Sonax Perfect Finish has been available through the German manufacturer for almost a few years now, but unfortunately it hadn’t been imported into the United States…until now!
As a part of their Professional Line of detailing products, the body shop safe (no silicone) formula was designed to be the finishing polish to a 2-part system. Because of this, Perfect Finish was formulated as a finishing polish, but one that was capable of a high level of cut (most true “finishing polishes” typically have very little cutting capability).
We at Esoteric Auto Detail were selected by Sonax to try the product over a year ago despite the fact that there were no plans to import it into the U.S. During this testing process, we found that there were many applications and uses for the polish that were never explored during the initial developmental stages. We tested, we compared, we tried with different paint systems, we used it with a variety of machines and pads, we discussed the product back and forth with the engineers at Sonax, and after many months of this, we found this to be one of our absolute favorite all around polishes!
Sonax Perfect Finish: When to use it!
As with other polishes, Sonax Perfect Finish has some specific applications where it really excels. There’s no single “magic polish” that works perfectly in all applications and paint systems, so whether it’s Sonax Perfect Finish or another product…you need to find out where and how they excel so that you can get the most out of your polishing session to maximize results while minimizing your time.
Sonax Perfect Finish and Soft Paints:
In our opinion, this is where Perfect Finish really excels! When dealing with soft paint systems, particularly on darker colors, it can be difficult to get a product to finish down where there’s no haze when using a dual-action polisher (DA), or very light circular swirls when using a rotary. In most cases, these can only be seen when viewing the paint from just a few inches away under a strong LED light (like a Brinkmann), and can’t be seen in the sunshine. But when you’re looking for perfection as we do at Esoteric Auto Detail, it’s only a finished product when the surface is perfect from all angles and distances.
Recently at the Esoteric Elite Detailer Academy, we were working on a black Porsche 911 testing a variety of finish polishes, techniques, and machines. While many finish polishes looked fantastic from 18″ away and beyond, we found that when we inspected them from just a few inches away, they all left at least some level of haze. But with Perfect Finish on the DA, it finished down perfectly and was the ONLY product that passed the test.
We work on a lot of very soft and finicky (black) Ferraris, which have been great test vehicles for finishing polishes. When all other finishing products fail, Sonax Perfect Finish was always the product to come through and save the day!
Perfect Finish also works great on hard paints, but it really shines above others with soft paints.
Sonax Perfect Finish and One-Step Polishing:
When performing one-step polishing, there are a lot of options and ways you can go. There are light polishing processes, medium processes, and intensive ones as well depending on the level of correction you’re going for with just one polish/pad/machine combination. A one-step polish session can take you as little as 30 minutes all the way up to 6 or 7 hours depending on the level of correction you’re going for, and the products / processes you’re using.
But for the most part, we are looking for a product / process that gives us the best cut and finish while minimizing the amount of time needed. And this is where Perfect Finish excels. For the enthusiast, this means more time driving a great looking car and less time polishing. For the professional, it means higher profits because you can be charging by the amount of correction, and not by the hour.
Now there are some mid-level one-step polishes out there that may cut better with the same level of finish, but they may require 2 to 3 times the amount of time to break down the polishes. Time is money, so it’s usually not worth it to double the amount of effort to only gain a few percentage points of correction!
When dealing with softer and dark paints, Sonax Perfect Finish in our opinion is the one-step king when you consider (a) the amount of correction, (b) the level of finish, and (c) the amount of time required. We have performed (many) one-steps on soft dark cars that achieved greater than 80% correction (with no DA haze!) in as little as an hour and a half on the entire car! And some of these cars were immediately taken to shows where the finish was far better even in the sunshine to just about every other vehicle in attendance.
Obviously, your level of correction will go down quite a bit with harder paint systems, but with very little effort, you can still make a significant difference in defect removal, and overall gloss of the paint.
Sonax Perfect Finish: How to use it!
There are a lot of great products on the market, but if you use it incorrectly, you can significantly reduce the performance…Sonax Perfect Finish is no different. When using the product, you may find a few ways to slightly tweak your technique depending on the type of paint you’re working with or the level of correction you’re going for, but if you follow the guidelines below, you should be able to maximize your results with the product.
Rotary Polishing: Perfect Finish was designed around the rotary, and you can achieve stunning results with it! The first thing you need to remember is that a little bit of product goes a long way whether you’re using the rotary or the DA. All you need is two small drops of product per working section (roughly 24″x 24″). Using more product won’t help you…and it usually reduces performance with most polishes.
With the 2 drops applied directly to the pad (usually a finishing pad when using PF as a finish polish), spread the polish around the surface either with the machine off, or with no pressure at 900rpm. Once the product is spread around, increase to a medium pressure at 900rpm with slow arm movement in a cross-hatch pattern (left to right, then up and down). After about 30 seconds, increase the speed to 1200rpm with light pressure for another 30-60 seconds depending on the level of cut or finish you’re going for (do a few test sections to see how much time is needed to achieve your desired results). Now if you’re dealing with a harder paint, you’re usually safe to stop your polishing at 1200rpm. If you’re working with softer paints, it’s recommended that you then bring it back down to 900rpm with no pressure and slow arm movement to achieve a final burnishing of the paint and to ensure a hologram-free finish. You should find Perfect Finish to be VERY easy to remove from the surface when wiping down!
Note: Perfect Finish has a thicker consistency than most polishes, and as a result it will saturate pads more quickly. Be sure to change your pads more frequently than you normally would because cut / finish can and will be reduced dramatically if you’re using a pad that is overloaded with polish residue.
DA Polishing: Perfect Finish was never designed with the DA in mind, but that is where we at Esoteric Auto Detail found it to really excel! When performing one-step polishes with Perfect Finish, we always use the DA. When using it as a finishing polish, we use it with both the DA and with the rotary depending on how the paint reacts.
When using it on the DA, we use the same amount as with the rotary…just two small drops of product per working section. Spread the product around your working area, and with medium / medium-light pressure, work the product at roughly speed 4.5. Depending on how much cut you’re going for, you can test a few sections at various pressures and working times to find out what’s going to yield the best combination of cut / finish / time to suit your needs. Typically speaking, most working sections only require about 45 seconds of working time. We’ve done with more and with less, but that’s a good average. Find out what works best for you.
When doing one-step polishing, we typically use a white polishing pad (Chemical Guys Hex Logic pads are great), and we like to use 5.5″ on both the rotary and the DA. If we’re doing finish polishing, or a one-step on a really soft paint, we like to use a black finishing pad.
Once again, be sure to frequently use a fresh pad otherwise your cut and finish will suffer. At least 3 to 4 pads per car is a good rule of thumb.
Sonax Perfect Finish: Final Thoughts
The more we worked with Perfect Finish, the more we found it to be a very important part of our business. On many cars we’ve worked on over the past year, we couldn’t have achieved the same results without it…it has literally made the difference between a “good” finish and a “great” finish at the end of the day. And since it has become such an integral part of our detailing arsenal, we decided to finally make the product known (and available) to the rest of the detailing world in the U.S. and beyond.
The goal here was never to simply import a product and start selling it to make money. We found a product that works extremely well, and if we were going to go through all of the effort to bring it in for our business, we might as well share it with the industry. We use, promote, teach about, and sell only the products that meet our high standards at Esoteric Auto Detail and the Esoteric Elite Detailer academy, and the ones that simply give us the performance and ease of use that we demand.
With a cut rated at 4 out of 6, and a finish at 6 out of 6, Sonax Perfect Finish is a versatile polish that can provide a decent amount of cut when needed, while having the ability to finish with the best of them. And given the fact that it can achieve this level of cut with a fantastic finish on soft, finicky paints, it makes it an absolute must-have in our arsenal…and we hope it becomes the same in yours as well.
Sonax Perfect Finish
250ml bottles = $24.95
1L bottles = $56.95
Sonax Perfect Finish now available for online ordering through www.EsotericCarCare.com.
Sonax Perfect Finish Image Gallery! (click on images for larger size)
This Nero Ferrari SuperAmerica received a one-step with Sonax Perfect Finish. The entire process took less than two hours, and we achieved at least an 80% correction rate. This car looked fantastic in the sunshine at a big car show down in Naples, Florida a few days later…with just a “quick” polish!
This Ferrari Daytona was prepped for the prestigious Cavallino Classic held in Palm Beach, Florida using Sonax Perfect Finish (two-step process utilizing PF as the finishing polish). There were no other cars at the event with paint that looked even close. That wasn’t just our opinion…it was the opinion of other detailers in attendance as well. The car was absolutely beautiful and always had a crowd around it.
This Porsche 964 Speedster was originally built for comedian Jerry Seinfeld in his signature blue. As a part of the 2-step polishing process, Sonax Perfect Finish was used as the finishing polish to extract as much gloss and clarity as possible. The car looked amazing when we were finished…
Ferrari California polished with Sonax Perfect Finish…
One-step polish on a black Mercedes SL500 using a dual-action polisher. Over 80% correction rate was achieved with one polishing pass; significantly increasing the depth of color and gloss in very little time.