Author Archive for Ivan Rajic

LUSTR Pre-Detail Assessment

Our pre-detail assessment is yet another tool that we use to provide custom tailored services for each client and vehicle.  This assessment is done in order to determine the client’s concerns and give us a good idea of the overall condition of the vehicle.  While we can usually give a general estimate over the phone or through email, we recommend the client bring in the vehicle to be polished so we can inspect it in person.  This is almost a must for any multi-stage paint correction work.

During this assessment, we will go over any problem areas with the client, use our LED spotlights to check for swirl marks and other defects and measure the paint thickness.  When a multi-stage paint correction is in question, we usually also perform a few polishing test spots to see exactly what results can be expected.  When doing these test spots, we basically perform a full detail on a part of the vehicle, usually hood or trunk.  After a rinseless wash on the area, we will decontaminate it with a clay bar, measure the paint and finally do the polishing to show a good before and after comparison.  We can then better decide on a service based on our recommendation as well as any budget and expectations for enhancing the look of the vehicle.

The pre-detail assessment is a free service and normally takes anywhere from 15 to 45 minutes, depending on how much test polishing is done, if any.  We also like this assessment because we get to meet a new client in person and discuss important topics such as: reason for contacting us/major issues, how the car is driven normally, will it be maintained by the owner or not, etc.  Of course, many times if the time allows, these assessments can turn into 1-2 hour car talk, which we don’t mind at all!

Call or email us anytime with questions or to schedule an appointment for your vehicle’s assessment.

Respectfully yours,

Ivan Rajic, Owner and Operator

Here’s a question that comes up quite a bit both from friends and clients alike.  Most body shops, whether they perform quality paint work or not, leave clients with only a general and vague idea of what can and should be done in terms of detailing just after a paint job.  With the large mix of terminology in the detail industry, the phrase “don’t wax your car for a month” usually gets more questions, such as “Don’t wax with a certain wax or any?  Can I polish the car and not wax? A month as in 30 days, or 4 weeks, or…?”  Regardless, most people don’t know exactly what can be done after a paint job, which can many times even be detrimental to the finish if treated improperly, so here’s a quick guide on exactly What Can I Do After My Car Has Been Repainted?

In the first PPF article, Do I really need Paint Protection Film (PPF) aka Clear Bra?, we touched on some characteristics of paint protection film and whether or not it was necessary for your specific vehicle.  In this article, it’s assumed we’re going through with the PPF installation, so we’ll discuss items such as type of film, application and choosing an installer.  These can all be daunting tasks because as with any industry, there are many available options of varied price levels, both in terms of film manufacturers and installers.  The goal here is to describe some quality film types and explain what to look for when choosing a quality film installer.

Hopefully some of the items listed in the article will help those just starting the process.  For the full article, please click over to Which Paint Protection Film (PPF) is Right For Me?

In this article I wanted to share some insight on taking proper care of a new vehicle.  Many people have the misconception that new car detailing is not necessary and this can easily lead to quick damage usually to the painted areas.  New vehicles come in various conditions, some needing only a good wash and wax whereas others may need paint correction to remove defects left from the factory.

Take a look at the article on the Detailed Image blog and see exactly my thoughts on the question What exactly should I do with my new car?

At LUSTR Auto Detail, we always try to stay on top of the newest and best products, tools and techniques. However, we also try to adapt to our clients’ needs and requests as much as possible in order to provide quality car detailing services for all. Recently, we made a few additions to our service lineup, which will be great for owners of daily driven vehicles that need proper attention.

First is our Annual Protection Detail. Our current Paint Protection Coating options revolve around thorough detailing and paint correction, which most of our clients require and request. This new service is geared mainly toward amplifying the durability of our Protection Detail, with paint correction being optional. We get this durable protection by utilizing a long lasting paint protection coating instead of a paint sealant, which means the protection will last well over a year instead of only a few months.  In addition, we thoroughly wash and decontaminate the paint before lightly polishing it as prep for the coating. This is one of those car detailing services that will help owners with long term maintenance by making it easier to wash, eliminating waxing for more than a year and simply improving the look of the vehicle.

Annual Protection Detail

This is a great option for clients with daily driven vehicles who are happy with the condition of the vehicle and not looking to perform any paint correction.  This coating option will slightly improve the paint condition and provide great looks and protection for well over a year. – Time required: 6 or more hours

  • Light Polish Detail +
  • A light polish is utilized to enhance gloss and shine while providing a good base for the coating
  • Application of a paint coating to all painted panels and headlights for great looks and 1+ years durability
  • Note: Paint Correction and custom coating applications available for an additional charge


The next two car detailing services we’ve introduced are the Wash & Seal and Hand Wash. The simplest way to describe these services is to say they’re a quicker Protection Detail and Maintenance Detail, respectively. The Hand Wash is geared for enthusiasts looking for a quick wash every week or two when there is no need for a thorough maintenance detail. The Hand Wash is done more frequently than the maintenance detail and is normally utilized when the vehicle needs a quick cleaning, especially during the winter months. The Wash & Seal similarly mimics the Protection Detail in that it includes a wash and adds a level of protection with an application of a paint sealant that lasts for months. Both are done using safe techniques and quality car detailing products that can be purchased through our Store.

Wash & Seal

Recommended every 6-8 weeks for any vehicle driven daily or often. – Time required: 1 or more hours

The Wash & Wax is our basic protection service that includes the Hand Wash and an application of a quality sealant to protect the paint.  It normally takes about 1-1.5 hours for cars and 1.5-2 hours for SUVs.

  • Hand Wash +
  • Quality paint sealant is applied to exterior painted surfaces for shine and protection


Hand Wash

Recommended every 1-2 weeks for any vehicle. – Time required: 0.5 or more hours

Our Hand Wash is a quick wash with quality products and techniques intended for clients who need to properly and efficiently clean up their vehicles every week or two.  It normally takes about 30-45 minutes for cars and 45-60 minutes for SUVs.

  • Vehicle is hand washed with a pH neutral soap and dried with soft microfiber towels
  • Door jambs are wiped down
  • Wheel faces are cleaned with appropriate brushes
  • Tires are dressed


Well that’s all for now.  We know these services will be welcomed by many of our regulars and we hope they catch the interest of new clients who wish to drive away with a clean and protected vehicle!  Please feel free to contact us with any questions or to schedule an appointment today.

This gorgeous R8 came to us practically brand new for a paint correction and CQuartz Finest paint protection coating. It wasn’t in the greatest shape from the factory (holograms and sanding marks), but the dealer also decided to put some finishing touches of their own, such as buffer holograms and swirl marks. Due to the hard Audi paint, it took us 3-4 compounding stages on most deep defects but at the end it came out perfect. Once polished to perfection, the R8 was coated with CQuartz Finest and looked amazing!

Below are some before and after photos of the R8.


Paint Protection Film (PPF), also known as clear bra, is a great way to protect the front of your vehicle from road debris and prevent rock chips. It has become extremely common to also add customized protection to such areas like side skirts, lower rear bumper, trunk spoilers and headlights.

At LUSTR Auto Detail, our installers provide tailored installation services for all kinds of vehicles, utilizing quality paint protection films like 3M and Xpel for the best in looks and protection. Using the same care and attention to detail as with our car detailing services, we are able to provide clients with the highest quality in fit and finish.

A newer article by Ivan Rajic for the Detailed Image blog discusses the pros and cons of installing paint protection film (clear bra) to a new or used vehicle.  To read the full article please check it out here Do I really need Paint Protection Film (PPF) aka Clear Bra.

Here’s an article for all those DIY enthusiasts that like to take care of their prized possessions.  Whether it’s washing, waxing or interior car detailing, it’s important to have the proper tools for the job and know how to use them.  When using quality car detail products, not only will the job go by smoother, but you’re bound to get better results overall.

In this article, I have listed some key products and tools necessary for simple yet thorough wheel detailing and washing.  While it’s short, this list of Wheel Cleaning Supplies has all the basics and will surely help any enthusiast do a great job at keeping their wheels clean!


Here’s a question that is asked quite a lot.  From new owners to  long time enthusiasts, many of our new clients contact us asking “not sure if it needs anything, but I was wondering if you could take a look at it?”  Sometimes the answer will be yes, sometimes no and sometimes it’ll be a choice the client might have to make based simply on what they want to do with the car.  Needless to say, it’s very difficult to answer that question without first taking a look at the car and speaking with clients to determine the best course of action.  With that, I wanted to answer the question as best as possible based on my personal and professional experience in the article Do I Need To Polish A Brand New Car? on the Detailed Image Blog.  Please visit the link for a thorough explanation based on a few different aspects of car care and ownership.

Here is another correction detail performed by LUSTR Auto Detail on one of my favorite exotics to date.  The 458 Italia is an upgrade to the 430 and it is definitely quite an upgrade.  The styling is a big step up and the interior is simply amazing.  Unfortunately, Ferrari still keeps sending out vehicles with paint in sub par condition.  This 458 was scheduled for a new car detail as soon as the client received it.  We had only scheduled a day for it, but once we saw the car it was clear that it would require quite a bit more work.  As you can see on our Ferrari 458 Italia portfolio page, the paint was in need of some major overhauling, even for a brand new car.  Not only did we deal with the notorious Ferrari sanding marks left over from the factory, but the dealership had performed a poor quality prep on it, leaving holograms all over the paint finish and wax residue in all the possible crevices on the vehicle.  For the complete article, please visit Ferrari 458 Italia New Car Prep and Paint Correction on the Detailed Image Blog.  That’s where I wrote the original article and documented the defects in detail.