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Ok Patrick, I'll help start it out.

Years ago when I started in the auto body business, the first thing you learn as an apprentice is how to buff out cars. Today they have a tremendous amount of products to choose from. With all the gov't environmental regulations, the paints and materials used in the U.S. today on our automobiles are inferior opposed to the foreign paint materials used. They don't have the restrictions that we do. Their paints still contain lead & shellac which makes the paint much harder and clearcoat much stronger. I find that certain products work best with the type of paint on the cars today.

I use a product by 3M on my black '99 which is a non filler swirl remover and is not too abrasive. I use it with a professional wheel and woolen bonnet with a leather backing. It completely eliminates swirl marks and is pretty safe for the new paints today. As far as polish, I find Sal Zaino's formula superior to the canuba type waxes. I wouldn't recommend using a high speed polisher if your not familiar with it. You could burn through. Here's a little trick that I learned from the old polishers back in Brooklyn. After I finish with the 3M swirl remover, I fill a stocking with cornstarch and gently pat around the area I worked on leaving a film of the starch. I then put a new woolen pad with a leather backing on the machine and buff over the cornstarch. This brings up a higher luster and removes any streaks. Again, not recommended if you have never used a buffer. Each polisher has there own techniques. I find this method a good one and combined with Zaino products, I get swirl free, show quality shine, without being afraid of different lighting the car may be under. Looks good under any light. Another great product is Future 2001, which is great for a black car. Hope someone finds this helpful.

PS. The unfortunate thing about our American paints is that after you do all that work and you take the car out for a ride, the wind, leaves etc, wind up making new swirl marks. Black is beautiful but it drives me crazy.
 

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Great tips FatherLarry. I have limited experience with buffers and have found Zaino does a wonderful job for me. I have a dark green Vette and Z-5 works great for me.

If I wasn't afraid of destroying my brand new paint job, I would try what you listed.... maybe by Bonneville could be my guinea pig.:D
 

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The Bonneville would be a great start. The main thing is learning how to hold the machine and not hitting the edges where you can burn through. It's a great idea to put a piece of tape along the edges and just do a section at a time. Don't forget to get spur to clean the pads each time you use them. When you're ready let me know and I'll give you the product number to the 3M swirl remover. You may even ask your local dealer if you could watch their make-ready man or polisher to get an idea. Also, they can give you some tips. It took me a good year to learn how to handle the machine. I started with new cars/make ready, and cutting fresh paint. What I mean by cutting fresh paint is after they painted a car they would wet sand it with 600, 1000 or 1200 sandpaper. It would then go to the polish dept where they would polish it out and detail it. With a new car, especially the Vettes, you don't need to go through procedures like that. A lot of guys make the mistake on the Vettes today by trying to get a professional to wet sand the clear to get the orange peel out. They're only defeating themselves by doing that. They are taking a large amount of clear off and exposing a thin coat of clear to the elements. The orange peel is not in the clear but in the primer and the base coat, so you're really not accomplishing anything except breaking down the clear. Don't let anyone talk you into that. Hope you find this helpful.
 

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here's what i learned about painting cars... even if the prep is perfect; it can be disasterous if your head isnt in the game when spraying. patrick and tim can agree if you remember the shark of mine
 

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Imagine what it's like when you have no choice each day. It has to come out right whether your head is into it or not. Or, that mysterious bug or piece of dirt that blew out of one of the filters, as you put you last coat on the car, or the gun spits a piece of metallic out. There are days that I would rather sit down and tear a quadro jet apart. Painting is a rough art.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Corzvette69 said:
here's what i learned about painting cars... even if the prep is perfect; it can be disasterous if your head isnt in the game when spraying. patrick and tim can agree if you remember the shark of mine
I only saw your car in the dark! I'm certain I didn't see the Electron Blue in the light.... any new pics?
 
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