Polishing why, when and what for?

Posted on 1/08/2019
Polishing why, when and what for?

We can all agree that looking at a perfectly polished and shiny car gives you the urge to take it for a ride?
NOTHING beats taking your freshly washed car for a spin. Whether it is the perfect beading of the morning dew or just the idea of looking in a mirror.

This is no different for the professional bodyshop. A good polishing/waxing job can make the difference between an ecstatic (and therefor returning) customer that shows off your work to all of his friends or just to the next guy around the block.

Of course, polishing is not all about a shiny, mirrorlike look. Polishing offers several protective advantages and in many cases up values your car in just a few easy steps.
Let’s get started with the basics... What is polishing?

“Polishing is the process of creating a smooth and shiny surface by rubbing the surface with an abrasive product to remove all paint imperfections and leaving a surface with a significant specular reflection called ‘gloss’. “ – Internet
The principle of fine sanding and polishing is the same. We start with a coarse grain to remove material and uneven edges on the surface and then switch to a finer grain, to make the scratches finer (read: smaller and closer together). This results in a flat and more even surface.

By flattening the surface and removing the structure in the topcoat, you reduce the amount of reflection angles, giving the surface a more 'mirror like' look.
We stated before that polishing offers several easy solutions for scratches and paint imperfections. Polishing can even bring your paint back to life. Take a look at the overview of which steps to take to solve which paint imperfections.
Download the full overview here!

Orange peel:

Whether it is a new assembled car fresh of the line or an old-timer, orange peel is a well-known issue. During the painting process, the paint is applied with a thickness and consistency that allows the paint to flow and equalise. If the paint is applied too thinly the paint does not level properly, causing an uneven surface called orange peel.

Paint drips: 

When the paint is applied too thick or not even enough we get sags and runs. These give the paint job an overall unprofessional look and require a bit more work to remove. Using the right file, followed by sanding and polishing, these can be completely removed.

Dust nibs:

Let’s be honest. No matter how much you degrease, clean and air blow the surface, you won’t be able to remove every bit of dust. Small particles and other foreign material that land on the paint during the process are inevitable. These create small nibs that can be removed with a file and polish.

Weathered and dull paints:

Weathered paints can ruin a perfect car. Polishing the surface can easily remove the hazy/cloudy look and give the car a close to new look. Just by sanding the topcoat and polishing the entire surface can make the car look years younger.
Paint etching is a common problem caused by tap water or acids in the rain. Bird droppings are another common cause of paint etching. Depending on the severity of the etching, polishing will repair or lessen the appearance of etched spots.

Removing scratches:

Scratches that do not extend past the first 25% of top coat material can be fully repaired by polishing. An easy way to check this, is just by wetting your finger and rub over it. If the scratch disappears, it can be removed by simply polishing the spot.
Micro-scratches or spider webbings are often caused by automated car washes or sand residue on the sponge while washing. These are small scratches that are mostly visible when the sun hits the paint.
Polishing (by hand) is a great way to remove those hideous scratches around your door handles caused by fingernails, rings, and keys. The whole process can be done in about 30 minutes and when you’re done, your car won’t look like an animal has been trying to open your doors.

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