Paint and Body A Total Idiots Guide To Buffing

Justin87

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Aug 7, 2017
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Hello everyone!

I'm sure this has been covered over and over again but I am new here so forgive me but, I have a question about cutting, buffing, and paint swirl.

So my new 90 GT has crappy paint. Some areas are totally flat but a good portion of the car is just heavily oxidized. So I figured I would try my hand at buffing it out. As a previously ASE and Ford certified automotive technician I figured I could hack it.

Last weekend in my infinite wisdom I watched a bunch of videos on youtube and took to the garage.

I prepped the car by washing it. I used a claybar and detail spray, and then I buffed with Meguiars Ultimate Compound and a buffing pad attachment for my cordless drill. (not the right equipment I know)

The results, as you can imagine, are about as bad as this plan...

IMG_2082_zpsrkko36vl.jpg



The car has a lot more shine to it, but it is definitely swirl scratched.

So my questions are:

1. How (if at all) can I fix this monumental mess I have made? Clearly a real orbital buffer is in order but who has insights in technique.

2. What products can do you guys use? Are there some that work better with a buffer vs elbow grease?

Thanks in advance for any help on the matter.

Clearly I have much to learn.
 
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Davedacarpainter

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That's really not such a mess at all.

If you read through Dan's link, you'll see that it's a three step system to polishing a car. That's similar to what I do at work.

First thing, red is like black, it'll show swirls reallly bad. I think you've figured that out already though :jester:.

Second, reds like blacks take more effort to remove swirl marks.

Third, though you're problem can be easily fixed, it'll take you a good portion of a day to fix.

When buffing out dirt nibs from fresh paint jobs at work I will use 2000 grit wet/dry sandpaper and water to smooth out the small pieces of trash.

Then I use a 3M wool pad with rubbing compound to buff out the scratches from the 2000 grit.

Then I use a 3M grey polishing pad with a buffing glaze to remove the swirls from the wool pad and compound.

And lastly, especially on reds, blacks, and most dark colors, I'll use a 3M blue micro polishing pad and micro polish to remove the fine swirls left from the glaze.

There are all sorts of companies that make polishing compounds. 3M makes a complete set of different compounds and I've used them for probably the last 15-20 years. Just lately though I've started using Mcguires stuff, and I really like it. I would recommend Mcguire's compounds.

A DA polisher produces very nice results, though I use a Dewalt orbital polisher with eight inch pads at work. That's not out of necessarily preceding one over the other. I've been painting for 40 years and it's just what I use.

Dan says that's a little pricey for the products in his link, it's not at all. I paid more than that for my buffer alone.

You have to see it as a vital tool for your car. Guys will spend that kind of money on a decent engine lift that they'll use once. You'll use a buffer regularly through the years.

So, what you have is what you should expect to have after rubbing with compound, there's just more work to the process. I would recommend getting a dedicated buffer of some sort though, wether it is a dual action or single action orbital like mine.

If you want to talk about it, pm me and I can give you a call to help you through it.
 

Tubbster66

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For everything included in this kit it actually doesn't seem to bad!
I wouldn't use that kit for what you need to do. While the swirl remover is good and wolfgang products are awesome, you should really do a 2 or 3 step paint correction. The Porter Cable is an awesome DA and is the one I use.
 

Tubbster66

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I wouldn't hesitate to use this kit
http://www.autogeekmobile.net/griots-garage-paint-perfection-kit.html
I'd buy more of the pads that come in the kit so you don't have to stop and wash them. Of course you want to put a wax or sealant on the paint after correcting. Sealants are better for daily drivers and waxes are good for show cars, gives a more deep shine just doesn't last as long. I enjoy detailing so I use wax on mine, but on my daily truck I use HD Poxy, which is a hybrid sealant. Meguiars is very good stuff and they've been around a long time.
 

Blandnuts

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Here's what I use with great results (buy from wherever).
Polisher https://www.harborfreight.com/6-in-57-amp-heavy-duty-dual-action-variable-speed-polisher-69924.html (used several times)
Pads were all bought from harbor freight
Compound https://www.walmart.com/ip/Meguiar-s-Ultimate-Compound/16550255
Polish http://www.autogeek.net/meg9swirrem.html
Wax View: https://www.amazon.com/Meguiars-A2216-Deep-Crystal-Carnauba/dp/B0009IQX6I



I don't think you need to use a compound. Most of that looks like the polish I used would get it out. Like most things, you're not just gonna jump on it as a pro. My truck looked like that the first time I used a polisher, but I was pushing and moving too slow. Watch a few videos for better techniques.
 

Tubbster66

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If you want an "All in One" type polish, look up HD Speed. I've used it and it is pretty awesome. Lots of retailers swear by it. When it comes to paint correction and detailing there are so many options out there.

I've heard good things about the HF polisher, would be a good entry to polishing.
 
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Justin87

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Aug 7, 2017
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Thanks for all the responses guys!

I did realize this was a multi-step job and that the cutting was only the first step. I just figured I did such a bad job on the first step that I should repeat it! :D

A dual action polisher is definitely in my future. I like the kits too and I am familiar with Meguiars products also, so that's attractive.

I hadn't considered that just going to step two with polish might also help correct the finish, perhaps I can spot test that too.

I'll keep you guys updated on my progress.
 

Tubbster66

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It's amazing what polishing does for the look of a car. Now your gonna freak out every time there is a swirl mark or when it gets dirty! Looks awesome and good job! And do tell what you used and your process.
 

Justin87

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Aug 7, 2017
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It's amazing what polishing does for the look of a car. Now your gonna freak out every time there is a swirl mark or when it gets dirty! Looks awesome and good job! And do tell what you used and your process.
I ended up getting some of the Meguires Swirl Remover 2.0 Polish and hitting it with a microfiber pad and a little elbow grease. Those great results are all by hand!

When I went to order one of the kits online the wife caught a glimpse of the price tag and started asking questions...

So as a compromise I decided to try it by hand first just to see if I could make it any better before ordering.

I'm still going to get a DA polisher but this was a nice way to get her cleaned up and out on the road.
 

Bossed

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May 16, 2010
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If you want an "All in One" type polish, look up HD Speed. I've used it and it is pretty awesome. Lots of retailers swear by it. When it comes to paint correction and detailing there are so many options out there.


I've heard good things about the HF polisher, would be a good entry to polishing.
^^^^ This. I can vouch for the HF polisher, it's not as refined as some of the more expensive polishers, but it works great, and from my personal experience, I'd give it a big thumbs up :nice:

I forgot to mention that HF also carries Meguiars professional series M105 and M205 polishes, which are AMAZING, they carry the various foam pads to do the job as well.

Bossed
 
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