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The ONE big difference between a professional paint correction job and an amateur paint correction job

Jul 13, 2023

There's ONE big difference between a professional paint correction job and an amateur paint correction job 

And that's the crucial step before any cutting or polishing. 

it's called paint decontamination, and if it is not done correctly before cutting and polishing you could be causing more harm than good.

There are two stages involved in paint decontamination

(chemical & claying) but today I want to focus on what I believe to be the more important of the two.

This looks like a large piece of blue tak but in fact, it’s a handy little tool called the clay bar, I’m going to explain how it works and how to use it.

So, what exactly is a clay bar?

Well, it's a soft, malleable piece of detailing clay that's designed to remove stubborn contaminants from your car's paintwork. Things like brake dust, tar, tree sap, and even industrial fallout can stick to your car's surface and etch into the paint, making it look dull and rough. That's where the clay bar comes to the rescue! When rubbing the clay along the paint it picks up those tiny particles leaving the paint surface clean.

Now you can also use something called a clay mitt which effectively does the same job and the process is similar.

How To Clay Bar a Car

So, Step 1 before you start, make sure your car is clean and dry. You don't want any loose dirt or debris scratching the paint during the clay bar process. So, give it a good wash and dry it off thoroughly.

Step 2: Lubrication. Grab a clay bar and a lubricant specifically made for clay bar use. You can also use a quick detailer or even your standard shampoo. Spray a generous amount of the lubricant onto a small section of your car's surface. This will provide a slippery surface for the clay bar to glide on.

Step 3: Take the clay bar and knead it in your hands to soften it up. Then, flatten it into a small pancake-like shape. Place it on the lubricated section and gently glide it back and forth using light pressure. You'll feel the clay bar grabbing onto the contaminants and pulling them out of the paint.

Step 4: Check and Fold. As you're working, check the clay bar regularly for dirt build-up. If it gets too dirty, simply fold it over to expose a fresh, clean side. This way, you won't be rubbing dirt back onto your car's surface.

Step 5: Repeat and Rinse. Continue this process section by section until you've clayed the entire car. And don't forget the windows and headlights too! Once you're done, give your car a thorough rinse to wash away any leftover clay residue.

Quick tip:

clay barring may leave marring on the paint, especially black paint so it’s best to polish the car after.


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