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Need help:colorsanding woes

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Hi folks. When I last checked in, I had just painted the Z. Here's the pic to remind ya:



Well, I've been trying to colorsand her, because I got a lot of orange peel. My process has been this:


1)wetsand with 1000, then 2000 grit sandpaper

2)Apply 3M Perfect-It 3000 (part #06060) Extra Cut Rubbing Compound with a buffer using a wool pad.

3)Buff with 3M Perfect-It 3000 (part #06064) Swirl Mark Remover using a buffer with a yellow foam pad.

These are the results I'm getting:






As you can see, less than stellar. The colorsanded sections have none of the luster that you can see on the fender in the second pic. They all look silvery and hazy, not to mention having lots of scratches.

Any idea what I am doing wrong? I feel like there's a step I'm missing,a step I'm not doing long enough, or I'm using the wrong compounds, or something! I am at a loss. PLEASE help!

BTW, the paint is PPG Deltron bc/cc.

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I hope you have a real buffer, not one of those single speed jobs from Home Depot.I am still overcoming the learning curve on this too. I was lucky to find 2500 and 3000 grit paper to move up to.


I found speed and weight control of the buffer is very important. I think about 300 to 500 rpm with the foam pad works well.

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Hmmm... the Extra Cut Rubbing Compound is pretty aggressive and is rated around 1200g. Wetsanding with 2000g and then using the ECRC may be counterproductive.


You may want to try a different compound. 3M makes an Imperial Microfinishing compound that removes up to 2000g scratches. Then maybe you want to look at a machine glaze (like 05937). I'm no expert tho... just going by my limited experience!


*edit* Have you tried polishing the sections you have worked? I think the products you're using are largely designed to cut and will not give you the luster you are after (without polishing). Where's RacerX when you need him? LOL

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This is a RacerX quote from Bartman's wetsanding thread. You've probably already read it 10 times... but just in case:


You guys cannot remove #1000 grit scratches? Then I believe you've left out a few steps.


Bart' date=' if I may suggest a slight change in your rub out program please. Start with a small area. I'm suggesting you use the following grit paper in the same order I mention them: #1000, #1500, #2000 grit wet/dry paper. Now, you will need allow the s-paper to soak in hot water for about 10 minutes (that's what I do!). This will soften the paper so that the corners of the folded edges do not act as razor blades - cutting into crowns, high spots etc., This actually allows the paper to better conform to the paint surface. Try a test - soak a sheet of wet s-paper and try wet sanding a surface. Then take a completely fresh s-paper of the same grit - wet the surface and attempt to sand. You'll notice a difference!


When using the #1000 girt, use a firm sanding pad - not the squiggly, soft as a baby's bottom type pad. You'll never "cut" the o-peel out if you use the soft pads! Tape off edges, high spots etc., that you feel my be prone to "cutting thru" or simply do not want to touch with the s-paper because it's close to your sanding area.


Be sure to squeegee often so you can see the progress of your sanding. When you have "cut" the peel down to your desire, then follow up with #1500 paper, going in opposite directions and in circular motions. Squeegee often and you will see, if you look closely the sanding scratches getting finer and by the time you finish with the #2000 grit - if you look at the sanded area from an angle you will actually see the surface coming to a gloss.


Wipe the area completely dry. I then use 3M Perfect IT II rubbing compound with a wool rubbing pad - not a "polishing" pad!The wool pad is agressive and works very well and very fast with the rubbing compound. You might check with Meguiar to see if the compound you're planning on using is the compound used for the first cut. CAUTION! When polishing - do not press firmly on the buffer - it seems many people believe by pressing harder on the buffer the faster they'll bring up the gloss. True up to a point. But by pressing too firmly - not only will you heat up the paint uncontrollably - but you risk "moving" the paint. You'll look at it and wonder what the weird grooves and patterns are. This is especially common with electric buffers because of the torque they create. I use air polishers because I can control the speed to a point that if my pad catches a corner, the polisher actually won't turn and thus prevent "burning an edge". But I tape all my edges as a safeguard.


Allow the compound to do the work. Also, do not saturate the area with too much compound. If you do, you'll sling compound everywhere and you'll only "float" the pad which does nothing for bringing up the luster. You'll curse and say this "s%*@" is taking too long. If you follow this procedure - the second pass of compound will have brought the paint to a deep appearance and be rid of most scratches everyone is concerned with. If need be go over the area again.


Clean up the rubbing compound residue. This is to prevent contamination of the polishing compound. If you have rubbing compound that is left on the surface while foam pad polishing - remember, rubbing compounds are very coarse and can/will leave some heavy scratches if left on the surface when polishing.


Follow up with a foam polishing pad and polishing compound. Polishing compounds have oils which lubricate the surface to bring the initial surface cutting with rubbing compounds to a higher level of gloss. The oils fill the scratches to give the paint the wet - deep look but this is only tempory - similar to hand glazing. I don't glaze! Ahh - the joy of polishing!![/quote']


After reading through this I am convinced that you are only halfway there. You will probably see better results following a good polish.

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Done a little looking in on the 05937 glaze, and it might be what I'm looking for. According to 3m.com, it's the next stage after the extra cut compound.

Oddly enough, I can't find the swirl mark remover 06064 on their site, though I saw it on another site, and it promised a high gloss finish. I don't think so!

Raxer X, I could use your 2 cents here!


p.s. Metallicar: I did start initially using an electric buffer rated at 2500rpm. I'm now using a pad setup attached to my DA sander, set to the absolute lowest speed. This, combined with the small compressor I'm using, gives what I believe is a good, safe, slow speed. If I'm in error, somebody yell at me.

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Thanks for chiming in Racer X (sorry for the erroneous "X" last time!LOL!). As always, what you say makes good sense. I'll try what you said, and also look into getting some of that 05937 glaze, too. One way or another, I'll whup it! I've put to much work into this to let go to crap at the end! Thanks to everyone! See you soon with the results!

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I've got a follow-up question here, guys.


Could there be a problem with your using the DA sander instead of a buffing wheel? I'm thinking that the tiny little circles wouldn't be as effective as the sweeping motion of a larger buffing pad? I don't know for sure that it would make any difference, but I'm curious as to the opinions of people who have experience in this field.



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Guest mrt0mjones

i have to cover this a ton when i'm at work at carmax trying to make not awesome paint look good..


keep the sanding up , use more 2000 than 1000


use a GOOD buffer, and use correct compounds


for the first phase of buffing use a quick cut buffing formula at 1500 RMPS and go at a decent pase.. not fast and not slow... USE A WOOL buffing pad with the quick cut.



for the second part. to remove the swirls and such.


use a foam pad with a velvet cut, buff at 1000 rpms


the dewalt buffers are GOOD..


let me know how she looks ;)


thats all that i do.. its not far from what your doing, i just added speeds and such..


make sure your using a REAL buffer and not a d/a or walmart "orbital style 10" clearence waxer/buffer combo"

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I went to the paint store a couple of days back to get the 05937 glaze, but they didn't have it ( 3M sure does have a bunch of products that all do almost the same thing), and to make a long story short, I bought a bottle of finishing glaze made by another brand (Body Magic), that seemed closer to what the 05937 is supposed to be. It's been getting dark before I get home, so I haven't really had a chance to try it in good light yet. However, I did try it on half of my decklid, and the result is promising. The side I did with the glaze is clear and shiny ( although there are still fine swirl scratches), while the side I haven't done yet looks hazy and stained, like it's been sitting outside for 5 years. I'm attacking it on Saturday, so I'll update when I get finished with a panel or two.

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I'm sure once I say this I am going to get flamed. This is just my opinion. I spent a lot of years doing paint and body work though. IMHO once you 'cut' the paint job (color sand, buff, what ever) it never looks quite the same as one straight out of the booth. (depth luster and shine wise) Black is the worst when it comes to this. That's why a really nice booth is so important. You can come close, it takes a LOT of work. Take RacerX's advice, to the letter. Read ever word carefully. Like he says... go slow, work a very small area at a time, keep the buffer pad CLEAN. Also, it looks to me (hard to tell in a picture) that you have sanding scratches you haven't buffed all the way out yet. Use a water hose when you are sanding, (not a bucket) rinse the panel clean with it often, make sure you're not dragging a piece of sand around between the sand paper and the surface.

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I hear you, Mom'sZ. I've already learned the value of clean water ( and checking the paper often). I agree with you about the "straight out the booth" look. It's so pure, like a field of newly fallen snow...but I digress.

What I've got is what I've got. I'm trying to look at it as a testbed. I learned a lot in the painting process (mostly that I don't want to do it again anytime soon), and now it's time to learn the "post paint" stuff. Experience begets wisdom.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Ok, it's been 3 weeks since my last post here. In that time, I broke down and bought a varible speed buffer from Harbor Freight (only $29, and it's lasted long enough to do the car, still going strong...good enough!). I also went and bought some nice 3M foam pads from the body shop store. What a difference it has made! I've now done the whole car, and it's back having the luster it did before. Sorry for no pics, but suffice it to say the whole car looks like the fender does in my 3rd picture. The buffer was rated from 300-3000 rpms, and I used it at it's lowest numerical setting, which was a bit more than it's absolute lowest speed. For anyone who looks at this in the future, heed the advice above, it's the good stuff!

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Guys ...ALWAYS remember when doing wetsanding to pay very close attension to the number of strokes you have made with EACH level of grit reduction.

As a rule of thumb ,its smart to raise the number of passes/strokes/coverage/sheets per EACH grit change .

Next rule (since your obviously on a gravel garage floor) Have a decently clean/stearle floor. You ,in this case, may opt for plastic sheeting weighted down to keep from bringing up dust as you work around the car as well as aiding in your buffer cord travel.( ALWAYS,when upright...have the cord over your shoulder,NOT on the car)

Rule three.....ALWAYS buff with Halogen lamps set-up to show you the harshest cutter marks.This will aid in identifing the last bit of grit cut marks so you don't move ahead without seeing them first.( florescant lights can be used for haze inspection)

NEVER call the job good enough until you have inspected the paint (thouroughly wiped clean) in DIRECT SUNLIGHT for perfection and do this BEFORE you think of applying ANY glazes or swirl removers.

I have always found as a professional, if you cant do the job without those products....you haven't mastered the tool/buffer.But that takes a ton of seat/buffer time. SO no shame to use them as a novice, but still use the inspection to better your eye skills before resorting to them or the end result will simply wash away and you'll be disapointed and have to begin some steps again.

Never allow the sanding run-off or compound compaction or excess to dry fully on the paint or crevices ....you need to HAND DETAIL crevices and hard to reach areas quickly with plenty of wetted small soft towels and a horsehair toothbrush BEFORE it makes your cars finish look like its got a bad plaque problem.

I did this service for showcars and exotics fresh from the booth for 23 years and charged a great deal for it ( 250-1500.00$)due to the end results and the value it adds to any cars overall appearance. Bear in mind ....depending on the job at hand, it can encompass the better part of a full work week at times or 12-36 man hours after final inspection and detail.( this would include,jambs,glass,all affected areas and a top end wax )...with no swirl accepted.

I suggest never skipping a grit level if possible and always pre-soak your sand paper in warm water and mild soap to avoid unesacary deep grit annomalies/damage.

Sounds like your feeling better about the finish you have .Sorry I couldn't have caught the thread sooner.

One of the reasons so many people have trouble with the wool type pads is their learning curve of temps,pressures and speed control.But they DO have their respective place.The foam is a good pad to use in between the wool and for final low friction needs.Althought the foam tends to mislead most novice eyes because the lower temps tend to leave a great deal more Glycerin and fillers behind "Wetting" the fine scratches that may have been missed and they'll show up as the fillers dry out and wash/evaporate away.

The visual rewards are awesome if you have a determined eye and are tenacious too ! I have ALWAYS done my own work since I was 15.(43 now) and I SO wish a local young man would have learned the trade so I could PAY him for this labor of love.........but alas.

Best of Luck gents..........Vinny

sorry for the long read !lol

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