Polishing with Meguiars

Since it's raining today and I can't work on the roof, I worked on some indoor projects.
I've been trying to get a good high gloss finish for ages. I think today I finally got the procedure down.
Used the following materials:
5" sanding disks 220, 400, 600, 800, 1000, 1500 Surbuf Random Orbit Buffing Pad, 5-1/2" Meguiars #7 Show Car Glaze Meguiars #9 Swirl Remover ML Campbell Ultrastar Random Orbit Sander
Misc supplies--paint brush, lacquer thinner, shop rags, etc.
1. Sand overall with 220, and apply a coat of Ulstrastar. Let dry. 2. Sand overall with 400 and apply another coat of Ultrastar. Let dry.
3. Smooth with 400. Look for spots where the coating is sanded through. When you find one, hit that spot with 220. Apply another coat of Ultrastar and let dry.
4. Repeat 2 & 3 until the entire piece is sanded with 400 without penetrating the finish.
5. Sand with increasingly fine grits.
6. Apply a little bit of Meguiars #9. Polish with the Surbuf and the ROS. Do _not_ try to do this step by hand--it can be done but it will take forever. Wipe clean.
7. Apply a little bit of Meguiars #7. Polish by hand or with a second Surbuf.
If there are any dull spots that won't polish, the finish has been penetrated--go back to 4.
The resulting finish is not flat, it's a bit wavy, but it's got a mirror gloss with sharp edged reflections.
I went with Ultrastar because recoating blends the coats giving a continuous film, while the cured properties are very good.
I tried a number of Meguiars products before settling on the two that I mentioned. 3M has equivalents but I don't know which particular 3M items they would be. These are automotive products that you'll find at a good automotive paint supplier. They are not waxes, they are abrasives in a liquid, and are intended for body shop use, polishing between coats of sprayed lacquer--they leave no residue that will impede adhesion of automotive finishes.
There are purpose-made foam pads for use with these materials--you can use one of those if you want to--I don't think it makes any real difference in the outcome.
The objective of the sanding is to get a continuous lacquer film that has been sanded to a degree of fineness that the abrasives in the swirl remover can handle--I found that if I sanded to a courser grit than 1500 the swirl remover couldn't take out the marks but at 1500 it did.
I haven't tried this procedure with shellac yet--I don't see any reason why it wouldn't work, but that doesn't mean that there isn't one.
It should also work with a high build urethane--it just has to build heavily enough in a single coat to avoid sanding through.
--
--
--John
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Since it's raining today and I can't work on the roof, I worked on some indoor projects.
I've been trying to get a good high gloss finish for ages. I think today I finally got the procedure down.
Used the following materials:
5" sanding disks 220, 400, 600, 800, 1000, 1500 Surbuf Random Orbit Buffing Pad, 5-1/2" Meguiars #7 Show Car Glaze Meguiars #9 Swirl Remover ML Campbell Ultrastar Random Orbit Sander
Misc supplies--paint brush, lacquer thinner, shop rags, etc.
1. Sand overall with 220, and apply a coat of Ulstrastar. Let dry. 2. Sand overall with 400 and apply another coat of Ultrastar. Let dry.
3. Smooth with 400. Look for spots where the coating is sanded through. When you find one, hit that spot with 220. Apply another coat of Ultrastar and let dry.
4. Repeat 2 & 3 until the entire piece is sanded with 400 without penetrating the finish.
5. Sand with increasingly fine grits.
6. Apply a little bit of Meguiars #9. Polish with the Surbuf and the ROS. Do _not_ try to do this step by hand--it can be done but it will take forever. Wipe clean.
7. Apply a little bit of Meguiars #7. Polish by hand or with a second Surbuf.
If there are any dull spots that won't polish, the finish has been penetrated--go back to 4.
The resulting finish is not flat, it's a bit wavy, but it's got a mirror gloss with sharp edged reflections.
I went with Ultrastar because recoating blends the coats giving a continuous film, while the cured properties are very good.
I tried a number of Meguiars products before settling on the two that I mentioned. 3M has equivalents but I don't know which particular 3M items they would be. These are automotive products that you'll find at a good automotive paint supplier. They are not waxes, they are abrasives in a liquid, and are intended for body shop use, polishing between coats of sprayed lacquer--they leave no residue that will impede adhesion of automotive finishes.
There are purpose-made foam pads for use with these materials--you can use one of those if you want to--I don't think it makes any real difference in the outcome.
The objective of the sanding is to get a continuous lacquer film that has been sanded to a degree of fineness that the abrasives in the swirl remover can handle--I found that if I sanded to a courser grit than 1500 the swirl remover couldn't take out the marks but at 1500 it did.
I haven't tried this procedure with shellac yet--I don't see any reason why it wouldn't work, but that doesn't mean that there isn't one.
It should also work with a high build urethane--it just has to build heavily enough in a single coat to avoid sanding through.
--
--
--John
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Thanks.
I have been using 1000 grit wet/dry then on to Meguiar's #1 Mirror Glaze, then onto #5, then #7 then on to #9. I never tried going #9 then to #7 as you claim. Might be worth the try. I need to read up on Ultrastar, haven't used it yet.
You forgot to mention this is really messy. Easy to have Meguiar's splatter all across shop. Do wear a shop apron. And maybe some old shoes.
I have only had success (using this technique) with very hard surface finishes, like Deft NC Lacquer. Not that satisfied with Water-Borne Acrylic when using Meguiar's polishing technique. Surface finish of Acrylic could be too soft, or I am not letting it cure to hardness needed. But a thin coat of spray Acrylic on top of 1000 grit flattening seems to enough to give good mirror finish.
Phil
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