How to polish a newly painted car
If you’re re-colouring and refinishing your vehicle, once your work with the spray paint gun is complete and your clear coat applied, you might want to add a stunning mirror like gleam to your surface. The cut and polish procedure, also known as colour sanding and buffing, is the key to polishing up your paint work and imparting that show-stopping finish to it.
Done by a seasoned expert, colour sanding can turn a good paintjob into an exceptional one.
After wet sanding is complete, it’s time to bring that shine to your vehicle through buffing. Remove excess soap, dust and sandpaper grit by washing down your vehicle with fresh water and drying with a lint-free cloth.
Make sure your buffing pad is 100 percent clean and properly attached to your buffer before starting. Evenly apply polish to your electric buffer or foam pad and switch on, but a warning: do not put too much compound on the pad or you could burn through the paint.
If you’re using an electric buffer, turn it on at a low RPM: generally, around 1800 RPM is good. It’s also best to use a slow-starting tool that works up to the top speed you have set. If your RPM is too high or you make sudden starts and stops you will burn the paint. When you begin polishing, moving the buffer around frequently to keep one area from overheating. To optimise control, think about working in sections of about a 30 cm squared at a time.
If you are using a foam pad, apply the polish in firm circular motions until enough polish has been applied. It’s best to use a consistent motion, say left to right, right to left and then down and repeat the pattern. Repeat until you are satisfied with the result, it usually takes about 2-3 passes to obtain an impressive shine. Once you’re satisfied lower the revs a little and do a final pass.
Most buffers have a finishing pad which should be used with a finishing grade polish. You’ll need to make sure to dampen your pad a little now and then to avoid burning the paint and be careful not to keep the buffer on one area for more than a couple of seconds or you risk damaging the base coat. Make sure you have enough polish so the buffer stays wet, or you might end up having to start over or clear coat the surface again. You’ll also need to use a damp, lint-free cloth to clean off your surface before the polish dries.
Finally, you can use a wax or silicon-based glaze product to give your paint a thin protection layer and a little extra shine. It usually works best to apply a small amount directly onto each section of the car. Once the product has been applied, let it sit for a few minutes, then use a clean and damp cloth to clean it off. If you’ve followed the process correctly, you’ll be amazed at the show level, deep mirror shine your efforts have achieved, raising the work you did with your spray paint gun to new heights!