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How to bring back the shine.


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#1 A4 2000

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Posted 16 March 2010 - 09:24 PM

My brother-in-law asked me if I could buff his car, hoping that I could work some magic on his 12 yr. old paint job. The paint isn't all that bad on the sides, but on the top it's pretty dull looking. The buffer I have is a 10" orbital which is set to 2800 rpm only. Is there anything I can do to get the top looking shiny again? I know I'm limited with this type of buffer, but would a combination of rubbing compound, polish, then wax even make a difference to paint in this condition? Any help would be great. Thanks.

#2 vtec92civic

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Posted 16 March 2010 - 11:24 PM

well to be honest pictures would be best in a case like this . . . . . also knowing the year, make and model of the car along with the color would be another key factor.

Most likely it will be a Single Stage paint being that it's 12 years old.

You will want to use something like:

Meguiars # 83
Meguiars # 80

you will not be able to use that 10" Orbital Buffer though.

#3 WaxManRonnie

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Posted 17 March 2010 - 03:03 AM

With an orbital your chances are slim. But
I agree pics would help. I suggest finding a PC.
Also if money is tight, Harbor Freight has their Chicago
polisher for $30. It works pretty good.

#4 Accumulator

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Posted 17 March 2010 - 05:29 AM

A4 2000- I'd try something like Meguiar's Utimate Compound and Scratch-X v2.0. Products that are designed to work by hand might work OK with that buffer and if they don't well, you could use them by hand.

vtec92civic- I dunno, 12 years ago most cars were b/c. Single stage was pretty well phased out by the end of the '80s, with a few oddball exceptions.

#5 A4 2000

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Posted 17 March 2010 - 06:23 AM

The car is a '98 Nissan altima with white paint. I might end up getting a rotary in the future, but I was hoping I could at least make a slight improvement with the orbital though. So maybe a deep cut compound or that Meguires compound might be worth trying then?

#6 Accumulator

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Posted 17 March 2010 - 06:32 AM

The car is a '98 Nissan altima with white paint. I might end up getting a rotary in the future, but I was hoping I could at least make a slight improvement with the orbital though. So maybe a deep cut compound or that Meguires compound might be worth trying then?


I'd go with the Meguiar's Ultimate Compound, followed by something like their Scratch-X v2.0.

#7 A4 2000

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Posted 17 March 2010 - 06:52 AM

Ok. I'll probably try that then. I'll try to take some pictures too so you can see the condition of the paint too. Thanks for the help!

#8 beemerboy1

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Posted 17 March 2010 - 06:52 AM

What orbital buffer do you have that has a 2800 RPM setting?


I have a 14 year old Camry that looks as good as most new cars. To answer you question yes the car can be brought back to life

#9 A4 2000

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Posted 17 March 2010 - 06:57 AM

What orbital buffer do you have that has a 2800 RPM setting?


I have a 14 year old Camry that looks as good as most new cars. To answer you question yes the car can be brought back to life


Really? Wow. The buffer is the Craftsman one that you can buy at Sears. I'm new at all this, so thought it might be a good machine to start with at least.

#10 Accumulator

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Posted 17 March 2010 - 06:59 AM

The buffer is the Craftsman one that you can buy at Sears. I'm new at all this, so thought it might be a good machine to start with at least.


Be careful about the bonnets/etc. that come with that. I'd only use the foam ones (which I'm assuming you have), not any wool (either real or synthetic) or terry.

#11 beemerboy1

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Posted 17 March 2010 - 07:08 AM

Really? Wow. The buffer is the Craftsman one that you can buy at Sears. I'm new at all this, so thought it might be a good machine to start with at least.


It was just a question as most orbitals that I've seen do not have that high an RPM setting.


Dose this buffer have foam pads?

#12 A4 2000

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Posted 17 March 2010 - 07:10 AM

Be careful about the bonnets/etc. that come with that. I'd only use the foam ones (which I'm assuming you have), not any wool (either real or synthetic) or terry.


Is there a chance of messing up something when using them? I buffed two cars already with the bonnets and I'm very happy with the results. I thought about buying some foam pads though after watching some buffing tutorials. Do the foam pads give better results?

#13 A4 2000

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Posted 17 March 2010 - 07:16 AM

It was just a question as most orbitals that I've seen do not have that high an RPM setting.


Dose this buffer have foam pads?


No, no foam pads. It comes with blue wax applicator bonnets, terrycloth ones, and a wool polishing bonnet.

#14 craigdt

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Posted 17 March 2010 - 08:38 AM

I will just come right out and say that you will get much better results from a DA or rotary.

Don't expect to remove any serious defects with a 10" buffer.
Now, it may be good to remove waxes with, if that's your chosen method.

#15 A4 2000

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Posted 18 March 2010 - 07:12 AM

I will just come right out and say that you will get much better results from a DA or rotary.

Don't expect to remove any serious defects with a 10" buffer.
Now, it may be good to remove waxes with, if that's your chosen method.


My car's paint is very shiny still for being 10 yrs old. It has some light spider webbing and other fine scratches though. Could I at least remove those with some rubbing compound? I've only used wax so far with it so I'm wondering if I should even go out and get some rubbing compound.

#16 Accumulator

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Posted 18 March 2010 - 07:30 AM

My car's paint is very shiny still for being 10 yrs old. It has some light spider webbing and other fine scratches though. Could I at least remove those with some rubbing compound? I've only used wax so far with it so I'm wondering if I should even go out and get some rubbing compound.


If you don't approach this properly you'll make things worse instead of better.

The *only* "rubbing compound" you should consider is Meguiar's Ultimate Compound. Don't try anything else. The "UC" is about the only such product that's likely to work OK in your situation; other rubbing compounds will cause severe scouring/marring of the paint that you'll be hard-pressed to fix.

If you use the UC, then follow up with the Scratch-X v2.0 on a fresh bonnet. The UC by itself will probably not leave a ready-to-wax finish.

The problem with not using foam pads is that most other buffing media generally don't leave a finish that particular people would find acceptable. If *you* are satisfied with how the buffer and its bonnets perform, then OK. But I'd stick with the Meguiar's prodcuts I already suggested.

Maybe you should start by trying the Meguiar's Scratch-X v2.0. It will do some gentle polishing and make for a nice prep before you do the wax.

#17 A4 2000

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Posted 18 March 2010 - 07:52 AM

If you don't approach this properly you'll make things worse instead of better.

The *only* "rubbing compound" you should consider is Meguiar's Ultimate Compound. Don't try anything else. The "UC" is about the only such product that's likely to work OK in your situation; other rubbing compounds will cause severe scouring/marring of the paint that you'll be hard-pressed to fix.

If you use the UC, then follow up with the Scratch-X v2.0 on a fresh bonnet. The UC by itself will probably not leave a ready-to-wax finish.

The problem with not using foam pads is that most other buffing media generally don't leave a finish that particular people would find acceptable. If *you* are satisfied with how the buffer and its bonnets perform, then OK. But I'd stick with the Meguiar's prodcuts I already suggested.

Maybe you should start by trying the Meguiar's Scratch-X v2.0. It will do some gentle polishing and make for a nice prep before you do the wax.


Ok. So I'll try out the scratchx v2.0 first and see what happens. If that's not enough then I get UC to and do it in the order you described. Everyone seems to be faithful Meguiars product users, so I'll stick to that route then. Thanks for all the help everyone!

#18 Accumulator

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Posted 18 March 2010 - 08:37 AM

..Everyone seems to be faithful Meguiars product users, so I'll stick to that route then...


Heh heh, and believe it or not, I'm not a big fan of Meguiar's! But some of their stuff is just *perfect* for certain applications and you can't argue with what works.

Try doing one small area until it's the way you want things to look. IF anything doesn't work out right, post back for help rather than doing the whole vehicle and having some big problem. Not that I *expect* you to have difficulties, but you never know and people sometimes do, uhm...surprising things.

#19 Sandford

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Posted 18 March 2010 - 02:47 PM

Hi there,

You may be as well to clay, (and possibly use a pre-wax cleaner if you want to go OTT) and then use something like Autoglym Super Resin Polish by hand and then a couple layers of wax/sealant. You won't lose a whole lot by trying this and seeing if the results are good enough.

If it's a random orbital type machine and doesn't spin on a fixed point then you may be safe to use, you could always stop by a body shop and ask them if they can get some paint thickness readings for you??? But if you don't have a PTG then I would be wary about using a machine.

Hope it goes well whatever happens.

#20 A4 2000

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Posted 18 March 2010 - 05:30 PM

Yeah, so I might see if I can attempt something this weekend if I still have time after I do my oil change. I need to go buy the oil still so I should be picking up the ScratchX while I'm there. Maybe I can get some before and after pics in too if time permits.




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