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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I am frequently asked how to achieved the wet-mirrored finish that all of my black cars have, including the '98 Supra I sold to Peter Blach that many of you may have seen at the recent Texas Meet. Below I've demonstrated my process on a 18k mile black Supra I recently purchased. As a favor, SW inspected the car for me and held it until transport could be arranged. SW indicated that I may want to repaint the hood to make the car perfect.

The processes I'm outlining below can actually take something that many would say needs paint work and revive it to as new, or even a better than new finish! This Supra has the potential to be very close to a 10 out of 10, but has a few surface scratches and the hood has a quite a few scratches, swirls, and a few rock chips. I also removed the front bumper and had it repainted due to having a front plate attached.

Step 1:
Wash car and locate in well lit area--use brightest light you can get. Use 500KW Halogen lights if you have them.

Step 2:
Assess the job and determine whether you need just a polish and how aggressive of a cut, or need to clay bar if there is overspray or contaminents, or even wet sand if there are swirls, scratches, and other contaminents to be removed. I would normally tape off the panels to be wet-sanded and/or buffed, but in this case since I haven't detailed the rest of the car yet, I did not do so.

Step 3:
Obtain the products to be used. I didn't bother taking a picture of the common items, Orbital buffer, foam pads, micro fiber applicators and cloths, spray bottles, etc. Pick both the polishing compound and finishing product of your preference (everyone has different opinions on what works best). Below are some other products that I use when doing wet-sanding and touch-ups:


Step 4:
Wet Sanded hood and fenders to remove scratches and other contaminents in paint - you can use anything from 2,000G to 3,000G. I used a combintation of 2500 and 3000 (Can use Clay bar instead if the car is in good condition).


Step 5:
The wet-sanding/clay barring allows you to identify any chips or marks that require touch-up. You clean each one with Acryla-Clean and then thin the touch up with the Duracryl and fill each spot. Repeat application to each spot as they are dry enough to allow another layer until the level of the paint in each chip is higher than the level of the surrounding paint. Allow the touch-ups to dry over night and then use a small piece of the sanding block on end and a small piece of wet sand paper (2500 or 3000G) and press down on each touch-up area and sand it smooth with the rest of the paint--being very careful not to go through the paint! If done properly, after buffing you will never be able to tell where the chips were located!!!

Step 6:

Once all the wet sanding was completed, including all the touch-ups, I started buffing with an orange polishing pad and intensive polish at 1,000RPM's. You want to start on one panel and buff a 1 SQ/FT area at a time. You should have two squirter bottles next to you. One with water and one with a 50/50 Alcohol and Water mixture. You need to spray the pad upon starting each area and then swirl in with the buffer pad before turning it on. Once the area is completed, use the 50/50 alcohol water mixture and a microfiber towel to wipe off and assess.

I started with each fender and then progressed to the outer hood edges and moved towards the middle:



Once all the major scratches are removed, you move to a finishing product and finishing pad and repeat the process all over. After you've polished and finished the car, you need to apply a protectant. I applied a glaze product follow by Zaino Grand Finale.

Here is the final result of the hood and front fenders--literally a show car finish with not a single scratch to be found and just liquid, wet looking! The hood definitely does not need a repaint as it is perfect. If you do the touch-up process properly, nobody will ever be able to tell where the chips were. I now just have the doors and rear of the car to go and then finish the detailing of the engine bay, under carriage, etc. Special mention & Thanks to Steve Smith who showed me the thinning/touch-up process a number of years ago and also gave the the lead on where to obtain the products!!


 

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Original owner, March '94
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Very nice, thanks
 

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Will work for Supra parts
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624 Posts
That looks awesome, and I know how wet sanding works, but I'd freak out if I tried it myself, and something went wrong! I hate the swirls in my black Supra. Black has to be the worst color for showing them off. All vehicles eventually seem to get them, but black makes it easier to see them.
 

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aKa Blk96SupraTT
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WoW! that looks krazy!!! Yes black is the hardest color to take care of, it shows off EVERYTHING. But its also about upkeep. If you only do this like 1 or 2 times a year its gonna be alot of work verse someone who does it on a monthly bases. I try to do it atleast 2 times a month. that why i dont have to play with wetsanding the damn car.

Hate the fact that just washing a car isnt enought anymore. Where thats just bare min. But then when you start with the clay bar, polish and wax its an all day affare even if you do it every couple of weeks. But hey what you gonna do about it?
 

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Premium Member
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Discussion Starter #8
WoW! that looks krazy!!! Yes black is the hardest color to take care of, it shows off EVERYTHING. But its also about upkeep. If you only do this like 1 or 2 times a year its gonna be alot of work verse someone who does it on a monthly bases. I try to do it atleast 2 times a month. that why i dont have to play with wetsanding the damn car.

Hate the fact that just washing a car isnt enought anymore. Where thats just bare min. But then when you start with the clay bar, polish and wax its an all day affare even if you do it every couple of weeks. But hey what you gonna do about it?
Thanks guys, hope you find it helpful! Don't hesitate to PM me if you decide to try it and need any help...

This process is not something you would want to do more than a couple of times within a car's life, or you will risk thinning the clear coat to dangerous levels. This car is now coming up on 15 years old and this had never been done. If maintained properly, it should not ever require it again!

If you don't drive the car as a daily driver, which this collector quality car should never be, it is really pretty easy to maintain them with this kind of finish. You just have to be a bit on the "anal" side ;) I don't ever put a drop of water on the car - just use MF cloths and Zaino Grand Finale or similar product.
 

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'94 TT Blk/Blk 6 spd
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Daniel, the car looks fantastic! Is this the black car that you were looking to find and finally keep? Make sure and post pictures of motor/interior after your finishing touches.

I still need to send you pictures of our black '94, which we are still so extremely glad we picked up. I hope all the best.

-Taylor Roberts
 

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My black car has alot of swirls and cobweb scratches on it. I dont think im really comfortable doing the wetsanding myself... would the buffing take that out? Keep in mind ive never used an orbital buffer or anything like that.
 

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aKa Blk96SupraTT
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3,866 Posts
Thanks guys, hope you find it helpful! Don't hesitate to PM me if you decide to try it and need any help...

This process is not something you would want to do more than a couple of times within a car's life, or you will risk thinning the clear coat to dangerous levels. This car is now coming up on 15 years old and this had never been done. If maintained properly, it should not ever require it again!

If you don't drive the car as a daily driver, which this collector quality car should never be, it is really pretty easy to maintain them with this kind of finish. You just have to be a bit on the "anal" side ;) I don't ever put a drop of water on the car - just use MF cloths and Zaino Grand Finale or similar product.


Daniel, yeah the information is GREAT to have on hand. I'm just happy i dont have to do most of it since my cars paint is pretty fresh still. Just got all the body work and paint right before SILV06. Yeah i understood that you only do this like ever few years, sorry if i didnt make it clear. I cant imagine someone doing that to their car more then once every couple of years.
 

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This is a must subscribe, unless the mods choose to make it a sticky (hint). Even if you would be afraid to take sandpaper to car finish yourself, it is very helpful to know what goes into a job of the highest standards.
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
Can you clarify please? You can use MF cloths with no water on a dusty car and it won't scratch or swirl?

Thank you for the write up!
Well, it depends on how dusty/dirty the car has become. Here is what works for me. When it is a nice day and I take one of my black cars for a drive, when I return I park it back in the garage and then spray it and wipe it down. The amount of dust/dirt that has accumulated is so minimal it wipes right off. If it get's really dirty, or you drive it in the rain, the process is entirely different!

For a really dirty black car, or having driven in the rain, you need a pressure washer and spay the entire car off with at least 1500 PSI. Then get a brand new wash mitt and clean bucket and wash the car. Use a separate wash mitt for the wheels and lower trim. Rinse the car and blow off with a blower. Then use spray and Micro fiber towels. This is the only way you can maintain a perfect finish--just about anything else will put scratches back into the paint!

Here is a picture of the blower I use, which works great to get all the water off and out of the cracks, mirrors, jambs, etc:
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Daniel, the car looks fantastic! Is this the black car that you were looking to find and finally keep? Make sure and post pictures of motor/interior after your finishing touches.

I still need to send you pictures of our black '94, which we are still so extremely glad we picked up. I hope all the best.

-Taylor Roberts

Hi Taylor,
Yes this is the car I had bought for myself, but have decided to sell. I just have to have a '98 so am holding out for a low mileage stock or bpu '98TT.

I'll post the rest of the pictures when it has been completed--should be end of day today--assuming I can figure out how to get the rear wing off--it is stuck! :(

Glad to hear you are enjoying the Supra!

Take care,
Daniel
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
Nice writeup. I need to go get some touchup paint and fill in some of my nicks. Need some of those sanding blocks as well.

Alex
We have a paint supply store out here called WESSCO and they sell the blocks, wet sand paper, and both of the PPG products. The thinning and layering process is the key to getting the touch-ups to not show after you sand and buff them out.

One thing I forgot to mention: The rock chip layering/blending process does not work nearly as well on metallic or pearl coat finishes. It also works best on single stage paints such as the White, Black, and Red colored Supras!
 
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