Detailing is far more than an expensive valet, a valet generally takes a couple of
hours cleaning the vehicle and maybe using a silicone based wax to give some added
shine, this will deteriorate quickly as the products wear off leaving a dull and
A professional detail will take at least a full day to complete, and depending on
the level of finish required coupled with the original condition of the paintwork
it may take a week or more. We do not have enough space on this single page to do
justice to trying to explain the benefits or steps of a full detail, instead we will
explain why your paintwork may feel and look the way it does. We will also explain
how we correct this and protect the finish, the Internet is full of information on
‘Detailing’ if you want to get a fuller picture, we are happy to appraise your car
and discuss the options available to you at any time by prior arrangement.
The stages simplified
Does your paintwork feel rough to the touch after regular washing & drying?
Does it look ‘hazy’ or appear to have fine scratches or ‘spiders webs’ in direct
The answer is most likely yes, this is due to many factors of the environment that
our cars live in, the roughness you can feel is down to the ‘bonded contaminants’
stuck into your cars clearcoat, if we could take a cross section of your cars paintwork
and magnify it a few thousand times then you would see an image similar to the top
one on the right.
The surface contaminants consist of items such as dust/dirt, tree sap & birds droppings.
Bonded contaminants are caused by industrial fallout, (iron from railway lines for
example) acid rain, birds droppings left to etch into the clearcoat and so on.
Normal washing only removes the light surface contaminants, to remove the bonded
contaminants we need to use an item called a ‘clay bar’ this actually sticks to the
bonded contaminants and pulls them out of the clear coat leaving a surface finish
that feels like glass. See the middle image to get an idea of where we are now.
We now have a smooth surface to start refining, if we stopped at this stage you would
still have lots of hazing and visible scratches in direct sunlight caused by the
sun reflecting on the uneven clearcoat surface.
Carefully using a selection of mild abrasive polishes on a rotary polishing machine
we set about removing the smallest amount of clearcoat to leave the surface 95% free
from scratches, obviously some scratches will be too deep to safely remove without
undermining the clearcoats UV protection for the basecoat beneath it. To determine
how much clearcoat can safely be removed we use a digital meter that can read the
thickness of a coating on both plastics and metal, it can also differentiate between
the different layers of paint, the third image to the right shows the paintwork after
machining, note the remaining deep scratch.
The final image on the right shows a section of a wing that has been worked as described
above with the surrounding area masked off, this highlights the before and after
difference, what it cannot highlight is the way the paintwork feels, ultra slick
and as smooth as glass.
Once we have obtained this level of correction then we prep the finish for a carnauba
wax, this wax enhances the level of gloss and reflection further while also protecting
the surface from the harmful contaminants.
We will explain the best ways to maintain this finish and can advise on products
& washing techniques to avoid imparting scratches into the refined clearcoat finish.
We can also carry out ‘maintenance’ details for you.
Gallery with a few examples of details carried out
How much will a detail cost me?
This will largely depend on what level of finish you wish to achieve, however the
prices below will give a rough guide:
Full exterior detail with a medium cost final wax £460.00
Full interior detail including leather treatment/feed £205.00
Prices include VAT but are subject to a vehicle inspection and customer discussion
to determine expected level of detail.
Prices will be confirmed prior to work commencing.