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Old     (snyder)      Join Date: Feb 2006       10-30-2012, 11:21 AM Reply   
I know there are a lot of car buff's on here (pun intended). We have a '04 Tahoe and the paint needs some TLC.

Anyone have any suggestions on how to buff out some minor scratches and restore the shine?

I have a dual action buffer but have no idea what chemicals or pads to look into. Or if I should use a rotary instead, or what... anyone have any tips? good sites to go to?

I know the clear coats on today's cars can pose a problem, huh?

Do paint shops do this kind of stuff, and would that just be easier? (assuming it's not too expensive for them to do it)
Old     (grant_west)      Join Date: Jun 2005       10-30-2012, 2:28 PM Reply   
Most cars that look like they could use a polish need a serious detail. That can be as easy as a Mico
Fine compound and a polish or you might need a color sand and polish depending how far the paint is gone. Either one can be a big job depending on how much time you have and if your up for a "Project" but I would say if you don't have the Experiance and you don't have the materials just bight the bullet and get a detailer to do it. Polishing a car is a art form and if your not familiar with it you can cause a big mess in a hurry. To get all the material to do a proper cut and polish your looking at $300 that's a Buffer the pads the sandpaper and all the compounds and wax's and that's right where your gonna be as far as $ for a detail. If your still game there is a Thread in the DIY section called cut and polish that show the steps
Old     (snyder)      Join Date: Feb 2006       10-30-2012, 3:28 PM Reply   
Thanks Grant. I stumbled across a website w/some pretty good info. I may give it a try. but I already have a pretty continuously long honey-do list and I don't ever see this bubbling up to the top of the list (part of the reason the paint needs the TLC in the 1st place).

maybe I'll just call my local Service King and see if they do exterior detailing.
Old     (acurtis_ttu)      Join Date: May 2004       10-31-2012, 6:40 AM Reply   
there are a couple really good detail guys in Houston that will come to your house. They use high end products and have commecial grade equipment.
Old     (lav)      Join Date: Jun 2007       11-02-2012, 2:34 PM Reply   
Lots of good info here
Old     (Thrall)      Join Date: Oct 2010       11-05-2012, 4:08 PM Reply   
Rotary polisher. 3M compound and polish.
Go to an auto body store and they can hook you up with the right pads.
It's just like any of the gelcoat resto instructions you see on here except paint is more delicate. DON"T apply any direct pressure to corners/sharp edges, will brun thru the clear pretty quick.
Old     (snyder)      Join Date: Feb 2006       11-30-2012, 11:30 AM Reply   
So I spent a ridiculous number of hours on my wife's tahoe and my f250 but they came out great!
I used a turtle wax brand polishing compound. and then a McGuires wax with a 8" random orbital buffer to apply the polish, took it off by hand, and buffed it clean w/a 10" random orbital buffer, then applied the wax w/the small buffer, and buffed it off w/the bigger one.
I also applied some "back to black" plastic restorer on all the plastic crap trim (friggin' GM)

I was able to make every scratch that was not thru the paint disappear. My truck even had some really light scratches in the side windows from years of dust and dirt in the gaskets that scratched up the outsides of the glass from rolling the windows up and down for 11 yrs. The polishing compound w/some elbow grease even made those scratches in the glass almost disappear!

Now my next two projects are:
minor dent repair (my son has been a little aggressive leaning his YZ250F up against my bed a few times)
and scratch repair for the scratches that are down to the primer.

anyone ever tried using a razor to level down any excess touchup paint and then polish and buff it out? I saw an old skool technique for removing runs and trash in paint this way, but i think the video is older than clear coat, lol.
Anytime i've seen someone use touchup paint, it always looks very obvious, and therefore not much better than the original scratch itself.

any tips? anyone tried this?
Old     (wazzy)      Join Date: Nov 2001       12-03-2012, 9:51 AM Reply   
How bad is it? Will a session with a clay bar help?
Old     (diamonddad)      Join Date: Mar 2010       12-03-2012, 10:22 AM Reply   
Slightly different problem... Is it possible to clean up the tarnished head lamp covers OR do I need to buy new?
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Old     (jerasu98)      Join Date: Aug 2005       12-03-2012, 12:13 PM Reply   
I just used some headlamp cleaner on my wife's car over the holiday. Did require some elbow grease. It was the Turtle brand and was also the least expensive. 9 bucks I think. If I kept at it I am sure it would look almost brand new but I just did it once. The more expensive stuff might work better. My wife thought they looked great. A friend used a kit that he attached to his drill. My headlamps looked much worse then yours GD.
Old     (jonblarc7)      Join Date: Jul 2006       12-03-2012, 12:21 PM Reply   
Used a kit on my wifes old car and it turned out great. I don't remember what kind it was but you attached it to a drill.
Old     (wazzy)      Join Date: Nov 2001       12-04-2012, 9:50 AM Reply   
I used a head light kit my dad had on my wifes old neon... worked pretty good. It was the one that attaches to a drill & you step through diff grits of sand paper & polish.... looked like new afterwards.... might want to tape the paint around the lense, or remove the light altogether...
(I think the kit was made by Mothers....or Meguiars)
Old     (fouroheight68)      Join Date: May 2006       12-04-2012, 10:27 AM Reply   
Easiest way to quickly restore your headlights is regular old toothpaste and a microfiber towel. Trust me it works.


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