Nov 10, 2005

Car Tip 10 - Preparing the painted surfaces for buffing and polishing

Preparing the painted surfaces for buffing and polishing.

Buffing and polishing is a vital part in taking proper care of a car. Buffing and polishing is a process that is used to remove scratches, oxidation, and to restore the paints original luster. Before the paint can be buffed and polishes, the paint needs to be prepared, or in other words, cleaned. This is first done by washing the exterior, which we did in the basic wash process that we talked about in part one of this series. Although, on some vehicles washing the exterior simply isn't enough. Everyday life exposes our vehicles to harmful elements that leave the painted surfaces rough and dull. Some of these elements could be industrial and organic fallout, paint overspray, paint finish roughness, acid rain deposits, rail dust, surface rust, volcanic deposits and other environmental contaminants.

After we have washed the exterior of the car, we need to thoroughly check the paint to see if any of these elements exist. Buffing the paint that contains these types of problems will do more harm then good, plus the longer that these contaminants stay on the paint the harder they are to remove and staining of the paint may occur.

You might be asking yourself, why do I need to pre clean the paint of my car, when most buffing and polishing compounds have cleaners in them? Well, this is true. Most all buffing and polishing products use abrasives to remove scratches, oxidation, ect by removing clear coat and or paint from the surface.

Why would you want to remove paint or clear coat when you don't need to? These contaminants can be removed without removing any paint or clear coat if the right products are being used. After the paint has been pre cleaned, the buffing process will be much easier and not as much paint or clear coat will need to be removed.

So doesn't it make sense to clean the surface first, and leave as much paint as possible on the surface? You bet it does.

Tips 1 - Never buff paint that contains contaminants.

We all want our vehicles to have an unforgettable shine. Pre-cleaning the paint before buffing is a vital step in getting the shine that we all want. These contaminants leave our paint rough and often discolored, and dull the luster of the paint. Having a smooth clean painted surface is the key to getting the maximum shine out of the painted finish.

So how do you know if your paint contains contaminants? Well, the easiest way is to rub your hand back and forth on the paint and feel how smooth the surface is. Take a good look at the paint and see if you can see any.

After you have inspected your paint, and the paint is smooth and contaminant free wait until tomorrow for the next part of this series, which will cover the actual buffing process.

If you have found contaminants on your paint, choosing the right products is very important. Paint prep cleaners are formulated for a specific purpose. For example, tree sap remover is made for removing tree sap.

Here a some additional tips on keeping your vehicle contaminant free.

1. Never park your car under trees.
2. Never park your car near areas that are being painted.
3. Keep your car covered while parked, either in a garage or covered parking.
4. Keep you car washed regularly.

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