Learn how to polish out scratches and swirls using a
and CCS Smart Pads™ by Lake Country. If you've never used a polisher before, check out our
Action Polishing Guide. If you're familiar with the principles of polishing and
you're ready to step up to a circular polisher, you've come to the right place.
7.5 inch and
8.5 inch pads can
be used with circular polishers. The techniques listed here work with either
What accessories do I
You will need a rotary backing plate
to attach Lake Country pads to your circular polisher. Lake Country pads and
the backing plates listed here have Velcro brand hook & loop fasteners. You
will see it described simply as "hook & loop" on pads and backing plates
with this feature. Choose from a 6 inch or 7 inch backing plate:
Easy on and off.
The hook and loop backing allows you to pull off a used pad and replace
it with a fresh pad in seconds. The hooks and loops provide a secure
connection combined with the ability to change the pad almost instantly.
Advanced Curved Edge. The gently curved edge of the 7.5 inch and 8.5 inch pads gives you more maneuverability over the curves and contours of your vehicle. Cut in tighter around mirrors and emblems without risk. The generous lip of foam curves around the edge of the backing plate to protect your vehicle from nicks. A hole in the center of the pad allows for easy centering on the backing plate.
CCS Technology. CCS stands for closed cell
structures, which are the
small pockets that dot the front of the pads. These pockets enable the
pads to absorb less product and keep it on the work surface. They act
like little reservoirs where excess product is stored until it is needed
on the pad's surface. This improves operator control and lessens product
waste. The pockets also reduce surface tension so flat pads move more
easily across flat panels.
Yellow Cutting Foams- Use this pad to apply compounds or
polishes to remove severe oxidation, swirls, and scratches. It is the
most aggressive and should only be used on oxidized and older finishes.
Always follow this pad with an orange or white pad and a fine polish to
refine the paint until it is smooth.
Orange Light Cutting Foam - Firm, high density foam for
scratch and defect removal. Use this pad with polishes and swirl
removers. It’s an all around pad that will work on most light to
Coarse Green Cutting/Polishing - This
foam is of medium density with the ability to level very fine scratches
and very light oxidation. Use light swirl removers with this pad.Note: This is a different green foam than the
6.5 inch green pad. This pad is coarser.
White Polishing Foam - Less dense foam formula for the
application of waxes, micro-fine polishes and sealants. This pad has
very light cutting power so it's perfect for pre-wax cleaners.
Gray Finishing Foam - Composition is firm enough to
withstand added pressure during final finishing to remove buffer swirls.
It has no cut and will apply thin, even coats of waxes, sealants, and
Blue Finessing Foam – The blue pad has soft composition for
applying glaze, finishing polish, sealants, and liquid waxes.
Red UltraSoft Foam - This soft, imported foam is ideal for applying the
final coat of wax or sealant. The foam works especially well when
applying liquid waxes or sealants because it is firm enough to keep the
majority of the product on the paint, rather than soaking it up. The red
foam has no cut or cleaning ability.
So many choices! We'll narrow it
down for you. Most vehicles with moderate swirls will require these
items: an orange light cutting pad, a
white polishing pad, a
gray finishing pad, the
Rotary Flexible Backing Plate and of course, your
How do I polish out
swirls and scratches?
The following is a general guide to polishing. It will
take you from compounding to polishing to finishing. If your paint problems
do not require compounding, skip to polishing. If you’re not sure, start
with polishing. Always take the least aggressive approach first! If
you don’t get the desired results from polishing, then use a swirl remover
and light cutting pad.
The pads pictured at
the beginning of each section indicate what pads can be used to perform the
Please note: If your fingernail catches
the scratch or swirl, it will require painting and must be repaired by a
professional. Attempting to remove deep blemishes like this could result in
cutting down to the primer, which would be an expensive repair.
Swirl removers can range from light to heavy.
Total Swirl Remover 3.0 is designed to work on a broad range of imperfections to
eliminate the need for multiple products.
2. Apply a circle of swirl remover around the edge of
the pad. Some will say apply a quarter size amount. You can even apply it
directly to the paint. Ultimately you're going to spread it around so how
the swirl remover gets on the paint is up to you. Spread the swirl remover
over a small section (about 2 x 2 sq. ft.) with the polisher turned
off to prevent sling.
3. Set the maximum speed at 1500 RPM. Turn
the polisher on and work the swirl remover in a side to side, overlapping
motion. Move slowly to give the abrasives time to work. KEEP THE POLISHER
MOVING AT ALL TIMES.
When the swirl remover turns to a transparent film,
the abrasives have broken down. Turn off the machine and lift it off the
paint. Buff away the residue with a soft,
Cobra Microfiber Towel
and inspect your results. If you are not satisfied, repeat the process
with the same product or a more aggressive compound. If you still see no results, upgrade to the yellow cutting pad.
* A light haze or dullness
is normal. The next step will restore the gloss.
Polishing improves the smoothness and gloss of the
paint. Use Wolfgang Finishing Glaze 3.0 if you’ve just compounded or if the paint just
needs a boost in gloss.
1. Use the white pad on your
circular polisher. Apply the polish of your choice to the pad or to the
paint and spread it around with the machine turned off.
2. Set the maximum speed to about 1000 RPM.
You're not trying to cut. You're just trying to burnish the paint to a high
gloss. Work in a side to side, overlapping motion until the polish turns
3. Buff with a
Cobra Microfiber Towel
and check your results. If you can still see some haze, repeat the process.
This time, be sure that the abrasives are fully broken down before you buff.
Because of the speed and potential heat
generated by a rotary polisher, you may elect to do the finishing work by
hand or with a dual action polisher. If you are comfortable using a
rotary, use it at a slow speed with zero pressure. Keep the machine moving
at all times.
1. Attach a gray or blue pad to your polisher. Apply the product to the paint or to the pad. Spread it
around the paint in a 2 x 2 sq. ft. section with the polisher turned off.
2. Set the maximum speed to 1000 RPM. You do
speed to apply nonabrasive products. Spread the product over the paint until
its sufficiently covered. There are no abrasives to break down. You are just
trying to get even coverage.
Keep the polisher moving continuously. A
circular/rotary polisher will burn the paint if it is left on the same
spot for more than a second or two.
Work at a slow speed. A slower speed will reduce
the heat build-up and thereby reduce the risk of burning the paint.
Work the pad flat against the paint or with the back
edge of the pad tilted very slightly upward (that's the edge closest to you).
This position will help you avoid dragging the edge on the paint, which
Foam & Wool Pad Cleaning
The easiest way to clean your foam and wool pads is to drop them in pad cleaner while they are still wet with polish or wax. Dried products are more difficult to remove from the pads. To do this, mix up a bucket of water and Wolfgang Polishing Pad Rejuvenator at the start of your detailing session. As you finish using each pad, drop it in the cleaning solution to soak. When you are finished with your detail, use the Foam Pad Conditioning Brush to agitate the pads. Then rinse the pads and lay out to dry.
Note: Dry pads with the hook and loop backing facing up so water drains away from it. Standing water on the backing material could eventually cause separation.
When your clean pads are dry, put them in a sealable plastic bag or container to keep them free of dust until their next use.