How to Buff a Car

How To Buff Your Car Properly?

Do you feel it’s high time you gave a touch-up to your car in spite of the care you give daily? Has your car become dull in appearance and lost its charm? Don’t worry; that’s exactly when the process of buffing your car comes into play.

The exterior finish of the cars will be lost over time as it is exposed to detrimental environmental elements like acid rains or other contaminants. The constant exposure to sun and other pollutants will cause the car’s paint to corrode and fade with time. In the long run, it loses its luster and glory.

For those who are new to the term ‘Buffing,’ it’s slightly different from the term Polishing. To give you an idea, your car’s paint is covered with a hardened surface called a clear coat, and this prevents the paint from becoming damaged due to continuous exposure to contaminants and UV rays of the sun.

When the surface becomes dull, Buffing can be done to remove a thin layer of paint from the surface of your car, exposing a fresher layer of paint from beneath. This makes the surface shiny again. Buffing, in fact, will help to restore the clear coat for cars and will help you reinstate the original luster and thus improve the overall appearance of your car.

Apart from the fact that buffing will make your car look all new again, there are further advantages it will give a long-lasting finish to the car, and it will help to remove minor blemishes and scratches if they are not deep. Buffing of your cars should be done every 2 to 3 months to yield better results.

Now we will go into the details; let’s gather the required materials before starting the process of buffing:

1. Manual Buffing

Materials required: Bucket of warm water, buffing compound, polishing pads, car wash soap, and Microfiber cloth.

manual buffing

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  • Wash your car: Rinse off loose dirt on the entire surface of your car using a hose or a pressure washer. Take a bucket of water and add car washing soap, then start wiping off the stuck-on particles from the top of the car to the bottom by using a soft car wash sponge or a car wash mitt.
  • Dry your car carefully: After your car is washed thoroughly, dry it by wiping it with a dry microfiber cloth. The cleaner should be carefully removed from all over the surface.
  • Manual buffing: Apply the buffing compound carefully to a small area of your car, smear it properly onto the surface of the car, and then buff your paint with the compound in small circles with moderate to heavy pressure.
  • Dry and wipe: Apply the compound gently all over your car and allow it to dry. Once the compound is dry, wipe it off using a clean, dry cloth.

Remember that a low-quality buffer can make your car’s paint appear cloudy. Always go for high-quality buffers. One of the best car buffers available is Meguiar’s M205 mirror glaze ultra finishing polish. You can redo buffing if you are not happy with the gloss obtained after buffing once.

There is an element of risk associated with manual buffing as it is labor intensive and time-consuming, and the result also depends on many factors. It depends on your efficiency and the experience you have in buffing. But manual buffing will help you save the cost.

2. Power Buffing

Materials required: Bucket of warm water, buffing compound, power buffer, polishing pads, car wash soap, and Microfiber cloth. After washing and rinsing your car to remove the dust particles and contaminants, the following steps can be followed:

power buffing

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  • Apply the polishing compound: The selection of the polishing compound is very crucial, and this plays a vital role in getting the best results. The polishing compound suitable for your car models should be selected. Apply the polishing compound directly onto the surface of your car carefully.
  • Power buffing: Power buffers can be used to buff your cars to get that glossy finish. Assemble the power buffer by putting a buffing pad on the power buffer. The cloth should be designated for buffing, and ideally, the pad should be five to six inches in diameter size. Apply the buffing compound to the pad. The buffing compound will act as a lubricant and will prevent the foam of the pad and the paint of your car from damage.
  • Apply and smear compound: Apply the buffing compound onto the surface of the surface of the panel and check carefully whether the complete area is covered. Choose one area at a time to avoid missing any area to get an even finish. Smear the compound using the buffing pad. Place the buffing pad in such a way that you maintain complete contact with the paint.
  • Turn on the buffer: Switch on the buffer and move it from side to side. Sweep it over the surface to cover the whole panel. Work using moderate pressure over the whole surface of your car.
  • Wipe: Wipe down gently using a microfiber cloth.

Repeat the step if you are not happy with the obtained finish. Remember, if you work on a particular area for a long using a power buffer, it can result in overheating and subsequent damage to the paint and clear coat in that area. Always keep the polisher in motion while it is turned on.

The high-speed buffer can be used to eliminate the blemishes and scratches completely, and this also brings in great shine. But remember, improper usage of high-speed buffers will affect the appearance to a great extent, and it will leave scratches and swirls on the surface of your car.

Random orbital buffers can be used in case you require a greater finish with much less effort. But it might not last for long.

Polishing or rubbing compounds are used to add sheen to the surface and to have an even coloring. It enhances the glow and adds depth and clarity to the finish. You can rub the polishing compound lightly using a wet microfiber cloth and remove it using another piece of microfiber cloth.

Power Buffing

Wax can also be applied over the polishing compound to protect the clear coat from contaminants and ultraviolet rays. Be careful when choosing wax as some of them cannot be applied with high speed, which can damage your paint.

Use the right combination of buffing compound, buffing pad, and speed of the power buffer to get the best results out of buffing. Inspect your job at regular intervals to spot any blemishes on the surface of your car or whether an area is missing.

By following these instructions, you will find it very simple to do buffing. Get help from experts while selecting the buffers, polishing agents, and waxing agents for your cars. It’s always good to get guidance from an expert about which would be suitable for your car model.

The power buffer should always be held near your shoulder, and you must avoid using high speeds and high pressure when buffing. If you are a novice, manual buffing is not advised at all; you can choose manual buffing when money is a problem.

Try to approach a professional initially and observe him buffing, and slowly and gradually try to do it on your own. Try these simple steps next time and share your comments.