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I spent about 10 hours last weekend buffing and polishing out paint swirls/scratches and then ceramic coating my PBM SS with about 52K miles. Cost me around $300 and I'm super happy with the results. Also tinted the windows before this. I stole a lot of this from a how-to thread on reddit (user u/bananas2000, to give credit). Here's a picture of the final result.
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And here is a picture of the deck lid before and after treating the paint:
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I bought my SS in late January this year. It may have had a few paint imperfections at that time, but I didn't really notice because I was so in love with the car at first sight. It lived its past life in LA and I'm sure did not see much rain or snow. In moving to Colorado as a daily driver, it started to see worse weather. Even on my drive back from California we hit quite a bit of snow and got the car pretty dirty. Wanting to keep the car clean, there were three occasions where I took the car through an automated car wash by my house because there were no better ones in the area and it was too cold outside to wash in my driveway - terrible idea, I know. I'd done the rest of my washes at the self-service ones, but the damage was done. I'm not sure if it was just those three washes that ****** up the paint so badly, but it was very bad when viewed in the right light.

I started researching paint correction, and after a couple $3K+ quotes from shops in my area I decided to look for a DIY option which brought me to the above referenced post. I am copying and pasting most of the below from his original post, but modifying the items I changed from the OP since he finished his with a wax vs. ceramic coat.

Bought the equipment:

https://www.amazon.com/PORTER-CABLE-7424XP-6-Inch-Variable-Speed-Polisher/dp/B002654I46 - Make sure to have a heavy-ish-duty extension cord for the polisher
https://www.amazon.com/Dual-Action-Hook-Flexible-Backing-Plate/dp/B0008G1RDK
https://www.costco.com/kirkland-sig...6-in-x-16-in,-36-count.product.100356999.html (other user had the 324-count, though I did pretty much use all 36 from this pack during the job)
Lake Country 5 1/2 x 7/8 inch Beveled Edge Pads 6 Pack, foam pad kit, build a kit, buffing pads, curved edge pads - Since I was using a ceramic coat instead of wax, I bought only orange and white pads.


Bought the compounds and ceramic coating kit:
https://www.amazon.com/Meguiars-G17216-Ultimate-Compound-15-2/dp/B001O7PNNM (medium aggressive)
https://www.amazon.com/Meguiars-Mirror-Glaze-Ultra-Cut-Compound/dp/B003LMGDHI (most aggressive)
https://www.amazon.com/Meguiars-Mirror-Glaze-Finishing-Polish/dp/B001O7PNXC
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B06XTWWHGM/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 (ceramic coat kit)


Wash your car w/ the two-bucket method:
https://www.amazon.com/Meguiars-G7164-Class-Shampoo-Conditioner/dp/B0009IQXFO
https://www.amazon.com/Zwipes-Chenille-Microfiber-Premium-Scratch-Free/dp/B002J7KCOG

Claybar the car and paint correct:
https://www.amazon.com/YGDZ-Quality-Detailing-Claybar-Shipping/dp/B01MF4BVVS

  • Go one body panel at a time during each step, and maybe 1/2 or 1/3 at a time for for larger ones (giant hood and roof for me). Complete each step on the whole car before moving to the next.
  • Start with Meguiars UC on orange pads. Use speed setting between 4-5
  • If swirls aren't getting cut, move up to 50/50% UC and M105 on the pads (or M105 alone I needed to use the M105 only on the SS because my swirls were so bad. You might have to go 2 or 3 times over bad areas)
  • Wipe with clean microfiber and inspect
  • M205 regardless on white pads
  • Wipe with clean microfiber and inspect. Look at the car from as many angles as you can, as it's super easy to miss spots all over the car. Surface needs to be 100% clean before ceramic coating.
  • Finish with the Sonax Ceramic Coating Kit
    • Watch this video since the instructions on the box aren't that clear:
    • Instructions reference to use the "white" side of the sponge. Both sides of mine were gray. You're supposed to use the side that does NOT have the numbers on it.
    • With the step 1 ceramic spray, wrap the little terry cloth / glasses cleaning cloth around the sponge. I did most areas one body panel at a time, but divided the hood and roof by 3, and the front doors by 2. Zig zag in both directions to ensure you 100% coat each panel. Wipe down each area right after finishing the panel
    • You're supposed to wait at least an hour before applying the step 2 gloss finish. I went inside to eat lunch and then came back out, starting with the first panel that I did step one on. I used just the included sponge for this one (no cloth wrapped around it)
  • Take your car out in the sunlight and enjoy!
The whole process took me probably 9-10 hours of work between a Saturday and Sunday. The vehicle was fairly dirty when I started, so just the wash and clay bar took quite a bit of time. I'm hoping that the ceramic coat helps protect the paint moving forward and keeps the car shiny for quite some time. I've learned my lesson with the automatic car wash and will not be taking my baby back there. I'll try to provide an update after a few months to tell how the ceramic coating kit holds up. A few more photos below:

Picture after my last wash prior to doing any of the paint correction.
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Highlighting the before/after section
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After photo in the driveway
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Side View
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Extra Shiny
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Yikes, looks like a previous owner was running the car through a very abrasive car wash. Nice work! Your links are much appreciated. I need to do the same to my 15.
 

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Nice work!
Some say black cars aren’t a hobby. They’re a career 😎
 

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2014 SS, SOLD!
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I love it!

I have 7 black cars in the past, 3 Show'n'shine trophies.
 

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Nice!! PBM looks amazing in the sun after paint correction. I DIY’d mine in early 2017 l and am thinking about a light touch up polish and reapply ceramic coat this summer in honor of the 5 year mark.
 

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Looks great. Gives me hope that I can save or restore my PBM to pretty great condition. Its kinds rough right now.
 
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