Nothing beats a car’s glossy finish, but as years go by it’s easy to gloss over the fine details of proper paint care— especially as the elements slowly start to take their toll. Well, Logan McCombs knows pros that can make your paint shine like new, and he’s brought them to MotorWeek’s “Your Drive!”

LOGAN MCCOMBS: Everybody loves a shiny car, but not everyone knows how to achieve that high level of shine in their paint. So, that’s when you have to call in the pros, like Brian here from Polished 2 Perfection. Brian, how can someone take their paint to the next level?”

BRIAN RICE: Well, so, what we do here is we evaluate the finish and see what we’re working with. We measure the clear coat with our ultrasonic paint thickness gauge so we can determine how much clear is on, how much color, and how much primer; and then from there we can decide, you know, how much we have to work with to decide if we’re going to work with sandpaper or if we’re going to use buffing liquid and a pad to smooth the finish out. And then we’ll take a reading with our gloss meter that tells us our reflectivity and gloss and distinctiveness of the reflection, and we’ll have a baseline that we’re working from. So, as we’re removing the clear coat from the finish, we don’t want to compromise the UV protection that’s in the clear coat, but at the same time, we want to get the smoothest finish as we can because you’ll get the best reflection, which gives you that deep, wet shine that everybody likes.

LOGAN MCCOMBS: Ok, so I understand that we’re removing layers when you could be sanding or compounding, but how do you bring that shine out of the paint after you remove those layers?

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BRIAN RICE: So, we just continue to refine down to less aggressive polishes and less aggressive pads to get it to where it is the full finish where the gloss is really standing out. And again with our meter, we’ve done enough of these cars that we know when we get these certain numbers with this meter, we know that the car is going to look really wet outside.

LOGAN MCCOMBS: Ok, awesome. So, after someone may take their vehicle home, what’s the best way that they can continue to protect their paint and protect that gloss?

BRIAN RICE: Ok, so what I tell people when the cars leave here is try not to touch the car. Touch the car as little as possible. So, what that means is I recommend an electric pressure washer and a foam cannon. So you foam up the car and you let the dirt kind of drift off, take a soft wash mitt to wash the car, and then after you rinse the car off– we try to use deionized water because that doesn’t leave water spots– and then you can use a leaf blower at home to just dry it off so that way you don’t have a towel, you know, rubbing a towel across the finish which can scratch it. But that maintains the finish.

LOGAN MCCOMBS: That’s a great tip for someone that they can use at home. What are some other products you’d recommend for someone to use at home to take care of their own car?

BRIAN RICE: So, you know, we really try not to focus as much on the brands of products or the brands of polishers because really you can achieve the results with, you know, any polisher and any polish. It’s the time that it takes to learn how to use those products and that machine that really make the difference.

LOGAN MCCOMBS: And if you have a question or comment, you can reach out to us right here at MotorWeek.