In this post I spent a bit of time with Chino, our detailer, to get a bit about his background and what he has seen over the years. Chino started detailing cars at his own shop in Singapore almost a decade ago. After a chance meeting with a manufacturer he received training and started working with ceramic coatings long before they appeared in Canada. If you have been to our shop and got one of our Mercedes courtesy vehicles you have probably met him as he also keeps our fleet clean and maintained and does the vehicle circle check with each customer that takes advantage of our courtesy car fleet.
Chino is one of those guys that doesn't say a lot, he's quiet and never the type to brag about his accomplishments, but underneath that quiet exterior is a guy that has done a lot across the globe. When it comes to cars he has either seen it or done it.
For that matter when it comes to a lot of things its the same. Once, at lunch, I said I was doing some slow smoked ribs over the weekend. I'm pretty confident in my pit-master skills over the years and launched into the type of hardwood I use, rub, pit temperature etc. I asked Chino if he had ever done anything like that. Without hesitation he said ribs were great but what I really needed to do was a whole pig. He spent the next ten minutes going into detail on how he built a rotisserie for something that large, the type of spices, cooking time, and everything else that went into it. He knew far more about BBQ than I ever will.
In that short time I realized that this is a guy that doesn't say much - but when he does he knows what hes talking about. There is a point to the story - when Chino sets out to learn something he masters it. The same goes into his mastery of detailing cars.
Here is a short Q and A when I sat down with him earlier today:
Q: So what is it about detailing that you like?
Chino: Its something that's in your blood, you either like it or you don't. For me the best part is the final result when you can take a car and bring it up to what it was like when its left the factory...the before and after. (see the picture above)
Q:Whats the most challenging paint color?
Chino: Black, definitely black. It shows off every scratch and imperfection. But its also my favorite color because when it's done right the shine is so deep and clear, its amazing
Q:What do you like about paints on the latest model years of cars?
Chino: The paint is so much better but I think clear coats are getting thinner or manufacturers are using less clear coats. If you are buffing a car and don't know what you are doing its easy to burn through the clear coats
Q: Have you seen that happen?
Chino: Oh yes, many times when someone is doing a DIY polish and cut and have gone through the clear or left swirls on the paint. Its the same for scratch repair, I once saw a DIY repair on a deep scratch where the owner had used touch up paint and then buffed it and it was awful. I have my own secret detailing technique for scratches.
Q: Whats the secret?
Chino (smiling): Every good detailer has his own way. If I told you then it wouldn't be a secret. But I can say that I do like to build up the paint and the clear coat and then make sure the surfaces are flawless and even. When its done right you won't see the scratch.
Q: You said to me earlier that you find detailing the inside of the car is easier, why is that?
Chino: For me, its easier as its a lot of using the extractor and deep cleaning all the carpets after they are removed, although in some cases I take out the seats as well if it needs a really deep cleaning. There have been a few times when its much harder though. I've cleaned everything from years of dirt, to pets getting sick in cars to everything in between. They all come out looking, and smelling, like new.