Restore Detail for Ford Expedition

Restore Detail for Ford Expedition


This week I performed a total restore detail for a black Expedition Limited. The customer had recently purchased the vehicle and had just come back from a cross country trip. The vehicle had some severe water-spot etching covering every inch of the paint, trim and glass. The interior, with the white and tan interior, had a lot of staining and dirt/grime buildup. The total time spent bringing this car back to life was 16 hours spanning two days.

Day 1

To start this detail, I prepped the paint for compounding. The compounding process would remove the water-spot etching and swirl marking as well as any minor scratching the paint may have had. Starting with a pressure washer on a low setting, all loose dirt was removed before washing thoroughly by hand. After a quick rinse, the whole car was treated to remove any iron debris embedded in the paint. This was followed with a clay bar to remove any remaining surface contaminants in the paint. At this point, the paint was perfectly smooth, however, the water etching was still visible as it was embedded in the clear coat. During this process, I also treated and cleaned the wheels, tires, and wheel wells.

At this point, the car was dried off and pulled inside to start the compounding process. Using the compound and a DA polisher, the paint was systematically compounded to remove the water spots. During this process, any swirl marks and scratches in the paint were also removed. The glass had to be polished as well to remove the spots. All edges of the paint and glass were then hand polished to remove any imperfections that the polisher couldn’t reach. Once the paint was compounded, I followed up with a polish/glaze to further smooth the paint out and remove the hazing that is the result of compounding. This product was then allowed to set and cure overnight. While the glaze was curing, all trim and chrome was polished and protected. The tires were dressed and the wheels polished and waxed. The interior was quickly vacuumed as well to prepare for day two.

Day 2

Day two began with a quick wipe down of the car to prep for the sealant application. I used a one year sealant which is designed to last up to a year depending on how the car is maintained. This sealant is made to go on paint and glass, giving both incredible gloss and water repelling properties. Once the sealant was applied, I started inside. First step was shampooing the carpet to remove stains and odors. Next was leather restoration. There was a lot of dirt and oil buildup on the leather. With the light colored leather, every bit of dirt was visible. Using a leather cleaner and a leather brush, each section was scrubbed and wiped until the staining was removed. A leather conditioner was then applied giving the leather a deep luster and soft feel. The dash and doors were then steam cleaned using pressurized steam which knocked out any dirt stuck between panels and buttons on the dash and door. All plastic that had dirt showing was cleaned using a natural degreaser and cleaner. At this point, the car was looking and smelling great. A final interior protectant was then applied to all surfaces including the leather to protect against UV light and give them a “like new” sheen. The glass was wiped down as the final step. At this point, the car was finished but the sealant requires 12 hours of cure time. Once the 12 hours was up, the car was delivered to the customer. Below are some pictures of the final product.




Mirror like reflection on the hood.


Door panel 


Interior shot of leather seats

Dash shot


Exterior View

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