Inspect Paint and Remove Scratches & Oxidation

Determine whether the vehicle has a conventional or basecoat/clearcoat paint system by hand applying a compound to an inconspicuous area of the paint. If color appears on the rag, the vehicle has a conventional paint system (which can be compounded aggressively). If not, it has a basecoat/clearcoat system (on which light to moderate buffing products should be used).


Measure the thickness of the vehicle’s paint with a paint thickness gauge (if available).


Determine the condition of the paint by examining the vehicles horizontal surfaces for scratches, oxidation and swirl marks.


Mask the wiper blades and cowling area with a damp towel to simplify residue removal.


If the depth of the scratches and extent of the oxidation warrant it, compound the surface with a high speed buffer and cutting pad. Buff slowly in a 2’ x 2’ area, using a side-to-side motion


Apply light pressure, keep the pad flat on the surface and limit buffing speed to 1600 - 1800 r.p.m.


Monitor the amount of paint being removed with a paint thickness gauge.


Clean the pad regularly, and establish a schedule for pad changes.


Remove all compounding residue with a soft, clean cloth.

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