June 08, 2021 4 min read

Step-by-Step Instructions on Applying TopCoat®

Though TopCoat® products like F11 have been carefully and thoughtfully designed to be the easiest products to use for professional detailing results, following this step-by-step process will ensure great results every time, and eliminate many of the common issues that some customers run into.

Preliminary Steps:

  • Look over your finish for scuffs and scratches in the paint - F11 can help restore small scratches and swirl marks in a finish, but will not fill in deeper scratches in the paint. These may need to be treated with a separate product.
  • Prep your surface with PolyWash - Removing large particles of dirt and road grime will make your F11 last longer, and further reduce the chance of scratching the finish. PolyWash is also specially designed to bond with TopCoat® coating products like F11.
  • Dry your vehicle completely - Make sure all the water is completely off the surface.
  • Remove sap, bugs, or other heavy contaminants - Use a wet rag to rehydrate bugs (this works even better if you’ve already used TopCoat® products on the vehicle) and remove them from the surface. This ensures that you don’t just coat the bugs or sap, making it harder to remove later!
  • Apply TopCoat® to a finish at ambient temperature - This means coating your car in a garage, or at least outside on a cloudy day. If the surface of your vehicle is being heated up by direct sunlight, it softens the paint and makes the coating less effective. Ensuring your finish is at ambient temperature will result in a much better result.
  • Have 4-5 clean, dry TopCoat® microfiber towels ready - You need to have multiple microfiber towels available to ensure that you can always buff with a dry towel. Once a towel has become saturated with F11, you can use it to apply F11 to the surface rather than spraying from the bottle.

The Process:

  1. Starting at the top of your vehicle, divide the surface into quarters, and focus on one section at a time.
  2. Spray F11 directly onto the finish of the first section and polish with the first towel.
  3. Buff F11 in with a second, dry towel.
  4. Move to the next quarter section, spray F11 directly on the finish, and polish with the first towel.
  5. Buff that section with a dry part of your second towel. (Throughout this process, you should constantly flip to dry sections of the towel AND shake the towel out to make sure you get rid of any debris that may have built up on the towel).
  6. Repeat this process, moving lower on the vehicle each time: from the top of the vehicle, move to the front glass, then to the hood, then to the back glass.
  7. Each time, divide the section in half, apply F11 directly to the surface, polish with one towel, then buff with a dry towel.
  8. By the time you reach the back of the vehicle, the first towel will likely be saturated with F11. You can now use this towel to apply F11 (instead of spraying from the bottle), but get another dry towel for polishing. 
  9. After you’ve applied F11 to the back of the vehicle, do the door glass, then move on to the doors, and then each quarter panel.
  10. After completing these steps on each section of the vehicle, get another dry towel, and do a final buff to catch any overspray that may have happened on one of the previous sections.
  11. Once this is done, treat the rims and tires (if desired). Always do rims and tires last, as these areas accumulate the most debris, which can result in scratching if that debris gets transferred from the towel to other parts of the vehicle.

To Summarize:

  • Start at the top of the vehicle, divide the surface into sections.
  • Spray F11 directly onto the surface and polish with your first towel.
  • Buff with a different, dry towel, constantly flipping to dry sections of the towel.
  • Work your way down the vehicle in this manner, switching to a dry towel for buffing when the towel becomes soaked with F11.
  • Do a final buff with a totally dry towel.

Additional Tips and Reminders

  • Always apply to a vehicle finish that is at ambient temperature (not heated by the sun).
  • For best results, plan to use 4-5 microfiber towels, one towel is NOT enoughfor a proper application.
  • 2-3oz is the maximum amount of F11 necessary to coat a standard vehicle, and less if you use PolyWash first.
  • Always buff with a dry towel (or section of towel).
  • Once the entire vehicle has been coated, do a final buff with a completely dry towel.
  • Start at the top of your vehicle and work your way down.
  • To take your results to the next level, allow F11 to cure for 24-48 hours, then coat the entire vehicle again. Wait another 24-48 and repeat one more time. Three coats is when the magic starts to happen!
  • Ideally, reapply F11 every 2-4 weeks for more powerful layering and more effective restoration and protection of your vehicle’s finish!