How to Remove Swirls With A Dual Action Polisher

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Restoring paintwork by machine polishing is an art that can be fairly difficult to master. If you over do it, then you can burn through the paint. However, by following simple steps, it's fairly easy to use a machine polisher safely and produce some great results.

Machine polishing will essentially cut into the top, dull, scratched layer of clear coat. The polisher will remove a small amount of this clear coat and therefore any swirls, scratches and dull spots within it. Any scratches that have gone through the clear and into the actual paint cannot be removed by machine polishing.

Get your hands on a polisher, preferably dual action for beginners. Most dual-actions are good enough for the job, but be sure to check out the reviews before purchasing one. Next you'll need some pads. I'd recommend purchasing three. That way you have one for using a heavy cutting compound; one for a scratch and swirl remover; then one for a final refining and finishing compound.

Before you go ahead and buy a heap load of polish and compounds, you need to decide how big a step it is to get your paint condition from how it is now to how you want it to be. A car with a faded look and no clear reflection is likely to need quite a heavy cut. Where as on the  other end of the spectrum, if you're just looking to add a little more gloss to the car's finish, you won't need anything heavy, just a good finishing polish.

Once you've chosen a range of two or three suitable compounds to what you're looking to achieve, then you should be ready to go.
1. Wash the car to make sure you're working with a nice and clean surface. Mask up all plastic and glass edges that could be stained by the compounds.
2. Start with the lightest cutting compound. This way you won't over do it straight away by cutting into the clear more than you need to. If you already know by the look of the paint that it'll need a heavy cut, then you can obviously start fairly heavy.

3. Different manufacturers recommend different instructions, however this is generally what is recommended: Attach the pad onto the polisher. Lubricate the pad with special pad prime or just clean water, using a spray bottle. Shake the compound and apply either 3 - 4 small pea sized blobs OR a thin line across the pad.

4. Working with a small area around 2ft by 2ft, spread the compound across the area with the polisher turned off.

5. Starting with a low speed setting, put the polisher flat on the paintwork, turn it on and slowly move it across the width of the area, then up slightly and back across the other way, Follow this pattern throughout. Staying in one spot for too long will burn the paint.

6. Once the polish has been worked in a little bit, switch to a higher setting and do the same as above, then finally switch back down to a low setting again to finish working the compound into the paint.

7. Buff off the compound and any dust in surrounding areas, to ensure that you aren't going to be putting scratches in the paint instead of removing them.

8. Use the heaviest cutting compound you've chosen across the paint as required, then move to the next one and so on, finally finishing with a polish that will refine and add gloss to the finish.

9. Wax your car to protect your long and grueling hard work!

Hopefully this guide has been useful to you.


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