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21 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
So I was approached by this client about a one step polish on his newly acquired M3. What I did not know was that it was second hand and it had obvious signs of rotary usage and poor maintenance. There were heavy swirling, scratches, holograms, wax/polish residue everywhere, and much more. It was just riddled with issues.

The new owner has all the intention of maintaining her properly. Thanks goes out to him and his family for being so hospitable.

Ok so just to remind everyone that this is a one step polish. The owner will be getting a multi-step come spring.

So I took readings of the entire vehicle before moving ahead with anything and the hood had really low spots 76 microns and on other spots of the car as high as 204. My plan going into this detail before I even saw the vehicle was a one step polish while pyramiding the rpm's however upon arriving and seeing the actual state of the vehicle I decided to do a one step polish while using varying pressure to get better cut out of Menzerna Power Finish. I decided not to push my luck on the hood despite only using Power Finish. I used no pressure when polishing the hood and simply let the polish and pad do the work for me. I also wanted to get as much gloss out of the vehicle as possible so after PF broke down I burnished it with the Metabo.

The end result was far from perfect but I was happy with the result. The detail ended up taking about 8.5 hours. You will notice that there are still deep swirls and RDS left on the vehicle which will need a multi-step.

I was not able to take as many pictures as I would have liked so I'll try to add a little more value by going through my process in a little more depth.

OPT Power Clean
CG Citrus Wash and Gloss
CG Grime Reaper
Grit Guard x 2
5 Gallon Bucket x 2
Zymol Wheel Brush
EZ Detail Mini
Daytona Wheel Brush
Chenille Mitt x 2 ( wheels )
Sheepkin Wash Mitt x 2 ( paintwork )

Riccardo Yellow

Paint Correction
Sonus 6" White Pad
LC 4 inch White Pad
Menzerna Power Finish

3M Sun Gun
Fenix TK10
Metabo PE12175

Collinite 476s

Wheel Dressing
PB Wheel Sealant
Chemical Guys Wheel Gel


The befores are fairly self explanatory. You will spot holograms, swirls galour and not in the pictures were deeper scratches, bird poop etching, wax/polish residue and thin paint. During the initial wash I had to wash it at least 2 times on all panels and on certain panels 3 wash passes were needed to get rid of all the dirt.


I had very little room to move about so I apologize for the close ups rather than a shot covering a panel.

Rocker panel passenger side

Lower Rocker panel after correction. You'll notice there are swirls still present but there has been a significant improvement.

Another shot of the same area.

Trunk area after correction. I was able to squeeze this sun shot off as the rear of the M3 was close enough to the garage door that the sun was able to peak through. Swirls were still present after Sonus White pad and Power Finish. Speaking of Power Finish. I had much success with Intensive Polish with a Sonus White with previous one step BMW's however for some reason this particular combo was leaving light marring on the paint so I decided to go to PF and it worked out well.


On to the after shots. Sorry about the lack of sun shots. The sun was pretty much down by the time I was done.

Possibly one of my favourite shots of this M3 :)

Hope you enjoyed the write-up. Total hours worked 8.5hrs.

20,271 Posts
how much does something like this run at a detail shop or is it usually regular detailers at the house who does things like this

21 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
how much does something like this run at a detail shop or is it usually regular detailers at the house who does things like this
There are some quality shops that do this work usually one or possibly 2 man job. It's hard to maintain quality when the amount of workers increase. With two quality detailers that know what they're doing before establishing a company it can be done.

A quality detail shop you're looking from $55-65 per hour. With a one step polish you're looking at 6-8 hours worth of work just for the paint.

Hope this helps.
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