Paint correction and ceramic coating

Since moving from a dry climate to a more humid one, I’m becoming more concerned with protecting the paint on my ‘70 Standard. Not only is it original, but Marti says it was one of only 283 ‘Special Paint’ cars ordered.

My car is a driver. I go for 200+ mile drives pretty often, but I clean it up after each time and it lives in a heated/dehumidified garage. It has no rust, but has some natural patina on the horizontal surfaces of the fenders and cowl - which I really like and don’t want to disturb.

On the other hand, I would like to protect the paint and these exposed patina areas from any moisture and contaminants. The paint itself is in great condition, but does have some minor scratches and swirls that I’d love to eliminate.

Is there anything about factory paint (vs. modern finishes) that effects how a detailer would do this job? Any specific questions I should be asking about products, application, etc.? What about ceramic coating? Good idea or not? If so, what questions?

Thanks in advance!

I agree with your thinking and would want to keep that finish original too! My 70 is a rust-free CA car with original paint that has come to live in KC. I don’t drive it from first road salting in the fall to first spring thunderstorm to wash winter salt off the streets. I actually don’t even drive it in the rain or wash it more than once a year. I just wipe the dust off with a damp sponge.

Most detailers are gonna want to apply polishing compound with a buffer. I would avoid doing so unless absolutely needed because it will remove a lot of paint. If you do go this route, mask over those original pinstripes to keep them intact,

But on mine, I just use Meguairs Show Car glaze to remove light scratches and dead paint, and that’s all I put on it. I apply it manually in a swirling motion with a terry cloth wax pad, then buff it off manually with a soft towel.

Thats my .02 opinion, anyway.

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Have you considered getting it clear coated? As in paint.

My paint was really rough on half the car. I used a clay bar (2 actually) and a lot of chemical guys detailing lubricant. I was stunned at how quickly the clay turned black. End result most of the swirls and discoloration came out. Finish was smooth and glossy. Worth the time t start imho

I’ve got plenty of time…if it was that, I’d spend whole days out there with some beverages and tunes. I’m just not sure I want to learn a new skill on my Special Paint car. I’m a quick study, but the inevitable mistakes come with it.

My paint is largely in good shape for 53 - a solid five-footer. But parking next to some really nice paint at the Invitational earlier this month made me notice the obvious difference. I just don’t know if the finishes on the 2000s era cars that most guys are used to working on are substantially different than my factory paint. And if so, what does a detailer do differently to achieve what I’m after - protecting the paint, preserving the exposed patina, and correcting the minor scratches and swirls?

How does clear coat benefit me over ceramic? More durable? Cheaper? Is the process the same - fix any paint issues with clay, etc. first, then clear coat?

I had a 63 Merc non metalic , that the PO used to set his tool boxes on the trunk…it looked like a road map
I removed a piece of painted trim and had paint color matched at a auto paint store…single stage . Using small paint brush or toothpick , drizzled paint in the scratches and let em dry a day
After 2/3 coats, wet sand with 1200 paper on a 1x2 rubber block to remove the buildup on the top of the orig paint only

Repeat til the scratch is filled , then block with 2000 and 2500 . Buff as req d and wax it up by hand
It looked nearly perfect when done.
Id leave the areas with the red oxide primer alone but repair most of the freckles and scratches

I found this article that explains alot. I think my car has single-stage non-metallic paint. Looks like it was written before ceramics gained popularity. Still not sure I want to tackle this job or use a professional, but it’s a great educational read.

Great article! Glad to see they also recommend Meguiars #7 Show Car Glaze. That stuff does a beautiful job of removing light scratches and restoring old paint without removing too much of it.

[quote=“Calicat, post:9, topic:29911, full:true”]
Great article! Glad to see they also recommend Meguiars #7 Show Car Glaze. That stuff does a beautiful job of removing light scratches and restoring old paint without removing too much of it.[/quote]

Meg’s #7 is great stuff, but I’ve learned that it’s only suitable for wax finishing. Prior to the ceramic application process, you must prep the paint with an isopropyl-type solvent which breaks the TS component in #7 down.

I think I’m gonna have a professional do the paint correction and ceramic application. Then I’ll keep up the maintenance.

Yeah, if you want to go ceramic, #7 isn’t the right stuff. Good luck, and I’ll be curious to hear how ceramic works out for you on old paint.

Me too! I’m going to go with a guy who’s done some of the other guys’ cars in my club. Cars way more fancy than mine!

Of course those fancier cars likely have modern paint jobs. Our Cougars are unique in that they are still wearing their original paint. Hopefully your guy has experience with both.

If you like cars, stay where it’s dry.

So I finally decided to bite the bullet and go with the recommended 20-year pro to correct and ceramic coat my car. “It’s only original once” and didn’t want to make the inevitable rookie mistake, somewhere along the line. Didn’t make too much sense to apply a 3-yr coating without first doing a good iron & bug-guts decon, clay bar, then a cut & polish. All I can say is T-Mac’s Auto Detailing in Tulsa exceeded my expectations. Check out these before and afters!!


Very impressive work. Your Cougar looks GREAT!

Looks great!

Looks amazing. Mind if I ask how much that ran you?

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Thanks, y’all! I scratched out a check for $1,490. Tony had it for the better part of 5 days to:

  • Prep and washed with a pH neutral soap
  • Remove bonded iron contaminates
  • Clean wheels, tires, and wheel wells
  • Dress tires
  • Clean door jambs
  • Clean exterior glass
  • Clay exterior
  • Remove swirls and surface scratches
  • Polish to pristine shine
  • Gyeon 3-year ceramic coating cured for 48 hours

I figure I’d have spent about $400 on supplies and product had I gone the DIY route. When I picked it up, he provided detailed instructions for the following week’s aftercare and a kit of products for car show touch-ups after driving. He even called me a few days later, to ask if I had any questions, and to thank me (again) for my business. Results aside, Tony’s a top-notch pro.

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