As humans, we’re attracted to glossy objects. Whether it’s a magazine cover, iPhone or laptop, the same principle applies.
Researchers in Belgium have shown that our preference for shiny things is deep-rooted and hard to dislodge. Apparently it’s because glossiness is associated in our primitive minds with water — a substance that we subconsciously associate with survival. The Belgian research showed that, if you present children under 18 months old with a glossy object, most will lick it (Journal of Consumer Psychology).
And while it’s unlikely that many adults let loose in a car showroom will need to have their tongues prised off the duco by the sales staff, it doesn’t take a lab coat to know that shininess is a quality that attracts buyers.
The trouble is that the stunning lustre that helped cement the appeal of our vehicles when we first spied them in the showroom may be short-lived once we hit the roads. Through day-to-day use and the exposure to asphalt, grit, gravel and the occasional sand, it’s a fact that dints, scratches and gouges in our precious paintwork are inevitable. And oxidation of paint will occur under the harsh sun.
Paint damage inevitably reduces the resale value of our vehicles, regardless of whether they remain as mechanically sound as the day they rolled off the production line. With that in mind, many owners have turned too vinyl wraps to provide up-front protection to their paintwork in order to defend it against expected wear and tear. But what if this expense wasn’t an option at the point of purchase? A cut-and-polish may offer temporary improvement but will have limited long-term limited results.
A permanent solution has traditionally been to subject a vehicle to an after-market respray. But this can cost thousands of dollars per panel to do right — otherwise a sloppy job or mis-matched paint will inevitably lead to disappointment.
Happily, we’ve found another option that can provide that ‘fresh from the showroom’ look at a fraction of the cost. Provided that the duco’s layer of clear enamel hasn’t begun to blister away — or you’re looking at bare metal — RestorFX paint restoration with ClearFX protectant could be your answer.
It took more than a decade for the boffins at RestorFX to generate a paint restoration application that offers ‘Polymimetic Surface Regeneration’. With so many syllables to deal with, we figured we’d spend some time with Gerry Marotzek, the Australian and New Zealand distributor of RestorFX, to find out what it all means.
RestorFX is a liquid that comprises chemicals and secret solutions that are as hush-hush as the Colonel’s’ secret herbs and spices. But it works. The process sees customers running their rough and ready rig through a car wash before dropping it off with Marotzek. The team then tapes- up the trim, door handles and the like. After that, the vehicle is treated to 3000 and 5000 oscillating sanders that remove the micro-grime and establish a perfectly level finish. Then, it’s a dust-off with a lint free cloth before RestorFX is applied.
This is when the real magic happens. The two-pack RestorFX solution isn’t sprayed on. It’s wiped-on by hand and, as the solution self-levels, any surface imperfections are smoothed out. This is a pretty amazing thing to watch as it occurs in seconds. In this process, we saw rock chips, scratches, swirls, scuffs, oxidation and weathering simply disappear — after just one coat.
And, unlike other paint restoring sealants, coatings or polishes, RestorFX actually chemically bonds with the underlying surface while it cures. So it doesn’t simply sit on the pre-existing duco, it becomes part of it. And the manufacturers promise that it will never flake, peek or delaminate.
Apply this product to your headlights, and it will improve the cloudiness that comes from wear and tear. And RestorFX can improve your rig’s external trim, too.
To get the full benefit of the RestorFX treatment, Marotzek will recommend you combine it with ClearFX to provide the hardened shell that will protect the restoration.
ClearFX was launched internationally in Turkey in 2016 but only recently came to Australia when Marotzek took up the product. ClearFX offers a sub-microscopic level attogenetic surface protection coating that penetrates deeply and seals pores. In effect, it increases surface strength and enhances the visual clarity for the surfaces on which it’s applied.
Like RestorFX, ClearFX uses nanotechnology, the details of which would boggle many minds. It bonds to your rig’s surface at the molecular level, sealing and strengthening the duco (including the RestorFX layer). It provides a hydrophobic layer that is extremely scratch-resistant and that won’t wash off, even if subjected to a high pressure hose.
According to the sales blurb, ClearFX is rated at one grade of hardness below diamond. In effect, this product adds the structural volume and hardness that will protect your paintwork against protruding branches, vegetation and most other challenges. The product comes with a two-year guarantee.
As a bonus, crud washes off ClearFX with ease. Dirt and bird droppings won’t stick. A quick car wash will see your duco looking spick and span. And this will save you time and energy that you’ve probably got better uses for.
Apply ClearFX to your alloys to keep them looking spick and span. And, as a smart move, apply RestorFX and ClearFX the next time you get the opportunity to drive a new vehicle out of the showroom before the damage is done.
IT ALL ADDS UP
In addition to the paint restoration and protectant products, if you purchase RestorFX you also have the option of purchasing a range of detailing products that will really give your rig that shiny, glossy edge.
The ‘Numbers’ range is available to RestorFX customers and covers products such as car wash, upholstery cleaners and stain repellents. These products are routinely used by Marotzek’s clients involved in second-hand prestige car sales to offer customers the level of detailing that are usually found only within the domain of the new car market.
There are 14 different applications within the Numbers range. We particularly liked the 09 product which offers a hydrophobic fabric, leather sealing moisture barrier and stain repellent. We tested the 09, 06 and 05 products on our canvas car seat covers and were impressed with the results. We even tried it on a canvas 4X4 car seat with 10 years of seat, spilt meat pies and dust from the outback. The MSA car seat cover came up as clean as the day it was bought.
What does Polymimetic mean? It is a trademark of RestorFX International, Inc. Looking at the Urban Dictionary, you’ll find that the term applies to a situation where an object can take the form of another object of equal size ratio when (or after) each of the two objects touch.
If you’ve heard the term Polymimetic before, it was probably linked to the Terminator series of movies where the T-1000 and its successors were able to change into any shape or form that it touched — provided that the object was of similar mass. While RestorFX and ClearFX can’t achieve this degree of transformation, it will certainly make your duco tough as nails.
What does Attogenetic mean? We were wondering whether ClearFX were making this one up. But the term ‘atto’ derives from a Danish word ‘atten’ and this, in turn, means ‘eighteen’. The term is used as an official international standard for the measurement of things that are bloody small. That is, it denotes a factor of 10−18 or 0.000000000000000001. Now that is nano technology!
What does it cost
ClearFX and RestorFX by themselves roughly cost the same in materials and application. As an estimation as each vehicle will utilise a differing amount of product and time to apply a single application of either will cost:
- Small cars from $550
- Medium sedans from $770
- Small SUVs from $880
Wagons, utes and 4X4s from $990
- Caravans and RVs upon inspection
A package price for an application for ClearFX on top of RestorFX can be provided on application.