1. Here’s the before picture. This is the deck lid of a car that had been cut and rubbed by a really decent shop. You can see the swirls clearly because I’m shooting the picture right at the sun. This car has been washed to take all the filler and wax off the paint.

2. stainless steel wire brush takes a lot of the loose wool out of the pad and untwists and softens the yarn in the pad. Doing this at really low speed, helps keep the wool off me and in the brush. I’ll take two or three brush fulls off the pad.

3. Then I dip my hand in the bucket of water and run the pad at low speed against my hand to pull just a little more wool out of the pad and to get it damp. I’ll do this a couple of times, then I run the pad up to full speed to fling off the extra water.


4. Lay down a ribbon of polish and pick the polish up into the pad by running the pad at an angle over the polish at low speed. Do that three or four times till the pad has a nice even distribution of polish over the pad. Sure Finish Polish is meant to be worked in the pad not on the paint, so my purpose here is to create a reasonably aggressive abrasive disc.

5. It’s a little hard to see, but most of this pad is covered with polish.

6. After the pad is seasoned start buffing. I’m not trying to remove all the swirls at this point. I’m trying to replace the swirls I’ve found with finer ones left by Sure Finish Polish and the wool pad.

7. This is what the paint looks like after being buffed with a wool pad and Sure Finish Polish. You can see that the swirls have a finer grain to them. They are still there, but they aren’t nearly as deep. All I’ve done is buff out the half the panel and wipe the residue polish off using a microfiber cloth.

8. Here, I’m picking up Sure Finish Polish into the medium foam pad on my Makita BO6040 Dual Action Sander. Again, Sure Finish Polish is meant to be worked in the pad, not on the paint but my purpose here is to season the pad with enough polish to form a super fine abrasive disc.

9. You can see that I’m leaving just a little reside of polish as I run the machine over the paint. The less residue you leave, the more aggressive will be the cut so it may take you a time or two before you find exactly how wet you need to keep the pad. For softer paint use a little more polish and less pressure.

10. I’m just wiping the residue polish off the paint. As I buff cars, I keep a microfiber cloth handy, usually either on the car, someplace I’ve already done, or in my front pocket. I keep the cloth in my front pocket so if I kneel down, the cloth doesn’t touch the floor. By wiping the residue off the panels as I go I can see if there’s anything I’ve missed. Also, if you fling Sure Finish Polish, wipe up the fling as you go so you don’t have to rub it off later. It can get pretty sticky if you let it stay on a surface too long.

11.  My intention with this picture was to show the difference between the finish I get with the wool pad, where there are swirls, and where I had been with the foam pad, where the swirls end. It would have been better if the sun were reflected in the paint, but for that, you have to look at the next picture.

12.  This is the finish after the two steps but without any wax.

13.  This is the finish with wax. As you can see there’s really not that much difference. But of course, that’s the point, isn’t it?

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Polishing Pads

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