With Ferrari’s texture now level, work began on refining the surface to the
finest degree. The first step in creating a flawless finish was the elimination
of extremely fine surface marring caused by the sanding and cutting process.
Defects were removed using a rotary polisher and a foam compounding pad.
Although the extremely hard clear coat resisted change valiantly, patience,
proper technique, and a keen eye guaranteed results. Average paint thickness
removed during this step: less then .1 mil. Total average paint removed to this
point: .33 mils.
A moderately abrasive polish was used to eliminate remaining imperfections
caused by the heavy polishing. The black paint was nearly flawless at this
point, even after being stripped of all oils and residue with alcohol. If viewed
in direct sunlight from less than a foot away, some minute marring was
evident. Except for the rear vent and driver’s side roof, all surface refinement
(medium grade polishing) was finished by the end of day four. Average paint
thickness removed during this step less then .1 mil. Total average paint
removed to this point: .35 mils
The goal: to create a highly jeweled paint surface by artfully and gently
burnishing the Ferrari’s clear coat to a level that would rival a perfectly graded
diamond. The polish I used for this task was a finer version of the type and
brand used by the Ferrari Factory. The application was surgically precise.
Results were scrutinized until they were true and accurate and the reflection
blinding. Average paint thickness removed during this step: Not measurable.
Total average paint removed during the total paint correction process:.35 mils.
Each finishing step was performed in the
same direction as the previous cutting steps.
When cutting the paint, each section was
worked independently and all processes were
completed prior to moving on to the next
section. However, with the finishing steps, from
heavy polishing to the final burnishing, each
step was carried over the entire car. After each
process the Ferrari was carefully washed and
dried to prevent any unwanted residual dust
grains from causing microscopic marring as
the surface was polished.
By keeping the work flow consistent the risk of
over polishing was kept to minimum. This way
only the absolute minimal amount of clear coat
was removed through out the process.
After receiving corrective surgery for the remainder of the previous five days,
the 458’s paint was flawless but it’s body was soiled. Still covered in ultra
fine dust from the last polishing step, the paint was inspected in direct
sunlight. I was looking for any flaws that scarred the otherwise perfectly
jeweled surface. The
Ferrari was left in the sun until the surface was hot to the touch to ensure
that no fillers or solvents remained on the paint. After a thorough inspection,
the Ferrari was pulled back into the garage. As the paint cooled, the surface
was inspected using a portable UV light, looking for any discrepancies in
the paint texture. One spot, about three inches long on the upper driver’s
side rear fender needed slight refining. It was only after passing the final,
determined inspection that the 458 was cleared and I was satisfied with
The paint was then re-measured for thickness and all numbers were
charted.The total average of paint film removed was 35/1000ths of an inch
or .35 mils (roughly 9 microns), with a high of .6 mils (15 microns) and a
low of .2 mils (5 microns).
All the painted surfaces of the Ferrari, including the door jambs,
wheel arch lips, bonnet, and engine lid rails were carefully washed
and pressure cleaned to remove any dust. A degreaser solution and
cotton swabs were used to clean inside of vents, around emblems,
and parking sensors.
The Ferrari was then rinsed with de-ionized water and blown dry
with heated air. Any remaining water was lightly wiped away with a
very soft microfiber towel.
All of the exterior trim was treated with a UV inhibiting protectant. The
tires, deep cleaned initially, were dried and treated with two coats of
a water based dressing, safe for use around the carbon ceramic
The wheels and brake calipers were treated with a heat resistant
The glistening paint was treated with a pre cleaner then coated with
two coats of a high solid polymer sealant, allowed to cure in
between coats. Lastly, a select carnauba wax was applied atop the
sealed paint, giving the sharp reflections the illusion of depth and
fourth adding valuable protection against the environment.
The absolute last step was pulling the newly perfected Ferrari 458
Italia outside and trying my best to capture her beauty
Page 6) Finishing
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