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Turning your aged automobile into a Concours classic or making your everyday vehicle look like its just been driven out of a showroom can be a daunting prospect. Product choice is important, but time and preparation are vital ingredients if you want to detail like a pro. Don’t be overwhelmed when you hear professionals waxing lyrical about five stage machine polishing or first stage enhancements. Ultimately, detailing is the pinnacle of high-end valeting and great results can be achieved at home and even by hand if you have the time and the inclination.

The Professional Touch
While traditional valeting consisted of a wash, vacuum and polish, don’t expect the same from a professional detailer.

“A modern detail is more of a mini restoration,” explains professional detailer Roy Kunz of Pro Valeting. “When carrying out the most basic detail, a first stage enhancement, I’d be looking to rectify 60-70 per cent of paint defects and expect the vehicle to be in showroom condition on completion. The vehicle is washed and de-greased; paintwork decontaminated and single stage machine polished, then a Carnauba Wax or paint sealant applied for finish and protection. Carpets are vacuumed and cleaned, leather cleaned and treated, glass and chrome polished and vents dusted. Basically the car will look like new again.

“On a vehicle booked in for ‘paint correction’, I would expect to remove 95-98 per cent of paint defects and carry out three to five stages of machine polishing to get there.”

Even a first stage enhancement in the hands of an expert can take as long as a day-and-a-half. Watching detailers at work can be reminiscent of an artistic creating a masterpiece or a mother tending her newborn! Stories of the ‘£7,000 detail’ from certain specialists in the business have even made newspaper headlines in recent times. So with 50 hours plus being fairly commonplace and the necessary requirement for a complete detail at the highest levels, it’s clear to see that time is of the essence if you strive to achieve professional-looking results.