Mirror-like finishes...

Discussion in 'Detailing' started by anchorsaweigh, Oct 16, 2018.

  1. anchorsaweigh

    anchorsaweigh Member Military Member

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    Just my eversohumble opinion, but it would seem to me that there is more to achieving these mirror-like finishes than simply waxing and polishing. No factory finish is that smooth.

    So, what else is involved here?

    Cheers

    Bob
     
  2. Kinetic

    Kinetic Senior Member

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    Well, it really is that simple actually. The main part of shining up paint is how well the vehicle was painted to begin with. You can only produce as much of a shine, or gloss, as the paint will allow. This is why a good paint job costs, using quality materials and good prep work, is essential.

    The polish is what removes slight defects in the paint allowing light to reflect off of the paint at a sharper angle instead of at many different angles (think of paint that is swirly that makes the paint look dull).

    The "smooth" part is achieved by a combination of a quality paint job (no orange peel) and polishing the paint and removing defects.

    Any protection you apply only enhances this shine and gloss further, or gives it a wet look. Applying protection to unpolished paint will never have the same shine or gloss as you can imagine.
     
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  3. anchorsaweigh

    anchorsaweigh Member Military Member

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    So, I presume that a "polish" has to have some level of abrasive qualities to remove defects? If so, what level of abrasiveness?

    Keep in mind that I'm from the old school where you didn't use abrasives on your shiny finishes unless it was to remove oxidation.
     
  4. Pull Ya

    Pull Ya U.S. MARINE VETERAN Supporting Member

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    It depends on the surface. There are different polishes and different buffing pads depending on the amount of correction that has to be done. Kenetic is spot on in his reply!!! The FOUNDATION is what EVERYTHING else is built upon.
    Jay
     
  5. Kinetic

    Kinetic Senior Member

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    A polish can have any amount of abrasive to remove defects, it just depends on the polish. The combination of the type of pad, the polish, and the machine used is what will give you your results. Just like polishes, pads have a great variety of levels of cut and finish. There are many polishes out there that don't have abrasives as well and are obviously made for enhancing already corrected paint and not correcting the paint themselves.
     
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  6. ramportin1

    ramportin1 Sickest member here

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    Clay bar is something I didnt see mentioned that will help and you should definitely do before taking a machine to your paint. There are also things like glaze that can produce amazing gloss and mirror like affects but they have to be coated over with something like a sealant or wax otherwise they will wash off. Also there are coatings that can greatly enhance the gloss and mirror like affects as well such as a paint sealant or carbon coats or ceramic coats.

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  7. Joshwaa

    Joshwaa Senior Member

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    Wash, chemical decontamination (Iron-X), mechanical decontamination (clay bar), polish (least aggressive polish and pad that produces desired results), panel wipedown (IPA or panel wipe) protect (sealant or coating), wax optional

    Then step back with a drink and marvel at your work.
     
  8. GMcD

    GMcD Junior Member

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    CD1D48BB-770D-439E-9769-8D450CD53546.jpeg Most polishing jobs will make the paint look better than the factory. Its hard to get people to believe this but time and time again i have proven this. Roughly what is involved is making sure the paint is completely free of contamination before taking a mechanical polisher to the paint. This is generally done via a clay bar after the vehicle is washed with a good stripping soap (i use dawn). Once mechanical polishing starts, this is where experience comes into play. Some paints just react differently once the polishing starts. Finding the right pad/polish combo is important, but finding the correct technique and pressure applied is equally as important. Here is a pic from a job i did. It was a Toyota Tundra. The paint was in pretty good condition but did have swirls and just lacked that general pop. That black spot that looks funny in the middle is me covering up a name on my shirt.
     
  9. ramportin1

    ramportin1 Sickest member here

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    Dish soap is made for dishes, it's a super strong abrasive soap that will cause rubbers and trims to fade and dry rot and also can super speed up clear coat failure. Use a stripping soap made for vehicles such as "clean slate"

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  10. chrisbh17

    chrisbh17 Senior Member

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    My new favorite wash soap is carpro reset... Since my truck is coated i don't need to worry about it being safe for wax and in fact I prefer it because it leaves the coating completely void of any surface stuff

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