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Old 07-28-2013, 10:22 AM
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How many times to buff

Recently finished painting a urathane base coat clear coat on a vehicle. I'm using 3M Perfect-It as the buffing compound. How many times should I buff the car to get a very nice finish?

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Brian

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Old 07-28-2013, 10:30 AM
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do a square foot at a time and how many times you go across with your compound pad depends on the color. I usually do about 8 slow passes and then go onto the next spot, then take off the wool pad and go white foam with compound. A microfiber and careful examination will tell you. Your edges will probably need more being that you're not really focused on them til you're only focus is them. Once the haze is gone I like to go a little more to be sure and to enrich the color and shine. When it's all said and done it will probably need another quick rub after the car has completely outgassed(about 6 months for our shop policy) so it's important to not wax it within the first 3 months, but how do you protect the paint til then??? Be careful. A lot of people are different though. I just take what I've learned from being a platinum I Car paint tech and what is practical for me and has worked. Lots of different ways but this is what has worked for me doing show car quality work.
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Old 07-28-2013, 10:30 AM
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What kind of finish are you looking for? A flat smooth shiny finish with out any Orange Peel? If that's what you want...did you cut the paint first with sand paper? If you didn't, you can polish for ever and not get that type of finish.

Ray
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Old 07-28-2013, 10:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hawkfan View Post
Recently finished painting a urathane base coat clear coat on a vehicle. I'm using 3M Perfect-It as the buffing compound. How many times should I buff the car to get a very nice finish?

Thanks
Brian

While using all the tips here no how to buff the very first thing you need to do is slow down a bit and do everything you are going to do to one small area, see what it looks like. If this meets your expectations repeat what you did to the whole car. If it doesn't, use the tips you will learn here to re-work that area until you are satisfied with it and repeat the stets on the whole car. But don't go running over the whole car if you aren't getting the results you are after, that is just a waste of time, materials and God for bid, clear that is on the car!

Brian
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Old 07-28-2013, 11:43 AM
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Whatever you do, don't go flying across the whole panel with swift passes. I once saw a guy do this on a video and he was teaching this. Whatever works for him but I thought he was making it hard on himself or his expectations were lower than mine. Whatever floats your boat. I say 1 square foot at a time but after a while I got greedy and did a little more than that, and that's ok as long as your focus is on a somewhat small area and you have good lighting. The guys that have issues buffing usually miss stuff cause their procedure doesn't address the issue of focusing on smaller areas, good lighting, or they just can't see good. I say this cause this is the main frustration for a first time buffer. It's easier to be more thorough if what you're doing makes it easiest to detect a spot you missed...before you're off to the next area.
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Old 07-28-2013, 11:51 AM
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I'm looking for a just a shiny, smooth finish. I took care of the orange peel with 1000 grit earlier. Its after I buff a section it looks shiny but it still looks a little bit dull.
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Old 07-28-2013, 12:02 PM
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Probably because you need to finish finer than 1000 grit...after 1000 grit, step up to 1,500 and then 2000 grit. After you have tried a spot with these grits, try polishing....it should come out like glass.

Ray
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Old 07-28-2013, 07:23 PM
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killing yourself trying to buff out those scratches and the thing is, if you're going metallic, you might always see a faint line of those scratches, if there's any clear left to get those scratches out. I guess I should say when I say 8 passes on average it's over a 2500 scratch, which I really like. At this point I would suggest the 2000 that was suggested cause we don't know what's left on the car and adding another step might push it, otherwise I'd say step it up til you reach 2500 and it's smooth sailing from there.
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Old 07-28-2013, 08:10 PM
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Honestly, when you hit it with the buffer it should be INSTANTLY a mirror. If you come up to the 2000 or now there's even 3000 it should INSTANTLY be a mirror with one or two passes of the buffer.

But it takes cutting with each progressive grit thoroughly! If you are going to cut with 1000 you don't want to cut a second pass what you REALLY need to with it. Otherwise you are simply removing too much material. But you switch to 1200 or 1500 and you need to thoroughly remove every scratch from the grit before, then move to the next grit. When you get up to 2000 or 3000 you make a few passes and as I said it should be shiny big time real fast. You may see a few scratches you need to keep buffing to remove, but the shine it's self, that happens pretty darn fast when you have properly brought it up to the finest grit.

Just how far did you sand (cut) it? Did you remove all the orange peel? How many coats do you have of clear? If you cut it with 1000 we need to know this to help you out.

Brian
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Old 07-28-2013, 08:54 PM
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To get show car results it's gonna take more than two passes. If you cross your scratch when stepping up it's like guidecoat and will tell you when you have canceled your scratches. I will do both 2000 and 2500 in the same direction ONLY cause a 2000 isn't an issue and the 2500 isn't an aggressive sand.


The concern now, as Brian suggested, is how much is left because 1000 cuts fast and your original plan wasn't to do what we are suggesting. I would like to know how flat it is now, a pic of how much peel it had when painted, and how many coats of clear are on there cause you may be cutting it close when all is said and done, especially if the job came out of the booth peely.

Here is a door I cut and buffed and this is just at the end of the compound foam pad stage. This is show quality work but the actual restoration was more like a driver resto and since it was slow I hooked him up with a good buff job. (edit) it must be after the wool stage cause you can clearly see it on the ground.



finished product

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Old 07-28-2013, 08:56 PM
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I didn't mean that it would be done, I should have clarified so the op would understand, sure you buff it more but it should be a mirror shiny in a few passes, as far as "shine" goes.

Brian
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Old 07-28-2013, 09:00 PM
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no, you are right. It should be starting to get glossy after two passes and I should have clarified what I was referring to as well.
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Old 07-28-2013, 09:46 PM
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I am SO dreading buffing my car, and I haven't even painted it yet.
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Old 07-28-2013, 09:51 PM
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is there anything else you can buff til then? Maybe you can do a little cutt and buffing on your daily driver but not cut a lot of peel out.
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Old 07-28-2013, 09:53 PM
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after a couple buffs you will naturally gain confidence. It's not as scary as people say and if you keep it moist and not super fast it helps.
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