Cut and Buff after Clear is a year old

Discuss anything after that final masking comes off.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2019 7:29 am
Hi Everyone,

So after close inspection I've found a few spots in the clear coat of my project that have imperfections like pig tails from DAing during the initial cut stage. I shot the clear last fall and won't be able to attempt to get out the spots that are less than perfect until it warms up in the Spring. So my question is, can I just sand out the pig tails and rebuff? I know the clear will be a lot harder than when first shot. It will be close to a year old. Will it just be a lot harder to work with and can/should I do it or leave it alone? The clear I used was Matrix MS42 high solids with 4 coats. When I initially cut the orange peel I sanded just enough to remove the peal and no more so I should still have plenty to work with.

Thanks in advance for your advice ~ Lenny B

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2019 12:48 pm
Sure you can.
Custom detailers sand and buff old finishes all the time.

(It's not custom painting-it's custom sanding)

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 27, 2019 10:08 pm
Retired professional car detailer here.

You can compound, polish, and wet sand clear of any age if it is in good shape.

Don't worry about it being harder. That is actually a good thing because it won't clog your sandpaper as much. To prevent pigtails, change the sandpaper often and use light pressure letting the DA do the work. Also follow the manufacturer's instructions. For 3M for example, the latest papers I have used say to use plain water where other papers say to use water with a drop of soap.

If it has wax on it, I recommend stripping the wax before sanding especially if it is one of those newer ceramic coats.

If you are using a DA for the compounding and polishing step, I highly recommend sanding to 3000 or 5000 grit because you want to easily obliterate 100% of the sanding scratches when you compound and polish.

When you compound or polish I usually jack the speed up to 85% to 100% and push on it hard but not enough to stall the pad. I then move about 1" per second overlapping not more than 50% making about 5 to 8 S-shaped section passes. The final pass, I lighten up pressure.

There are tons of good polishes out there now. I personally am using Menzerna at the moment, but Meguiar's makes some top-notch compounds and polishes for use on a DA. A great combo to obliterate extremely fine sanding scratches would be a medium foam cutting pad; generally, they are orange such as the Lake Country and some Menzera Heavy Cut 400 (used to be FG400). In the Meguiar's line up I would reach for M105 as a staple though it has a dusting problem... it cuts like mad and finishes pretty nice.

The next step would be to use a polishing pad like the Meguiar's yellow or the Lake Country white or Green and perhaps SF3500 or whatever they call it now it used to be SF4000. An alternate is M205 from Meguiar's

If you then want to jewel the paint, swithch to the blue lake country or black finishing pad from Meguiar's. You would want to use SF3800 new name of SF4500. I suspect the new M210 is similar; since, it cuts a slight bit less and finishes better than M205.

Next wax or seal it with the finest pad the manufacturer makes. Set the DA to a low power and use it to spread the wax thin like butter.

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