Paintwork - Clear coat

I have looked at the FAQ’s but have not seen any comments re: bodywork.  Can anyone suggest the best compound for

removing swirl marks and medium scratches from clear coat.  I have looked at different sites/products but find it a bit

confusing as the best product to buy.  I have purchased Meguiars cleaner/polish which is fine for finishing before waxing, i

also have a tin of fine compound which does not appear to do any better than the Meguiars cleaner/polish.  I

need a cutting compound that will remove (above) without causing too much damage and bring the finish

back.  I realise that wet/dry 2000/3000 is required to remove deeper scratches.  (I made the error of using 1200 and had to

work hard to get rid of the marks).

I would be grateful for any suggestions and comments from anyone who has tackled this on clear coat!


farecla g3 is good for getting all but the finest swirl marks out , then use 3m machine / hand glaze to remove the compound swirls / hologramming left

if you have really really bad paint , you could start with g6 then g3 then onto the machine glaze , followed by 3m rosso red polish :wink:

you will have a stunning finish using these… heres  my mk2  after a buff using the above method, i started with g3 due to it being full of swirls and a few light scratches

Many thanks dfr - looks very good.  I have to do mine by hand as have no machine, apart from battery powered polisher.  Also my garage is very dark which is not much help

in actually seeing what i’m doing!  Will check out the gear that you’ve suggested.  Thanks again.



 I’d agree with above . Mine was scratched and the paint was turning white with oxidation, i used G3 and then 3M Finesse-it abrasive polish and then a final hand polish . Without a machine polisher though your in for a hard time, it can take a good half day using a machine if you have to bring old paint back to life. good luck

Thanks Nedski - the finish isn’t weather damaged etc, just swirls/scratches and of course the unpreventable paint chips on the front.

I had already done the boot lid and bonnet, but didn’t turn out to what i wanted, there was still slight scratch marks that the compound

didn’t remove.  Will have to start the next attempt on the door panels and see how that goes (i’ll try the suggested brand) and then re-do

the other.  Yes, it’s a nightmare job to do by hand but really have no option.  Biggest worry is after getting it right is picking up a bit of

grit on the sponge or whatever next time it’s washed or waxed, black is certainly hard to keep imaculate ( or as near to).  I guess to remove

the stone chips from the front panel means rubbing down and re-painting, don’t know if there’s any other method bar touch-up-paint, which is

ok for the odd chip but not when there’s a lot of them.

 don’t use a sponge for washing the car you need to use a wash mitt or microfibre cloth Wink or you will put more swirls into the paint each time you wash

Thanks for the tip - out of interest, why is there less chance of having any foreign matter in a wash mitt or fibre cloth than in a sponge?

Also out of interest, which region of the country are you in?  Thumbs up

 a microfibre draws the dirt up inside where as a sponge the dirt stays close to the surface. I dont have any scientific evidence to back this up only that every manufacturer says the same thing Wink

I live in the south/south west ( bournemouth)

Cheers db400 - makes sense, thinking about it, if a speck of grit was picked up in a sponge then i guess it would probably stay lodged in it.

I shall no longer use a sponge - thanks again.Thumbs up

 no problem , happy to pass on what i’ve been told :slight_smile:

Would be nice to see photo of your car if possible! 

 I have had my car 2 days, and i am a novice my self . I have just done the boot lid so far and have managed to get rid of most of the swirls :slight_smile: Give me another week and i’ll post some more pics up !

The farcella stuff i have heard is good as was said above. I got the meguires system and used the ultimate polish for the boot. One of the things I have heard many times is start off gradually instead of going in balls out as you dont want to damage your paint! Unless your a recent lottery winner you can really spend a bundle on this stuff so you need to be careful. Meguires website does have a load of videos showing you the basics, after that its loads of elbow grease or an expensive mop Wink

Quite agree! - the stuff isn’t cheap and my problem is choosing what to get as there seems to be loads of stuff to do the job.  I just wonder if the G3 is any better than the compound

i already have, if not then it’s a waste of money.  I did watch a lot of the video clips on the subject, i think i need to get some waffle pads too!  Do you use the black carnauba wax?

I have used nothing else up to now as with other waxes tends to leave white marks where there’s stone chips.

 i think it’s just the standard carnuba wax. It certainly makes a difference anyway. I would use what you got and go from there. If the swirls are slowly going then maybe you gotta try a few times with the same stuff. Thats kinda where i am now, gonna do the whole car and see how it looks thenn maybe go at it again in a couple of weeks Big Smile

I started off with the ‘Black Box’ (by Turtle Wax) last year, it brought up a lovely shine, though it was nicely cleaned when i bought it, but had the

usual hedge scrapes along the n/s panels, which are still mostly there.  The kit did not remove the swirl marks as suggested, but the Meguiars cleaner/polish

has got rid of the worst of it.  Mostly just scratches to remove now but need to get off my ass and get on with it, and must remember to discard the ‘sponge’

before the next wash. Rolling eyes  Have got quite a bit of the black carnauba wax left but when that runs out will see if i can get just the black wax rather than the kit


 we should try to get a detailing day where we can have an experienced detailer show us the ropes. I would happily pay for this but it would need to be somewhere thats has space to park all the cars heheBig Smile

Just to add about the scratches . If you can feel a scratch with your finger nail then it’s fairly deep, and if your car is a metallic paint then you need to cross fingers its not through the laquer into the metallic underneath . If you can feel it with your nail then you need to do things in stages and if its to deep then its a paint shop job.

If your having a go at a deep scratch and crossing your fingers its not through the laquer. A TIP Try wiping the area with white spirit if the scratch dissapears when wet then you could be lucky, if it still stands out then odds on your through the laquer and it needs painting . Next thing is to rub away a few microns of laquer until the scratch dissapears sounds drastic but you need to level the paint surface for that perfect finish . Wax polishing will only fill the scratch with wax for a while . If its deep then a very fine wet and dry will quickly remove the bulk of a scratch ( go steady and try to use a flat block over the area and not just your finger end .Remember the last thing you wan’t to do is break through the laquer) . When you think its gone or nearly gone you need to get the fine wet and dry scratches away using a compound like G3 . Now the G3 will have left very fine scratches or swirls and these will need a finishing cream and a nice cotton cloth . Lastly a good waxing of your choice to finish . If you have lighter scratches then you definately don’t need wet and dry and may just need the G3 onwards and often just a finishing cream will remove most very light marks . Once your marks are gone try to stick to waxing as any rubbing compounds or creams do remove paint and you only have so much on your car.

Baggsy me first!  Stick Tongue Out

Very well commented, thanks, notes taken!Thumbs up