If your car hasn’t been kept garaged, if it hasn’t always been waxed three or four times a year, or if it has seen other wear and tear over the years, the paint may have become scratched and marred over the years. Luckily, most cars on the road these days are modern enough to have clear coats on top of their paint, which protects the color coat. This layer of paint can be polished out to remove the little scratches and other surface damage that happen over time, possibly even removing or delaying the need for car paint scratch repair.
Two Ways to Polish a Car
There are two ways of polishing a car: by hand, and with an orbital polisher.
Polishing Your Car by Hand
Polishing by hand is by far the most labor intensive method, but the bright side is that it will help you to get the little nooks and crannies that orbital polishers can’t easily get into.
Polish doesn’t go on like wax, which you allow to dry to a haze before wiping off again. Instead, you will need to work the polishing compound over the paint until it becomes clear.
- Squirt polishing compound over a foam applicator pad and smear it on the paint, spreading it out with small, overlapping circular motions.
- Work in small sections, a couple of feet at a time, so that you can focus on getting each section perfect before you move on.
- Polish until the compound turns clear, but don’t keep polishing until it dries up!
- Rinse the applicator pad periodically to remove excess compound.
- Once the compound turns clear, wipe off the residue so that you can see the section more clearly and make sure it doesn’t need more polishing. Once you are satisfied, move on to the next section.
Using an Orbital Polisher
Using a machine to apply the elbow grease for you not only saves your arm, but also does a faster and better job of polishing out imperfections in the paint. If you try both methods, once you have used the orbital polisher you will understand why auto paint repair specialists rely on machinery such as this.
- Apply the compound to the applicator pad on the orbital polisher and smear it over the section where you plan to work. Don’t turn on the machine until the pad is in full contact with your car’s paint!
- Work on a small section at a time, just as you would if you were polishing by hand.
- As you operate the orbital polisher, be sure to keep the pad flat on the surface of your car, and apply constant, even pressure. Work the polisher in an overlapping pattern: Start by going back and forth, and then go side to side, until the entire section you’re working on has been polished in every direction.
- Just as with the hand polishing method, once the compound becomes clear, wipe off the residue and check to be sure you are satisfied with your work before moving on to the next section.
Polishing can restore your paint to the way it looked when the car was brand new, especially if you use an orbital polisher. Be sure to finish with a coat of wax to protect your work! If polishing your car yourself sounds like a lot of work to you, or if you aren’t comfortable using a machine and don’t want to spend the time and effort required to do the job by hand, you can have your car detailed professionally or take it to an auto paint restoration specialist.
ColorMate Auto Appearance Specialists provides same day car paint repair services including paint perfecting, paint and bumper repair, headlight restoration, rim repair, and car interior repairs in Miami-Dade, Broward and West Palm Beach County. Schedule an appointment for a free estimate on quality car interior and cosmetic repairs.