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Justin Bonnett Talks About Ceramic Coating And Paint Correction

If you’ve been out to car shows around Atlanta lately, you’ve probably seen a Detailers Products tent. Owner, Justin Bonnet, has been firmly planted in the car scene for an impressively long time. Through many ups and downs, business growth and retraction, he’s maintained his position as the “go to” guy for all things detailing. 

A hard core car enthusiast himself, this is the guy you can trust to work on your car and to recommend products that will be what you need – no more, no less. 

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I was going to say that we sat down with Justin so that he could share his expertise but that wouldn’t be exactly true, the man does not sit down.  He’s presently managing two mobile detail teams, a retail store and has a service bay for in shop details/coatings. 

At any rate, here’s some insider information that he shared with me while simultaneously working on a car. 

Misinformation/Misunderstandings Around Paint Correction and Ceramic Coating

Shift Atlanta: “There seems to be a lot of misinformation out there about specific services like “paint correction” and “ceramic coating”. Can you help make sense of it all so that we can make an informed decision in how we should take care of our cars?” 

Paint Decontamination

Removes Iron, impurities and brake dust from the paint. We recommend doing this every 3-6 months. This is easy to do yourself, you can even mix a product like Shine Supplies “Smooth Move” in with your soap when you wash your car to save the extra step. $17 for the product to take home or $189 if we do it for you when we detail. 

Paint Correction

Paint correction removes swirls from the paint and brings the gloss back on a car that’s gone a little dull. This should be done by a professional and generally costs $1500-$2000. It’s an effective process to make a car shine again, especially with German cars. 

Ceramic Coating

This will protect and preserve the paint from sun and pollutants, think of it like a wax that lasts 3-5 years. Please note, this will not protect against chips and damage. Price depends on the size of your car and condition of the paint- packages start at about $1200 and go up from there. 

Paint Protection Film

Usually just called PPF, this is literally a transparent film that protects the paint. It’s durable and helps protect against things like rock chips. You can ceramic coat on top of PPF (or wraps!) to offer double protection against sun fade or bird droppings. 

What You Should Know About Wax

Shift Atlanta: For those that like to DIY, let’s talk about wax – protection

Easy: Clutch – Versatile ceramic infused Silica Spray – Apply with applicator pad, let set up for 15-20 min. 6 month protection – trim, wheels, paint and more!

Fast: Punch It – Ceramic detailer – use as final wipe down on wet ceramic car or use as a stand alone ceramic detail spray

Best: Daddy O Paint sealant, apply by applicator or finishing pad on a DA. Let it set up for 15-20 min. Remove with Korean Plus Towels.  Can be topped with Clutch and then Punch It for incredible combo. 6 – 12 month protection.  Relock is our true 1 year ceramic coating, more difficult to apply but incredible results.  Our Beadlock Pro provides 3-5 year protection. 

Buffing vs. Polishing

Image courtesy of Detailers Products. Photo by Charlie Smith.

Shift Atlanta: If you have a buffer at home, it can be tricky to figure out what pads and products to use. Can you help demystify the process? What is the difference between buffing and polishing anyway? 

Buffing Cutting with Blue Foam / Microfiber Pad with Blue foam is for heavy cutting. One of these pads + Classic Cut Plus is a great place to start. – Cutting removes more of the major defects in the paint, swirls, light scratches etc.

Polishing: Orange Foam pad or orange microfiber pad with orange foam for light cutting / polishing. Classic Polish followed by Classic Finish on a finishing pad. Polishing removes the hazing that typically comes from the buffing/ cutting process. 

Let’s Talk Black Cars

Image courtesy of Detailers Products

Shift Atlanta: Specifically, Black cars tend to get that “cloud” what is that and how do you get rid of it? 

Typically caused by the cutting phase of paint correction or just neglected paint.  To revitalize the paint you could try Burn Out, a ceramic infused reconditioning cream or All in One – a wax + polish. Great combo products and easy to use!

What Factors Influence What Should Be Done?

Shift Atlanta: “What kinds of things are you looking for when a car comes in to know what services to recommend?” 

By listening to what the client is having trouble with / main concerns are. Condition of vehicle and if its garage kept, parked out side, is the vehicle a lease etc. This helps us suggest package / amount of protection needed.

Talk To Us About Wheel Cleaning

Shift Atlanta: Is there a product you can use on wheels to keep the brake dust from sticking?  

Clutch is one of the most versatile products we offer and use. This product works great on paint, wheels and more.  If you want to go a level further we recommend our Wheel & Suspension Coating.  It really helps create a barrier between the wheel and all the road grime and brake dust. Best part is, it lasts a full year. 

Shift Atlanta: “Can you do that over top of powder coated wheels?”

Our ceramic coatings work on pretty much every painted service imaginable, including powder coated wheels!

Shift Atanta: “So I’ve messed up and scuffed my wheels, what would you tell me to do? How about a rock chip? What can I do to prevent it from getting any worse?”

We’d suggest meeting with a reputable shop such as RTP to have your wheels repaired.  As far as a rock chip, getting OEM touch up paint or seeing a reputable body shop would be best.

How Often Should You Wash Your Car?

Shift Atlanta: “How often do you think people should wash their cars?” 

“One per month is good, unless the car never leaves the garage- if that’s the case, just use waterless detailer, such as Ride Shine as needed“ 

Shift Atlanta: “What do you wish people knew about your line of work?” 

That we are human. We do our absolute best to provide better than expected results. We ask that people have realistic expectations when receiving our services.  This is also our job to educate them, the team and make sure we are on the same page.  Communication is key!

What Are The Worst Things You Can When Cleaning Your Car?

Shift Atlanta: “What’s something you wish people would stop doing as it relates to maintaining the exterior?” 

“Running them through a tunnel wash. The chemicals are so harsh and it really isn’t good for the paint at all. ESPECIALLY don’t put your car though a non touch free tunnel wash. The sand and grit attaches to the bristles and is abrasive. Please just don’t do it. Using more consumer based products that are more for visual stimulation than results. We work and distribute products on a professional grade level such as Shine SupplyAutofiber & more. These products will help protect your investment backed by a team of experience and educated professionals

How Do You Get Smells Out Of Interiors?

Shift Atlanta: Cars that have spent a lot of time off the road while being built or restored can get a musty smell, do you have any advice on how to deal with that? Any particular place to start cleaning to remedy? 

Typically a thorough wipe down with “LIC” – Leather & Interior Cleaner + A scrub ninja is an incredible combo.  If shampoo is necessary, Carpet Cleaner + a carpet brush fairly easy to use and can provide great results.  We also recommend either Cool Breeze, our odor eliminator – Spray some on the carpets, turn climate control on recirculation.  We also offer Vanilla Bean air freshener or a new favorite, Cruisin’ air freshener.  

What Do You Do About Oxidized Paint or Plastic?

Shift Atlanta: Do you have a magic trick to address oxidized paint and/or plastic? I’ve seen remedies from chemicals to toothpaste be recommended… 

Polish and then ceramic coat the problematic area.  Really the only permanent fix is to have the area repainted.  

What’s A Strange Thing You’ve Found In A Customers Car?

Shift Atlanta: What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever run across in while detailing someone’s car? 

Image courtesy of Detailers Products

We once found a pair of high heels and a ski mask under a seat once. I decided that it being October was enough explanation for me and didn’t ask any additional questions. 

Best Car You Ever Detailed?

Image courtesy of Detailers Products

Shift Atlanta: What is the most exciting car you’ve ever detailed? 

(With very little hesitation) “A 1993 Acura Legend. If you know, you know”.

ShiftAtlanta authors comment: Later that night I got this picture (above).

What’s The Full Detailing Process

I took my own car to his shop to check out his process. To maintain objectivity here, we pay for all of our products and services. None of us here at Shift Atlanta accept personal favors or free stuff in exchange for writing articles.  Here’s a look behind the curtain: 

Step Product Used Rationale/Notes 
Wet CarWater… duhHey, it’s cheap
Paint DecontaminationSmooth Move
Clean Wheels Cool Guy Pulls out iron build up
Tire Cleaner Wise Guy
Decked Out
Breaks down brake dust
Foam CannonHot Shot Foam Soap
Rinse WaterIt rinses things
DryingWet Detailer
Korean Towels
Seals and helps dry faster
Applies wax at same time
Interior WindowsSunshine 
Shampoo Carpets 
InteriorLeather and Interior Cleaner
Leather Conditioner
Vacuum A vacuumCuz it sucks

For SHIFT ATL M4, we provided our most popular package, our Cleanest & Greenest package.  This is the most popular package we offer and is a great in and out maintenance package.  

We provided an exterior wash with Hot Shot Foam Soap.  The BMW was dried and protected with our Wet Detailer.  This is an impressive drying aide and applies carnauba wax simultaneously.  Wet Detailer paired with our Korean Towels is a great combo for the exterior.

Wheels and tires were cleaned with Wise Guy 1:1 ratio. This brings the tires back to black while helping break down brake dust.  We also added Cool Guy to the wheels to pull out the iron build up, this is what makes the wheels “bleed” and smell atrocious. Tires were dressed with Decked Out.

Interior was wiped down with “LIC” / L Leather & Interior Cleaner + A scrub ninja is an incredible combo with a few all purpose microfiber. The interior windows were cleaned with Sunshine & two all purpose towels.  Carpets, seats and trunk were vacuumed thoroughly.  To complete the interior we conditioned the seats with Leather Conditioner.

Thank You

A big thank you to Justin Bonnett for letting us behind the curtains for a few hours. Justin has been a long time supporter of ShiftAtlanta and an even longer personal friend.

In addition to being the owner of Detailers Product, Justin Bonnett runs a local podcast Lets Grow.

About Lets Grow

With the words “Lets Go”, being widely used, we added our own touch and LETS F*G GROWWWW was born. Being a mobile detailer in Atlanta, the connections to successful people were in abundance.

We felt it was our responsibility to learn & share more about them. What drives them? What is their story?

About Detailers Products

Detailers Products was created by professionals in the detailing industry. Many of us have years of experience in the detailing service and customer service areas. This experience is imperative in curating not only the perfect product combination, but doing so with a great balance of price, ease of use, and unprecedented results. We love what we do and look forward to every appointment with our local customers!

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