• How to Use a Car Buffer (Without Destroying Your Paint Job)

    A car buffer is designed to polish the paintwork of your car, to improve the overall finish. Though cleaning and waxing will to some degree help to maintain the integrity of the paint job, it will not be enough to combat the corrosive materials that your car comes into contact with every day. At some stage, you will have to use an electric car buffer to remove the blemishes to the finish.

    Tools and Materials Needed:

    • An electric car buffer
    • Electric car buffer heads, sometimes called remover pads
    • Car polish: At least two types will be needed, one for heavy paintwork damage, and one for light
    • A paintwork sealant or wax finisher

    Step 1 – Prepare a Suitable Space

    Ensure you have a space dedicated to polishing the car. You will need enough space to encircle the car, and be able to easily maneuver the electric car buffer freely. Remember, the car polisher will have its own flex, and this can get in the way. Ensure there are no trip hazards. If you are working outside, the ideal weather is not too hot, and no rain. It is worth noting that you need plenty of time to do a good job, so make sure you have this before commencing.

    Step 2 – Prepare Materials

    Make sure all the equipment you need is easily accessible, as you may need to change buffer heads and or polish during the process. Though they should be at hand, they should also be out the way while you perform the car polishing process.

    Step 3 – Assess the Severity

    Take a good look at the paint job of your car, and decide on the severity of the blemishes. Some light scratches or water damage will require a medium gauge polish and buffer head. A heavier gauge of both polish and head will be needed to combat severe damage or swirls.

    Step 4 – Selecting the Polish and the Head

    Always use polish with the car buffer. During the operation, a tiny layer of paint is removed from the paint job, and a buffer alone is far too abrasive. When you come to select, the golden rule is choose the least abrasive of both head and polish that you feel will do the job. Follow all manufacturer instructions.

    Step 5 – How to Buffer a Car

    Select a test spot, around two feet square, and start with slow up and down, and side to side movements. Let your movements overlap. If the desired result does not materialize, then think about adjusting the speed of the buffer, or changing the polish and head. Once you have achieved the desired combination of polish, head and buffer speed, then move on to the rest of the vehicle, buffering the finish in two-foot square sections. Should you come across a severe blemish, then apply slight pressure with the buffer, but do not slow the machine.

    Remember to take your time and get the combination right, and use slow overlapping movements with the buffer. A good safety tip is to keep the flex over your shoulder, to avoid entanglement. Never take the buffer off the car while it is switched on because this could damage the paint work.

    Step 6 – Sealing the Paint Work

    Once you’ve finished buffering, seal the paint work with either a wax or paint sealant to protect your hard work, following manufacturer instructions. Clean and put away your tools to keep them in optimum condition.