Home Cut, Polish & Wax

Real clients, really happy!


"What an amazing job you’ve done, thanks Fab, my car looks like it’s brand new!!!"

Kerry Neve - House With No Steps, Burleigh Heads


"Excellent job, thank you!"

Hon Ros Bates MP - Minister for Science, IT, Innovation and the Arts, Mudgeeraba


"It was great to meet you and thanks for doing a brilliant detailing job with our Q7, Fab you are VFM! (Value For Money)"

Tony Coughran – VFM Property Buyers Agent, Paradise Point


"Hi Fab. Thank you so much for the fantastic detail. Wow the car looks beautiful! Sorry it was so dirty."

Naomi Apanui - H&A Home Repair Services, Molendinar


"Thanks for all your great work! All the cars in my driveway look great thanks to you."

Mark and Donna Cross - Cougar Air Conditioning, Gold Coast


"Thank you Fab for the great work you completed on both our cars. It's a breath of fresh air to find a service..."


More Testimonials & Photos

Car Polishing Gold Coast. Cut and Polish Wax

What is cut, polish and wax?

The Gold Coast climate (Australian climate in general) is extremely harsh on your car's paintwork. On top of normal weathering (UV rays, salty air and humidity), bird and bat droppings, tree sap, accumulated dirt, tar, oils, exhaust, brake dust and other contaminants attack your car's surface on a daily basis, leaving it dull and oxidized in a short period of time.

Professional polishing and waxing (protection) on a regular basis will keep your car's finish always clean, protected and looking good, even after 10 or 15 years. The polishing process, if correctly done, can also remove fine scratches and avoid the onset of corrosion.

On this page we will explain the step-by-step procedure of what is generally known as cut and polish, machine polish, paint rejuvenation, paint restoration, paint correction or waxing. A full job on a weathered paintwork would include - degreaser wash, chemical decontamination, clay barring, compounding, polishing and protecting the finish. Some extreme cases may require wet sanding prior to compounding.


swirl removal by machine cut polish


Above: Farther side of the panel has been machine cut and polished to eliminate severe swirl marks and holograms, clearly visible on the lower (right) side of the bonnet.

A full cut and polish job (3 stages or more) is one of the hardest, if not the hardest work one can do in the auto reconditioning industry. It requires technique, patience, care, and a good eye for detail.

There are a lot of "cowboys" offering this service out there, skipping fundamental steps and trying t finish it as quick as possible. A cheap and quick "buff-polish" job may leave you disappointed and feeling like you wasted your money.

These are the stages of a professional full cut, polish and wax sealant work:


1 - Taking paint thickness measurements

At Fab's Car Polishing we carry two types of Electronic Paint Thickness Gauges. These tools allow us to take readings of the clear coat thickness for a safer polishing process. The Gauges can also help to identify areas of the panels that may have been repainted (accidents - body shops repairs) or heavily buffed. By knowing how much clear coat is left on top of the colour base coat we are able to choose the right machines, pads and polishes for every job.


Polish thickness gauge safe car polishing


2 - Paint Preparation

Foreign particles or substances in the paint film such as red iron oxide from metal brake dust, asphalt, tar, concrete residues, overspray, tree sap, bug squash, bird droppings, red dust, industrial fallout (pollution) and other contaminants must be removed from the car paint work before the full cut and polish process starts. This should be done periodically as some of these contaminants, if  left untreated for a long period of time, will start to cause tiny rust spots on your car's finish. This is especially noticeable in a tropical coastal region such as the Gold Coast.

These contaminants cannot be removed by normal car washes. However, this can be treated with an "acid bath", solvents (chemical decontamination) and a high quality detail Clay Bar or Prep Towel. We suggest clay treatment once a year to maintain your car's value and lustre. This must be step one for every professional polishing job. If concrete residues, paint overspray, tar and other contaminants are still left on the paint after claying, the use of acids or solvents may be required for complete cleaning.

A good quality clay bar costs around AU$60 and can be safely used only a few times. Heavily contaminated clay bars can cause scratches. Clay bars should be replaced after a few uses.



3 - Compounding

Compounding is the main correction step of a full paint restoration job. Compounds are abrasive substances that will cut through swirls and light scratches.

If professionally applied (with a rotary polisher), compounds may remove 1000-1500 grit sanding scratches, random light scratches, oxidation spots and some types of overspray, leaving the paint ready for polishing. More than one 'machine pass' (4 to 10 single passes) might be required for better correction/ restoration. This is a process that requires a good technique, patience and time.

Compounds cannot remove scratches that have cut too deep through the paintwork. A good way to find out if a scratch is too deep is scrapping your fingernails across the scratch. If the scratch "catches" your fingernails, it may be too deep to be repaired through compounding and the area may need repainting however there are these lines we call RDS (random deeper scratches) that do not catch the nail but cannot be fully "buffed out". 

Heavy compounds will produce superior and safer results if applied with a rotary polisher or a more powerful D.A. polisher. Compounds must be professionally applied as there's a risk of cutting through the clear coat damaging the paintwork. Compounding will level the paint by smoothing the surface, removing "dead" oxidized paint. This process removes the upper most layer of damaged clear coat by actually stripping or cutting the car's swirled paintwork through abrasion, exposing a "new" revitalized surface, ready for the polish stage. A car should be compounded only a few times. There's a limit to how much of the paintwork can be cut.

Be aware that improper compounding can cause heavy buffing holograms and swirl marks. These holograms and swirls are caused by a poor buffing technique and the wrong choice of pads and products. These marks may be only fully visible when the filler wax applied by the dealer/ spray painter/ hack detailer wears off, after a couple of weeks or a few washes.

There are different grades of compounds and a professional detailer should know which product to apply depending on paint hardness and condition. We avoid the use of overly aggressive compounds when a "lighter" product could be applied to achieve optimal results.



Note: The pictures above are for illustration purposes only. Only around 1 - 3% of the whole paint system is removed by our slow buffing technique (safe leveling within factory recommendation).


4 - Polishing

There are several grades of polishes and many different brands. Polishes have some cutting ability but are smoother than compounds (fewer and smaller abrasive particles). Newer cars with paint work in good condition will not need the use of aggressive compounds unless there's a damaged area to be treated.

A polish can be applied directly to the paint work after paint preparation (degreaser wash and claying). Polishes can be applied by hand however the best results will be achieved by using an orbital buffer.

The previous compounding process will leave compounding swirls and holograms and some polishes work as swirl removers if correctly used. The biggest mistake made by "hack" detailers is skipping the polishing step, going from compounding directly to the waxing step. This will partially hide (mask) the compound holos for a few days/weeks. A professional detailer or body shop should never skip an extensive polishing step after compounding.

Polishing will bring gloss to the paint's surface. Polishing is the clarifying, cleaning, final leveling step that prepares the car paintwork for final protection. More than one machine 'section pass' (4 to 10 single passes) might be required for a better finish.

Some polishes are mixed with waxes and fillers in an effort to be an all-in-one product. Again it will depend on the paintwork condition. All-in-one polishes might have a limited outcome in many cases but may work well on newer cars with well maintained paintwork  as a one step machine polishing.

Other products are called swirl removers, the best swirl removers are pure finishing polishes with no fillers. It is up to the professional to find the best product, polisher and buffing pad for each stage of each job. The interesting thing is - Paintwork chemistry varies a lot, what works for some vehicles may not work for others and every job is a different ball game altogether.

At this point, after polishing, it is strongly recommended that a wax, sealant or coating system is used to protect the paintwork. Click here to read more about Paint Protection


before after auto polish

Above: After claying, compounding and polishing (left side), swirl marks, oxidation spots and light scratches were removed. Leaving that side ready for application of wax or paint protection.


5 -Paint protection


Waxing

High quality car wax is made from a Brazilian palm tree known as Carnauba. Liquid and solid waxes will create a deep wet gloss.

Waxing seals the polishing job and it is also a form of very mild and short term paint protection. It repels water and some contaminants. Carnauba wax will only last between 4 to 9 weeks depending on the climate and whether your car is kept undercover. Hot, humid climates like the one found on the Gold Coast, result in the life span of carnauba wax being shorter.


Synthetic Sealants

Synthetic sealants are cheap form of mild paint protection and depending on the product, washing method, whether your car is kept undercover, etc, it will protect your car from two months to up to around 8 months but it will not offer strong chemical resistance.


Coating systems

Not all coatings are made equal. Opti-Coat, our product of choice was created by Dr David Ghodoussi from Memphis,Tennessee. Dr. Ghodoussi received his Ph.D. and Master's degrees in Polymer and Organic Chemistry from Oregon State University and his MBA from the University of Memphis. He also holds Bachelor's of Science degrees in Chemical Engineering and in Chemistry from the University of California in Santa Barbara and has an extensive experience with automotive paint production at DuPont and PPG. Opti-Coat is a true permanent protection coating, tested by the CSIRO in Australia with impressive results. Please check our Paint Protection page for more information.


Car Polishing and Waxing Gold Coast. Mini carnauba wax job.


Paint Restoration Services by Fab's Car Polishing Gold Coast


Basic Paint Restoration - Compound Cut + Polish + Synthetic Wax (Sealant) (deep gloss and protection)

from $490*

Fab's multi-step machine polishing is also known as light scratch & swirl removal, cut and polish or paint correction. This service will “bring life back” to oxidized, dull paintwork. Depending on how damaged the paintwork is (severe oxidation, heavy rubbing and swirl marks, deep holograms) a four-stage machine polish (four section passes) may be required for best results.


The full cut-compound & polish + sealant wax (paint restoration) service includes:

  • High pressure, scratch free auto degreaser wash
  • Microfiber towel dry
  • Wheels cleaned
  • Outside windows cleaned
  • Clay bar paint decontamination
  • Machine Paint correction – Professional full compound cut and polish
  • Synthetic wax application (deep gloss and 5 - 6 months protection)
  • Gold Coast and Tweed clients only


*Hard paint finishes (esp. German cars but depending on colour and brand) or very soft finishes (japanese or depending on model/ colour) and jet black may require extra steps to achieve satisfactory results.



Paint Restoration (cut & polish) + Opti Coat Pro+

from $995


The real showroom finish and best protection available for your car.

Includes the removal of very light scratches, holograms, soft water marks and light swirls, followed by our state of the art jeweling technique to improve clarity and gloss. The machine polishing correction is followed by Opti-Coat application. Opti-Coat will indefinitely seal and protect the new showroom finish.

Available to Gold Coast, Byron and Brisbane clients.


To book one of our services, call Fab now - 0402 925 922


Click here to see our Prices and Services page


Website written and designed by Fabiano Salsa.


 
© 2010 Fab's Car Polishing - Professional Auto Detailing Services - Gold Coast, QLD - Australia