paint-related problems involve polishing. That’s both good news and bad news.

Meguiars G17616 SwirlX Before and After
Meguiars SwirlX Extreme Makeover Before and After

It’s good news because most paint defects are minor surface problems that are easy to repair. In other words, you can quickly and easily make your car look like new again. The bad news is that you can’t do it by hand. The reason is simply this: modern clear coat paint finishes are very hard and durable.

The solution is a small investment in a good car polisher. I’m not talking about a $29 or $39 “car waxer,” either. Those tools are good for spreading wax, and that’s it. What I’m talking about is a professional dual-action car polisher, often called an orbital or random orbit polisher.

The rest of this page shows the Meguiar’s G110v2 Professional Polisher in action restoring some pretty messed up paint finishes. Meguiar’s is just one of the car polisher brands I recommend. The others are Porter Cable and Griot’s Garage.

To learn more about the differences in these machines, see our Car Polisher Buyer’s Guide.

Extreme Makeover Meguiar’s Style

Have you seen the new Meguiar’s Ultimate Compound and SwirlX bottles? The labels proudly display actual cars, in horrible condition, that Meguiar’s reconditioned using their polishes and the Meguiar’s G110v2 Dual-Action Polisher.

Have a look at this quick video showing extreme makeover before and after shots. After you watch, we’ll discuss how it was done.

Pretty amazing transformations on those cars, wouldn’t you agree? Here’s the product label images I was referring to:

Meguiar's G17216 Ultimate Compound Before and After
Meguiar’s Ultimate Compound Extreme Makeover Before and After Photo

The image above is the Meguiar’s Ultimate Compound bottle label. Below is the Meguiar’s SwirlX product label. Before you ask, yes, the car images were doctored a bit. Most notably the emblems were edited out (removed from both the hood and front grills) to avoid copyright infringements.

Now watch a video demonstration from Meguiar’s Asia that shows how well Meguiar’s Ultimate Compound works on a horribly abused clear coat paint finish on a BMW. The polish is applied with a Meguiar’s G110 dual-action car polisher and the new Meguiar’s Softbuff 2.0 foam polishing pad.

Meguiar’s Ultimate Compound is the first step. It removes the scratches and heavy swirl marks. To remove fine swirl marks and restore full gloss after compounding with Ultimate Compound, you polish using Meguiar’s SwirlX as seen in this next video:

As the video demonstrated, Meguiar’s SwirlX can be applied by hand or machine, but frankly, the results by hand are limited, even if you rub, and rub and rub. In other words, proper application requires a dual-action car polisher. Period!

Learn the Next Steps

As I said at the beginning, you’re going to need a professional dual-action car polisher if you want to correct paint defects yourself. If that concerns you — possibly you have heard horror stories — let me put your fears to rest…

A dual-action polisher is not the same as a rotary, high-speed, buffer. You can’t damage your car with one unless you club your car with it. If you need more proof, read our How-To Use a Dual-Action Car Polisher page. Understand the steps you need to take for your particular paint defect or defects.

Here are the important how-to articles:

Let me offer a few more words of encouragement. All of the techniques presented in these Paint Repair Clinic articles are tested and proven. The methods work. Car enthusiasts and professional car detailers use these techniques every day to bring some pretty horrible-looking cars back to life.

The secret is to take your time and always use the least aggressive products necessary. Slow and gentle is always best, especially while you are learning.

It’s Time to Act

If you are really serious about the appearance of your car, stop messing around with hand polishing and invest in a dual-action car polisher. The best machine is the Porter Cable 7424XP.