Black paint is notoriously hard to keep clean. While it looks great new, it shows every spec of dirt, dust, scratch, or imperfection. Even when lovingly cared for, making a black car look show quality is a challenge. When neglected, well, you might as well keep it covered in grime.
Looking at this 2017 Nissan Sentra Nismo, The Detail Geek has his work cut out for him. Barely six years old, the paint is heavily damaged with swirl marks making the car look much older. Unlike the Mercedes AMG GT with a ceramic coating, it's doubtful the car has ever been waxed except at the automatic car wash.
Starting with the pressure washer, The Detail Geek goes over the entire car paying extra attention to the wheels, wheel wells, and undercarriage. Almost immediately, the red Nismo trim on the rocker panels and front splitter appears from underneath the dirt. Following the initial pressure wash, the Sentra gets a thorough handwash, including scrubbing the bumpers, grille, and wheels.
The inside of the Sentra is as dirty as the outside, with stains on the floormats, carpet, and seats. Dirt and grime lurk in every crevice. The suede upholstery on the seats looks stained and tired. It's a good thing the Sentra is a small car and not something extra-large like a Cadillac Eldorado.
Finally, it's time to tackle the paint. The first step is to prep the exterior with additional cleaning. It's essential to get every speck of dirt or impurities off the paint before polishing it, or you're just adding to the swirl marks. Even after two car washings, the amount of dirt the clay bar picks up is shocking.
The last step is polishing. Using a correcting compound with an orbital polisher and microfiber pads, The Detail Geek works on the swirls and other paint marks. That's followed by a round of polishing to really bring out the shine.
The final result is spectacular. The corrected black paint shines without any sign of swirl marks. Inside and outside, the car looks almost new again.