Mark Houlahan
Mark Houlahan Tech Editor, Mustang Monthly
May 19, 2019
Contributers: Mark Houlahan, Michael Johnson Photos By: Michael Johnson

As car enthusiasts we want to keep our rides clean and sharp looking, but often we end up doing more harm than good. Sure, we know the basics, like not drawing on a dusty car with your fingers, but many owners will buy the cheapest products, or use a product improperly. There's also the generation after generation of dads or older brothers "showing" us how to properly wash our cars when they have some bad habits of their own as well. Even the basic car wash with a bucket of suds, garden hose, etc. is obsolete for most enthusiasts these days with the advent of waterless car wash products.

We'll admit that we were indeed skeptical of not using soap and water to clean our Mustang. I mean, we use soap and water to clean our clothes, our dishes, and even our bodies, right? So, when were introduced to Neil Chadwick and his brand's Chadwick's Triple Play [] system we begrudgingly gave it a try. Well, three years later and water hasn't touched a single car in our driveway since. The Triple Play system works for everything from light cleanings (what you might use a "quick detailer" for) to full-on deep cleaning after weeks of driving.

Little did we know that about the time we started using Chadwick's Triple Play on our Mustangs and the wife's Fusion that Neil was working on something big—paint correction. The paint correction process has been around for a long time. In a nutshell an electric polisher is utilized along with specific compounds and cutting pads to remove small paint imperfections that reduce the paint surface clarity. However, it's something that traditionally has been something that requires finesse and experience. One wrong move and you could "burn" through the paint, especially along body lines and panel edges. Neil's goal was to produce a paint correction system that works with and complimented the Triple Play system that was consumer friendly, easy to use, and provide that mile-deep wet look we all want out of our paint.

After three years of field testing on all manner of paint finishes (both single stage and base/clear), and skill levels of the test subjects Neil has removed the guess work and "voodoo" from paint correction so that enthusiasts like you and I can do the job ourselves in our own garage. The Chadwick's Paint Correction System does not use silicone or petroleum oils, which reduce reflections and creates a lot of product "dust", and comes with everything you'll need in one kit, sans the polisher. However, since it is mandatory to use a machine polisher for effective results Chadwick's offers a Porter-Cable variable speed random orbit polisher as an option. Naturally the paint correction system was tested and designed to work perfectly with this unit, so we asked Neil to supply us one as well.

The Chadwick's Paint Correction System is simple to use, as everything is numbered. There are two polishes (bottle #1 and bottle #2), and three numbered pads (black #1, white #2, and red #3) along with a bottle of Chadwick's Triple Play, a Chadwick's Buffer Blok, and four microfiber towels. We'll do the step-by-step in the following captions or if you prefer a more visual take on it feel free to click on the video as well.

The Chadwick's Triple Play Paint Correction System was designed around the use of a random orbit polisher to help get the job done correctly and easily, yet without fear of damaging the paint. Don't worry if you don't own one, as Chadwick's offers this Porter Cable unit direct and can be ordered with the system.
Begin the process by cleaning the panel you are going to work on using Chadwick's Triple Play (CTP). Apply per the directions, but do not buff the panel dry.
Begin with pad #1 and apply two dime sized spots of polish #1 (see how easy? Pad #1 and polish #1 go together). Spread the polish with the base of the polish bottle to prevent slinging product when you turn the polisher on.
Speaking of turning the polisher on, always turn the unit on and turn it off on the paint surface. Begin applying the #1 polish in a crisscross pattern. Go left/right and then up/down on the panel, making five or six complete passes in each direction. Stay away from any trim and emblems to prevent damaging them or tearing up the pad.
After you've polished the surface clean the surface with CTP again, but this time use a dry microfiber towel and buff the surface dry.
Add pad #2 to the polisher's hook and loop pad and apply polish #2 in the same manner as you did with polish #1.
Just like we did with pad #1, polish the panel with pad #2 and polish #2 in the same manner and the same number of strokes.
Once again, after applying the polish clean the surface with CTP and buff it dry using a microfiber towel.
Apply CTP to the panel surface once more, but this time clean the surface of any remaining embedded polish residue with the Buffer Blok. Use light pressure and straight back and forth motion to clean the surface. You'll feel the Buffer Blok drag at first and then slide smoothly as the contaminants are removed. Lightly remove the excess CTP with a microfiber, but do not buff the surface dry.
The final step is to install pad #3 to the polisher, and using the same motions as used with the two previous polishing pads, polish the surface dry to bring out the final shine. You can do more passes if you like, as the more you do the better the overall shine/clarity.
The final finish on our Mustang is super smooth now, and while there is some orange peel to the paint surface, what we do have now is much better with an increased sharpness to reflections. Just look at the reflection of the palm tree now to earlier photos before we started.

Photography by Michael Johnson