Originally Posted by nikeman
Ok guys... Save me some time here and give me a step by step on removing small scratches.. I have next weekend off and I plan on washing the truck and then working on the scratches. Can I just wax/polish the areas that have the scratches without doing the entire truck since the truck is pretty clean already? What are the best waxes/polishes to use? Do I have to wax before I polish or can I just wash, dry, polish that area?
Also, what exactly does a clay bar do? Would that remove a scratch?
Yes, you can just polish a few areas, but wax the entire truck. To polish, is to remove clear coat and level the paint [which remove swirls and scratches], to wax, is to add a layer or protection.
Best polishes? They are whatever you can make work. Professionals use Meguiars, Optimum, Menzerna, HD, and a few others. Over the counter [best bets] are going to be Meguiars Ultimate Compound and Ultimate Polish.
As far as waxes you may want to pick up Meguiars NXT or Ultimate wax over the counter. If you choose to look online, take a look the sealant offerings such as Menzerna PowerLock, Blackfire Wet Diamond, Wolfgang Deep Gloss Paint Sealant 3.0, Optimum Opti-Seal, Ultima Paint Guard Plus, or a personal favorite, Collinite 845.
Therefor you will obviously want to polish first [using abrasives to remove clear coat], and then wax it [add protection]. So you have it right with wash, dry, polish, and wax again.
If you choose to use clay [which I recommend], you will have to wash the paint, go straight to claying [with a lubricant], then dry it, polish the paint, wash it again with dawn [which I would do to prepare the surface for the wax], and then protect the paint with a wax or sealant. The clay will not hide or remove swirls, but rather reveal them if anything. It removes embedded contaminants from the paint and anything else that may be stuck to the paint leaving the paint smooth as glass [but then you can see a lot of the swirls].