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Re polishing car paint work

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MarkBD Avatar
MarkBD Mark D
LLandassillio, West Wales, UK   GBR
My BN1 is now been back on the road for 25 years and i take care when i wash and polish it but its now showing a lot of swirl marks and small thin scratches which is made to look worse as it is painted black. So i am looking for advice on re polishing the paint work and what tools and polish i should use.

Thanks in advance
Mark

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sliproc Avatar
sliproc Kevin Quistberg E
Long Beach, CA, USA   USA
Mark,

I feel your pain, black is stunning, just don't look to close, it'll make you crazy. You might consider a specialist auto detailer. They should be able to bring out the best in your paint and be able to give you advice as to how best to maintain it in the future.

rusty1c Avatar
rusty1c Peter D
Antioch, CA, USA   USA
1961 Austin-Healey 3000 BT7 "RUBY"
1963 Chevrolet C10 "Rusty"
Mark,
I do my own polishing but I've been around a friend of mine that painted and polished out cars for a living so I got a lot of tips and coaching from him before I tried it myself. If this is going to be your first time I agree with Kevin whole heartedly, leave the black ones to the professionals. If you don't have the experience with a buffer and the compounds you should try to polish a car that already has a bad paint job because you won't hurt it. A buffer can get away from you pretty quickly and you can ruin a paint job in a few seconds if it burns through on an edge or it grabs. I had a freshly painted 67 Mustang that I tried to polish out myself because my friend wasn't around. I ended up having to have the roof repainted because I didn't have enough experience at the time and I burned through in 3 places.
Pete

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MarkBD Avatar
MarkBD Mark D
LLandassillio, West Wales, UK   GBR
Thanks guys, no this will be my first time polishing using a machine and i have been having 2nd and 3rd thoughts about doing it my self. Living out in the country side i have to travel a couple of hours to any body shop to get it done. I have an a vehicle i use on the land that i will give it a go on first, there might be some interesting pics to follow.

rusty1c Avatar
rusty1c Peter D
Antioch, CA, USA   USA
1961 Austin-Healey 3000 BT7 "RUBY"
1963 Chevrolet C10 "Rusty"
Mark,
One of the most important questions I should have asked you is what type of buffer are you thinking about using? If is the "Rotary" only type that is used in commercial body shops then I wouldn't try it. If it is one of the "Orbital" dual action types that has a speed control then have a go at it. The beauty of the dual action buffer is that it will quit rotating if you put to much force on it and if it is used with a foam polishing pad it is virtually impossible to burn through the paint. Use a gray foam polishing pad and get a compound that is strictly for removing swirl marks. Better to not polish enough tan use a heavy cut compound and cause more scratches.
Pete

MarkBD Avatar
MarkBD Mark D
LLandassillio, West Wales, UK   GBR
Hi Pete
I am going to use a variable speed Orbital dual action polisher with chemical guys V36 & V38 polish or G3 & G12 polish. Have been watching several videos on line to get the general idea.
Mark

rusty1c Avatar
rusty1c Peter D
Antioch, CA, USA   USA
1961 Austin-Healey 3000 BT7 "RUBY"
1963 Chevrolet C10 "Rusty"
Mark,
I went to the Chemical guys website and looked at their polishes that you were thinking of using. No where do I see a recommendation as to the type of polishing pad to use. The only thing they mention is a microfiber cloth.
You might want to look at the "Auto Geek Website" they also have quite a few products available. You can also go to the 3M website and look at their products. If you haven't already done so and you don't mind a suggestion, I would call and talk to one of the technical support people at any of the manufactures that you decide on and tell them what you are trying to achieve and ask them for their recommendations.
I just wet sanded and polished a 1966 Chevy El Camino with a fresh paint job. I used the 3M product line of Perfect-it, item number 06064 with a gray polishing pad. I wet sanded with the following wet and dry sand papers first to remove orange peel and paint imperfections, 800 then 1000, then 1500,and finally 2500. I then used a 3M rubbing compound #36060 on a wool pad and then the 06064 on a gray polishing pad. This was a new paint job and required more sanding due to the orange peel. However since your paint job is 25 years old you shouldn't need any of the above steps except the final one.
The paint looks like a sheet of glass.
Good luck with what ever you decide, don't use to much compound, keep the polisher moving at all times and have plenty of clean micro fiber clothes on hand. While you are at it get a really good liquid wax for dark paints. It will really make the final finish come to life.
Pete

Luegolover Avatar
Luegolover Steve L
London, London, UK   GBR
Mark,

I worked in a bodyshop when I was a kid, so many, many years ago but the process is still the same and I would urge caution on this. If you are going to flat the paint first then you must be super careful not to get any dirt or clogged paint on the paper and the paper will clog easily. Then you must be super careful not to flat near the edges. And to avoid any defects in the paint as it can easily cut through. And if there is any rust coming through then definitely avoid those parts too. When polishing you must be super careful near the edges, again.

Is the paint that bad? Have you tried the good old fashioned T-cut and hard work?

I say all this because if you do go through the paint then you are looking at new paint work and in reality you will soon find it accelerating into a complete respray, that is bound to end up being a big job. Think about the outcome of burning through an edge of the front shroud. You'd have to remove the screen, the grille, the wings would need loosening to get the trims out and so on. In all likelihood that lot wouldn't happen without further issues.

Flat black paint is always full of swirl marks which is why new cars are invariably sold with a top coat of lacquer. A few years ago, before I became a teacher we had several new cars in black and one of them charged a lot of money to have back with a clear coat as an option and so I, mean man that I am, bought the standard black version and it was horrible to look at close up from day one. It was either a BMW, Mercedes or a Porsche and this was about 15 years ago, I can't remember which but it was awful close up but, from an arms length away it looked great.

I feel awfully negative on this but I just see problems with it. Unless of course you actually want a full paint job and you are just looking for a reason to justify it?

Triumphant66 Avatar
Triumphant66 Kent C
Richmond, VA, USA   USA
1956 Austin-Healey 100M "ParisieM"
1963 MG MGB
1964 MG MGB "Nanette"
1966 Austin-Healey 3000 BJ8    & more
Importantly, Does your car have its original paint or is it already resprayed?

You imply it's original - not sure.

K

MarkBD Avatar
MarkBD Mark D
LLandassillio, West Wales, UK   GBR
Hi Guys sorry for the delay in replying have been a way. I restored the car 25 yrs ago and it had a full body from metal respray.I was going to wash and de grease then clay the body and then use as mentioned a two stage polish not go aggressive using an orbital variable speed orbital polisher well that was the plan, i am really not sure what to do now, i am happy for the car to show its age but everytime i wash it i look and think i need to re-polish it.

Mark

7166937491 Avatar
7166937491 Frank Herstek
Buffalo, NY, USA   USA
I have a finger size bubble on the side of my car, near fender door indent. The bubble is driving me nuts, can this be respirated! Or do I have to have the entire car side sprayed. 2000 paint job, restoration Colorado Red

Luegolover Avatar
Luegolover Steve L
London, London, UK   GBR
You could repaint the area affected but in reality a bubble is the result of rust and rust needs new metal to fix it. If you repaint it then the rust will be back and probably reasonably quickly. I'd ignore it if I were you. Unless you can afford to have new metal put in there. Sorry, this seems a little negative.

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