Polished Bliss + Vintage vs A4 Cabriolet (Zymöl Training)
As many of you will already know, last week Clark and I travelled to the far south to spend a few days at Zymöl Europe’s HQ in Dorset. The purpose of the trip was to receive professional training on the Zymöl range of products and on how to run a successful high-end detailing business. For those of you that have an interest in the course and our experience with Zymöl so far, be sure to check out this thread…
However, if all you want to do is see some Vintage results then read on! The product training was done on Lynn Binns’s (one of the director’s of Zymöl Europe) lush Audi A4 Cabriolet. The car is only a year old and in great condition, so no correction work was required, meaning we could focus purely on the clay, cleanse and protect steps. After washing the car carefully and drying off, we proceeded to clay all of the exterior surfaces with Lehm Clay; this clay differs to most of the clay we normally use, as it is natural clay rather than synthetic (i.e. made of kaolin rather than polybutene), and utilises crushed quartz as the abrasive. The clay performed very well, and was noticeably softer than many of the other clay bars we have tried. Even on this car though, it removed a fair amount of contamination, so thumbs up for sure. After the clay, we then further cleansed the paint with HD-Cleanse, which smells great (think chocolate and vanilla) and seems to glaze the paint beautifully at the same time as cleaning it (it also worked very well on the glass). One thing we had to try was machine application, as many people have reported that this does not work; we tried it by PC using a soft black glazing pad, at speed 2 and no pressure, for just 2 overlapping passes, and it worked fine, so I think we’ll be attempting this again. Whilst HD-Cleanse is a great preparatory product, and provides a superb key for subsequent coats of high-grade carnauba, it’s use is not always required. For example, if you top up the last step product after only a month or two there is often no need to prepare the paint again.
After the cleanse stage, the fun and games began, with Vintage. We had the option of experimenting with the various different waxes in the range, but to be honest we don’t intend on using anything other than the Carbon, Vintage and Royale glazes, and seeing as we’ve had some practice lately with Carbon, we opted to complete the detail with the Vintage, and get used to dealing with a high carnauba content wax. Almost immediately the first thing that surprised me was how soft the Vintage is; I had assumed it would be hard and require effort to use, but it turns out it’s like soft icing, and melts easily between the fingertips. Using a marble sized lump per panel, you simply rub it between your fingertips to warm it, then apply it hand over hand to generate more warmth and elasticity, and spread it as evenly and thinly as possible. You then leave it for around five minutes to cure, and then buff with a plush microfibre; amazingly, it buffs off as easily as any other LSP I’ve ever used, so no fear of causing marring on soft paints, which I had initially feared. Here’s some pictures of Clark and I warming the wax and applying it…
After applying a single coat to the whole car, we then went back around the car applying a second coat to all sharp edges and lines. This was then left for an hour or so to fully harden before being buffed off. This method is known as highlighting, and noticeably sharpens the final look of the car. If you look carefully in the pictures below you will see wax curing on the edges…
After completing the waxing stage by applying wax to all exterior surfaces bar the windscreen (and by all exterior surfaces I mean all; paint, windows, plastics, rubber – it works on everything without leaving any staining) we then finished off by dressing the tyres, and cleaning the soft top. After defluffing it with tape we protected it with Field Glaze, working it in gently by hand; this deepens the colour and allows the wax to penetrate the fabric, making it more water repellent. Finally, after another hour or so the whole exterior was lightly misted with Field Glaze and then gently buffed down, to remove any last traces of oils rising from the final curing of the wax layer. Here’s the afters…
Not the best light to show off the final results, but the amount of depth and liquidity was pretty awesome, and certainly right up there for a light coloured car. Roll on the solid black S2000 we’ve got coming up soon, just have to hope our pot of Vintage arrives in time – fingers crossed!