First of all I will go with the warnings; if you take these warnings to heart, they might save the paint job on your car. First and foremost is be very careful when you cut the paint on your car. In the business we use the word cut to refer to sanding of the paint.
Your going to know if you’ve sanded through the clear coat by the fact that you will see color on the sand paper. If this happens, there is no thing that you can do to fix your paint, other then a repaint. You see why I say to be very careful.
Buffing is the process of putting the shine back on the paint after you’ve color sanded the dirt, runs, or other impurities out of your paint job. This you also need to be very careful when you do. During this process you can burn the paint on your car, this is also a repaint.
The key here is to always keep the puffer moving while you buff the paint. If you decide to stop in one place; it will burn the paint on your car. The next thing that you need to pay attention to is the speed of the buffer; it does not need to be cranked up to it’s top speed.
Now that the warnings are done; lets talk about the sanding process, also known as cutting. You should never use more then 1,000 grit sand paper when you cut the paint on a car. I usually don’t go higher then 1,500 grit myself; the higher the number, the less chance you have to sand through.
You should also use a soft rubber sanding block; using a sanding block will make the paint much smoother. As you cut the clear coat, or pint on the car, make sure that you always keep the surface of the paint wet with water.
If your sanding, and you hear a squeaking sound; you should stop and wash the sand paper, and the surface of the car. What your looking for here, is for the entire car to have a dull shine when your done with the color sanding process.
A squeaking sound means that your scratching the paint because you have something caught under the sand paper. You want to avoid this at all costs; the objective here is to remove small scratches, dust, and other things that may have gotten in the paint during that painting process.
After that sanding is finished; you will move on to the buffing, this really isn’t any harder then sanding, but you need to pay attention to what your doing. Don’t rush the process; if your one of those people who is always in a hurry, it’s might be better to have a shop cut & buff your paint.
Now that we have gotten through that; I will describe how to use the buffer, and the compound. First of all, you should have a variable speed electric, or air buffer. I personally like the electric buffers, but that is up to you, I find the electric buffers easier to control.
We’ll start out by using a wool pad, and heavy cutting compound to begin buffing the shine back to the paint. After you have gone over the entire car using wool pad, and heavy buffing compound; you can move to the medium compound, and a medium foam pad on the buffer.
You’ll be doing the same thing here as you did above, but with medium buffing compound. Make sure that you use a rage to get what’s left of the heavy cutting compound off of the car; before you move to the medium buffing compound.
Next clean off the remaining medium buffing compound with a rag; not the same rag that you used to clean the heavy compound off with. Now we can move on to the light buffing compound, and a light foam pad, this is where the shine really shows through.
You’ll need one more light foam pad to finish this process; we’ll use this light foam pad to put swirl remover on the paint. Swirl remover is just a lighter then light compound that is designed to remove swirls from the paint, and give depth to the shine.
After you have done this, you should wash and wax the entire car; I use Meguiar’s NXT 2.0 to wax cars with. It is the best wax that I have found to this day. If I couldn’t find NXT 2.0 my next choice, the next step down in Meguiar’s line of products.
Now your all done cutting & buffing your car, it should be nice and shiny now. It’s all ready to go and show it off to your friends, and family.