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
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
7. Apply a little bit of Meguiars #7. Polish by hand or with a
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
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
It should also work with a high build urethane--it just has to build
heavily enough in a single coat to avoid sanding through.
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