Would appreciate your recommendations: polishing clear coat
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    Registered Member AlwaysWantedA55's Avatar
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    Would appreciate your recommendations: polishing clear coat

    Hi, I bought a Makita rotary polisher intending to sand & polish a car I recently restored (okay, restored AND hot-rodded). My plan was to have a friend shoot the base coat/clear coat and I'd take it from there. But he suggested letting one of his hourly guys do the sanding and polishing to keep me from doing any harm. Good advice, as I've never stood behind a rotary polisher before. The paint is beautiful. It's Dupont Hot Hues, BC/CC. A year later, the paint just doesn't feel smooth to me. It's been waxed a couple times, but doesn't come close to the smooth, glossy finish I believe it should have.

    First, let me be clear: I will not practice on this car!! I've got a couple others in various stages of tear-down that I can practice on. But I don't know which compounds or which pads to use. I would appreciate your advice!!

    Thanks,

    Jay

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    Registered Member Murr1525's Avatar
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    Re: Would appreciate your recommendations: polishing clear coat

    Have you clayed it?
    2017 Subaru WRX Premium - WR Blue

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    Registered Member AlwaysWantedA55's Avatar
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    Re: Would appreciate your recommendations: polishing clear coat

    Quote Originally Posted by Murr1525 View Post
    Have you clayed it?
    No...my impression is that claying would remove "stuff" that's become imbedded in the finish; on my car, I just don't believe the original polishing was completed to the extent needed. If claying is the right thing, I'll gladly give it a try.

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    Registered Member Murr1525's Avatar
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    Re: Would appreciate your recommendations: polishing clear coat

    Well, depends on the reason.

    Some roughness could be from paint overspay. A year later, could be hard to remove, but worth a shot.

    If you dont think the sanding/polishing is right...may need sanded again. I think you would see the sanding marks if they did not remove them. If there are actual high spots/drip/runs, sanding would be needed.
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    Sr. Global Product & Training Spec Michael Stoops's Avatar
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    Re: Would appreciate your recommendations: polishing clear coat

    Quote Originally Posted by AlwaysWantedA55 View Post
    A year later, the paint just doesn't feel smooth to me. It's been waxed a couple times, but doesn't come close to the smooth, glossy finish I believe it should have.
    Quote Originally Posted by Murr1525 View Post
    Have you clayed it?
    Quote Originally Posted by AlwaysWantedA55 View Post
    No...my impression is that claying would remove "stuff" that's become imbedded in the finish; on my car, I just don't believe the original polishing was completed to the extent needed. If claying is the right thing, I'll gladly give it a try.
    If the paint was beautiful when the body shop guy finished it a year ago, but now it's not smooth, then claying should be your first step.

    If you've just never been happy from the start (even though you described the paint as "beautiful" originally) then you may need something along the lines of a paint cleaner or compound to sort things out.

    So, our question to you is - have you ever been truly happy with the smoothness and gloss of the finish?
    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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    Registered Member AlwaysWantedA55's Avatar
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    Re: Would appreciate your recommendations: polishing clear coat

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Stoops View Post

    So, our question to you is - have you ever been truly happy with the smoothness and gloss of the finish?
    Nope. The coverage is great, the workmanship by the painter perfect. As for the "post production", there are no visible sanding marks and in most light the finish looks great. But run a smooth cloth over the paint and it doesn't glide. It feels like there's a tiny bit of drag which shouldn't be there.

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    Sr. Global Product & Training Spec Michael Stoops's Avatar
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    Re: Would appreciate your recommendations: polishing clear coat

    In the year since it was painted, you say you've waxed it a couple of times - with what wax? Have you ever polished the paint, even with a finishing polish like M205? Ever clayed it at all? Are there swirls in the paint, even just towel marks?

    If the paint looks really good but you think it's just lacking something at this stage, we'll still recommend claying it, and then testing a spot with M205 on a finishing pad just to see if you can refine the finish and add some clarity. This is sort of a tough call without being able to see it, and this could even be a case where pictures alone don't tell the story. We've seen cars that look great in pix but horrible in person. M205 on a finishing pad, even with a rotary, is pretty easy to tackle, even for a novice. The process involves a soft finishing pad and low speed on the rotary, like 600 to 1000 rpm. Odds of doing any damage this way are very, very slim indeed; about the worst you'd do is to leave some very faint holograms in the finish, but that's a technique issue to work out more than anything. And a lot depends on the paint.
    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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    Registered Member AlwaysWantedA55's Avatar
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    Re: Would appreciate your recommendations: polishing clear coat

    Thanks Michael. There are no marks at all in the paint. I'll do as you've suggested and clay the car, then if it's still not what it should be I'll try the 205 and a finishing pad in a small area to see if that's what's required.

    I appreciate the advice!

    Jay

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    Registered Member AlwaysWantedA55's Avatar
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    Re: Would appreciate your recommendations: polishing clear coat

    Michael, just to close this out: I didn't answer your question about wax. I honestly don't remember what I used...it was a meguiar's product, but I don't recall which one and won't get to my shop tonight. Also, I just ordered the Meguiar's clay kit and ultra finishing polish. It feels good to have a plan!!

    Jay

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    Registered Member AlwaysWantedA55's Avatar
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    Re: Would appreciate your recommendations: polishing clear coat

    I used the clay bar system yesterday and that took care of it. I was surprised with how effective it was, and with how easy it was to do. Guess I don't get to fire up the rotary buffer after all! Although I guess I can turn my attention to another car in my garage!

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