Polishing is an activity carried out on an automobile with a view to totally removing or masking subsurface paint defects. This in turn improves the surface sheen of the paint and readies it for wax or sealant protection. There are different car polishing methods but the most common are polishing by hand and polishing using machine. Since most people do not own a car polishing machine, below is a guide on how to polish your vehicle by the hand application method.
Wash and dry the vehicle
First and foremost, wash the car and decontaminate the surface if there is any evidence of gas, oil or lubricant blemishes. Ensure that the paint is clean and dry before you begin polishing
Choose an applicator
You can use either a foam applicator pad or a micro fibre applicator pad to do the polishing. A foam applicator pad is recommended for abrasive polishes while a micro fibre pad is recommended for glazes and chemical paint cleaners. Note that a fresh pad must be chosen for each product used during polishing. Never mix polishing products on the same pad.
Understand the hand method
Polishing by hand will much harder work than machine polishing. Also, the outcome of hand polishing cannot be compared to the results obtained by machine polishing. Nonetheless, hand polishing can be useful for concealing minor swirl marks on the paint job. It is the best means of reducing the severity of swirls prior to applying wax or sealant protection on the car. Hand polishing is however limited to rectifying minor defects on the surface of the vehicle.
Every which way
During the actual application, work in all directions to ensure that the edges of any defects present are evenly removed. Contrary to popular belief, there is no specific means of polishing by hand as long as enough time is allowed for the polish to break up. So whether you apply it side to side, back and forth or in circles, there is no big difference. What you must watch out for is the appearance of the polishing product while applying. If it appears transparent and thin, then it is definitely working properly. Once you are done applying the polish, the top coat of polish residue can be buffed off using a micro fibre towel.
Choose your product
But how do you decide on the best polish for your vehicle? The choice of polish depends on the hardness of the paint applied on the vehicle. It also depends on the marks, defects or scratches you aim at concealing. It is advisable to start off with a light abrasive polish. If the defects or markings still persist, move on to a medium abrasive polish. Work it thoroughly and ensure the abrasive is broken down well on the surface. After several applications, top it up with another coat of light abrasive polish in order to remove any marring. This will restore the car paint to its original state and prepare it for sealing and waxing.
Repair or conceal?
Some people choose to conceal defects rather than get rid of them permanently. If this is your desire, then you can use a glazing product with fillers to enhance the glossiness of the paint in preparation for waxing. For those who wish to revive their dull looking car paint jobs, then chemical paint cleaners can be applied prior to waxing to deep clean the paint.
Car Care is proud to bring you these car polishing tips. Discover more about Australia’s largest mobile car detailing network and leading Car Detailing Melbourne service provider. For more car tips, take a look at this article on 6 Tips for Detailing Your Car.