How To Color-Sand And Buff Paint - Smooth As Glass

With help from Meguiar's, we show you the proper way to color-sand and buff paint

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We are pretty confident all of you know the basics of keeping your ride clean. Wash it, wax it, and so on. What about the more serious task of getting rid of orange peel? While high-end paintjobs are probably already devoid of peel, most of the budget-minded spray jobs have peel. Usually the reason something was not color-sanded and rubbed is money. It's a time-consuming task, and with time comes money.

When paint is applied to a vehicle, there will be some texture or orange peel to the surface once it dries. There are many factors that go into why paint dries with peel, but the most common are improper mix ratios of the hardener/activator or too low air pressure settings on the gun. If you have too much hardener the paint wont have enough time to flow out before drying and too low air pressure coming out of the gun won't atomize the paint properly.

The products we're going to use for the process come from Meguiar's Mirror Glaze Professional line, about which more info can be found later in the story. The one thing that you can't get from Meguiar's is the rotary buffer. There are a lot on the market and depending how much you plan on using it will dictate which to buy. We know that the Dewalt 849 or the Makita 9227CY are good choices. The Dewalt is a little heavier than the Makita, but both of them feature a variable speed control, which is crucial for this job.

While we're pretty good with a buffer, we are far from being experts. We hooked up with the director of training at Meguiar's, Mike Pennington, to get a class on this task and now we're passing on the knowledge to you. He had a hood that was sprayed with a urethane base and clearcoat and was in need of a cut and buff. The orange peel of the paint was very typical of what you will see, so it was a perfect candidate. If you have bought a car that has peel or want to save a little money and do it yourself instead of paying a pro, then keep reading.

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