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. 1 Here are all the products needed to perform a professional-style cut and buff. Everything you see here can be purchased from Meguiar's except the buffer. The company's Unitgrit Finishing Papers feature uniform grit particles for an even sanding pattern, which eliminates the risk of deep sanding scratches. There are few different pads and polishes in the photo, each with a specific use. The wool pad combined with the 105 Ultra Cut compound will remove the bulk of the sanding scratches. The foam pad and Ultra Finishing polish will take out any swirl marks left by the wool pad. The final inspection will help clean the area before the job and keep it nice once finished. There is also a D/A sitting there, but we'll get into that later. 1 Here are all the products needed to perform a professional-style cut and buff. Everythi 2 Let's talk about the sandpaper. If you are cutting a factory paintjob, grab some 3000. The factory clear is very thin and anything coarser than 3000 will take off way too much clear and increase the chance of sanding through to the basecoat. For a custom paintjob, pick up some 1200, 1500, and some 2000. The 1200 will make quick work of the orange peel and the 1500 and 2000 will help speed up the polishing portion of the job by removing the larger scratches left by the 1200. Before you start sanding anything, let the paper soak in clean water for a minimum of 15 minutes, though overnight is preferred. 2 Let's talk about the sandpaper. If you are cutting a factory paintjob, grab some 3000. 3 The first thing you need to do before sanding anything is to make sure you have a completely clean surface. A few mists of Final Inspection and a clean microfiber rag will do the job nicely. 3 The first thing you need to do before sanding anything is to make sure you have a compl 4 You can use your bare hand, but that takes a lot of practice to do it without producing faint gouges from the unevenness of your fingers. 4 You can use your bare hand, but that takes a lot of practice to do it without producing 5 To generate the best results on flat areas—especially for a beginner—a sanding block is recommended. 5 To generate the best results on flat areas—especially for a beginner—a sanding block is 6 Mike recommends making a soap and water mixture in a spray bottle to lubricate the paper during the sanding process. You can use a hose, but that will waste a lot of water and the bucket the paper is in will become contaminated pretty quickly. Mike is using 1200 for the first round of sanding. 6 Mike recommends making a soap and water mixture in a spray bottle to lubricate the pape 7 Sand in a back-and-forth motion (not in circles) from front to back. After 10-15 strokes of sanding, use the block to squeegee the water away and check your progress. You want to remove the least amount of material as possible, and checking the progress will be the best way to keep up on that. 7 Sand in a back-and-forth motion (not in circles) from front to back. After 10-15 stroke 8 You know you are done when the surface of the paint is dull and devoid of any little shiny dots. If you still have shiny dots, then you will need to sand a little more as shown here toward the right side of the image. It only took about six back and forth strokes to remove the shiny dots we had. 8 You know you are done when the surface of the paint is dull and devoid of any little sh 9 Do not try and push the block down into the low areas like shown here. This will put a lot of pressure on the edges of the block and increase the chance of sanding through the clearcoat. This will be the only time where you can ditch the block and use just your hand. One thing Mike stated that makes a lot of sense is, 9 Do not try and push the block down into the low areas like shown here. This will put a 10 Once the area is completely sanded with the 1200 it's time to switch to 1500, and then 2000. Sand the entire area again with the finer paper. Five passes should be enough. The 1200 will knock down the peel, the 1500 will take out the 1200 scratches, and the 2000 will take out the scratches left by the 1500. Mike recommends doing it this way instead of using aggressive compounds and the buffer. It will be easier to control the paper and your hand than it will be to control the spinning buffer. 10 Once the area is completely sanded with the 1200 it's time to switch to 1500, and then 11 Here are the pads needed for the buffing process: one made of wool and one made from foam. The wool pad isn't just a fuzzy looking Frisbee; no, this is an aggressive cutting tool that generates a lot of friction. The foam is less aggressive and is designed to remove fine swirls marks and create a high-gloss finish. The two tools are for prepping and cleaning the pads. 11 Here are the pads needed for the buffing process: one made of wool and one made from f 12 Before the buffing process starts, the pad needs to be prepped. A few mists of Final Inspection will hydrate the pad without overloading it with fluid and diluting the compound. 12 Before the buffing process starts, the pad needs to be prepped. A few mists of Final I 13 It doesn't matter if the pad is new or old. You should use a cleaning spur to fluff up the wool fibers. The spur will also be used to remove excess compound during the process. You should spur the pad at least twice per panel. For someone that is going to buff out more than one car, Meguiar's makes the Pad Wash bucket to quickly clean the wool pads. 13 It doesn't matter if the pad is new or old. You should use a cleaning spur to fluff up 14 Protect bodylines with tape because this is where the paint is the thinnest and the easiest to burn with the buffer. Once you have run the buffer a few times, you won't need to do this anymore. 14 Protect bodylines with tape because this is where the paint is the thinnest and the ea 15 The Ultra-Cut compound features super-micro abrasive technology that provides fast cutting and removes 1200-grit or finer sanding marks. Mike set the buffer to 1,500 rpm for this step. He applies the Ultra-Cut on the hood in a straight line parallel to his body. Then he brings the buffer in right to left, holding it at a 10-degree angle; just as he gets to the compound he pulls the trigger to start the buffer. Doing it this way will cut down on the amount of material slung everywhere and wasted. Mike moved in a side-to-side motion with light to moderate pressure. After making a few passes, stop and check the progress—if the paint is shiny, then the speed and pressure you are using is good; if you can still see scratches, then turn up the buffer 100 rpm more and make a few more passes. 15 The Ultra-Cut compound features super-micro abrasive technology that provides fast cut 16 After the wool pad and Ultra-Cut was performed, it was time to remove the fine swirl marks left behind. To do this Mike switched to a foam pad and Ultra Finishing Polish and turned the buffer down to 1,200. The polish has very little abrasiveness to it and is best applied with a Foam Finishing Pad. The little brush shown earlier is like the wool pad's spur and should be used the same way. 16 After the wool pad and Ultra-Cut was performed, it was time to remove the fine swirl m 17 After it was all said and done, here are the results. As you can see, the left side is much, much smoother and well worth the effort. Hopefully with a little practice you too can get these results, but we would recommend practicing on something else before you try it on your ride just to get the feel for everything. 17 After it was all said and done, here are the results. As you can see, the left side is 18 Here is another shot that should give you an idea of the benefit of smooth paint. The reflection is so crisp you can read the words printed on the bottle. That point brings us to Mike's last bit of advice on any car detailing project: 18 Here is another shot that should give you an idea of the benefit of smooth paint. The 19 Mike was even nice enough to show us the newest thing in color sanding, which is using a D/A. While it's a bit more advanced, it produces even better results than hand sanding, and there is a video on Meguiar's website showing you all about it. Link address to the video is http://www.meguiars.com/en/videos/. 19 Mike was even nice enough to show us the newest thing in color sanding, which is using SOURCES meguiar's Inc 800-854-8073 www.meguiars.com By Calin Head Enjoyed this Post? Subscribe to our RSS Feed, or use your favorite social media to recommend us to friends and colleagues!