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Premium Member
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968 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I bought the 3M Perfect it Kit to cut and buff my new paint job. I have read much of what I could find in fourm searches and viewed various youtube videos related to cut and buff. I plan on getting into the cut and buff early next week and would appreciate any helpful tips/ideas etc. from those who have used this method.

Thanks, Rocky
 

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Lifetime Journeyman
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1,143 Posts
Rocky,

I didn't get a kit, but used Perfect-It #1 & #2 on my self painted Mk 3.1. And I'm using it now on an '89 Mustang GT CV I'm redoing. One bottle of each (qt?) goes a very long way. It's pretty easy to use and doesn't involve abrasives. I had some, not a lot and some places none, orange peel in the clear and worked through 1000, 1500, & 2000 wet paper on blocks. If, as you sand, you can still see small dots of gloss after drying where you have sanded, sand a little more. If not, you will see those little depressed dots in certain light. Use quality sandpaper. I used some old, cheap paper I had in the garage and found it wore out very quickly. Bought 3M wet/dry and that worked great. If you have any runs or sags in the clear - yeah, I had one or two - carefully work on them with the sand paper/block (I also used a backwards razor blade method I learned online) and when it's all done, you'll never know they were there.

Work your machine polishing pad so it is running off the edges, not on. Start with the polisher at a relatively low speed, turning up the speed as you work the area, and don't try to work more than a couple square feet at a time. The liquid will dry and disappear as you polish. As a beginner with this system, I taped my edges, about 1/8" from an edge, at first, on the recommendation of experienced users. As I felt more comfortable, I left off the tape but was very careful on the edges. Try to keep the pad at an angle where it glides along the surface and be careful to not let the edge dig in to a raised area/edge.

You don't need alot at one time, and spread it around with the pad before turning on the polisher. If you don't, it'll go everywhere! You don't need to apply alot of pressure, either. On horizontal areas, the weight of the polisher is sufficient. You might see a little dried residue from time to time that doesn't want to polish off. Just rub it off - I used microfiber towels - and polish a little more if neccessary.

The #1 will get you a semi-gloss finish that looks pretty good, but you'll really see the shine after #2. I believe there was a #3 to take faint swirls out of dark colors, but I didn't use it. I lightly wiped the area between #1 & #2. There was a bit of dried polish dust here & there. And don't forget to switch your pads as you go back & forth between the two. I left the inside of the hood & trunk lid alone, too many tight radius inner corners. Good luck! This stuff works great for me. HTH.
 

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1st RFM/FFR Legacy Winner
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28,619 Posts
I used the Perfect-it system, the compound, swirl remover, untrafina SE and the three foam pads. I think Alan covered the bases. I used a spritz bottle to wet the surface when the compounds dried. It re-activates them so they go further. Don't work in direct sunlight with a dark color. The surface get too hot IMO. The ambient heat added to the heat from the cutting process might damage the paint. It also dries up the compounds too quickly.

I started with the buffer pad at a slight angle and then finished the pass with it flat to the surface. I read that someplace. Start with a moderately slow speed with moderate pressure and finish at a moderately high speed with very light pressure. Take all the residue back into the pad and wipe with a MF towel. After properly compounding, the finish will be 95% swirl free. The next step, the swirl mark remover, is very messy and slings everywhere. I used the last bottle, the SE, by hand because by that time the finish looked 99.9% swirl free. I still use the SE by hand once in a while to remove the very finest marks from everyday driving.

Keep the pads clean! One grain of sand will ruin your day. I kept the pads separately in a big zip lock bag and washed them at the end of the day before storing them. The compound pad gets loaded up the worst. When wet sanding, add a few drops of soap to the water. Makes it slicker and prevents the paper from clogging. Don't sand anyplace you can't buff. Some pics from the buildsite:











 

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Cobra Colorist
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5,632 Posts
Always sand in a straight line, never in a circle. Compound at 1400 rpm and polish at 1000 rpm. The pad does "not" polish it only moves the compound. Don't let the pad get dry "it turns into a cutting disc". Carefully polish your edges and then the center being careful not to cut over your edges again. The higher the grit you colorsand with, the less time you will spend with the buffer.
 

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member
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249 Posts
Used the Perfect it system, it worked great. Amazing polish, little effort, but be very careful especially around the edges. It is way too easy to buff through the clear and the paint. You need to be sure to use a variable speed buffer, and turn it down to a slower speed. If you buff too fast it could burn through very quickly. All in all, I was very happy with the results. Did I end up blending in some spots? Yes. Don't panic though, just touch up, spray the clear then use a blending spray to melt the clear into the coats already completed.

Murray
 
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