RenaultSport Clio 182 Trophy – Major Paint Correction Detail

Three weeks ago, the Clio came out of the bodyshop having had the entire front end (wings, bonnet and bumper), mirror caps, handles and rear bumper sprayed. Overall, it is a very clean car – a credit to the owner! Wheels, arches and shuts were all spotless!

My task? Remove the unsightly defects and address the horrific buffertrails found on the freshly ‘finished’ paintwork.

It’s not great, but, here’s a little vid that I threw together late last night to show the video footage of the buffertrails


• 3M Glass Cleaner
• 3M Ultra Fina
• 3M Fast Cut +
• AutoSmart G101
• AutoSmart Hazsafe
• AutoSmart Tardis
• AutoSmart Reglaze
AMDetails Mild Clay Bar
• Blackfire Wet Diamond All Finish Paint Protection
• Dodo Juice Born To Be Mild
• Jeffs Werkstat Prime
• Menzerna 106FA Final Finish
• Menzerna 203s Power Finish
• Menzerna 85RD 3.02 Intensive Polish
• Menzerna S500 Fast Gloss


Heh, I see that Scorpion exhaust gets a bit hot then!

Not much to document in the wash stage. The usual pre-rinse, pre-soak, two bucket system etc.

AutoSmart Tardis lifting a couple of tar spots that were dotted around:

The vehicle was clayed by the owner just a week before the detail – for peace of mind though, I had to give it a go myself.

Indeed, the paintwork was clean. Only a few stray tar deposits lifted in this occasion:

Brought inside and blown dry with the black baron to remove trapped water from grilles, shuts, crevices, badges etc

OK. Paint inspection. First up, the original paint (non-resprayed panels)

Roof, pretty tidy:

Spoiler, again, not looking too bad (some mild holograms spotted there on the gloss black brake light)

Starting to spot patches of overspray from the recent spray work as I walk down the O/S:

Was worse than I originally thought:

And now for the new panels (bonnet, bumpers, front wings, mirrors and door handles)




Ouch. Here, they don’t look ‘too’ bad! Red is a tough one to photograph a lot of the time.. Because of that, I nipped the car back out into the sun for a better idea (excuse the awful white balance on the following pics)

But then “what’s this?” Some nasty machine marks spotted on the N/S/R quarter (original paint)

18 months ago, soon after the owner first brought the car, it was handed over to a specialist for a paint enhancement/correction detail. Whoops.

Back inside and the bonnet might aswel be white, not red. A truly awful finish!

A few thickness readings on the front end:

And my first 50/50:

This correction took time and effort. The buffertrails were deep. To chase out, I was having to hit it hard and dropping back a step at a time to then further refine to a flawless finish.





Working down off the bonnet onto the O/S/F wing.



A 50/50 between the O/S door and the front wing:


O/S door refined and ‘trail free!’

I soon learnt that the original paint was much trickier to work with than that of the resprayed areas… A hard finish with gruesome defects in that needed chasing out, but, at the same time, marked easily and proved quite a challenge to correct/refine properly!

B-pillars before/after:

Roofline before/after:

Remember those holograms and faint swirls on the spoiler?

Err, rain. Heavy rain! (Good job we had the unit!)

Working late, I continue to hit the original paint on the O/S with a mix of rotary and DA polishers:


Morning of day 2, flip reverse things and I’m working down the N/S.

Finished that roof off – only combination I could use here was the Dual Action polisher with a green 3M Cutting pad and Menz S500 for cut. Each quarter of the N/S of the roof took 3+ hits to get perfect. Tiiiiimely process.

Heh, as you can see… I’m not happy.

Results were good tho – before/afters:

50/50 on door/rear quarter:

Base of the A-Pillar where it’s curved and pretty tricky to navigate – before/after:

Oooopft! “Gizz your colour!” (the evening sun shining through the unit)


N/S door, complete with more overspray:

Door fini:

Sill was heavily scratched. Lake Country wool and Menz S500 used to hit 95% correction.

…an interesting one though; the N/S sill hadn’t got a clearcoat (but yet the O/S had!?)

Slow, painful progress. End of day 2.

Morning of day 3 was spent finalising the machine work – rear lights, N/S/F wing and both the front and rear bumpers.

Even the lights had buffertrails on them!



Machine work complete (hallelujah!)

Correction looks promising:

From here, I was a little rushed. Collection was near (earlier than expected) so little time was spent documenting the rest of the day.

Rinsed to remove polishing dust. Dried down. IPA (isopropyl alcohol) to remove remaining oils and then Blackfire Wet Diamond paint sealant was applied:

And finished…(Ashamed to say, but, to get right, this one took me 26 hours! (worth it in the end though))

Saved. Just a shame it was left in such a state in the first place!

As always, thanks for reading,