Handy hints when cutting and polishing paint
SAFETY · Use approved implements for elevating yourself. Buckets and cheap step ladders can tip or slide on slick concrete, especially when there’s a lot of oil or polish on the ground.
· Wear eye protection
· Use a rounded object to clean your pads, not sharp objects like screwdrivers, etc.
· Keep electrical tools away from standing water
· Stay within recommended RPMs when buffing
· Paint preparation is vital, not only to the outcome, but to the ease of buffing as well. Rub with 1200 wet with soapy water to remove ‘peel’, dryness, blemishes and dust. Give the car a good wash afterwards
· Use sandpaper that will meet the minimum to get the job done. Stronger paper may cut faster, its also harder to buff out.
· Experiment with the right combination of sandpaper, buffing pads and overall timing of the buff.
· Use plenty of water when colour sanding. Allowing grit and particles to suspend on the paint can damage it.
· Work buffer right to left over blobs or bead of polish and/or compound. Start slightly on edge then finish flat. Working smaller areas, keep your pace uniform and in “rhythm”.
· Let the weight of the buffer and polish do most of the work. Don’t wear yourself out. Work with the buffer, not against it. Keep the buffer in motion to avoid burning.
· Work the car from right to left and don’t follow the wheel lip mouldings, you will turn the buffer upside down and eat the cord.
· Watch for pad grabbers like antennas, windshield wipers and emblems. The cautious approach is the best approach, mask or remove where possible. Have you ever seen a windscreen wiper fly?
· Avoid or mask rubberised body side mouldings, you can burn them or stain them.
· Avoid edges by masking or working parallel with the buffer wheel. Work close but not over unless you have a good touch.
· Minimize swirl by keeping pads clean. Spur (touch with non sharp object whilst spinning) wool pads frequently, wash and air dry occasionally. Soak foam pads in warm water and wring dry.
· Very important to keep pads clean and not cross contaminate pads. Tolerance for used or dirty pads is very low.
· Keep pads separate. Compound is a gritty material, do not use the same pad when finishing.
· Match the right pad to the right polishing material. Save time by spot buffing a small area and check results. There are many pad compositions, experiment with the least aggressive and work up to the most aggressive, if needed.
· Lower RPMs means less friction, less friction means less heat build-up. Try to stay between 1750-2400 RPM when compounding and between 1400-1750 RPM when finishing.
· After compounding, wash the car. This eliminates excess grit prior to finishing. When finishing with a polish or glaze, don’t buff dry. Leave a little material on the car, without it, you create friction. A final hand or orbital wax will clean up any residue.