Acid Rain: Finish buffing and final repair steps - Professional Carwashing & Detailing

Acid Rain: Finish buffing and final repair steps

For the purposes of this article, we will consider the following project: you are repairing a 1999 model vehicle...

This is the final part part in a seven-part series covering the repair process involved with acid rain and chemical etching.

For the purposes of this article, we will consider the following project: you are repairing a 1999 model vehicle. The paint has etch marks scattered across all of its horizontal surfaces, requiring that several large areas must be replaced. Please note that the items listed above (in particular, the paint thickness gauge), should be used in the following chemical etch repair process.

Finish buffing

Now you have to bring the dulled finish back to a shine by removing the sandpaper scratch marks. Some suppliers recommend a follow-up final sanding with 2,000 grit sandpaper then a micro-fine compound with a poly/wool pad. Then measure the film again and is should not be less than the 3.7.

Final repair steps

Now that you have repaired the damaged sections on the vehicle, wash it in preparation for final swirl removing/polishing and waxing. The swirl remover/polish will remove any buffer swirls and restore the gloss and shine. This polish should be used with a buffer at low speed and a clean foam polishing pad. Use the product sparingly, spreading it with the polishing pad or a sponge block. Buff the paint while holding the pad flat against the surface of the car letting the weight of the buffer do the work. When this is completed you can apply a coat of wax or paint sealant for final protection.

In most cases, using this or a similar process will eliminate the etching and still leave sufficient clear coat thickness to protect the base-coat without the need for repainting.
The three key points to keep in mind regarding this type of repair are:

  1. Differences in products usually mean differences in application methods. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions exactly as written.
  2. No matter which product and process chosen, use a paint thickness gauge at the beginning and frequently during the process to make sure that you have not removed too much clear coat. You must know how to make the repair and when to stop.
  3. Removing more than .05 mil of clear coat is too much and does not leave sufficient protection for the base-coat. If more than .05 clear coat is removed and the base-coat is not disturbed, the repair area should be resprayed with clear coat. If the base-coat is disturbed, the repair area should be completely repainted.

Here are the other articles in this series:

6. Acid Rain: Sanding

5. Acid Rain: Buffing steps

4. Acid Rain: Preliminary repair steps

3. Acid rain and rotary buffers

2. What is a paint thickness gauge?

1. A car that’s been hit by acid rain comes into your shop. Now what?

You May Also Like

SOBA awards IGL Coatings founder Entrepreneur of the Year

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — The awards highlight the dedication and achievements of entrepreneurs who have made significant strides in their respective industries.

SOBA Awards IGL Coatings Founder Entrepreneur of the Year

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — IGL Coatings announced in a press release that its CEO and founder, Keong Chun Chieh, has been honored with the Entrepreneur of the Year Award at the Star Outstanding Business Awards (SOBA) 2023 for his exceptional performance and outstanding contributions to the Malaysian economy.

The SOBA Awards recognize and celebrate micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the nation’s economic landscape.

Ziebart celebrates 65 years with museum exhibit unveiling

TROY, Mich. — Automotive aftercare franchise kicks off 65-year anniversary with event at Detroit Historical Museum.

Detailing survey results and feedback

Detailers share their thoughts and predictions for the industry and their businesses.

PC&D detailing survey
IGL Coatings awarded 2023 IDA Detail Supplier of the Year

ORLANDO, Fla. — The IDA presented the awards at its annual business meeting and awards ceremony on Feb. 2.

International Detailers Association award
Turbo Tint opens newest franchise in Kennesaw, Georgia

ORLAND PARK, Ill. — The brand has added eight new stores over the past year. This is the first store in Georgia and the 11th location in the country.

Turbo Tint opens newest franchise in Kennesaw, Georgia

Other Posts

Army Reservist opens Tint World location in Tennessee

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. — The store opening marks the company’s sixth Tennessee location.

Owner Gamaliel Martinez brings valuable military experience to the state’s sixth National Automotive Styling Centers franchise store
MPE Partners, Appearance Technology Group acquire P&S Detail Products

CLEVELAND and BOSTON — P&S offers a comprehensive portfolio of cleaners, dressings, polishes, waxes and coatings across its Pro Series and Double Black collections.

MPE partners logo
Tint World opens new location in Louisville

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Owners Scott and Susan Hellervik open Tint World Louisville, while planning two additional area locations.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Owners Scott and Susan Hellervik open Tint World Louisville, while planning two additional area locations.
Tint World opens 22nd Texas location

NEW BRAUNFELS, Texas — Owned by Kevin and Allyson McBreen, the new store will offer services to the northern San Antonio area.