REMOVING SCRATCHES AND OXIDATION FROM PAINTED SURFACES
Mar 2, 2020
To identify your vehicle's paint system, use an applicator pad to hand apply a medium duty compound to an inconspicuous spot on the rear bumper. If colour comes off on the pad, you're working with a conventional system. If not, you have a basecoat / clear coat system.
The thickness of the exterior paint layer of conventional systems is 3-4 mils (1 mil = 1/1000 of an inch), while the thickness of the clear coat layer is 1-1.5 mils. Therefore, you can use a much more aggressive product on a conventional finish than on a basecoat / clear coat finish.
When compounding, the buffer should be run at no higher than 1800 - 2000 rpm, and either a wool or foam cutting pad may be used. Wool cutting pads tend to generate more heat than foam pads, increasing the amount of cut, and often leave more swirl marks.
If a paint thickness gauge is available, measure the total thickness of the surface you plan to buff. Then measure the thickness periodically as you buff, ensuring that you don't remove more than .5 mils of paint (especially from a clear coat layer).
Select your compound accordingly, and buff the vehicle's painted surfaces per the following guidelines:
- Ensure painted surface is cool before buffing
- Apply a moderate amount of product to surface and don't allow the product to dry on surface
- Don't mix buffing products
- Buff slowly in shoulder width area, moving buffer side-to-side, length-wise with panel
- Spur pad regularly with pad spur (either a wool pad spur or a dual end detail brush)
- Keep pad flat on surface, applying light even pressure
- Bring buffer off painted surface before stopping
- Wipe off residue with clean, soft cloth
*Check out the previous post on ‘Polishing Accessories Foam Colour Coding’ for more information on Auto Valet’s polishing and compounding pad system.