Our first Advanced Paint Care Class of 2013! Beautiful weather, a very enthusiastic and eager to learn group, and some fantastic results - not a bad way to spend a Saturday!
Following our classroom portion of the day we stepped out to the garage and faced the tools for the day.
Time to demo - damp sanding with a pneumatic DA and 1500 grit finishing media.
Keep that abrasive media clean by simply spraying it with some plain water to rinse the slurry away.
After doing a large demo area with 1500 grit we then refined part of that spot with 3000 grit.
You can see the lack of gloss on the left side, which was sanded only with 1500 grit, and some regained gloss on the right after refining the sanding marks with a 3000 grit finishing disc. Guess which one will be easier to buff out?
Speaking of buffing out the sanding marks, a clean pad is a must so we clean this wool pad with a spur.
We also demonstrated the Pad Washer, which is great for both cleaning pads on the fly and when you're done with the project before putting them away. This works equally well on wool, foam or microfiber pads when using either a rotary or DA buffer.
Picking up the first bead of M105 under the 10 o'clock/2 o'clock line of the pad.
Keep that pad flat when buffing, and move it slowly and smoothly to remove the sanding marks.
No need to force the issue, though, as the rotary is easier to handle if you don't fight it.
This is a sure fire way to create a bunch of holograms in the paint. We like to demo how to do things right, but also show how to do things wrong so you know what it looks like. This is wrong.
Sanding marks gone, it's time to refine the finish with some M205 and a W9207 Soft Buff 2.0 foam finishing pad.
Not too shabby.... or is it?
This is where really good lighting becomes critical. With poor lighting anything can look good, but under very close scrutiny you want to see something like this:
If you get up close and personal with the paint using a good light and you see this after compounding, you aren't done with the compound and cutting pad yet (whether that's M105 or M100 with wool, foam, etc.). These are fine sanding marks still present in the paint. This is NOT ready for finish polishing yet as a finishing polish won't remove these sanding marks.
After the initial demo and some lunch, it was time for the students to replicate the demo. Everyone had a chance to sand, compound and finish polish.
Nice overlapping strokes, but what those edges!
After 1500 grit sanding this should be the result: a very uniform, smooth, dull surface.
The same panel after 3000 grit sanding: notice the gloss is coming back and you can now see some reflection of the overhead lighting. But the surface is still very uniform, which is the goal here (ignore the oval shaped spot as that's a burn through from a previous session).
Now it's time to compound and remove those refined sanding marks, keeping that pad nice and flat.
This is getting really close, but again these are sanding marks so a bit more compounding is still needed. Just because it's close does not mean it's ready for a finishing polish - you must remove all the sanding marks before moving to the next step.
There is no right or wrong way to hold the buffer - find something that's comfortable for you, whether with or without a handle.
Foam pads need to stay clean, too, and a pad conditioning brush is the fastest way to keep them that way.
Sanding, buffing, watching, learning.
Thanks again to everyone for coming out and make this day a huge success!