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  1. #1
    Senior Member Methodical's Avatar
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    Can I polish 3 week old paint

    Is it ok to polish (not wax or seal) new paint (3 weeks old)? I know not to wax the car to allow it to release some chemicals, but I just want to polish (no wax) it to remove some of the swirls in the paint. The polishes I have are Meguiars and Rupes.

    Thanks for any input.
    "Never be afraid to try something new. Remember, amateurs built the Ark, professionals built the Titanic"

  2. #2
    Senior Member acuRAS82's Avatar
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    Re: Can I polish 3 week old paint

    I just got my tailgate repainted (partial base coat, full clear coat) and my body guy told me to wait 3-4 weeks preferred, but could polish immediately if I had to... The main risk was possibility that new hazing could occur after I polished, up until the 4 week mark.

    I could see sanding/compound marks, so on day 3, I polished a small test spot with orange pad w/ swirl remover. The scratches came out immediately and there has yet to be any hazing in that spot, now 2.5 weeks later. My understanding from the body guy is that if hazing did come back, I would need to polish again after the 4 week point. He said there’s plenty of clearcoat so it would have only cost me my time, no danger of permanently screwing up the paint, to my understanding.

    When in doubt, I recommend contacting the painter as paint types may differ? But I wanted to share my recent experience with you anyways.

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  4. #3
    Senior Member FUNX650's Avatar
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    Re: Can I polish 3 week old paint

    Quote Originally Posted by Methodical View Post
    Is it ok to polish (not wax or seal) new
    paint (3 weeks old)? I know not to wax
    the car to allow it to release some chemicals,
    but I just want to polish (no wax) it to
    remove some of the swirls in the paint.

    The polishes I have are Meguiars and Rupes.

    Thanks for any input.
    Yes...It’ll be ok to polish out the swirls.

    Additionally:
    •Let me suggest that, once you’re satisfied
    with the swirl removal, you can then apply
    Meguiar’s M305.

    -M305 will not only provide a layer of
    Wax protection, but it will also allow
    the new paint to continue its ‘outgassing’
    process to completion.

    Meguiars M305 Ultra Finishing Durable Glaze 16 oz.

    Good stuff!



    Bob
    "Be wary of the man who urges an action in which he himself incurs no risk."
    ~Joaquin de Setanti

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  6. #4
    Senior Member Methodical's Avatar
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    Re: Can I polish 3 week old paint

    Thanks for the feedback and suggestions.
    "Never be afraid to try something new. Remember, amateurs built the Ark, professionals built the Titanic"

  7. #5
    Senior Member 2black1s's Avatar
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    Re: Can I polish 3 week old paint

    My experience as an old painter is that the longer you wait to polish new paint the more permanent your results will be.

    Here's the reason... Paint continues to shrink during the curing/hardening process. This shrinkage results in a surface texture change and that surface texture change results in lower gloss.

    Paint application and thickness play into how long the curing/hardening process drags out and how much shrinkage occurs, but it does occur to some degree regardless of application/thickness.

    So, the further down the road to full cure/hardness of the paint you are when you do your polishing the more permanent your results will be.

    This does not mean that you can't polish fresh paint. Most paint can be polished as soon as the next day but in doing so, don't expect it to retain that "polished" look a month or two or three later. It will dull out to some extent. When that occurs just simply repeat your polishing process.

    When I did custom paint jobs my preference for sanding and polishing was a minimum of 90 days out.

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  9. #6
    Senior Member Oz_TCH's Avatar
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    Re: Can I polish 3 week old paint

    Nvm.

  10. #7
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    Re: Can I polish 3 week old paint

    Even single stage is ok to polish at 3 weeks?

  11. #8
    Senior Member FUNX650's Avatar
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    Re: Can I polish 3 week old paint

    Quote Originally Posted by mckobe View Post
    Even single stage is ok to polish at 3 weeks?
    Yes.
    Sometimes even a lot sooner than 3 weeks.

    •If it’s ‘modern day’ Single Stage urethane:
    -then the amount of drying-time needed (for
    when it can then be polished) usually ranges
    between 8-16 hours.


    Bob
    "Be wary of the man who urges an action in which he himself incurs no risk."
    ~Joaquin de Setanti

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  13. #9
    Senior Member acuRAS82's Avatar
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    Re: Can I polish 3 week old paint

    Quote Originally Posted by 2black1s View Post
    My experience as an old painter is that the longer you wait to polish new paint the more permanent your results will be.

    Here's the reason... Paint continues to shrink during the curing/hardening process. This shrinkage results in a surface texture change and that surface texture change results in lower gloss.

    Paint application and thickness play into how long the curing/hardening process drags out and how much shrinkage occurs, but it does occur to some degree regardless of application/thickness.

    So, the further down the road to full cure/hardness of the paint you are when you do your polishing the more permanent your results will be.

    This does not mean that you can't polish fresh paint. Most paint can be polished as soon as the next day but in doing so, don't expect it to retain that "polished" look a month or two or three later. It will dull out to some extent. When that occurs just simply repeat your polishing process.

    When I did custom paint jobs my preference for sanding and polishing was a minimum of 90 days out.
    Thanks for the fine info. This essentially lines up with what my body guy informed me... getting a consistent answer from another paint guy gives me the warm and fuzzies.

  14. #10
    Member Sleper's Avatar
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    Re: Can I polish 3 week old paint

    Old school was 90 days but that was before paint was baked on during the drying process. If it is factory paint and you have just picked up your new vehicle yes for sure go agead. if you have had something repainted and the piece was baked during the drying process 30 days is good. If not baked i would wait 60 days My 0.02$ hope this helps

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