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Buffing and/or Polishing new paint?

Discussion in 'Builds and Fabricators Forum' started by nwedgar, Apr 22, 2011.

  1. Apr 22, 2011
    nwedgar

    nwedgar Now with TBI!

    Newnan, Georgia
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    So I just finished the clear coat tonight. Over the last week I shot epoxy primer, 2K primer, Nason color, and finally the clear. I tried to be careful and sanded the primer coat, then the color coat, and cleaned the surface in between, but being that it was a driveway paint job I still got trash in the finish.

    The clear coat is like frickin' fly paper and I swear attracted every bit of pollen, bugs, and dust within a half mile of my house. Not to mention the irregular orange peel.

    So my question is, does buff and polish help get rid of some of the small trash and even out the orange peel? I really really don't want to do any more sanding. I'd like to call it done...but my type A personality won't let it go.
     
  2. Apr 22, 2011
    Mike S

    Mike S Sponsor

    Cameron Park Ca.
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  3. Apr 22, 2011
    nwedgar

    nwedgar Now with TBI!

    Newnan, Georgia
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    What a fantastic thread. I was afraid that sanding would be in there somewhere. I see on page 3 you mention that cutting isn't always necessary, especially if there is thin paint. I put on 2-3 coats of clear, but I'm still not sure that I want to try sanding it. How much orange peel and/or trash will just the buffing get out?
     
  4. Apr 22, 2011
    Steve's 70-5

    Steve's 70-5 Active Member 2020 Sponsor

    Louisville, Ky
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    When I sand I use 1500 wet/dry paper, then buff. I have three compounds that I buff with. I have not mastered buffing yet but I have learned the hard way what to watch for. When buffing around a edge or radius corner you can burn the clear coat off and be down to base coat real fast. Was talking to a body guy at work and he said this will happen because of the rotation of the buffing wheel on the buffer, you need to have the rotation going away from the edge I think. If there are bugs in the clear coat they could be in the first coat and will not sand or buff out.

    My suggestion would be if you have a hood or body part left over and some clear coat, shoot it and sand and buff it and see what happens. Make sure you use a buffer and not a grinder, a grinder spins to fast and use the foam buffing pads. If the clear sits a little bit it will not hurt it in fact I think it sands better because it is cured more and does not clog the paper as bad.

    Steve
     
  5. Apr 23, 2011
    Mike S

    Mike S Sponsor

    Cameron Park Ca.
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    Not me, as I did not do this, I only put the link in here to try giving you some help.

    Sorry, best I can do.:(

    Hopefully someone else on this forum will have better info for you.
     
  6. Apr 23, 2011
    54cj3b

    54cj3b Member

    evergreen colorado
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    wet sanding will help get rid of orange peal and some of the other crap use a squeegee to make sure you get a uniform finish from sanding
    lots water , sand , squeegee and keep cleaning any gunk build up in sand paper
     
  7. Apr 24, 2011
    Resto-Mod 68

    Resto-Mod 68 New Member

    Northern Michigan
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    A few tips on sanding and polishing clear...from a detailer.

    first start on the easy flat parts as suggested the hood would be a good place to start/practice because if need be it can be most easily re-sprayed with more clear to cover up a mistake.

    I like to use the least aggressive grit and see what it does for me, 2000 or even 2500 if its too slow, go more aggressive, most wool pad type buffing wheels can take out 1500 grit sanding marks when used with a good compound. wool pads are good to remove the sanding marks..then I like a two stage foam pad process...I use Meguairs stuff.

    use a good body shop sanding block when sanding and use lots of water, sand in one direction only, wipe clean and inspect often, you want a nice even gray/ haze if you have lots of contamination and don't want to go through a re-spray procedure you may have to settle for a few bumps or craters in your even haze...trying to eliminate all may cause you to sand through.

    Use painters tape to mark trouble areas fender edges, body lines etc. tape the thing off just as if you were going to paint it, cover bolt holes cracks etc. it keeps the polish from going where you dont want it and...

    Also use the tape as a guide to remind you to stay away from edges and body lines that might grab the wheel or be burnned by the wheel going over them. sand and buff up to these areas. tape off one side work up to the edge, tape off the other and come at the edge or line from the other side. then when all done go back remove the tape carefully sand to the edge and very carefully buff. You can keep some tape right on the very edge as you buff to protect it.

    buff the whole part or entire vehicle with each progressive compound,then go to the next less aggressive compund. using the tape each time... finishing with a good swirl remover and or sealant. This is an 89 Wrangler, it was full of swirls, scratches and etching from bird droppings and sap. I removed all hardware, taped it off sanded and poilshed, this is actually a base coat no clear...a little tricker sometimes even! but you see part of the process and most of the result in this photo...

    [​IMG][/IMG]
    there are some good videos on how to buff...and lots of good advice helps get you started...but it is something that has to be self taught in my oppinion...you have to do it to know what works.
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2011
  8. Apr 24, 2011
    nwedgar

    nwedgar Now with TBI!

    Newnan, Georgia
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    Great information, thank you. I guess that I don't have to buff and polish right away. I'm not sure if there is a "best" time to do this after painting...is it right away when the clear is still "soft" or after a few weeks when it is cured hard?

    I'm actually considering paying a professional to do this for me, I'm afraid I'll screw it up. I took a weeks vacation to make sure I got the paint done correctly, I can't afford that again.
     
  9. Apr 24, 2011
    waynaferd

    waynaferd Hey, ya'll watch this!!

    That's Bangor,...
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  10. Apr 24, 2011
    Resto-Mod 68

    Resto-Mod 68 New Member

    Northern Michigan
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    As for when to sand and polish...I would read the label on the can of clear or the info sheet if given. Also contact your paint supplier for this info...Most paint shops have a crew of guys that are very informative...they either know themselves, or they know a pro painter and his techniques based on what he comes in and buys and talks about the most.
     
  11. Apr 25, 2011
    nwedgar

    nwedgar Now with TBI!

    Newnan, Georgia
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    That's a good article. I downloaded the PDF version for reference later. It's very consistent with what I've already read, with a few exceptions. Most things I've read said to NOT use a DA sander because they remove too much too quick.

    I think the best way for me to do this is either pay someone else, or just go slow and easy.
     
  12. Apr 28, 2011
    cerial

    cerial Banned

    Middleville MI
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  13. Mar 25, 2012
    jayhawkclint

    jayhawkclint ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ

    Oklahoma City, USA
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    DO NOT buff your brand new clear. Let it harden in you garage for a day or two, then out in the sun a little. Give it a week altogether, then wet sand with 2000 grit I get the orange peel and trash out, then buff with 3M Perfect-it cutting compound and machine polish.

    This is Nason paint and clear cut and polished with 3M:
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2012
  14. Mar 26, 2012
    Stout

    Stout Member

    Quakertown, PA
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    Like most people said, let the clear coat sit a day or two before you sand. But there is a point of diminishing returns, if you let it sit too long (weeks or months) it gets more difficult to sand. You want to hit it when it's still soft but not too soft.

    Many may disagree and that's fine, but I have had bad luck using sanding blocks on the Jeep (even with professional body shop sanding blocks.) The Jeep has too many rounded and imperfect panels so it is easy to burn through with a flat block. I have had the best luck just using my hand. Also, 3M makes a 3000 grit sand paper that is sort of like a thin sponge and I love it! I can take out most of the sanding scratches with it and therefore the buffing compound doesn't have to work as hard or as long, therefore less chance of burn through.

    It's a lot of elbow grease, sure, but it's not as hard as it sounds and the rewards are worth it.
     
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