Meguiar Scratch X 2.0
for those people that use claybar.. buffing wheels, rubbing compounds..
say goodbye to your clear coat.
Just keep it clean.
While clay is abrasive in itself, it is not when used as directed and with appropriate lubrication which is usually provided in retail kits. Clay is intended to help remove above-surface contamination. ….not embedded material, etc. in the finish. As for buffers/polishers and “rubbing compounds”, how much they will remove in regard to your paint depends on a number of factors including the machine being used, pads, particular product (not all “compounds” are the same), pressure, the characteristics of the paint, # of passes, etc. Believe me, using a DA or even a rotary does not mean you will instantly compromise your paint. I machine polished my ’03 WRX at least 8+ times (and clayed about 16 times) before finally getting rid of it in 2010 (8 years later). The paint still looked great.
^ that scratch x 2.0 stuff doesn't work very well
if you don't believe me, try it on a black car
if you know what you are doing, you won't get past the clear coat with a cut and buff (or wet sand) and that is the only way you are going to erase a mildly deep scratch
Scratch-X 2.0 actually works quite decently IMO/IME especially for a consumer grade product. Even the earlier version with diminishing abrasives worked quite well by hand (again, IMO/IME). I used it quite often for spot removal of paint transfer, abrasions, etc. The newer 2.0 version is based on the same SMAT (super micro abrasive technology; non-diminishing abrasive) formulation found in their very popular M105 & M205 polishes sold under their Professional line. ….Scratch-X 2.0 is just a tad more aggressive than M205.
The following is just one example of a 50/50 shot of Scratch-X (v1) applied by hand on black:
As for removal of scratches, I have removed some rather deep ones simply using a compound (like M105) and an aggressive pad with my Flex 3401VRG on relatively hard GM clear. With RIDS (random isolated deep scratches) I don’t like to get too aggressive with them during full corrections. I prefer to settle for an improved result rather than removing more material on something that will already be quite difficult to spot unless I point it out to someone (after I hunt for it myself). To be honest, I’m just not that anal as I once was on my own vehicles after realizing the extra effort and removal of additional clear coat was not really worth it.
OP, correcting blemishes by hand on modern clear coat finishes can be very tedious to say the least. ….not to mention the results can be disappointing if you are not realistic about the limitations/effort doing it this way. My recommendation would be to do a test spot first….
Choose a panel (like the hood) and mask off a ~1’x1’ area using apinters tape. This will be your test section to determine how well your product(s) perform and will allow you to hone your technique. Adequate lighting is very helpful in measuring your progress. If you don’t have lighting that will provide that, try pulling the vehicle out under the sun periodically to view your results. Once you are comfortable with the outcome on the test panel, you will now have a better idea of what wil be involved in correcting the rest of the vehicle. …..you can then decide if you want to adjust your process and/or expectations before moving on. This will help save you from dissapointment and aggrevation in the long run.
The following is a compliation of links to articles, forum discussions, videos, etc. on various detialing subjects that you may find helpful. It is divided up into sections to make it easier to locate your topic of interest. I haven’t maintained it in quite a while so some of the links may now be dead (but there should be plenty that still work):