Used polish compound on clear coat
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  1. #1
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    Used polish compound on clear coat

    Without thinking i used a microfiber cloth and turtle wax compound polish and scratch remover on my 2011 mustang. In doing so i screwed up the finish and left horrible swirl marks... luckily I only did it on a very small section. I want to know how to fix this. And the reason why I used this is because ive had neighbors cats scratch it with there sandpaper paws. Ive used it before on my old 99 mustang but it didnt have a clear coat, and obvioulsy the 2011 does so also wouldnt mind the recomended stuff for the rest.

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    Registered Member Murr1525's Avatar
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    Re: Used polish compound on clear coat

    OK, nothing that shouldnt be fixable.

    Did the TW remove the main scratches?
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    Re: Used polish compound on clear coat

    I see you are new here - I assume you are looking for hand applied products, and not machine applied (such as a D/A or a rotary buffer?)

    A little time reading, using the search button, and watching some videos will get you your answers, but to short cut:

    1st - you didn't mention your process. You might have skipped the 2nd step (1st washing your car.)
    Depending where you park your car, how clean the surface is, you may have surface bonded contaminants - tree sap, road dirt and tar, bird droppings.
    These need to be removed 1st before any compound/polishing work is done. You will only mar the surface worse if not.
    This is done by claying the car.



    Clearcoat finishes respond differently to different products - makes, models, years. (Hardness, or how delicate they are.) Thus, there is no single answer for which product will be best for the Ford.

    You are trying to correct two things - cat's scratches, and the swirl marks.

    1. Scratches - are they deep that you can feel them with a fingernail? If so, might be beyond correction. And if correctable, it might be challenging - if not impossible - to eliminate them just by hand with a pad. (But you can greatly reduce the appearance of the scratches by hand.)

    2. Swirl marks - You will want to use the least aggressive product to remove the swirls, yet not leave any micro-maring/hazing in the finish.

    Below is a quote from this thread

    Three products you would find easily at an auto supply store are listed below. Based on this idea, you would start with:
    1. SwirlX
    2. ScratchX 2.0
    3. Ultimate Compound


    Now if you don't mind buying a few bottles to find what works best, as well as a follow up polish and wax, some pads, new MF towels... you'll spend yourself some money. If you want to learn and experiment how to do it yourself, all the resources are here on the forum.

    If not, there are people that would rather have it professionally corrected and just hire someone. (I'm not one of those!)


    Don't jump in right away to fix your car, take a few days and learn a little, tackle it next weekend.
    Let a few people chime in, Mike Stoops from Meguiar's is pretty regular at checking threads and giving his advice. Many professional detailers here, lot of experienced hobbyists (enthusiasts).

    The swirls you already have won't damage the paint.
    But doing something wrong (like dropping the clay bar on the ground and then using it again vs just throwing it in the garbage) can do even more damage.


    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Phillips View Post
    The Aggressiveness Order of SMAT Products - This might surprise you!



    Super Micro Abrasive Technology = SMAT
    From left to right, the most aggressive to the least aggressive SMAT products


    From the most to the least aggressive...

    M105 Ultra-Cut Compound/M95 Speed Cut Compound = The same in abrading power
    Ultimate Compound
    ScratchX 2.0
    M86 Solo Cut & Polish Cream
    D151 Paint Reconditioning Cream
    SwirlX
    M205 Ultra Finishing Polish


    Now instead of SCANNING... (like we're all prone to do on discussion forums), read the below very carefully.

    The order shown here is relative, to the idea that if all things were equal, if all influencing factors could be controlled and be identical when using these products.

    That of course is impossible because some of these products are only recommended for use with a rotary buffer while some of these products are only recommended for use by hand or with a dual action polisher. So if we were to follow the manufactures recommendations then we wouldn't be able to compare all of these products side-by-side because in some examples they cannot be used in an equal manner.

    Does that make sense?

    This article is just to give you a GENERAL idea for the aggressiveness of these products when relatively compared to one another. The way a product is applied, (by hand or machine and if by machine the type of machine), and the application material used to apply the products, (foam, wool, wool/acrylic blend, cotton, microfiber), are both HUGE factors that will and do affect how aggressive a product is or isn't.

    So keep this in mind when considering which product to choose and use for your detailing project.

    Also keep in mind this is a very diverse group of products, all of these products except the D151 PRC are products with the dedicated purpose of removing below surface defects like swirls, scratches and other etchings and blemishes.

    The D151 is a one-step cleaner/wax that has the ability to remove below surface defects, polish the paint to a high gloss and then leave behind a coating of protection.

    Any questions?


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    Sr. Global Product & Training Spec Michael Stoops's Avatar
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    Re: Used polish compound on clear coat

    Turtle Wax Rubbing Compound has been known to scare people pretty well, that's for sure. What you're seeing on a clear coat after using it, assuming it was used properly, is a series of fairly uniform scratches spread through out the paint. It may look horrible, and in many cases on a modern clear coat it might be a bit of overkill, but essentially what you've done is swap out a set of random defects (swirls, fine scratches, water spots, etchings, etc) for a much more uniform set of defects that are now, generally, easier to remove. The overkill comes when you've only got light swirls or other defects that could have been removed with a less aggressive product. So all of the above does NOT make TW Rubbing Compound a bad product, just the wrong product for the task at hand. We could say the exact same thing about a whole bunch of products, including several of our own. One can never fault a product for doing what it was designed to do, even if that's not necessarily what you had in mind at the time!

    That said, we've used similar products to intentionally mar the surface of a panel in order to do a demo on defect removal. As you can imagine, such a demo is worthless if the paint is already perfect.

    "Look, we took perfect paint and made it look good with this process!!!" Not real impressive.

    So, after marring the finish with this type of product in order to prep for a demo, we then correct it with Ultimate Compound either by hand or with a DA buffer. In fact, we've done this pretty recently on a black 2011 Roush Mustang and it came out beautiful every time. And that's what we recommend boatuser41 do to correct the situation on his car.

    Watch the video in this thread and read through the accompanying post and you should be able to get the shine back on your Mustang pretty easily.
    Michael Stoops
    Senior Global Product & Training Specialist | Meguiar's Inc.

    Remember, this hobby is supposed to be your therapy, not the reason you need therapy.

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    Re: Used polish compound on clear coat

    Hey Ive looked around to and this evening im gonna buy some ultimate compound and swirl X and some microfiber cloths...what do you recomedn on using to apply it with and any special way ya think it should be done? Ive entered it in the Car show on May 7th so let me know. Thanks very much.

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    Registered Member Murr1525's Avatar
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    Re: Used polish compound on clear coat

    Well, a DA Polisher would be best.

    Otherwise, the Smooth Foam Applciator pads.
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    Re: Used polish compound on clear coat

    Hey thanks!!! Went and bought your ultimate compound put it on, then went back over it with your ultimate finish and looks better then when I BOUGHT IT!!! I am unbelievably impressed with this. Now I have another question. It has vinyl stripes on it and it has small scratches, would ya happen to have something for that??

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    Re: Used polish compound on clear coat

    I have used the TW compound before,twice actually, and both times had great success with it. Just have to finish it out with a polish. I even used it on paint transfer from scraping my garage with my car.
    My automotive related blog! http://hereishowiviewthings.blogspot.com/

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    Re: Used polish compound on clear coat

    I know this is an old thread, but it seemed to be the most appropriate that appeared when I did an internet search.

    Problem: Without much knowledge, I decided to polish my recently acquired used car before waxing. I used Turtle Wax Polishing Compound. In retrospect, I am not sure I used the proper technique, but I attempted to follow the limited instructions. Everything looked fine until I parked my car at work in the sun. There, I noticed small scratches in a regular pattern over much of my car, almost not noticeable in some sections, and worse in others. I believe that i have scratched the clear coat with a too abrasive compound. I realize the errors I have made (no test patch, kind of looking before leaping with my limited knowledge base). Now I am here seeking a solution.

    After reading this thread, I was leaning towards using Ultimate Compound, following the instructions posted in the linked video above. I am looking for any advice or confirmation that this should be the approach that i follow. The one silver lining of this debacle is that I am learning; I just hope it does not come at the expense of my car's appearance.

    Details: 2001 Audi A4, black
    Turtle Wax Polishing Compound



    Can my paint be saved?
    Last edited by sleepy weasel; Jul 19th, 2012 at 02:55 PM. Reason: add photo

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    Registered Member Murr1525's Avatar
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    Re: Used polish compound on clear coat

    How did you apply the product?

    What did you apply with? What technique?
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