How To Remove Fine Scratches/Swirl Marks/ Stupidity With Meguire's Scratch X2.0 Scratch Repair Compound
From delivery, our 124 Spiders are commonly plagued with one weak spot; The Paint Finish. Thin, soft, often delivered from new covered in swirl marks and easily scratched, getting and keeping the paint perfect on your Spider is a constant battle. Here is one must have weapon in the fight against fine scratches, clear coat burns/scuffs and swirl marks; Meguire's Scratch X2.0 Scratch Removal/Repair Compound, available at most auto parts/accessory aisles and shops.
What Do I Need?
1. Meguire's Scratch X2.0
2. A Microfibre Cloth
3. At Least One Elbow (Preferably Lightly Greased)
4. A Flashlight/Droplight (Torch for our friends across the pond) This is optional, for clearly assessing the damage & results.
Note: Meguire's sells a "Scratch Removal Kit", which includes a bottle of the compound, a small microfibre towel and a foam applicator pad with a drill chuck, so you can forego the elbow grease and let a cordless drill do the actual work. The results you see below were attained the old fashioned way, with only the microfibre cloth and hand work.
Ok, Got All That, What Do I Do Now?
Begin with a clean, dry area to work on. You don't want to be dragging dirt and debris through your work, making even more work for yourself. In the photo below you will find the washed, dried area I've chosen to attempt to fix; some very fine scratches resulting from the removal of the 124spider emblem from the trunk lid. Note how user error when using Goo Gone and a microfibre cloth has created a "burn" in the clear coat, revealing the "shadow" of the badge. Stupid, stupid user!
Take the cap off the bottle of Meguire's Scratch X2.0, and remove the foil seal on the neck of the bottle. Otherwise, you'll be there all damn day, waiting for compound to come out that will never, ever come. Once you've done that, replace the cap on the bottle, and taking your microfibre cloth in hand, squeeze out a rabbit turd size dollop of compound onto your cloth. If you've never had a rabbit as a pet, substitute a peanut size dollop instead, the shelled kind, not the roasted ones you get at the ball game.
With the cloth bunched in your fingers, NOT with fingers behind the cloth pressing through it onto the paint, apply the compound to the work area, using even, firm pressure, and randomized circular motions, maintaining motion across the work area in all directions. Work the area for several seconds... like at least 20, but 30 is probably enough, 45 and you're pushing it. Going at it for a minute is really overkill. OK YOU CAN STOP, geeze.
Hydrate. The human body is about 70% water, and you've been working hard. Take a second, have a drink.
Cinco De Steppo:
With a clean area of your micofibre cloth, buff away the remaining compound and check the result. A bright light is helpful here. If your karma points are high enough, your chi is aligned, and provided the damage to the paint was not too severe, the result should be complete and utter disappearance of the damage! Huzzah! You're a friggin' GENIUS! Nobody will ever know that damage was there, or how stupid you were, unless you took copious photos and posted them on an internet forum...dammit. Stupid, stupid user.
Now, your first inclination here may be to rush into the house, and exclaim to your loving spouse that you have done it, you're now the premiere auto detailer in the region, a veritable grandmaster seventh degreed black belt of paint repair, but I would urge caution. Think back over the previous 24 hours, and recall how you've acted. Can you really go back in the house, after 45 seconds, raving about how easy that was, after being so grumpy and sour about the damage? Better just sit right here, and ponder your gorgeous roadster, think about how intelligent you were to purchase it, how jealous the neighbors undoubtedly are, how whenever you drive it, children point and yell, men want to be you, and women want to be with you, and how in 20 years time, you'll be sitting on a million dollar collectible car gold mine, The Last Of The Great Small Sporting Roadsters... yeah, you can go inside in 30, 45 minutes, with a weary look and tell the wife it was hard work, but you fixed it... you fixed it.
Granted, Meguires Scratch X2.0 is amazing on the small stuff, with minimal effort, very forgiving, generously suffering fools, but if the damage is too deep, through the clear and into the actual color, or Cthulhu forbid, through the primer into the actual body, you're boned buddy. Meguires is good, but it ain't duct tape, you know?