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how long does car polishing take

car polishing

Car polishing is the highest ‘art’ within detailing and it can make a bigger impact on your car than any other single process. However, it also requires significant investments if you want to do it properly. Polishing works by removing the ‘flash’ of clear coat that is left over from washing and claying your paintwork, restoring its smoothness, and then re-protecting it with a wax or sealant to give you long-term protection. The end result is a vehicle with flawless, reflective and protective paintwork that looks brilliant.

The first thing you need to know about how does car polishing work is that it always involves a balance between ‘cut’ (the amount of clear coat that is removed) and ‘finish’. You need to be able to control both parameters to get the best results. There are a lot of different Car polishing techniques, ranging from basic hand buffing to machine polishing. The method you choose will depend on the type of equipment you have available and the level of expertise you wish to achieve.

When you start to learn how to polish cars you will soon realise that every paint job is different and it’s impossible to say in advance which machine, pad and polishing combination will produce the best results. Even if you have the same exact machine, pad and polish on a different car it will produce slightly different results.

how long does car polishing take

Before you can start to polish a car you will need to prepare the surface by safely taping over rubber and plastic parts, metal trim and matte painted body panels with low tack tape. This is to prevent any accidental damage during the polishing stage. It’s also important to check the weather before you start, as rain can wash your polishing efforts away and ruin a beautiful finish.

You will also need a set of appropriate tools and equipment, depending on whether you are hand or machine polishing. Generally speaking you will need a few different car polishing pads, an appropriate polishing machine and an efficient polishing system. For hand polishing you will also need some quality grit-free cotton cloths, and for machine polishing you will need a microfibre towel or ‘wand’ to hold the pad in place.

It’s a good idea to test a small patch of the paintwork on a hidden area before starting. This will help you understand how the polish is reacting and how much effort you need to apply to remove a certain amount of clearcoat. It will also tell you if the surface is ready for a wax or sealant or if you need to go back and do another pass. This is a great way to avoid burning through the clearcoat and ruining your paintwork. If you can’t see any obvious problems you are safe to start polishing your car. Remember, though, that you will need to re-tape and re-spray the area if you accidentally burn through it. Also, be sure to keep a damp cloth in your ‘tool bag’ in case you need to wipe off any excess residue.


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