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  1. #1
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    Polishing a new car and masking

    Couple of questions:

    1. I have seen pictures of Mike thoroughly masking a vehicle prior to compounding. If I a polishing a new vehicle and am only using a fine polish (Menzerna SF3500). Do I need to be worried about masking everything? My thought was I would stay away from any edges until the polish was worked in a pass or two then I should have little risk of leaving residue where I donít want it. I I plan on masking areas I can easily do such as the windshield, but to mask every rubber seal around the windows, and every plastic trim piece seems like it may be unnecessary if just using a fine polish.

    2. Related to the above. If I waited until the polish was worked in a pass or two (and broken down a bit as itís a DAT) can I safely go over breaks in a panel (such as you would get between doors or over the gas cap door, etc).

    I have minimal experience with polishing (have only done sons car) so I thought I would gather the thoughts of the more experienced.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Re: Polishing a new car and masking

    So looking around for some guidance I came across this from Mike.


    "No special rules as each car is different, the general rule I use is I tape off anything I don't want to get splatter on, splatter in, or detail with a toothbrush when the job is done.


    "Polishing paint is polishing paint, detailing is getting the wax out of the cracks" -Mike Phillips


    If you do a good job of taping a car off before hand, you won't have to detail it later...
    "

    I guess my question would be better phrased how much splatter should I expect if I'm using three pea sized drops of a fine finishing polish - and I spread it / work it in a bit before I approach any trim or gaps?

    Obviously if I mask everything than I eliminate the risk of splatter, however, it seems like it may be overkill for if I'm just using a fine finishing polish - then again, I'm a rookie at this. As far a control of the tool - I am very experienced with using many power tools including rotary sanders, grinders, etc. So I not too concerned with my ability to control the tool, mostly trying to get feedback on the amount of splatter I might see.

  3. #3
    Senior Member MarkD51's Avatar
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    Re: Polishing a new car and masking

    Hi,
    My opinion on masking is to have lots of tape in a decent variety of widths. I've even used a type of masking tape (I think 3M) that's almost like Pinstripe Taping, ultra thin, I think 1/8" is all it is. The great thing about this tape is its flexibility and I'd use this first when taping up Emblems, and difficult curves-tight areas, where wider tapes proved difficult. Then I'd come over this tape with wider widths to finish and fill.

    Not taping many things could result in damage to un-masked parts, trim. Or polishes going where you don't want them.

    Some detailers tape some, or all seams, I sometimes do. First time I didn't, and with inexperience, I really loaded up a door jamb at the hinge area, and here's where you'll find the greatest difficulty of removing such polish residues.

    And in regards to that, I've also learned the hard way to never start a section pass with a freshly primed Pad in those seam areas, but will then work towards them after some of that polish has been distributed, what a nightmare! LOL

    Much of today's Emblems and Badges aren't like yesteryear, being more durable chrome plated steel. but instead cheap chrome plated plastic, stuck on with double faced tapes is all. Even a very mild polish can tear these up quite badly.

    As for lettering, ie, "Impala", "Malibu", etc, run a Pad into these sort of things and you can also likely tear up a good Pad too.

    Windshield Wiper Cowls, it's smart to cover those areas with toweling, some with louvers, and slot holes will then be nightmares to clean up as well. My Tahoe pictured has a horrible louvered cowl on it with those raised fins.

    Hope some of these brain farts help you.

  4. #4
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    Re: Polishing a new car and masking

    Quote Originally Posted by MarkD51 View Post
    Hi,
    My opinion on masking is to have lots of tape in a decent variety of widths. I've even used a type of masking tape (I think 3M) that's almost like Pinstripe Taping, ultra thin, I think 1/8" is all it is. The great thing about this tape is its flexibility and I'd use this first when taping up Emblems, and difficult curves-tight areas, where wider tapes proved difficult. Then I'd come over this tape with wider widths to finish and fill.

    Not taping many things could result in damage to un-masked parts, trim. Or polishes going where you don't want them.

    Some detailers tape some, or all seams, I sometimes do. First time I didn't, and with inexperience, I really loaded up a door jamb at the hinge area, and here's where you'll find the greatest difficulty of removing such polish residues.

    And in regards to that, I've also learned the hard way to never start a section pass with a freshly primed Pad in those seam areas, but will then work towards them after some of that polish has been distributed, what a nightmare! LOL

    Much of today's Emblems and Badges aren't like yesteryear, being more durable chrome plated steel. but instead cheap chrome plated plastic, stuck on with double faced tapes is all. Even a very mild polish can tear these up quite badly.

    As for lettering, ie, "Impala", "Malibu", etc, run a Pad into these sort of things and you can also likely tear up a good Pad too.

    Windshield Wiper Cowls, it's smart to cover those areas with toweling, some with louvers, and slot holes will then be nightmares to clean up as well. My Tahoe pictured has a horrible louvered cowl on it with those raised fins.

    Hope some of these brain farts help you.
    Thank you. Excellent information. Exactly the type of information I was looking for. Best to learn from somebody else's mistakes :-)

  5. #5
    Senior Member TTQ B4U's Avatar
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    Re: Polishing a new car and masking

    In short no. I dont ever mask even when compound is used. No issues.

    Sent from my SM-N950U using Tapatalk

  6. #6
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Re: Polishing a new car and masking

    2 options...

    1: Slow down, be careful and don't tape-off.

    2: Tape-off anything you don't want to detail later, (when you're tired), or don't want to risk staining.


    There have been newer cars I've detailed where I "thought" I was "good enough" that I didn't need to tape-off the cursed pebble textured black plastic trim, that was a mistake.

    I accidentally ran the buffing pad over the lower body trim, (Ford Escape), and creamed over the trim.

    After I was done with the detail and stood back to admire my work, a spotted 2-3 places I hit the trim. Then instead of being DONE - I was on my butt with a wax remover and a toothbrush scrubbing plastic trim.

    It would have been easier on me, better for the trim and faster overalll to have taped-off the trim.


    Was this project.

    Review: GYEON Q2 ONE Enthusiast Ceramic Coating by Mike Phillips





    And for what it's worth, in the above write-up, there's MORE in-depth, detailed how-to information in an easy to understand read and digest via the pictures in a linear format than you will ever find on any Facebook group.

    Mike Phillips
    Director of Training Autogeek & Marine 31
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    Sign-up for Mike's Tips & Techniques Newsletter


  7. #7
    Senior Member MarkD51's Avatar
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    Re: Polishing a new car and masking

    This is the specific 3M Tape I was referring to in my previous post. I believe it comes in two widths?

    No doubt this specific tape was something Mike P once spoke about many years ago. No, not cheap, but it does make taping things with contours much easier, and helps keeping polish residues out of really tight areas where you really don't want to have to come back to scrub them out with a detail brush.

    3M Vinyl Tape - 06404

  8. #8
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    Re: Polishing a new car and masking

    Another option is to use use trim friendly polishes like Optimum Hyper Polish or Sonax EX 04-05. You can even polish plastic trim with these polishes and they easily wash away even if you let it dry.

    I personally used Sonax EX 04-05 and I never had to worry about taping.

  9. #9
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    Re: Polishing a new car and masking

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Phillips View Post
    2 options...

    1: Slow down, be careful and don't tape-off.

    2: Tape-off anything you don't want to detail later, (when you're tired), or don't want to risk staining.


    There have been newer cars I've detailed where I "thought" I was "good enough" that I didn't need to tape-off the cursed pebble textured black plastic trim, that was a mistake.

    I accidentally ran the buffing pad over the lower body trim, (Ford Escape), and creamed over the trim.

    After I was done with the detail and stood back to admire my work, a spotted 2-3 places I hit the trim. Then instead of being DONE - I was on my butt with a wax remover and a toothbrush scrubbing plastic trim.

    It would have been easier on me, better for the trim and faster overalll to have taped-off the trim.


    Was this project.

    Review: GYEON Q2 ONE Enthusiast Ceramic Coating by Mike Phillips





    And for what it's worth, in the above write-up, there's MORE in-depth, detailed how-to information in an easy to understand read and digest via the pictures in a linear format than you will ever find on any Facebook group.

    Mike...EXACTLY what just happened to me on the Escape!!!

    I "thought" I was careful...but that lower trim you are talking about is at such an angle that I wasn't able to see exactly where I was going. Just now, I was coating the side of the vehicle and noticed a real thin line of leftover 3D One.

    With the Escape, I do tape specific spots (That long piece of rubber on the front windshield A-pillars, that is a real PITA to keep black).

    Guess I have found another place next time

    Eric

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