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STI: Paint restoration (Part 1)

One of my favorite things about this STI when I owned it long ago was its stunning, glossy black paint. It was incredibly easy to wax up and look great. Here is what it looked like back then:

However, not so much anymore.

Today’s focus is on the rear of the car. The worst spot was probably the rear wing of the car. It was severely swirled and covered in a cloudy haze. I thought for sure the clear coat was done and I was looking at a respray or just dealing with it.

Other areas to note would be the doors, good, bumpers, okay… the whole car needs a lot of attention.

Focusing on the wing since it was the worst and figuring I couldn’t mess it up any worse; I washed it with some regular ole dawn dish soap to remove any grease and oils. I forgot about the IronX stage for this part so skipping that I moved to the clay bar decontamination. I had a new product I wanted to test out with this that had pretty rave reviews. The ???nanoskin. It basically is a buffing pad with a soft rubber pitted surface.

I’ll admit I was pretty timid about using this. It really looked like it would do more harm than good. Soaping up the surface i learned there’s the machine option or the by-hand option. I opted for the by-hand option and WOW. You could feel the gritty material on the paints surface when initially wiping it over. And a few swipes later it was smooth. Glass smooth. This was a game changer. Gone are the days of wiping a small 1 inch by 1 inch square all over the car all day. This EATS surface area fast.

I have a nice video of droplets of water just sliding off the bumper. Once I figure how how to allow iPhone recorded videos I’ll upload that.

Next was 4 rounds of Adam’s Polishes Severe Swirl and Haze remover. Followed by Adams Machine Polish. It took some work and high speed polishing but… well I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves.

THIS is the paint I remember.

Next the rear quarter panel and trunk. Same steps. Same amount of time. Some areas had to be spot treated with extra coats and time.

Polishing also revealed some bumper damage that was entirely hidden before.

Finally, some after shots. I finished up with two coats of JetSeal. I did not get past the rear quarters. The amount of time this section of the car took was the majority of my Sunday afternoon.

In the next few weeks… the doors!

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