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  1. #1

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    Disastrous novice attempt to ceramic coat

    So I wanted to do a ceramic coating on my new Shelby GT350 (black of course). Did the prep work: Wash, clay, iron x, machine polish, Eraser. Then came time for the Cquartz UK application in my garage. Now I used an LED light bar to check the paint for swirls / micro scratches when I was polishing, but I had read that "ambient lighting" was best for the excess coating removal. Apparently, my garage lighting was severely inadequate because once I got it out into the sunlight a week later, so many high spots, streaks, etc. I was really disappointed with myself. I initially applied the first coat of Cquartz on Saturday, I looked the car over with body contortions, led lights, etc and didn`t see anything. I came back for the second coat almost a few days later (Tuesday) and went over the car well again. (By the way, I have no idea how someone could get done coating a car in an hour or less). Then I applied Reload on Friday and noticed a lot of streaks and blotches. I rubbed and wiped but could get them out. Finally, I read on a forum the diluting the reload can eliminate this, so I tried wiping down with a damp MF towel but that didn`t work. Finally, yesterday we had a decent day and I drove the car to work and once in the sunlight, I was horrified to see streaks, blotches all over the car! I realized I would need to polish it off so last night I washed the car, dried it, tried to spray more Reload on a damp towel in a last attempt to remove the spots which did not work. So, I grabbed some Griot`s fine machine polish and lightly went over every area I could see with high spots or streaks and they came out pretty easily.


    Now, my naive hope is that the coating is still there... Maybe it was just the Reload causing the issues on my paint???


    Being a glutton for punishment, I also coated my wife`s Mercedes SLK this weekend following the same prep, but only did one coat and applied Reload directly after with a damp towel and buffed dry with another towel. Let`s just say I am afraid to pull her car out into the sunlight now! And by the way, I am planning to coat my Raptor this weekend, unless her car has the same issues. If it does, I may just give up on the coatings and go back to Carnauba!
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  2. #2
    Mary B's Avatar
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    Re: Disastrous novice attempt to ceramic coat



    Thanks for this post ....
    Ive been making plans to coat my truck, this is very informative.
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  3. #3
    Hooked For Life Bill D's Avatar
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    Re: Disastrous novice attempt to ceramic coat

    Im sticking with waxes and sealants. So much less room for error. I dont mind reapplying somewhat often
    Treat it like it`s the only one in the world.

  4. #4

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    Re: Disastrous novice attempt to ceramic coat

    I`ve actually found LED lighting works pretty well for seeing swirls, but halogen lights are better for spotting things like coating highspots. Also, the closer the light source is to the surface, the harder they are to spot. I like to set up my old school halogen shop lights several feet away in order to better see the coating flash and see any streaks.

    The streaks and highspots may be the result of an application problem. Some additional information regarding your applicaiton technique might help us understand your problems. I actually found CQuartz UK very easy to apply and was able to knock out a Mazda3 hatchback in about 20 minutes.
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  5. #5

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    Re: Disastrous novice attempt to ceramic coat

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill D View Post
    I’m sticking with waxes and sealants. So much less room for error. I don’t mind reapplying somewhat often
    My thoughts as well. (Although I have other reasons for not coating my vehicles as well.) Some of todays` LSPs last for months on end anyhow; I`ve yet to see any reason why I should switch to coatings (which I have used on wheels and that didn`t alter my opinion). But eh, that`s just me.

    IMO Coatings are perfect for some people, but completely wrong for others. Not like they`re the only way to keep a vehicle nice...if they work for you/don`t then there you are, no biggie either way.

    sfckelley- Welcome to Autopia! Sorry to hear you`re having difficulties.

    If I were you, I wouldn`t do *ANY* Detailing of any kind until you get your lighting situation sorted out. IMO any time there`s a surprise when you inspect the vehicle under different lighting conditions, something`s drastically wrong.
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  6. #6

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    Re: Disastrous novice attempt to ceramic coat

    Quote Originally Posted by Desertnate View Post
    I`ve actually found LED lighting works pretty well for seeing swirls, but halogen lights are better for spotting things like coating highspots. Also, the closer the light source is to the surface, the harder they are to spot. I like to set up my old school halogen shop lights several feet away in order to better see the coating flash and see any streaks.

    The streaks and highspots may be the result of an application problem. Some additional information regarding your applicaiton technique might help us understand your problems. I actually found CQuartz UK very easy to apply and was able to knock out a Mazda3 hatchback in about 20 minutes.
    I followed the instructions included with the kit. Wrap the micro suede applicator around the applicator sponge, put a line of coating on and wipe on a 2x2 panel section in a cross hatch fashion. Swapped the applicator suede out every 2 panels or so. Waited to remove until I saw the "flash" or the surface turn a rainbow color and wiped off the excess coating with the included micro suede towel. I did have to use low nap microfiber towels to remove excess on the second coat as the included suede was toast after the first application.

    Did you do Reload on your Mazda? 20 minutes?? Damn, you are fast! It took me about 45 minutes to do my wife`s tiny SLK!

  7. #7
    tom p.'s Avatar
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    Re: Disastrous novice attempt to ceramic coat

    I wouldn`t sweat it too much. You can polish out the high spots when you have time, SFC.

    CQuartz UK (original version) was the very first coating I did and I did have issues due to lack of experience and letting it sit way too long prior to leveling.

    I intentionally left a high spot on the roof of the car to watch durability - - I can still see it today but it is fading (8 yrs. later).

    There are many coatings that are easier to use, but the CQuartz UK is one tough bugger in terms of longevity. I suspect the newer versions are more forgiving.

    I think my favorite coating so far, irrespective of $$$, is 22ple HPC for ease of use and crazy gloss. Supposed to have excellent longevity.

    Welcome aboard, SFC !!
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  8. #8
    dansautodetailing.com Stokdgs's Avatar
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    Re: Disastrous novice attempt to ceramic coat

    Sorry this had to happen to you..

    I`m pretty sure that I read years ago, a lot of issues using Reload.. Do you have to use this ??

    I have used Optimum coatings with excellent results in the past, and they have never said I need to add another product on top of the coating..

    I agree with those above that say your light source is not good enough to spot problems in coating application..

    For example, I have 18 - 4-foot 2-tube 5000k sunlight shop lights in the ceiling of my 2.5 car garage and use 2 - 500watts each, Halogen Shoplights on a tripod and 2 - Scangrip Led lights on a tripod..

    The Halogens and the Scangrips are used interchangeably, depending on the color of the paint, to get the best lightsource that my eyes can see with at that time..

    My closed garage door also has a lot of windows in it to add more light during the day..

    The application process requires a steady hand to apply thin, even, coats of product, and with good lighting, you can see if you are pressing too hard and dragging it to the end of the stroke.. Try not to do this..

    Keep all your strokes in straight lines..

    Too big an applicator will make it harder to control your product, and probably waste a lot of it, if the sponge soaks it all up..

    You have to look at each application section from several angles, all around, to make sure its level, and all flat, before you go to the next section..

    And very important to pay strict attention to the timing of this, so you don`t add more problems..

    There is a big difference in - Dry Time - and - Cure Time -.. Know what those times are..

    Good luck with this !
    Dan F
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  9. #9

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    Re: Disastrous novice attempt to ceramic coat

    Quote Originally Posted by sfckelley View Post
    I followed the instructions included with the kit. Wrap the micro suede applicator around the applicator sponge, put a line of coating on and wipe on a 2x2 panel section in a cross hatch fashion. Swapped the applicator suede out every 2 panels or so. Waited to remove until I saw the "flash" or the surface turn a rainbow color and wiped off the excess coating with the included micro suede towel. I did have to use low nap microfiber towels to remove excess on the second coat as the included suede was toast after the first application.
    It sounds like you did OK with the application of the coating itself, but one thing I discovered was the included suede buffing towel was horrible. I did get smears with the first few sections I tried and promptly dumped it for a thin, low nap MF towels which worked great. Going forward I`m cutting up that seude towel to make more applicators.

    Did you do Reload on your Mazda? 20 minutes?? Damn, you are fast! It took me about 45 minutes to do my wife`s tiny SLK!
    In all fairness, as I think back it was probably closer to 30 minutes, and no, I did not use Reload. I`d heard far too many complaints about it streaking so I didn`t buy any. I simply coated the car and let it sit for 12~18 hours in the garage. Since that time, I`ve only washed the car with Optimum Car Wash and wiped it down with Carpro`s Ech2O to remove any water spots. After a year the coating looks amazing and beads/sheets like crazy. No real need for a booster.

    As for the time it took me to do my Mazda, don`t sweat it. We`re all different. I seem to have really taken to the product and it`s application method. Many say CanCoat is easier and really fast, but I still stuggle a bit with it. I can almost coat a car with CQuartz faster with less mistakes, and that isn`t supposed to be the case!

    I think using a different removal towel and maybe some different lighting would go a long way to helping you get better results. Reload does have a reputation for streaking, but I`ve not tried it personally to form an opinion.
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  10. #10
    Mike The Guz's Avatar
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    Re: Disastrous novice attempt to ceramic coat

    My recommendation is to skip the included suede for leveling and get yourself a few low nap towels to level out the coating. One for the initial wipe and the second for a final wipe. You may need an additional towel for the initial wipe. This will ensure no high spots or at the very least one or two.

    I use the edgeless 300s from the rag company when using coatings including Cquartz UK and TiO2.

    Reload has been know to streak especially if over applied. Applying it via a microfiber applicator alleviates that.

    I have also switched over to the autofiber microfiber coating saver applicators over the suede and suede block. Much easier and better to work with.
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  11. #11

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    Re: Disastrous novice attempt to ceramic coat

    I’m curious as to why a second coat? Also, if you waited to long to do the second coat, the first coat may have rejected it? Do yourself a favor and like everyone else get rid of the reload! I’m thinking since the high spots came off that easy it was rejected coating,
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  12. #12
    wannafbody
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    Re: Disastrous novice attempt to ceramic coat

    This is why I think Mothers CMX is a good choice for it`s ease of use. It might not be as durable as a true coating but it`s so easy to apply that for anything that spends it`s time in the garage it`s a non issue.

    I think Blackfire or McKees coatings would be be easier to use as well.
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  13. #13
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    Re: Disastrous novice attempt to ceramic coat

    I’ve switched from the suede coating removal towels to a low nap towel. The low nap towel does a better job at leveling and removing the excess coating material. IGL sells a 10 pack of coating removal towels. They run about $3 each but you do not want to use a cheap towel when applying a coating that will be on your vehicle for 2+ years. I don’t wash them before use and have had zero linting.

    I’ve also started using the coating saver microfiber applicators. I use the smallest size. It makes it easier to coat under door handles and other tight spots. Much better than using the foam block method. They are great for applying sealants and waxes too.
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  14. #14

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    Re: Disastrous novice attempt to ceramic coat

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike lambert View Post
    I’m curious as to why a second coat? Also, if you waited to long to do the second coat, the first coat may have rejected it? Do yourself a favor and like everyone else get rid of the reload! I’m thinking since the high spots came off that easy it was rejected coating,
    I debated on the second coat, but since CarPro recommended 2, that’s what I did. A few things jump out at me with the advice here. I only used one towel to wipe off the excess for the entire first coat. Now I wonder, if they sell a “kit” why would there only be one towel?? I think I may have been pushing down on the applicator too hard? I started off very carefully applying the coating on the roof, and it looks pretty good. As I got into it, I was pressing down on the applicator firmly.
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  15. #15

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    Re: Disastrous novice attempt to ceramic coat

    Agreed on the towels. Using Rag company 240 gsm for initial removal and will using 1 per panel and tossing. Will follow up with 365 gsm to level.

    Using the one towel was probably it but also:

    1. How much product was used? Need very minimal.

    2. How long were you waiting before wiping off? To soon and your just pushing product around. Too slow and may have dried. How long before will depend on your temperature and humidity. If you think that was and issue shoot CPs a message.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

 

 
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