View Full Version : The answer to hard questions about what can be done with a rotary buffer

Mike Phillips
Dec 28th, 2004, 06:28 PM
Holograms - Is it possible to 100% remove them with the rotary buffer? (http://meguiarsonline.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=3024)

Originally posted by chip douglas
Do you *always* get holograms with a rotary, even with a finishing pad and say #82 ? I was trying to attempt making a clear coated finish perfect using only a rotary, and I've almost concluded it can't be done and needs to be followed up with the PC.

If I do not wash the car and bring it out in the bright sunlight, then it looks perfect with #82, BUT if I remove the #82, then I can see the very light holograms.

My car is black btw.


Not always. It really depends on product selection, skill, technique and paint hardness, or paint workability. THe latter two factors are things which you have no control over. Having too soft of a paint system can also work against you because the paint will be easily scratched or swirled.

I would say that in most cases, if you wash the car after polishing with a rotary buffer and any companies pad and polish, and then pull the car into bright light such as sunlight, then you are going to see some light swirls or holograms depending on your process. Most polishes are easily removed with water and soap, especially detergent soaps.

To create a 100% swirl-free finish requires that you do everything you can to the best of your abilities to remove as many of the deeper defects from the finish as you can using a compound or cleaner/polish. Then using good technique, the correct pad and a finer polish, you re-polish the area and massage out any remaining haze or swirls from the first step.

If you do everything right you can get to about 98% to 99% of the way to your goal of a swirl free finish. In order to take your results over the top to perfection, you will have to re-polish the finish using a machine that oscillates instead of rotates, and/or apply a product that will fill-in and eliminate from your view, the very fine, or shallow swirls that may still remain.

Just to note, achieving perfection on a painted surface will always be influenced by things like paint hardness and/or softness. The harder the paint, the more difficult it will be to massage out each and every defect, while very soft paints will be prone to marring or micro-scratching. There is a sweet spot for paint harness that gives you the best of both worlds, hardness for durability and resistance to deteriorating, yet soft enough that it can be successfully polished. This unfortunately is something you can't control.

Your point of origin, or reference must also be considered. If you start out with a finish that has gross swirls, as in deep swirls possibly instilled by running the car repeatedly through a mechanical car wash, or perhaps it was machine buffed using a wool pad and a compound that doesn't utilize diminishing abrasives, no polish or wax is going to be able to fill-in deep swirls like this and make the paint look good. So if by using a rotary buffer you can effectively remove the deep swirls, scratches, oxidation, etching, (or whatever the defects are), and create a finish that is 99% of the way swirl-free, then the difference between the condition of the finish you started with and the condition of the finish you have created will be dramatic.

Final polishing with the dual action polisher and a fine polish like our #82 Swirl Free Polish or our #9 Swirl Remover 2.0, and even our #80 Speed Glaze, or a good quality polish or wax, (or both), will be enough to carry your results over the top.

It all comes down to the fact that in order to remove a defect you have to touch the surface, (in one way or another), and remove small particles of paint in an effort to level or flatten the surface. The trick then is to use a system that is able to remove defects, without instilling its own defects.

Does this help?