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 Polishing and Paintwork

Synthetic (Linseed Oil based) or Polyurethane paint finishes CANNOT be polished mechanically using abrasive compounds, But they can be waxed.
Alkyds CAN be polished mechanically (to some degree) but only after six months or so when the surface has become sufficiently hard to accept rubbing compounds. Polishing synthetic paint finishes can only be done successfully by using special polishing components and oils,

Several finishing products are available that will help achieve a very acceptable finish to virtually any surface including glass.

Rubbing compounds, polishing compounds, finishing compounds and body waxes all contain various degrees of abrasives for hard and soft paint finishes, some compounds contain Crystalline Silca and or Ammonia, usually consisting of some form of Petroleum Distillate or Turpentine base.

Farécla G3 super finish rubbing compound is the most popular material to use on nearly all paint finishes it's free from ammonia and silicone. The secret to polishing is to match the correct grade of compound for the right paint, reducing the grade of compound as you polish and to use water for lubricating and cooling.

When polishing by hand use a damp cotton cloth and polish in a straight backwards and forwards motion (not circular), continuing to revolve the cloth while polishing helps keep it clean, Finally finish by hand with a dry soft cotton cloth.

Do not apply in direct sunlight and never allow the compound to dry as some compounds contain Ammonia and may result in staining paintwork.

Using a soft compound on 2 pack paint will result in lots of hard work with little or no effect ending with a dull shine. Using a hard compound on cellulose will result in over polishing and possible "rub throughs".

The polishing or buffing action produces a shine to paintwork by grinding the paint surface down with fine particles of grit and removing a minute layer of paint and minor surface imperfections. The same techniques are used on most painted finishes to achieve the superior shine we all seek.

Polishing Cellulose requires less effort by hand or mechanical polisher due to the softer composition, Generally a finer rubbing compound is used and finishing off with an even finer polishing compound. For example Farécla G3 followed by 3M Ultra finish Compound.

3M Ultra Finish Compound

Recommended applications:
Designed for use on harder 2K paints and/or original maufacturer's paints to remove sanding scratches after flatting or denibbing with 1200, 1500, 2000. May also be used on minor orange peel or overspray. Compound with an electric or air powered polishing machine.

May be used with (grey) Scotch-Brite hand pads for keying original finish for blend-ins and/or clear coat application. Do not apply in direct sunlight or to a hot surface.

Directions for use:

  • Apply suffcient compound to polish a two foot (60cm x 60cm) area.
  • Buff using light to moderate pressure and reapply if necessary until the sanding scratches are removed.
  • Reduce pressure as the compound starts to dry.
  • Any compounding swirl marks can be removed to produce a high gloss finish.

Note: Any excess compound should be removed using a soft damp cloth as soon as possible or before moving onto the next panel.

Polishing with an electric or air polisher and a suitable chosen compound the operator moves the polisher in a circular motion to avoid tracking marks, Working on two foot square areas at a time and cleaning dried compound with a wet cloth helps keep panels clean and reduce staining. It is important to apply the compound sparingly to avoid excessive build up on mop head and surrounding area.

Wet the foam mop head and apply rubbing compound to panel and using an empty garden spray bottle or cleaned out household sprayer simply spraying water over the panel to be polished. Polish small areas at a time and add more water as necessary. Gradually the compound will disperse you should then be able to see the shiny surface. Remove excess dry compound from panel and mop head and apply the finer polishing compound repeating the process until satisfied with result.

3M manufacture a finishing material called "Finesse-it" designed for use by machine or hand to remove haze or swirls. Or as an alternative Farécla G10 extra fine grade super finishing liquid compound suitable for 2 pack, Removes swirl marks and smears particularly on dark colours.

When polishing is finished a good proprietary car body wax is recommended to protect the paint from minor contamination and scuff marks. Wax also provides a good barrier for atmospheric fallout mild pollutents and abrasions.