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Thread: Circles or Straight Lines?

          
  1. #1
    Registered Member Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Circles or Straight Lines?

    Circles or Straight Lines?


    Originally posted by MattN03
    I attempted a search because I'm sure this has been covered, but I couldn't find anything. When applying Speed Glaze, then DC#2, and finally NXT, how should I apply these products by hand?

    I'm using Meguiar’s foam applicators and will remove with a quality microfiber. How does everyone rub the products on?


    • * Do you rub in straight lines?

    • * Do you rub in circle motions?

    In my younger (less educated) days, I would just put some wax on a pad & rub it on in a swirling motion, but now I'm wondering if that’s the best way to do it. I just want to improve my technique! Thanks everyone.
    Hi MattNO3,

    Thank your for your questions. Meguiar’s official response to this question is this,

    If you’re using a non-abrasive product with a high quality, clean, soft foam applicator pad, and you’re working on a clean surface, then it shouldn't’t matter which direction you move the applicator pad over the finish because nothing you’re using will be instilling any scratches or swirls into the finish.


    Let the panel be your guide
    The above being true, then some panels lend themselves better to straight line motions, while other panels lend themselves better to circular motions.



    Examples:

    Circular Motions
    Most people find it’s easier to apply products in circular motions to large panels like the hood of a car. The reason for this is because circular motions act to help you spread your product out over large areas for more even, and thorough coverage. Some people also feel that circular motions help you to better work products into the finish. One thing for sure, moving your applicator pad in a circular motion tends to feel natural, and appears to come natural to most people. (Hand a wax applicator to 10 people and ask them to apply some wax to the hood of a car and stand back and watch how they apply the wax).

    Straight Line Motions
    Without good technique, applying products using straight-line motions is more difficult on larger panels. Straight-line motions are just as easy to use as circular motions, (and sometimes easier), on small panels and panels or sections that are longer in one direction while narrow in the other direction. Some times the panel itself will determine which direction you will apply your product.

    An example would be the painted pillar on the side of the windshield on my Blazer.



    Common sense tells you, (as well as the actual application of a product), that it will be easier and more efficient to use straight-line motions versus circular motions to apply a polish or wax to this thin, narrow painted section, than it will be to use circular motions.

    The key thing to remember is this,

    If you’re applying non-abrasive products, i.e. products that do not scratch or scour the finish, and your applying them with a soft, clean applicator and using good technique, then you should not be instilling any scratches or swirls no matter what direction you’re moving your hand.

    Hope this helps…

    Mike Phillips
    Office: 800-869-3011 x206
    Mike.Phillips@Autogeek.net
    "Find something you like and use it often"

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    Re: Circles or Straight Lines?

    I've read that if you use one method one a panel you must not stop because it can be seen.. The best result is to use the same technique for the whole car because else it can be seen.. I personally can't see it but some experts in a car magasine I've read said that's the way it works..

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    Registered Member cwcad's Avatar
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    Re: Circles or Straight Lines?

    Excellent information< Mike.

    You are absolutely correct about the circular motion if one ask someone to apply a wax, It is the way that I used an applicator for many years.

    Now with the addition of both a rotary and PC to my arsenal all of my hand LSP applications are in a strait line in the direction the wind blows over the paint. There are exceptions to this personal rule of mine. You pointed out in your post that pillars are narrow. There I follow the easiest path using long strokes.
    cwcad

    Say what you do...Do what you say!

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    Registered Member Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Re: Circles or Straight Lines?

    Quote Originally Posted by WestDK View Post
    I personally can't see it but some experts in a car magasine I've read said that's the way it works..
    We always welcome magazine experts to make their case here on our forum for all of our benefit.
    Mike Phillips
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    Re: Circles or Straight Lines?

    Here is a question I have. With an abrasive product like ScratchX, what do you recommned? Straight lines or circles?

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    Registered Member Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Re: Circles or Straight Lines?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Doe View Post
    Here is a question I have. With an abrasive product like ScratchX, what do you recommend? Straight lines or circles?
    Hi Kevin,

    First, read this article,

    http://meguiarsonline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=6442

    Especially the last paragraph...

    The key thing to remember is this, if you’re applying non-abrasive products, i.e. products that do not scratch or scour the finish, and your applying them with a soft, clean applicator and using good technique, then you should not be instilling any scratches or swirls no matter what direction you’re moving your hand.


    Second, have you ever felt ScratchX between your fingers? The reason I ask is when you ask a question the way you did, it would appear you've never actually felt the product as it's smooth and creamy like hand lotion and it's non-abrasive in that it won't scratch paint.

    It does contain microscopic diminishing abrasives, and it will remove paint if you work it correctly, but it's certainly not abrasive like most people would think when they read or hear the term/word abrasive.

    This is why you are able to get great results using it on a scratch-sensitive paint like a clear coat.
    Mike Phillips
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    "Find something you like and use it often"

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    Re: Circles or Straight Lines?

    Yes, and I've just recently used ScratchX, I know its creamy, but I also know that there has to be abrasives in it for it to work. Thats the reason I asked. Thanks. So, that we're established that it truely is abrasive in nature what is the best way to work it? Straight lines, or the circles that I've been using?

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    Registered Member Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Re: Circles or Straight Lines?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Doe View Post
    Yes, and I've just recently used ScratchX, I know its creamy, but I also know that there has to be abrasives in it for it to work. Thats the reason I asked. Thanks.
    Yes, the only way to remove a defect below the surface of the paint is to remove the paint surrounding the defect until the upper surface of the paint is level with the lowest depths of the defects.

    This is a commonly misunderstood process and asked so often in our detailing classes and on this forum it led us to write this article to explain the idea for not only how to remove a below surface defect out of paint, but actually what it means to remove a below surface defect out of any material or surface coating and the problems or issues involved because some materials and/or surface coatings don't lend themselves well to being abraded with the end result or goal to have the material or surface coating look good or the same as it did when you started.

    Here's the article in it's entirety, of course like so many informative articles it can be found,

    Information Station

    --> Hot Topics

    (On this date the below article is on the bottom of the second page of threads)



    What it means to remove a scratch out of anything...


    In order to remove a scratch out of anything, metal, plastic glass, paint, etc. You must remove material around the scratch until the surface is level or equal to the lowest depths of the scratch or scratches.

    The below diagram if for paint, the the same thing applies to just about an surface material or coating.



    In essences, you don't really remove a scratch, you remove material around a scratch.

    Then the big question is, is the material or coating workable, as in can you abrade small particles of it and leave behind an original looking surface. For example, some things you can abrade, (remove the scratch), but you can never completely remove all of your abrading marks, thus you can't really fix the problem, all you can do is exchange one set of scratches of a different set of scratches.

    The next questions is, how thick is the surface material you're working on or the coating. You are limited to what you can do by the thickness of these to things, (surface coating or surface material), and whether or not this surface is workable.

    Sometimes you don't know what you can so until you try. It's always a good idea to test your choice of products, applicator materials and application process, (By hand or by machine), to an inconspicuous area. If you cannot make a small area look good with your product, applicator and process, you will not be able to make the entire surface look good. It's always a good idea to test first and error on the side of caution, versus make a mistake you cannot undo.
    Mike Phillips
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    "Find something you like and use it often"

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    Registered Member Murr1525's Avatar
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    Re: Circles or Straight Lines?

    Perhaps it should be noted that "diminishing abrasives" means that while there are small 'abrasives' in the ScratchX and other products at the start, as they are worked in properly, you will end up with no abrasives left on the paint as you finish up.

    Which is why it ends up not mattering what direction you go in.
    '08 Subaru Legacy 2.5i SE - Newport Blue Pearl

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    Re: Circles or Straight Lines?

    Sounds like you and I could have been twins. My rule of thumb also.

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