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I got tired of the small imperfections, small scratches from washing and other small blemishes, such as stone chips and decided to do the same thing I did to previous cars. But they were 5-10 years older and way less expensive than the beast. So I did some polishing of my newly bought M5 and have some tips to share to the ones thinking about doing the same.
I used 3M professional products.
I started out with the same products that I have used on my previous cars and soon discovered that something was different about this paint.
I used a Makita 9227CB 1200W buffing machine (rotating, not oscillating).
I started out by patching the stone chips with original paint and a very fine 1mm (1/25") brush, after cleaning with acetone.
Then sanded the patches and some deeper scratches with 3M P2000 wet sand paper.
After that I started buffing/rubbing the sanded areas with 3M 09375 Fine rubbing compound and a 3M wool buffing pad. The results where not good. The scratches from sanding wouldn't go away. After a couple of hours of buffing, I started getting worried that I had ruined the paint. I called 3M customer care and they asked what car I had and what paint it had and said that there are new products for this kind of paint. So I went to a 3M representative to get the new stuff.
This is what you need for a, dark metallic paint with so called scratch resistant clear coat:
3M Trizact Imperial P2000 wet sand paper
3M P3000 semi-dry sanding discs
3M 50199 mini sanding pad (for P3000 discs)
Acetone
Lint free cloth
Micro fiber cloths (good quality, 5-10 pcs)
Original paint
A super thin paint brush (approx 1 mm / size 0)
Hair dryer (to dry the paint quicker)
Buffing machine, rotating, with speed control and speed adjustment, covering the range 500-2500 rpm
3M 50417 Fast cut plus rubbing
Lamb wool buffing pad
3M 09357 Fine rubbing (might not be needed, but just in case)
3M Black rubbing pad (medium)
3M 80349 Extra fine rubbing
3M yellow polishing pad
3M 50383 Ultrafina SE polish
3M blue Ultrafina polishing pad
3M blue Ultrafina micro fiber cloth
3M 09377 Finishing glaze or other top coat (I actually like Turtle wax liquid hard wax or Autoglym HD wax better than the 3M wax)

This is how to do it:
  1. Wash the car with degreasing agent and a good shampoo and make sure it's absolutely clean. If needed clean it with cleaning clay also (I didn't need to do this step, since I have a very effective degreasing agent from Ditech)
  2. Take the car inside your garage, or other space with good lighting and ventilation and no dust.
  3. Let it dry or wipe it dry
  4. Locate and mark stone chips and scratches (I used small white stickers to mark all defects I found). Keep the markings until step 8 is done.
  5. Clean stone chips with acetone and fill with paint and clear coat
  6. Sand moderately with the P2000 paper, wet. I used battery water.
  7. Some scratches might need the P2000 paper too
  8. Decrease the scratches with the Trizact P3000 discs. I did it wet.
  9. Start buffing the sanded areas with the wool pad and Fast cut rubbing compound. Follow directions from 3M. Be careful not to burn the paint; never stop moving the buffer! Use moderate pressure and then light pressure at the end, when the scratches are gone. Be careful on edges and corners! You can penetrate the paint layer, if not doing this properly!
  10. I buffed the entire car with Fast cut compound and the black medium buffer, after removing the scratches from sanding. This is to flatten the paint surface and removing small defects and marks.
  1. On some parts, the hood for example, I had to use the Fine rubbing compound as an extra step, before the Extra fine compound.
  2. I washed the car after step 10, to make sure that none of the coarse compounds were left in the gaps between the panels or around the rubber trim.
  3. Buff the whole car carefully with the Extra fine compound and the yellow pad. This is worth some time. I buffed all areas about 5 times (dispensing the compound two times).
  4. Wipe it clean from compound residue carefully.
  5. Buff with Ultafina SE polish and the blue pad, according to the directions from 3M. Try to do small areas and polish away the greyish residue before it's dry. After drying it sits hard and may leave small scratches!
  6. Protect the paint with a good quality top coat. The wax should be without polishing agents!
  7. Enjoy the look of envy on your neighbors face's, when you pull out from your driveway. :cool2:
Disclaimer: You are doing this at your own risk! I take no responsibility whatsoever for the information in this post/thread and the possible damages that could occur from following this. Always use common sense. Always follow the manufacturers directions on all products and take my advise for what it is; a secondary advise.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Looks amazing. Thanks for the DIY. I'm planning on doing the same to my beast.
Thanks!
What color is your car?
Be careful and start out on the flat and horizontal panels. Do small areas at a time.
Wash the car carefully between steps.
I would recommend de-greasing + regular washing, after final buffing step, before paint sealer/protector is applied.
Did the headlights too and they looked like new afterwards. Just be careful, not burning the plastic "lens". Turn down the rpm on the buffer, when doing the plastic parts.
I have more pics, to show the results.

Update: for an easy maintenance surface, you can clean and coat/protect the paint/windows/plastics with Ultima Paint Guard Plus, cleaner and protector. Highly recommended for polished cars!
 

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Black Sapphire Metallic. I just picked up some touch up paint for a few scratches on trunk. I'm picking a Porter Cable 7424xp random orbit polisher today. Also, a degreasing agent and proper cleaning supplies.
 

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Black Sapphire Metallic. I just picked up some touch up paint for a few scratches on trunk. I'm picking a Porter Cable 7424xp random orbit polisher today. Also, a degreasing agent and proper cleaning supplies.
Ok! :)
Black paints are the most difficult, but also the most rewarding. If done properly, you will have a mirror finish that not even brand new cars will have! Don't save any time or effort on the last two polishing steps, or you will get some unwanted hologram effects in certain light conditions. And don't skip any steps.
Are you sure that the scratches needs touch up paint? It very difficult to get a factory look and it's never as hard as factory paint, so the buffer will cut it more than the surrounding areas.
Post close-up pics of the scratches and I can have a look at them.
 

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Wow - car looks awesome. Just curious, but how much time did you take to do the entire care?
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Are you going to put a clear bra on now to save your hard work?
To be honest, I was new on the board when I did this and I've never had a car that actually was "worth" any type of laminate or clear bra, so I didn't even know they existed before (a finished custom product, that is). Also, after understanding that there were such options, I never found a supplier here in Sweden that had them pre-cut, so after one season with just one minor stone chip, I decided that I'll just keep it in good condition instead. One/a few chips is easy to fix, but I had perhaps a hundred minimal and normal size blemishes before I started out!
So, short version: no :)
 

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Wow - car looks awesome. Just curious, but how much time did you take to do the entire care?
Thanks! I'm very happy with the result, but a black super-shiny paint is a PITA to keep perfect looking. On the other hand, it's very nice when it is newly washed :).

If you ask my wife, it took "way too long". If I would have known exactly how to do this from the very beginning, I guess I could have done it in about 10-15 hrs.
 

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To be honest, I was new on the board when I did this and I've never had a car that actually was "worth" any type of laminate or clear bra, so I didn't even know they existed before (a finished custom product, that is). Also, after understanding that there were such options, I never found a supplier here in Sweden that had them pre-cut, so after one season with just one minor stone chip, I decided that I'll just keep it in good condition instead. One/a few chips is easy to fix, but I had perhaps a hundred minimal and normal size blemishes before I started out!
So, short version: no :)
See I don't think I'd be very good at correcting the chips. It would probably turn out looking like my paint has the measles. Haha.

If I put the work in once or had paid to fix any blems I would want to "seal" it in with clear bra.

You can order pre-made cut outs. Then just take it to a dealer or someone to put it on.
 

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Looks amazing! Great job man!
 
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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
See I don't think I'd be very good at correcting the chips. It would probably turn out looking like my paint has the measles. Haha.

If I put the work in once or had paid to fix any blems I would want to "seal" it in with clear bra.

You can order pre-made cut outs. Then just take it to a dealer or someone to put it on.
Ok, I hear you :)
You need a very small (tiny, infact) brush, to apply the touch up paint. Not the one included in the kit. My brushes are smaller than 1/25 inch (1 mm)! And you either do two coats with paint or paint + clear coat, with drying time in between, so first layer is fully sunken in, before second coat. Then it's possible to have a flush/flat touch up.
But this is only manageable as maintenance. The hundred ones I started out with, would take too long to fix like this.
Good luck! :)
 

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Ok! :)
Black paints are the most difficult, but also the most rewarding. If done properly, you will have a mirror finish that not even brand new cars will have! Don't save any time or effort on the last two polishing steps, or you will get some unwanted hologram effects in certain light conditions. And don't skip any steps.
Are you sure that the scratches needs touch up paint? It very difficult to get a factory look and it's never as hard as factory paint, so the buffer will cut it more than the surrounding areas.
Post close-up pics of the scratches and I can have a look at them.
Here is a picture of one scratch. Not sure how to approach repairing it. I did pick up a Porter cable DA with Maguiars DA microfiber correction kit and my beast is looking really good now. I was able to remove light to moderate defects but did little to random light scratches and small chips on hood and front bumper. I think I'm on the right track though :sprint00:.


 

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Here is a picture of one scratch. Not sure how to approach repairing it. I did pick up a Porter cable DA with Maguiars DA microfiber correction kit and my beast is looking really good now. I was able to remove light to moderate defects but did little to random light scratches and small chips on hood and front bumper. I think I'm on the right track though :sprint00:.


Difficult to say from the photo, but it might need some touch up. Try to level it out with some wet sanding. But not too much, or you will go through the clear coat, before you have buffed it up again...
Good luck and post the results when done :)
 

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Really nice job Kenneth, the only thing I would like to add to help prevent burning through the paint while running the buffer is ALWAYS run the buffer OFF the edge of the panel. If the rotation of the buffer is towards the edge it will burn right through the clear and you are looking at refinishing the panel.:lightbulb:
 

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Those pics show very clearly the fruit of your labor. Very nice!

As for precut clear bra... Any name brands on those?

Thanks!
 

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Those pics show very clearly the fruit of your labor. Very nice!

As for precut clear bra... Any name brands on those?

Thanks!
Thanks! :)
I've put 5-6 layers of Ultima Paint Guard Plus on it, during this winter. Without aditional buffing, just their dedicated cleaner. Will post some new pics of the results soon.
 
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