Earlier in the week we kicked off a two-part guide to caring for vinyl-wrapped paintwork ahead of the UK show season. With so many people now choosing vinyl wrap over a more costly re-spray, Meguiar’s is constantly asked about the best product and technique required to avoid damage.
Having addressed the initial cleaning process in Part 1 here, Part 2 will focus on something most people assume isn’t possible with vinyl: scratch & swirl removal. Yup, it’s ALL entirely possible! But just like the initial cleaning process, you’ll need to approach it slightly differently to paint in order to achieve the best possible results without damage. So let’s dive straight in.
Exterior cleaned and dried, have a good look to check for contaminants. If there’s any hard-baked contaminants left behind, bust out the clay bar. The process is exactly the same: spray adequate amounts of Ultimate Wash & Wax on the surface to act as a lubricant before running the clay bar over at finger pressure.
Once you’re happy with the surface, scratch removal can begin!
The main thing to focus on when correcting a vinyl wrap is that softer is better! Vinyl can be a much softer surface than paintwork, so you want to keep the pressure to a minimum and (ideally) a cleaner which isn’t too abrasive. For this step, we recommend our Step 1 Paint Cleaner.
Meguiar’s Step 1 Paint Cleaner is a non-abrasive cleaner which safely removes grime, contamination and light oxidation swirls – not to mention restoring damaged and dull finishes. Apply the Paint Cleaner onto a clean foam pad before working it into the scratched area in a circular motion by hand. Depending on how deep the scratches are, this may require one or two passes. Once finished, remove with a clean microfibre towel and admire the results!
Stubborn scratches still visible? Time to fire up the ol’ trusty; Meguiar’s Ultimate Compound.
Ultimate Compound is a more hardcore version of our Step 1 Paint Cleaner. It’ll quickly remove even the most stubborn oxidation, scratches and defects while polishing the surface to a mirror finish. Given the nature of vinyl, we recommend applying Ultimate Compound by hand first before switching to a DA polisher such as the MT320. If you do need to use a machine polisher, remember to spread the compound first on a slow setting before increasing the speed… otherwise you’ll throw product absolutely everywhere.
Once applied, remove with a clean microfibre and – providing the scratches weren’t deep enough to physically damage the material – your vinyl wrap will be swirl free!
At the point you can either step back and admire your work, or you can apply a layer of protection to aid prevention in the future. Meguiar’s new Fast Finish is the perfect solution and it couldn’t be quicker to apply.
Simply spray onto a clean microfibre before dragging the microfibre over the panel you wish to protect. There’s no buffing required and it’ll dry clear in almost no time.
That’s it – you’re all set for the show season!