Buffing out paint?

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Buffing out paint?

Postby Dan Stuckey » Tue Jan 15, 2013 4:11 pm

So I got my hood/tank painted with urethane base coat and then clear coated. All by rattle can. So what can I use to buff it out and how long should I let the clear coat dry before buffing. Buffing will be by hand.
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Re: Buffing out paint?

Postby Barnyard » Tue Jan 15, 2013 4:14 pm

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Re: Buffing out paint?

Postby AL Farmall Boy » Tue Jan 15, 2013 4:35 pm




Nice article Barnyard.

What if no clearcoat was used. Say the paint is an Acrylic Enamel or Acrylic Urethane (both used with hardner). Can it still be buffed and yeild a nice finish?
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Re: Buffing out paint?

Postby Tom » Wed Jan 16, 2013 7:05 am

AL Farmall Boy,

There is no reason why one could not color sand and buff an Acrylic Enamel or Acrylic Urethane finish. Just wet sand it almost smooth,preferably with a block. At this stage use something like 400 grit or 600 grit. You are trying to get the orange peel out of the paint with this stage. When I say "almost smooth" I mean get about 90 percent of the imperfections out. The next stage will get the remaining 10 per cent out. Now get some 1500 grit color sanding paper and wet sand the remaining imperfections out of the finish. At this stage you can either start buffing it out or sand it again with 2000 grit or even 3000 grit paper and then buff. If you use only 1500 grit, you will get the same result as using the finer grits on the final sand, BUT it will be more difficult and time consuming to buff. If you go with the finer grits before buffing, then you will have an easier time of buffing the piece. Use a compound for buffing and a polish for final buffing and you have got it. Just remember, that there are just as many ways of getting a great paint job as there are painters. PS. Make sure you have enough paint on the piece, so that you can sand some of it off without going through to the primer. I hope this helps.

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Re: Buffing out paint?

Postby JackF » Wed Jan 16, 2013 9:13 am

Tom’s method is what the professionals’ do and probably is the best. Not being a professional painter, I have a problem sanding/buffing single stage Acrylic Enamel paint. Every time I color coat sand and buff the paint discolors…..maybe I’m waiting too long and paint is too hard for finishing.
I’m really good at doing nothing…With that said…I’m really, really good at doing nothing
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Re: Buffing out paint?

Postby Barnyard » Wed Jan 16, 2013 9:55 am

Tom, thanks for that info. I was trying to find an answer that I understood so I could reply to AL Farmall Boy, but you did it much better than I could.
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Re: Buffing out paint?

Postby mrdibs » Wed Jan 16, 2013 10:10 am

For starters, urethane is very difficult if not impossible to buff by hand after wet sanding. There are buffer attachments for standard 9 inch electric grinders, which is what I use. Double-sided buffing pads are best for beginners. That said, here's the procedure I use.
2 coats of clear minimum for sanding. If there's only one coat, do not sand.
Wrap 1000 grit paper over a thin 3M rubber sanding block (if you're scared or on dark colors, use 1200-1500 grit). Wetsand until surface is no longer shiney. Circular motion works quickly. Clean paper often - use lots of water. Dust that breaks free can scratch. You'll see paint texture as you sand. The goal is to eliminate texture (orange peel and dust) completely, but it's ok to leave some until you get comfortable.
Using a fast cut liquid rubbing compound, buff at slow speed until compound begins to dry. Clean pad with a spur at high speed. Buff off remaining compound at low speed. Surface should now have a medium shine to it. Wash off any remaining compound. If surface is still dull, repeat process. Clean pad often with spur.
Using a medium cut liquid rubbing compound, buff surface at medium speed until it begins to dry. Clean pad with spur as before. Buff off remaining compound at medium speed. Surface should be shiney, perhaps with some swirl marks.
Using a liquid glaze (swirl hiding) compound, buff at high speed. Wash surface thoroughly and apply your favorite wax.
That's it in a nutshell. Since you used rattle cans, start in an area that's easy to repaint to make sure you have enough clear to support sanding. If you break through the clear, it'll be obvious.
Enamel generally cannot be sanded, but if a hardener was used it might be possible. Do a test area first. Avoid sanding areas you can't reach with the buffer unless you're prepared to buff by hand (very difficult).

Good Luck!
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Re: Buffing out paint?

Postby mrdibs » Wed Jan 16, 2013 10:14 am

One thing I forgot - Urethane can be sanded and buffed after 24 hours. The longer it sits, the harder it gets (and the more work it is to polish).
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Re: Buffing out paint?

Postby AL Farmall Boy » Wed Jan 16, 2013 5:28 pm

Some great info we've recieved. Thanks all!
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