Over the weekend I tried my hand at paint polishing, I had done it once before when I removed all the badging on my truck but that was in a very small area. The main reason was to try and remove a lot of the hard water spots that had etched into the paint on the hood, trunk and roof. I was only able to get the hood done so I will have to go back and do the trunk, not sure how I am going to do the roof. My plan was to do a two step on those three spots and then just a one step polish on the fenders and doors because they look very good with minimal scratching; honestly they could probably go without it. Bumpers get neglected as both of them are cracked to hell and need a paint job very very badly.
To start I used a product that once again I had never used before, Optimum No Rinse and the Optimum Red Sponge. These products come highly recommended to me and after using them all I can say is wow. They cut wash time in half at least, allows me to wash inside and saves water. As you wash with ONR you dry with microfibers at the same time so take it slow one panel at a time. Afterwards I clayed with the Mother's clay bar while using ONR as clay lube drying as I went along. It took me two or three passes over the roof as there was so much **** stuck to it; last time I clayed I skipped the roof I seem to recall. Finally it came time for the polishing, cut the hood into 8 sections (could have maybe done 6 but I did 8) and used the Chemical Guys Orange medium to heavy cutting pad and Chemical Guys V36 for the first pass. Next came Chemical Guys White light to medium polishing pad and Chemical Guys V38 for my final pass. As a pad conditioner I used the Chemical Guys pad conditioner and for a power tool I used an orbital buffer.
To seal the paint afterwards I used TurtleWax Ice Seal N Shine Hybrid spray. I will apply a coat of Meguiars Wax as a secondary coating for some more paint protection.
Onto the pics! I wish I had taken a complete hood photo before so you could compare but unfortunately I forgot.
Picture of the hood. You can just barely see the wiper rest in the top left corner.
As you can see it still is not perfect, I don't think any real detailer would even call it good. This was just my first attempt at something of the sort and I am pretty happy with the way it came out. I have to remind myself that all those scratches that show up in the LED light will never even get noticed by 95% of people. This seemed to have done a great job at removing probably 80-85 percent of the hard water spots I had as well as removing a lot of scratches. I definitely think my technique needs work as it is pretty inconsistent and very amateur. You can see in the photos that there still are scratches in the paint but not nearly as many. I will be doing the trunk next and hopefully the roof although I have no idea how I will get up there without scratching the hell out of the doors. Most likely put a towel hanging down the door so I can lean on it for support and not scratch the paint with the power cable.
Any tips, tricks or ideas before I start my next round of polishing? I think I should have cleaned the pad up half way through as I think it may have gotten clogged with too much product. Seemed like it would haze over and I'd be buffing with a microfiber more than I wanted to. Also spreading the polish seemed way inconsistent. I would set the orbital on one and then move it around my area but it was basically gone by the time I got to the end of my square. I started to just press some polish in each area and then did a pass on one and afterwards turned it up. Finally the microfibers I bought suck ass, way too much lint. I am hoping after a wash they will quit linting.
Impala has been tucked away and will remain that way because of the rain so I have unlimited time to finish this project.