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Discussion Starter #1
I will be doing my first real complete detail on the truck. There is some pretty good scratches but not deep. I want to light compound the truck before I polish and wax it. Do I still need to clay bar if I'm going to compound anyway?
 

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I would. It removes impurities from the clear coat that if not removed you'd to rely on your pad to pull out.

It just makes it easier and faster to get the finish you want. I'd suggest not skipping that step.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
That's what I thought. Thank you.
 

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Nanoskin

If you are using an random orbital DA tool, take a look at Nanoskin.

Works like a clay bar, at a fraction of the time it would take to use a claybar.

If it's a brand new pad, pay attention to the break-in procedure of the pad, before using on paint. Usually involves using on glass to break it in.

Works with the same concept as clay bars, still needs a lubricant, but get done a lot faster.

I use it when I do my bi annual detailing, and I have nothing but good things to say about the product.

https://www.nanoskinusa.com/
 

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I will be doing my first real complete detail on the truck. There is some pretty good scratches but not deep. I want to light compound the truck before I polish and wax it. Do I still need to clay bar if I'm going to compound anyway?
When detailing paint, the least aggressive process that will achieve the desired result is the best because each time you compound or buff your clear coat, you remove a minute, but measurable amount of material from the paint film. Over time, that removal of material will accelerate the death of your paint.

Compounding is a fairly aggressive procedure...if it were me, I would skip the compounding except in the scratched areas. First, fix the scratches (see below), then use the clay bar, polish and finally wax. Good polishes like 3M 05996 Foam Polishing Pad Glaze (dark cars), or Meguiar's No. 7 Show Car Glaze, have very mild abrasive and will remove the minimal amount of clearcoat to restore full gloss. Either of these should work fine if your paint is in otherwise good shape.

If you try to buff the scratches out using compound, you'll grind off a lot of your clearcoat, and you may STILL be unable to remove the scratches completely. Rubbing compound, the standard of quality probably being 3M 05973, is only intended to remove 1200 grit or finer scratches. The scratches we encounter using our vehicles is probably more in the 80 grit category. In the scratched areas, you may have to work each scratch carefully with graduated grades of finishing sandpaper to first remove the scratch (maybe 1500 grit, then 2000 grit on a foam sanding pad, working across the scratch), and then compound only the immediate area to polish out the sanding scratches. See this youtube.com video:
. There are thousands of youtube videos on this topic; most are good, a few are absolutely bad advice.

You don't mention tools, but I use NOTHING on my vehicles except a random orbital polisher (Porter Cable 7424 is the classic) using an appropriate foam pad for the activity. You can buy an accessory counterweight for the PC that will allow you to run up to 7" foam pads. Rotary buffers with a wool pad are very fast, but unless you are really paying attention and have experience, you can ruin your paint in a nanosecond. With the PC7424, I would use a Lake Country 6.5" yellow cutting pad with the rubbing compound, and with the glaze, I would use a Lake Country 6.5" white polishing pad.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Yes, I will be using a DA polisher. Only if I knew this before I bought the Meguiar's clay bar. I would have went this way. I might try this on my wife car which will be needing a detail soon. Maybe I can experiment with hers. lol

If you are using an random orbital DA tool, take a look at Nanoskin.

Works like a clay bar, at a fraction of the time it would take to use a claybar.

If it's a brand new pad, pay attention to the break-in procedure of the pad, before using on paint. Usually involves using on glass to break it in.

Works with the same concept as clay bars, still needs a lubricant, but get done a lot faster.

I use it when I do my bi annual detailing, and I have nothing but good things to say about the product.

https://www.nanoskinusa.com/
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thank you for taking the time to write in such details. Being a noob, I did not know that there are different grits compound. I will probably take your advice and compound only the area with the deeper scratches and go from there.

When detailing paint, the least aggressive process that will achieve the desired result is the best because each time you compound or buff your clear coat, you remove a minute, but measurable amount of material from the paint film. Over time, that removal of material will accelerate the death of your paint.

Compounding is a fairly aggressive procedure...if it were me, I would skip the compounding except in the scratched areas. First, fix the scratches (see below), then use the clay bar, polish and finally wax. Good polishes like 3M 05996 Foam Polishing Pad Glaze (dark cars), or Meguiar's No. 7 Show Car Glaze, have very mild abrasive and will remove the minimal amount of clearcoat to restore full gloss. Either of these should work fine if your paint is in otherwise good shape.

If you try to buff the scratches out using compound, you'll grind off a lot of your clearcoat, and you may STILL be unable to remove the scratches completely. Rubbing compound, the standard of quality probably being 3M 05973, is only intended to remove 1200 grit or finer scratches. The scratches we encounter using our vehicles is probably more in the 80 grit category. In the scratched areas, you may have to work each scratch carefully with graduated grades of finishing sandpaper to first remove the scratch (maybe 1500 grit, then 2000 grit on a foam sanding pad, working across the scratch), and then compound only the immediate area to polish out the sanding scratches. See this youtube.com video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DPB3b7YmdRg . There are thousands of youtube videos on this topic; most are good, a few are absolutely bad advice.

You don't mention tools, but I use NOTHING on my vehicles except a random orbital polisher (Porter Cable 7424 is the classic) using an appropriate foam pad for the activity. You can buy an accessory counterweight for the PC that will allow you to run up to 7" foam pads. Rotary buffers with a wool pad are very fast, but unless you are really paying attention and have experience, you can ruin your paint in a nanosecond. With the PC7424, I would use a Lake Country 6.5" yellow cutting pad with the rubbing compound, and with the glaze, I would use a Lake Country 6.5" white polishing pad.
 

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The first step in fixing the scratches is to try and determine if the scratch is through the clearcoat. There is a "fingernail" test that one guy (Auto Fetish Detailing) uses in his videos. Maybe that works, but I haven't tested it. Otherwise, you may have to use the blind man's braille method. The lubricant water coming off your sanding should only be white; if you begin to pick up ANY color, stop immediately...you are through the clear. :(

Be advised that factory clearcoat is probably only about 0.001" thick or less, so you are not going to have a lot of room to work in removing a scratch. If the scratch is deep enough that the clearcoat is penetrated, then you'll have to work VERY CAREFULLY, because any base coat further exposed by sanding WILL NOT POLISH; it will remain dull and will have absolutely no resistance to weathering. If you find the clearcoat has been penetrated, then you may be better off to forget the sanding, compound the scratch area well, and just accept the result.

If the clearcoat has not been fully penetrated, then you can probably remove the scratch completely. Gently sand across the scratch with tiny strokes and light pressure, first with say 1500 grit, then with 2000 grit to remove the 1500 sand scratches, using a foam sanding pad. Soak your sandpaper in a your sanding water bucket for 30 minutes or so to soften it. Don't use a block; the whole point of using a foam pad is to allow the sandpaper to conform to the surface and create a very shallow "depression" around the scratch without going through the clear. In some of the videos, the detail guy will use 3000 grit, which leaves extremely fine scratches and buffs out very quickly. You will find that 3000 grit paper (like clay bar) is very expensive and probably un-necessary...the 2000 will buff out pretty quickly.
 
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