Car polishing
The Basics

This appears to be the part where most people seem to get confused. Beeing able to use a car polish is not
that difficult.We thought we'd write a page on this subject so that we would be able to help everyone out there
better polish their own cars. It is really not that difficult. The
purpose of polishing is to rejuvenate the paint
surface back to it's former glory. Expensive equipment or compounds are also not required to achieve a nice
shine and smooth finish.
Please Note !! Kitten is strictly being utilised for example purposes only
because we have repaired vehicles damaged by this product from incorrect use and are absolutely
gob smacked at how people can be such tight asses and destroy their paint work instead of buying
better quality products. However, professionally speaking, customer cars are strictly treated with
Meguiars, Auto Glym, or Toughseal. Also please note, because we can in no way monitor how you
apply this information, you accept responsibility for applying these methods to your vehicle surfaces
yourself

First things first.

After washing the car the first thing we need to establish is "do we have a clean enough surface to start car
polishing"  In most cases it will be a NO! Polishing a car when there are contaminants on the surface is not
going to achieve much as far as having a nice clean and smooth surface. This is where we have to feel for
contaminants. The contaminants have to be removed in order for the polish to come into direct contact with the
paint surface.

There are many things the human eye can not see. Contaminants is one of them. This is where we put into use
the power of touch and feel. The first thing you need to do is to take the back of your hand and run it along the
surface of your paint. How does it feel?
Is it smooth, or does it feel like sand paper?
In most cases it will feel like sand paper.






The Magnificent Clay Bar

This little tool which has been around for some time now has to be one of the best inventions for paint surfaces.
All it does is remove contaminants of many different natures, therefore leaving your paint surfaces clean and
smooth ready for polishing.
It doesn't just remove invisible contaminants,
but also visible contaminants, like bugs, spics,
road tar, over spray, road debris which has
stuck to your paint,
bird crap, and many
different types of fall out visible or invisible.


In order to use this dandy little device, all you do is spray some
meguiars quick detailer on the paint surface and
run the
clay bar along the paint. Make sure there is plenty of lubricant or the clay bar will stick to the paint
surface.



After a few strokes, wipe
down the remaining
quick detailer with a micro
fibre cloth and feel the
surface with the back of
your hand. How does it feel now. It should be smooth and ready for car polishing.
If not carry out the process once gain until it is ready.



Car Polishing

Now we are ready for the next stage of the process. Car Polishing the paint surfaces to a nice smooth shine.I
don't know about you, but I personally do not favour hard labour so I opt to use the good old
dual action orbital
buffer to carry out all the hard car polishing for me. If you don't have one, your in for some hard elbow work.

We are not writing on hand car polishing as this is not really a favoured method by the majority of people
wanting to maintain their cars, and usually in most cases it's not followed. People prefer to pay some one else to
do it.
Otherwise if you don't like hard work you can always purchase a dual action orbital buffer from
Bunnings or even
cheaper from
Big W. Always try to get one with an adjustable speed setting.

If you do already
have your own
orbital buffer
the next thing your going to
need is 3  foam sponges.
Two yellow sponges and a tan
sponge. All 3 Meguiars. You
can find these products at any
auto parts outlet. Two are for polishing and one
for applying your wax.

The compound we are using is Kitten liquid cut and polish.
This product has been around for Donkeys years and is a
two in one product. In fact, I grew up with it. Please bare in
mind this product is only being used for this example.

The other reason we are also using it, is because it is
uncomplicated and a single pass
compound polish.
It is also in-expensive and everyone can afford it.

You will find it extraordinary what can be achieved with an
affordable product like this when done correctly.

For Tough Sealing or
waxing however you will have to go to the waxing page of this site when it soon becomes
available.A page on decent washing will also soon be made available, so bookmark this site. For now, let's
focus on polishing. Firstly get your orbital and Meguiars yellow polishing sponge. Attach the yellow Velcro end
of your sponge to the oscillating end of your buffer. Make sure it is centered correctly or it will oscillate very
unevenly.

Next, get your Kitten liquid cut and polish and squeeze some compound onto your sponge in a thin snail design
like so.
Be careful not to pour too much as it
will take too long to buff off and you will
remove unnecessary material off your
surface. Remember, the idea is to
remove
dead paint, or paint fade and
very fine hair line swirling leaving your
surfaces clean and very shiny, ready for Sealing or
waxing. This process is not designed to remove scratches
deeper than surface. If your vehicle already has
detailer inflicted damage or deep swirl marks, it's too late,
Leave it to the professionals.


Next, dab your sponge 3-4 times on the panel in an area of around say 40-50 square centimetres like so.
You'll need to look closely
but the snail dabs are on the
bonnet. Once you've done that
make sure your buffer speed
is set between 3-4 thousand
rpm's. Nothing higher.
Start buffing in a slow,
back and forward motion
making sure you over lap each pass. When you can see the compound has near dissipated, stop and wipe off
any left over residue with a microfibre cloth and Meguiars Quick Detailer. Do not press hard while buffing, just
mild pressure. If you can hear the buffer really starting to labour, you are pressing too hard. Try and keep away
from edges and moulds. If you like, try masking these up before you start. If you can see the paint surface has
restored, continue with the next section.
If not, pass it again

When the first sponge has becomes badly fouled up, remove it and fit the next yellow sponge. The first can be
cleaned with luke warm water  and
car detergent. Do not wring dry. Just squeeze it, and let dry. When you have
completed the entire vehicle with Kitten cutting liquid, go over the entire vehicle again with Kitten liquid polishing
wax.  Make sure to fit a clean yellow sponge. This stuff dries fast and contains teflon. Surfaces will be very
slippery afterwards if carried out correctly. Make sure to do small sections at at time.  Wipe off and continue.
This is not a compound you leave on for half an hour. It acts quickly and if left too long, can be a nightmare to
remove, "which tells me it is hard wearing stuff, and works".


This is an example of another one of our vehicles we tested this product on,and the results are impressive. The
Surface is now beautiful and silky
smooth.This surface has now been
lightly cleaned and polish waxed.
Paint fade and hair  line scratches
all gone,completely swirl free.

Something a cheap
detailer "WON'T" give you.
This just goes to show
what can be achieved, even with an affordable compound like Kitten. "WHY"?...........  Because it is done
correctly with the right procedures. Imagine, what can be achieved with
Toughseal, Autoglym, Or Meguiars
when done correctly. Click on the image to enlarge it. This surface was faded and looked dead.

Now it's been brought back to life. A
Toughseal or good quality waxing will do wanders for this finish. I have
written this article to help put to rest out there that insecure feeling of using cheap detailers and coffee car
washes who do nothing for you but charge you cheap rates to damage your finish.

This information is
"GOLD". Put it to use and give yourself some very impressive results, while avoiding detailer
charged costly damage. That includes coffee car washes.
Anything more than this,
leave to the professionals.

Maintenance

Maintenance is relatively simple once having carried out all your car polishing. Try and wash at least once a
week. If not, wash every fortnight, but wash your car.  After you have washed your car, wipe it down. Grab your
quick detailer and
microfibre cloth and go over the entire car.

Fold your microfibre cloth, spray your quick detailer on your panel, wipe with one side of your microfibre, then
turn over and wipe over with the other side. If you keep this up with every wash, people will be
asking......"YOU"...... how you keep your car looking so good. Follow this advice and you will extend the shine on
your car.

When you notice that water has stopped beading, or peeling off your car after every wash you will need to
re-wax. Stay tuned to this site for more pages on washing and waxing coming soon.

Remember that this sort of polishing is only meant to bring back the shine, and remove only extreme top surface
flaws. If you have
major paint fade or severe deep swirling this will not help you.






Ok Folks, Listed below is a couple of methods using Kitten cut and polish and Cream wax from Kitten, and for
those who favour the enthusiest brands, Meguiars. Before we go any further, it needs to be noted that the
vehicle being used here is an every day vehicle with black paint. This vehicle has more than seen its fair share
of abuse as it is also a 4 WD.

The paint is not perfect, but has more than enough potential to bring  back up its shine. It is pitted, chipped
scratched and everything else. Anything that is left behind will require paint correction. This probably won't be
possible as the paint thicknesses are too thin.

Therefore, what we are displaying is basic general maintenance using abrasives which remove material. This is
recommended for removing  top surface flaws which can range anywhere from spider webbing, to top surface
scratches or fallout. Basically the car polishing page all over again, except using different products. It is
recommended that you clay bar first if you have a heavily contaminated surface. First, lets start with Kitten.








For the guy that doesn't want to spend a fortune on polishing compounds, Kitten as mentioned earlier is very
much a household name. It is what I started polishing my first car with when I was just a young lad and
purchased my first car. Who can forget their first car with their first polish compound. I certainly still remember it.  
It was all I knew before Meguiars, Autoglym and everything else that I know these days. After having researched
information about these compounds on bloggs and car club websites, I have discovered good and bad
feedback about these products. In particular the cutting compound. The paste version can leave some rather
nasty swirls or scratches on paint work. Especially clear coats. I had even read that it's advised not to use on
clear coats. I however have used it on a clear coat with positive results on black paint. The key to applying
Kitten cut and polish is to "NOT" apply it by hand, but rather by orbital. We have also repaired a number of
vehicles damaged by this products due to incorrect use.


As stated earlier on this page, we used Kitten
liquid cut and polish. We are now going to show you a different
combination using Kitten polish and cutting pastes. These products are much denser, however not much more
difficult to work with. I do not recommend using these products by hand as what I have discovered is that they
yield far better results when used by a DA Buffer.  I will show you examples of this.











This is the product we are going to start with. We are going to show you an example of the results achieved,
when you use a cutting paste such as this product by hand, and why it is that I don't, and never agree with using
cutting pastes by hand. They are an abrasive. Depending on the coarseness of the abrasive, nasty swirls or
scratches can be left behind.

Take note that I don't carry out
any rubbing using circular
motions. This is what causes
the spider webbing effect
which can be seen from all
angles. Always polish in
straight back and forward
motions. Whether you are
using polish or waxes.
What also needs to be
understood here also is that a product that displays "
cut and polish" is a two in one product. This product
however is more designed to have a cutting effect than a polishing effect. This is why we are going to use two
separate Kitten  products.

We will use the Cream polish and wax next. Why are there scratches left behind you ask? Because hand
pressure is never even over a given area of polishing. In most cases hand pressure is just far too heavy for an
abrasive. Also, the cutting particles in this compound are fairly large compared to other pastes and require a lot
of speed to break down to a dull shine, therefore leaving visible scratches behind . An orbital on the other hand
displaces weight evenly over a given area with far less pressure, and due to its oscillating action and speed
portrays no swirl marks or scratches left behind from cutting compounds. Speed is what is required to break
down the abrasive particles very quickly, therefore dissipating all scratches.

Depending on the coarseness of the compound of course, it can lack in gloss. This is why we then need to
move to a product which is more of a polish. This will remove the dullness and further polish the area to a nice
shine. As you can see from the example above, scratches are clearly evident over the rubbed area. That is
clear proof that abrasives and hand applications just don't mix. This is not just with
Kitten products, but almost
every compound that is designed for cutting.











Ok folks, now this is the best part. This is where you benefit from the best results that can be had using an
orbital, and by the end of the day  you get to keep your shoulder. Nobody said that
polishing your car had to be
hard work. Just follow the same procedure as stated earlier on this page except using the orbital instead.
Being a paste of course
you will need a small flat
object to place some paste
on the
polishing pad. You will
quickly find that once you
have seen the results for
yourself of what can be
achieved using an orbital,
most of you will do away
with hand procedure
applications for ever. You
only have to try this your self
to know what I'm talking
about. I have heard far too
many people say that doing
car polishing by hand yields
the same results that you get
using an orbital (or for the real
heroes), better than a rotary.
"Come on" To all those out
there who believe that. "WAKE UP" It is impossible for the human hand to beat a machine that has revolutions
and speed. That's just common sense. Believe me you'll be glad you did. Obviously as you can see the paint
surface is somewhat a little dull, lacking clarity and could be better with a little more shine.

This however is normal for using a cutting paste with an orbital. As you can see, all the scratches are gone. This
is only because an orbital spinning at 3000 opm's breaks down cutting particles much faster and then polishes
to the best possible shine that the compound allows. This is what the human hand can not achieve. That's why
there are always scratches left behind with hand applied cutting compounds. No speed, no results. Next we will
apply the  cream and polishing wax to eliminate a good percentage  of the dullness and restore this finish to a
nice as possible shine that can be achieved.




I would suppose there are many car lovers out there that would never guess what sort of results could be
achieved by using such an affordable product as Kitten for their own use. For everyday cars that are
used on a regular basis, this
is more than an acceptable
product for providing a decent
enough shine with some
protection. You have to remember
that before you use this product
it is better to go over your surfaces
with the cutting paste if
you have lots of light swirling
or light scratches, then apply
the
cream polish wax. Just simply
remove the red Meguiars
cutting pad and refit the
Meguiars yellow polishing pad.
Go over the entire vehicle with the
exact same method as the
cutting paste. Remember to
do sections at a time and wipe
off to check on your progress. If you
want, re-apply the cream wax polish and let it set for about half an hour so it can work as a wax. That's it !!





























Now we come to the Nitty Gritty polishes. Polishes for the Die hard fan who demands nothing but the top
products. Whether it is for the toy car in the garage, or the show car, or even the everyday get around, Meguiars
is a world recognised product that spands decades. Meguiars is surprisingly an easy enough product to use.
It's just that many people or fanatics don't know where to start. We are not going to bother with hand
applications as we have shown examples of this earlier.

Especially with Meguiars having such a massive line of car care products. As for basic polishing you will need
one of two mild cleaning compounds. Meguiars Paint cleaner or, Meguiars swirl free polish which happens to
be that little bit
more abrassive than paint
cleaner. After that, Meguiars
Wet look. You will  have to
establish whether or not the
paint cleaner is going
to do the job of removing all
light swirls and scratches.     
If not, you will have to use the
swirl free polish.  


Once you have removed all the swirl damage with either the swirl remover or the paint cleaner, you will then
move onto the wet look. Using an orbital of course, I would recommend attaching a Meguiars red cutting pad
and going over the entire vehicle with one of the two cleaning compounds until you are satisfied that you have
removed ample enough damage. Remember that if you have a lot of contaminants you must clay bar the entire
vehicle. Again, this is for general maintenance and upkeep. This is not serious paint correction. This method is
designed to remove top surface flaws only

If you find that the meguiars paint cleaner just is not cutting the mustard with removing enough damage, move
straight onto the swirl remover.
When you are happy with the
results that you have achieved
move straight on to the wet look
polish using a Meguiars yellow
polishing pad. Apply the same
method. Remember to wipe down
with Meguiars quick detailer after
completion.  The results are
not bad at all. Again a lot of the
top surface damage has been
removed leaving a nice smooth
and shiny surface. If you wanted,
you could once again go over
the vehicle with the wet look
leaving a slight haze so as to allow
it to work as a sealer, or you move
straight on to Tech wax. Simply
follow our car waxing page as to
the correct waxing procedures.
The paint surfaces on this vehicle
would have looked better again
if the surfaces were not so badly
pitted and also contained far less orange peal. Also, what we have done is add some other possible
Meguiars combinations that will also assist you in obtaining the shine you have been looking for. We have listed
two types of additional of combinations for mild and slightly more serious damage. If you use one of these
combo's given the level of damage you have, you should see some dramatic improvements if you are prepared
to put some effort into some serious polishing of your paint.
The first one pictured here is basically for mild
swirls of newer paints and mild dulling. Be sure to clay bar first if you have contaminants on your surfaces. We
can not stress this enough.

Do not attempt to use any of these with a rotary polisher unless you plan on entering this industry and need to
practice. Use all of these products with  a DA Polisher and two separate Meguiars polishing pads and one
finishing pad for your wax for each individual pass over the vehicle. This is one combination we use, and find
colours just explode. Do not take short cuts, by leaving one of the compounds out of the equation. You need to
do it right the first time. Be sure to go over the vehicle with Meguiars quick detailer to remove any left over
residue. The end result should be mind blowing.

The second additional combo is for paint that is far more weathered with heavier swirling or webbing and
mild acid rain stains. Again, remember to clay bar the car first before car polishing if contaminants are present.
The first one is basically a mild cutting abrasive. After this, you will need to use a swirl remover for depth of
colour, and lastly, carnauba wax to seal in the shine. If it was my choice, I would also use the deep crystal polish
after the swirl remover, then followed with the finishing touch of Meguiars Carnauba wax. Please remember,
taking shortcuts does not achieve the best possible results. These are combinations that work, and work very
well when used accordingly they way they should be used. It is also optional if you would like to use deep crystal
polish after the swirl remover. For an additional kick in the pants shine, I highly recommend the additional pass
with Crystal polish, and then waxing.

These are methods which are designed to help you better maintain your own vehicle with a simple enough
knowledge of common polishing and waxing maintenance. If you have any questions please don't hesitate to
email us.

Dr Buff

A love and passion for cars
Materials Needed For The Job
Meguiars            
Clay bar,Mild
Kitten Liquid Cut
And Polish And
Kitten Teflon Polish
Two Microfibre
Cloths And
Meguiars Quick
Detailer
Two Meguiars
Buffing Pads with
Velcro Backing
Dual Action
Orbital Buffer
Polishing Combinations
Kitten Car Polishing
Kitten Cutting Paste
Not recommended
Rubbing Kitten cut
and polish by hand
Cut and polished
area by hand.
Scratches left
behind after using
cutting paste by
hand.
Hand Application
Kitten Cutting Paste
Orbital Application
Checking paint
thicknesses
Cutting paste on red
Mequiars pad. This is
a cutting pad.
Recommended Orbital
buffing using Kitten
cut and polish.
Wipping off residue
paste
Evidence is clear, that there are no visible scratches
left behind from using an orbital with a cutting paste.
Not Recommended. Using
Kitten Cream Polish wax by
hand
Recommended. Applying Kitten
cream polish wax with orbital
Result yielded by hand. As you can see scratches
are still visible which have been left behind from
the Kitten cutting compound which was applied by
hand. This is where you need speed to make the
polish work for you. Hence why an orbital.
Depending on the hardness of the paint, if you find
scratches do not come off with the polish, you will
have to re-do the area again by orbital and a
Meguiars red pad using Kitten cutting compound
again. After that, the polish should remove what is
left and bring the paint up to a glossy shine.
Result yielded by using an orbital. The shine is
far more impressive, and gloss is stronger.
This is an impressive result for a 10 dollar
polish which will last you a very long time.
Kitten Cream Polishing Wax
Meguiars
Meguiars swirl free
polish
Buffing with orbital
using Swirl free
polish on Meguiars
Red pad.
Meguiars Wet Look
Polish
Orbital
Meguiars wet look
Pre-damage photo
Buffing with Meguiars
wet look
Given results after having used the methods listed above. Light
scratches and swirl marks have now been removed. Best of all the wet
look is also a sealant.
Do it yourself Car polishing
Take note !! The product listed below is a cutting compound. Every time you use it, you will
remove a percentage of paint or clear from your surfaces. The chance of eventually penetrating
your clearcoat or going through your paint can be high after repeated use. Please be sure to
mask your edges. I would not recommend using this product if you don't know the thickness or
history of your paint. You will use this product at your own risk.
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Please do not use products like this unless you really can not afford
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