There are six final steps in giving the paint it’s maximum gloss. There are three sanding steps where we sand the paint with progressively finer sandpaper until all the flaws are removed from the paint. We completed all of the sanding yesterday.
After the sanding removes all the flaw we polish the paint to restore the gloss. As you can guess, no matter how fine the sandpaper, sanding the paint is going to dull the finish. There are three step in the polishing process. The first step removes the dullness left by the sanding, but it leaves the paint with “swirl” marks in the paint. We also completed this step yesterday.
So for today we need to get the swirl marks out of the paint. This is what the second polishing step accomplishes. Where the first step uses a relatively aggressive polish, the second step uses a very mild polish. The entire process is designed to remove the flaws in the paint as quickly and efficiently as possible. I suppose you could skip all the sanding steps and the first polishing steps and go right to the second polishing step … but you would be working on the car for weeks polishing the paint. Better to get “aggressive” with it at the beginning to speed the process along.
If this were a light colored car, we would stop here. Light colored cars, whites, silvers and the like, never have the depth in their paint that dark colors do so additional polishing does them no good. But as you can see, this car is as far from white as you can get so we go another step when polishing.
The third and final step removes an ethereal haze left behind by the previous polishing step. After the first polishing step it is easy to see the swirls, but the haze left by the second step is almost impossible to see. The light has to be just so and the only time you can tell it is there is when the third step removes it from an adjacent area. It very hard to see and even more difficult to describe, but we have the ability to remove it, so we do.
These three photos show the car after all the sanding and polishing is complete. The car looked pretty good when it arrived … well, except for the bent front fender … but it looks a lot better than just pretty good now.