If your car has clear coat, and in most cases, any car manufactured after the mid-1980s, or repainted like this one here, will come standard with clear coat, and you’ll need to use a machine. Polishing clear coat by hand is not recommended due to the hardness of the paint. Polishing paint is typically done for two main purposes. First is to remove any remaining swirls left over from a previous compounding step, or to simply increase the gloss of the paint that has no scratches that lacks a deep rich shine like this one here.
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First, attach a foam polishing pad to a machine. In this case, I’m using a Meguiars foam yellow pad on a Rupes LHR 21ES polisher. Spread your polish of choice around the pad, covering all pores evenly by massaging the product in by hand and of course, wearing gloves. Make sure to add a bit more in some areas that remain uncoated. Now that the pad is primed, add three small dots of polish and place the pad directly on the paint prior to engaging the machine.
Speed settings will vary by machine and the type of pad used but a setting of three to four is a good place to start. Take note on small orbit polishing machines if the polishing pad is not rotating, little to no polishing work is being done to the paint. Adjustments to speed, pressure, and machine angle may be needed. Apply light to medium pressure to the machine so that the foam pad compresses slightly. Arm speed is moderate to slow.
But keep in mind, the slower your arm speed, the more work is being done to the paint. Work the machine in a two foot by two foot area for approximately two minutes before wiping the area with a clean dry microfiber towel. Double-check your work by using a paint pen or another LED light and continue to the next two-by-two section of paint if you’re satisfied. Depending on the level of hardness of the paint, you’ll need to clean the polishing pad because it will be coated with old dried clear coat residue.
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To do this, rub a clean microfiber towel across the foam to lift the residue before beginning the next two-by-two panel. Add three more dots to the pad and continue on the rest of the panel. It’s important to understand that this video is just the tip of the iceberg and polishing results can vary drastically by some of the condition of the paint, the type of machine, pads, and even the liquids used.