3M Paint Defender Review | The Focus ST Network Forum

3M Paint Defender Review

Discussion in 'Focus ST Exterior Upgrades' started by saucymuffin, Sep 28, 2013.

  1. saucymuffin

    saucymuffin Member

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    Walking around Advance Pep Boy's Autozone (they're all the same to me) a few weeks ago I happened by an end cap display of this 3M 'miracle paint defense in a can' stuff. After looking at the price tag of about 25 bucks and realizing my already 2 or 3 week old new ST had a spot or two in the front bumper :mad: I figured why not give it a shot. The basic premise of this stuff is spray on clear vinyl much like plasti-dip. Advertises the ability to fully protect your paint from chips, scratches and getting crap on it for up to one year, the end cap even had a little picture of some of the film with a car key being pressed against it much like how ZAGG Shield shows their screen protectors doing that. So I picked up a can, decided to skip out on the over priced spray can handle and over priced plastic sheet and 3M blue painters tape kit.

    I finally had a chance to apply it a few weeks ago and began reading the directions, notice you have to tape absolutely EVERYTHING off you don't want this on. Finally ended up getting the car taped off and added a second row of tape to produce the "clean edge" on the final dried product:
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    Alright good to spray, I shook the can up just like I had given it to Micheal Fox to hold for a few seconds and popped the cap off and started to lay my first coat. Which came out like turds. Turns out I had grabbed a faulty can and spray nozzle was goofed up. But being the hurrier I can be I decided to forge on with this life decision and see where it took me. After letting it dry some I realized that the clumps of crap and bubbles it threw down weren't going to dry away and I was forced to remove it. LUCKILY it is super easily removable with some glass cleaner, I used a can of Invisible Glass and some rags to melt the stuff into some kind of gooy snotty mixture that looked very much like something I dare not mention on this site.

    After spending the hour it took to clean what looked like the end of a certain Japanese film up I decided to give another go with a fresh brand new spray tip. This time it went MUCH better, the left to right, up and down, left to right, pattern they spell out so clearly went on like a dream. I found it is better to spray it heavy and let it dry then spray it light and screwed when trying to get it off. I ended up with my second attempt looking pretty good:
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    My only issue was that in a few spots I had sprayed it a little to heavy and it had runs in it. On the bottom of the bumper I had a few drips coming off and it felt like it was taking FOREVER to dry. This product definitely is something you want to apply in the crack of morning and let dry by itself all day. Removing the line of tape showed it really did end up leaving a nice crisp line and all was well and good in the world.

    Fast forward a day or two and it had rained :eek:! I walked outside and saw about 10 to 15 different white spots on the front of the car where I sprayed the defender. It didn't look like it was a defending all that well and I had decided since it was a work week to just let it ride and see how it is in a week. After the water had dried the white spots kindly removed themselves and I was happy to see that it wasn't going to be staining my clear protectorate.

    Fast forward to the end of the week and the weekly car wash: I noticed that it was a total pain in the rear end to wash that entire section of the car, I did notice no dings or scratched up parts but I also noticed that normal stains you can you get off your clean coat you could not for the life of you remove them from this film. I like to keep a clean car not one that has yellowed or rust colored spots on my clear coat. So after a week I decided it was time to remove it and suck it up and say it wasn't worth it.

    Removal: Total PIA, if its not heavy enough to be peeled up in one sheet be prepared to work at it for a while, after 2 hours I had the massive majority of it off with a few spots not so easily going. I found it was best to just use the friction of your finger rubbing on the spots to be enough to peel it up but after two hours it was a hard road to hoe and decided to let it go.

    Final Verdict:
    It did what it advertised, it sprayed on a film, protected from lighter dings and scratches and it peel off, albeit in some spots it peel and others I had to work) but it did its job. I will say not very well though, while peeling it off I did see a noticeable yellow tint to the film didn't look like much while it was on the car but it was noticeably yellow when I removed it. Its a total bugger to wash and it will keep stains that elbow grease removes from clear coats. If you live in an area that a lot cinders are thrown up on the road and don't want a laser cut vinyl kit, this is right up your ally, just don't expect the front of your car to look cleaner than the rest ever. I will not be buying this again I found it to be a waste of money.
     

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