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Advice for Hand Polishing?

I'm working on fixing up my newly acquired 166. Yesterday I replaced the dirty 16-inch hubcaps with sparkling 18-inch multispoke alloys. My God, what a difference it made!

The next thing I want to tackle is a good exterior detailing. I'm a total newbie-- never cared much about my cars until a bought this beauty a few months ago.

My question is this: can anyone give me some pointers on techniques for hand polishing? The car is silver and the paint is in pretty good shape, but there are some light swirl marks that are noticable in certain light. I don't really want to invest in a machine polisher, both because of the expense and because I'm afraid of the damage I would do with it. But I haven't found much in the way of guidance for hand polishing. How much pressure should a apply and how vigorously should I work the polish? Is there a certain pattern that is preferable? Will I be able to tell as I work whether I am doing it properly? To be honest I'm probably more likely to under-do it out of fear of damaging the paint than to over-do it.

Any advice/wisdom would be most appreciated. I'll take a picture when I'm done. Thanks to all who contribute to this forum... I've really enjoyed reading the posts so far.

Mikael
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Re: Advice for Hand Polishing?

before polishing - if you haven't already - i'd recommend 'claying' the paint. this process removes any accumulated, stuck-on grit and grime like tree sap and bugs, that may not come off with normal washing. you require the clay, plus a suitable lubricant, which is typically in the form of a spray-on quick detailer. for example, you can use Meguiar's clay + Quik Detailer:

Welcome to Meguiar's Australia, the Leader in Car Car products

have plenty of clean, quality MF (microfibre) cloths handy when polishing/cleaning.

to hand-polish, use a 'foam applicator', which is a small disc of closed-cell foam, for this very purpose.

http://www.speeding.co.uk/acatalog/a...ortwinpack.jpg

you can slightly moisten the applicator with a mist of quick detailer for starters, until it absorbs some of the polish. they can be cleaned in the washing machine (same with MF cloths; you can also buy proper MF 'cleaning detergent' to use in the washing machine if you wish, but not crucial).

for polishing-sealing, i would recommend AG (Autoglym) 2-stage products which suit hand-polishing:
1. Super Resin Polish Autoglym - car cleaning products, car care products, car valeting, car detailing
2. Extra Gloss Protection Autoglym - car cleaning products, car care products, car valeting, car detailing

the SRP - as its name suggests - is the polish to 'remove' swirls. in general, such products can do it in 2 ways: 'cutting' the clearcoat to make it smooth, and 'filling' the swirls to bring them level with the clearcoat to also create smoothness.

the EGP is the sealant - with no cutting/polishing properties - to add a layer of hardness/protection and gloss.

whilst i've not used these, from all reports they are as good as you'll get for hand polishing. you can apply firm pressure with the pad. don't stress, cos you're unlikely to achieve anywhere near the same pressure/heat as a machine polisher will, so the chances of going 'too far' is remote. you may want/need to do each panel twice with SRP, depending upon severity of swirls.

however, if this still seems too OTP (over the top), then consider an all-in-one product. these typically contain 'filler' to hide swirls plus a wax or synthetic sealant for protection and gloss. they tend not to have cutting polish, so will NOT remove the actual swirls, and merely try and hide them. 95% of people are usually happy with such a product, and these include:
*Meguiar's NXT Gen Tech Wax
*Eagle One Nanowax
*Duragloss Polish & Cleaner #101
*Poorboys Polish with Sealant (will 'cut' if used by machine)

if buying AG, i also recommend their Bumper Care product for black plastics/trims, like the window frames, wiper blades, and plastic wiper panel at the base of the windscreen.


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Last edited by shiny_car; 06-02-08 at 22:49.
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Re: Advice for Hand Polishing?

What Shiny Car said!

Unlike waxes, polishes (like AG SRP) work through disintegration so a fair amount of pressure is required and maintained until the product becomes "clear". There is no precise pattern recommended for polishing by hand, however it's important to concentrate on a small area at a time so the polish can be fully 'worked' and not become dry on the surface of the paint. Here is an excellent guide for swirl removal by hand:

Swirl Removal : Basics - Detailing World

As shiny said ^^ it's important to follow the polishing process with a paint sealant. Remember that most swirling is due with a poor wash technique, so a good quality mit (lambswool or microfibre) plus plenty of clean water is essential in maintaining that lustrous finish.

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Re: Advice for Hand Polishing?

SRP is a very mild polish even when applied by machine but it does have some filling ability (glaze). Autoglym products do not like water so make sure the panels are dry. Apply a healthy amount to a pad and work it into the paint, let it dry for at least half an hour. You can now buff off the residue or apply EGP directly on top of the SRP. The trick with EGP is to use very thin layers, imagine it costs 1000 per bottle. Leave to cure for at least one hour before buffing. A second layer can be added after 24 hours if desired. EGP should be easy to remove if fully cured, if not you have probably used to much in which case you could either give it more time or use a QD of your choice

As others have said, claying is always a good idea but I would also use a chemical polish before SRP such as Carlack (Klasse AIO).
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Re: Advice for Hand Polishing?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Noogan View Post
can anyone give me some pointers on techniques for hand polishing?

Sorry, I've never polished my hand......
























Well, someone had to say it
 
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Re: Advice for Hand Polishing?

I have tried all sorts of polish/waxes etc over the years and until recently I tended to stick to Autoglym, in particular the Extra Gloss Polish I find excellent. However, I recently bought some Meguiars Gold Class Liquid Wax, which knocks spots off the Autoglym, so I tried the Meguiars Trim Detailer, which also beats the Autoglym Bumper Gel by a country mile.

I read a little about this new stuff, Dodo Juice, so I bought some, along with the Limpe Prime. At £32.50 for the Orange Cruch and £12.50 for the Lime Prime, its is expensive but ultimately I have found that you get what you pay for.

I also appreciate that different waxes will have different effects on different coloured cars and the above works well on red.
 
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Re: Advice for Hand Polishing?

You can have the best of both worlds, apply a (non cleaner) wax on top of SRP/EGP
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Re: Advice for Hand Polishing?

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Originally Posted by lowejackson View Post
You can have the best of both worlds, apply a (non cleaner) wax on top of SRP/EGP
Why not buy a decent wax to start with instead of aplying over SRP and EGP?
 
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Re: Advice for Hand Polishing?

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Originally Posted by Rosso145 View Post
Why not buy a decent wax to start with instead of aplying over SRP and EGP?
You can but another option/alternative is to use a sealant as the base, to provide long term protection and use the wax to provide the depth of the shine
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Re: Advice for Hand Polishing?

I used the Megulars Deep Crystal 3 step system for the first time today. I washed the 155 with Megulars Gold Class then dried it clayed it using Megulars clay and Quick Detailer as lubricant. Then the 3 stages of the Deep Crystal System. I used foam applicator pads and microfibers and then finished it with a sheepskin mit.
When applying the polish I got the feeling that it would be almost impossible to do any real damage to the paintwork.

The reason I have used the Megulars products is because I read about claying and it was the only set I could find on the high street. Not knowing too much about detailing and doing it by hand I decided to stick to one manufacturer's products until I know what I am doing. They seem to work well but I have only used cheaper products in the past.

The finish looks excellent but considering how much time I spent on it it should!!
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Re: Advice for Hand Polishing?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rosso145 View Post
Why not buy a decent wax to start with instead of aplying over SRP and EGP?
nah, the condition of the paint described by the OP was one which requires some paint correction. waxing straight over swirls will merely produce 'glossy paint with swirls'. it would be like varnishing your outdoor table without first cleaning it.

paint prep/correction is crucial for the best results. no amount of wax/sealant will hide swirls and poor-condition paint. and i'm talking about just 'wax' or 'sealant' of course; not an all-in-one product that may have filler or other properties.

PS: i may have misinterpreted what you have implied/said: not quite clear to me.

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Re: Advice for Hand Polishing?

WITH CHAP ABOVE.

I think you would be better off going to a body shop and getting them to machine buff/polish it.

They will use a cutting compound such as G3 with a machine polisher with a polishing head rather than cutting head.

The stuff from autoglym and [email protected] you but from halfrauds will make it look pretty for just a few weeks - and its a right load of hard work.

Used to be in the trade, so I have a little idea of what lasts and the quickest way to get a car looking like the day it left the showroom is usually machine polishing with the correct compund
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Re: Advice for Hand Polishing?

Definately NOT a bodyshop or G3 compound
Unless the bodyshop are very well renowned for show car paintwork, they will get a shine and some colour back but will impart holograms onto the paint, it will look like a series of wavey lines when the sun catches it, this is due to the polish not being broken down properly or moving the pad too quickly.
Find a good detailer in your area do that job, they will know more about the process and products and will spend much more time getting the finish refined.
Just my 2p of course
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Re: Advice for Hand Polishing?

I agree with dazzo no machine polishing...take a look at the local car dealers used stock when the sun falls on them.All you see are the lines where the machine has whizzed along the paintwork.No substitute for grafting!

Last edited by rossogtv; 12-02-08 at 10:29.
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Re: Advice for Hand Polishing?

Quote:
Originally Posted by HSTDriver View Post
Sorry, I've never polished my hand......

Well, someone had to say it
Yer a bad man HST .....He's from the Alfa homeland.

My limit is Bella bella.

Thanks guys for all your tips and experience.....If pomeo gets her mot she will be in for a treat after I read and digest all this info


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