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Discussion in 'Detailing' started by lotsie, Mar 14, 2010.
Any questions, or tips you may have on Pads/Products can happen here.
Prima Primer! New to Prima?
This post is based on my experience as a professional paint polisher, and may not coincide exactly with how Prima would suggest using their products, though I will try to adhere to their recommendations whenever possible.
If you need more information about polishing or polishers, check out my article here on MA.
The polisher I discuss here will be the Porter Cable Dual Action Random Orbital Polisher known simply as the PC. It doesn't matter whether it's the 7424 or 7424XP.
If you just bought your new MINI and have purchased a PC, then pat yourself on the back. The first thing to do is figure out what your paint looks like. Pull the car into the sun and look at the reflection of the sunlight in your paint. On a perfectly polished paint surface, the sun's reflection will look like a round ball with no radiating scratches or disturbances in the paint. Due to what is known as orange peel, the sun's reflection may look mottled or textured like an orange peel, but you shouldn't see concentric circles radiating away from that spot. Move around the paint and follow the sun as it "moves" around the car. If you see these concentric circles everywhere the sun moves, then you got swirls! On a black car that is not maintained, you will always see these scratches but the average Joe doesn't realize that it doesn't have to be this way and you can prevent this and fix this.
Another thing that polishing can fix is "paint fade" which really isn't so much the paint fading but rather the clear coat being so contaminated and scratched that the paint reflects light differently. Look how the color is drastically different here!
Another one. The paint was polished on the left with the PC and waxed, and the right was the original unwaxed/unpolished side. The car was left overnight, and this is the dew on the car the next morning.
The PC is a very powerful tool that can be used to polish paint or it can be used to make waxing/protecting your paint easier and faster. Please read my articles in the library if you are confused between a polish and a wax.
So going back to the point of this article.
If your paint needs polishing, then start with the least aggressive method first and determine what works best. Your clear coat paint has a finite thickness about the thickness of a sheet of paper. So you want to maintain this for the life of the car.
In the Prima system you have the White, Orange, and Yellow pads for polishing.
To lubricate these pads, you use a polish, and you've got Amigo, Finish, Swirl, & Cut.
The potential combinations of 3 pads with 4 polishes seems daunting. Which pad with which chemical do you use? The best way to do this is to split these up by use.
So with the pads, the most used pads for general polishing are White or Orange. The Yellow is very aggressive and used for correcting spot defects. So now we've limited our choices to just White or Orange. I've listed these in order of aggressiveness from least to most. So the first pad of choice when polishing is the White pad and if that doesn't give the results you expect, either your technique isn't optimal, the pad isn't aggressive enough, or your expectations aren't realistic.
With the polishes, Swirl is the one I use the most. I know many people prefer Finish and that's fine. I reach for Finish in special cases if I find Swirl is too aggressive. That has happened only in a few circumstances. Cut is also a special case product, similar to the Yellow pad. You use it on isolated defects instead of polishing an entire car with it.
I intentionally left out Amigo because it has additional properties beyond what Finish, Swirl, and Cut are for. It serves as a glaze or paint cleaner before going to wax. I reserve it's use as a final polish on dark paints before waxing it. Some people will use Amigo as a super fine polish instead of Finish or Swirl. In my experience, Amigo has almost no polishing capability relying on the pad aggressiveness and it's own filling capabilities to improve the paint. I love Amigo. It smells great, it's easy to use, makes the paint look great, wipes off easily, and adds additional slickness and gloss to the paint.
To apply a wax, make sure it can be machine applied like Epic. Use a Black pad for applying it. Banana Gloss and Hydro cannot be applied using a PC. Note that polishing and waxing are separate processes and not every car needs to be polished and waxed. Often waxing is good enough. You just need to determine what your car needs and then choose the best method to get there!
Hope this helps as a Primer to start with Prima!
Do the MF bonnets you sell fit on the 6" or 4" pads? Do you use those bonnets to remove polish, or just Epic(wax)?
The bonnets are best used over the most dense of pads like the orange or yellow. They are sized for the 6" pads. I would use them to remove wax as removing polish can sometimes require more effort and the bonnet sometimes has problem removing it. All of these products can be found at www.ShowCarSupplies.com
After the write-up by Richard, how could there be any questions left?
Well except for the meaning of life. Oh wait, 42.
How about PC speeds for polishing and waxing?
The Porter Cable goes from 1-6:rolleyes5: 6 being fastest. I generally polish with speeds set around 5-5 1/2. I apply wax around 2-2 1/2.
Covered in my DVD
Polishing Paint to remove defects
Speed 5 to 6
Speed 3 to 4
So that's why it takes me about as long as applying by hand:rolleyes5::mad2::lol: Speed the thing up
I knew that, but was trying to keep the thread going! (Plus now you got to plug the DVD, so it's a win-win-win)
Oh I wasn't bashing you!!! I appreciate you giving me the chance to plug the DVD!! Keep the thread bumps coming! :devil:
Can somebody post a photo of how much goop to put on a pad? Be it, Swirl, Amigo, Epic, whatever. I don't want to be wasting stuff or having it fling off the pad, but I definitely don't want to be too try. What the odd video I've seen on Youtube, looks lilke about a teaspoon's worth??? If so would that be enough to do half the bonnet, an entire door panel or what?
Put a ring of product around the outer perimeter of the pad about 1inch from the edge. Only polish an area about the size of a 16x16 square at a time. Didn't I include the DVD with your order???
I will do a sample Video when I get back to my shop next week.
Good thread, glad you started it Mark. I plan to try this and now I have a reference to go to.
Keep in mind you don't always need to put product on the pad. Sometimes you put it on the part you are polishing to focus the polish only on the area you want to prevent splatter.
Need recommendation on hook and loop backing pad size for my new Porter-Cable
I see a few different size pads mentioned, is 6 inch a good universal size to get?
Just want to equip my polisher so that buying pads is a no brainer.
You need this 5" backing plate.
ShowCarSupplies.com Shopping Cart - PC DA Backing Plate
and later as you become more proficient, you might want to get a 3.5" for more flexibiliy
ShowCarSupplies.com Shopping Cart - Lake Country 3.5' PC Backing Plate
For pads, Go with anything from 5.5 to 6.5" pads. 6.5" are safer when you are less experienced though 5.5" are more effective but have less margin for error when you "screw up".
We carry pads including 5.5" from Buff and Shine...they aren't on the site yet..we got a pallet on it's way probably today.
Thanks, I'm up on your site now, shopping for Spring clean up supplies.
Feel free to PM me as well for a custom bundle, just let me know what kind of things you are looking for.
I've got a matte finish interior plastic dressing coming for dashboards from Sonax, their tire dressing as well, and of course the Full Effect wheel cleaners in both 500ml and 5L sizes that aren't yet on the site along with a bunch of buffing pads and backing plates. In other words...I got a whole bunch of stuff coming via trucks, and I haven't yet had them in my hands to photograph, weigh, etc... and get them on the site, so let me know what you're looking for and I can probably help you. =)