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Show car finish

How to Achieve a Show Finish by Hand

How to clean, polish and wax to achieve show car paintwork by hand for caravans and cars

Difficulty: Easy


Dull or scratched paint on your car or caravan can have a drastic effect on the overall look of your vehicle, and everyone is striving for the show car look. With this easy 4 step tutorial, you can revive, restore and protect your paint. All products used in this tutorial are listed at the bottom of the article.


Wash car with spongeStep 1: Cleaning Your Vehicle

To start, wash your car thoroughly with a sponge, clean water and mild car shampoo to remove any dirt or grime. This creates a blank surface for you to work on.

Dry off any excess water or moisture with a drying cloth.

Before applying paint care products, you should mask any chrome and plastic parts of the area you are working on with residue-free tape as some products may scratch plastic and dull chrome.


Step 2: Applying Paint Cleaner

Applying paint cleaner removes scratches, swirls, oxidation, stains, fallout and faded paint to restore damaged and dull finishes. It also prepares the paint to receive polish and wax.

To apply paint cleaner, use a soft foam applicator pad and apply in a circular motion onto your surface. Remove with a microfibre cloth straight away after application to avoid the cleaner drying and becoming difficult to remove.


Step 3: Applying Polish

Applying a polish creates a brilliant high gloss finish, making dark colours darker and reflections in lighter colours darker and deeper, as well as conditioning the paint prior to waxing.

To apply polish, use a soft foam applicator pad and apply in a circular motion. Remove from the straight away with a microfibre cloth, to avoid the polish drying and becoming difficult to remove.


Step 4: Applying Carnauba Wax

Carnauba wax delivers durable wax protection without dulling the shine of the paint. This is one of the "secrets" that will really help your car stand out.

To apply carnauba wax, use a soft foam applicator pad and apply in a circular motion over the surface. It’s wise to allow carnauba wax to cure as it strengthens the bond between the paint and the wax.

Remove the wax with a microfibre cloth for a show car finish.


Products Used In This Tutorial


Cellulose Vehicle Sponge


Car Shampoos

Farecla G3 Professional High Shine Shampoo 500ml


Meguiars Gold Class Car Wash Shampoo & Conditioner 532ml


Drying Cloth

Meguiars Water Magnet Microfibre Drying Towel


Microfibre Cloth

Farecla Finishing Cloth (Pack of 3)


3M Microfibre Detailing Cloth


Residue Free Tape

Scotch Masking Tape 2328, 24 mm x 50 m, Qty of 1 roll

Soft Foam Applicator Pad

Meguiars Soft Foam Applicator Pad (2 pack)


Paint Cleaner/Swirl Remover

Meguiars Ultimate Compound 450ml


Farecla G3 Professional Paint Renovator 500ml


Car Polish

Concept Infinity Super Nano Polish 1lt


Carnauba Wax

Meguiars Gold Class Carnauba Plus Paste Car Wax 311g


Meguiars Gold Class Carnauba Plus Liquid Car Wax 473ml