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27 comments on Ask-A-Pro: Orange Peel Part Two of Two – How to Rid Your Paint of it.

  1. Art says:

    Excellent article you guys did very good!
    I guess wet sand will have to be for experts only.

    Can you be so kind to revel your secrets:

    1-) What polish was used with orange LC pad

    2-) What fine polish was used with the Blue LC pad as last jeweling step?


    • Marc Harris says:

      Thank you for the reply and questions. I never have secrets, so let me shed a little light in two areas I didn’t shed enough light.
      1. Meguiar’s 105, two passes to remove the sanding marks.
      2. I believe we used 3M Ultrafine Machine Polish for the final refining.

      Please take into account that this combination worked on this car, but might not work on any other. This was an aftermarket clear-coat, and all paint finishes can be different from others. What works on one certainly might not work on another.

      I hope this helps and gives you a better idea of what goes into some of these large projects. Thanks for taking a look and happy detailing!

      • Josue says:

        How long do I have to wait to buffer clear coat ? Can someone help me?

        • Mike says:

          For fresh clear coat, see the product manufacturer’s recommendation. Under normal circumstances, a 2k clear coat is buffed after 24 hours and usually before 48 hours when the finish is still very slightly soft

  2. Art says:

    Thank you Marc

    One more question, I just got my 2010 Red Audi back from the Audi Body shop after 4 weeks of repair after a driver hit my car. They followed the factory specifications and original Audi paint ,it looks very good. The body shop suggested not to wax or apply a sealant (blackfire) on the new pain for a month. They have ovens were they dried the paint but they said that it has to “cure” does this sound correct?

    Hope you can help

    • Marc Harris says:

      The body shop left you with great advice. I know it’s hard to sit and wait while your car is not protected with some kind of wax or sealant, but you really do need to wait for the paint to fully cure. Body shops don’t have the same multi-million dollar paint booths that factories do (nor the luxury of painting without rubber seals, hoses, plastic trim, the ECU, etc installed), so they can’t “bake” cars in the same way. A car that leaves a factory is completely cured. A car that leaves a body shop is 90-95% cured and will need somewhere between 30-45 days (even up to 90 days depending on their process, the paint they used, and their recommendation) for the final amount of solvents to escape from the clear-coat.
      Once you’ve waited, you can prep and seal any of these panels. They’ll likely need a thorough wash, clay, light polish, and finally your favorite protection.
      The most important thing is that you’re alive and well after the accident. While you’re Audi is certainly a nice car, it’s nothing without a great enthusiast to take care of her 😉

      Happy detailing!

      • Art says:

        Thank you Mark!!!

        I guess you are correct and makes since now.

        I did get a bird dropping yesterday in the middle of the hood. I wonder if they are trained to screw up car paint. Can I spot polish it or wait until cure?


        • Marc Harris says:

          I think birds really do target the guys that care the most. Makes me ponder getting a pet eagle 😀

          Clean and think about polishing the section, but keep in mind once it is cleaned off, any damage that is there could just be polished once it is cured so that you can wax it directly after. Personally, I’d wait until the 30 days are up and then go to town.

          • Art says:

            Sounds like a plan.

            Marc Meguiar’s Scratch X 2.0 might be a good option for this small spot in the middle of the hood?

        • Marc Harris says:

          It may, or may not do that job. 🙂
          I know we all want definite answers, but if you’ve learned anything from the Ask-A-Pro section here, you should take away the trial and error process and least-aggressive-method approach.
          If you have any more questions, my phone number is on our website, please feel free to give me a call. I have no problem talking with a fellow car enthusiast and helping them to expand their knowledge while improving their vehicle’s appearance.

  3. Mo says:

    Marc, I have been waiting for this second part for a while! excellent write-up and thanks for your insight. I definitely have a much better understanding of what orange peel is and the process needed to correct it (even though i dont think i would ever try it). Thanks!

    • Marc Harris says:

      Sorry for the delay, but I’m glad you found this information beneficial. Wet-sanding shouldn’t be taken lightly, and orange peel removal isn’t something I’d recommend to most people. A huge difference is made with proper polishing and does so much to refresh a car, that most people are floored at their new found gloss.
      Thanks for taking a look!

  4. Alberto Sosa says:

    Hey Marc, I wanted to know if you recommend me using the mirka bulldog 5.5 inch DA, 3M DA or the Griots Garage DA. Which sanding disks do you recommend also, Albrolon mirka sanding disks or #m sanding disks.

    • Marc Harris says:

      Thanks for the good questions. The 3 DA’s you’ve referenced are all very capable of effectively sanding a vehicle’s finish. The main drawbacks with the Mirka and 3M unit are they’re powered by air compressors, so you’ll be limited to where you can use these tools. Because of their ability to quickly connect and disconnect to air powered systems, they’re extremely popular with body shops that already have industrial sized air compressors to handle the demands of HVLP spray guns and other tools.
      An electric powered DA, such as the Griot’s unit you’ve mentioned, allows for portability, which is a key for a detailer. Aside from being able to move the electric DA around to various locations, they also have interchangeable backing plates that allow you to use different sized sanding disks or polishing pads – another big positive.

      As for sanding disks, 3M, Abralon, and other brands have all been proven effective, and have their followings. You likely won’t need anything more aggressive than 1500 or 2000 grit paper, Though I’d recommend using 3000 and taking your time if you do want to sand an automotive finish. You can even look into 4000 grit disks as well as using such fine paper makes it much easier to polish out DA sanding marks.
      I hope this helps to point you in the right direction, and let me know if you have any other questions!

  5. Alberto Sosa says:

    Marc, I do have access here at my shop to an air compressor, a 15 gallon one. I know they also have swivel air quick disconnect adapters for better mobility. I would prefer to use a air powered DA. What are the other drawbacks of these besides mobility issues. If you were to pick one of these air powered DA’s, what would you choose. I’m leaning more towards the mirka bulldog. If I did go electric, what electric small sized DA would you go with.

    • Marc Harris says:

      Well if you already have a set-up to handle the air-powered DA, there’s certainly nothing wrong with getting one. It’ll certainly last you a long time. Aside from mobility issues, they’re very well built and should be rock solid. Because I don’t have an air powered DA, and only have limited use on one, I gave a call to a buddy of mine that has much more experience with these types of machines. Barry Theal of Presidential Details has this to add:

      “If you’re looking into air powered DA’s, check out either a Dynabreed, 3M, or Snap-On as far as brands go. Make sure it has a 3/16th inch orbit in order to give you a finer finish. Some DA’s are better built for defect removal while others excel at their finishing ability. A 3/16th inch throw will give you the best finish overall. This will be even better than an electric DA’s finishing power, though they are still capable of getting the job done.
      A quarter inch interface pad will be needed for an air-powered unit to effectively contour to curved body panels, and I have found it perfect for finishing down in sanding. If you’re going to invest in a air powered DA system, I would highly recommend you also make this purchase.”

      So big thanks to Barry for lending me some of his expertise 😉

      I hope this helps to shed a little more light on what set-up you want to consider. While air-powered DA’s are limited in mobility and won’t be used to polish the sanded area, electric DA’s don’t have the same amount of options to give you the most customized work. Think of air-powered DA’s as being very good but limited in use, while electric DA’s as being the jack of all trades; masters of none.
      Happy detailing!

  6. Alberto Sosa says:

    Thank you for getting that info for me Marc. Will definately be looking to remove the orange peel out of my 2006 Phantom Black Metallic GTO.

  7. Barry Theal says:

    Marc this is a great article! Glad to offer my advice to you. Thaks again.

  8. Jon says:

    What paint thickness gauge is that? I want to get me one like it.


  9. alan says:

    why is it that polishing will never remove orange peel? even with an aggressive pad and compound?

  10. John H says:

    I had my truck painted at MAACO in Ft. Myers Fl. They had to paint it 2 times because of poor prep work. I still have orange peel on it and over spray on my windows and chrome rims. What can I do to to clean the glass and rims? What about the orange peel? I spent over 2,500 on this.

  11. John S says:

    Hey Marc,
    I have a 93 ford mustang and I had it painted about 6 months ago. I wanted to know about hard to remove wet sand marks left behind by 800 grit wet sand paper (ugh). I have gone over this about 4-5 times with 2000 and Im still able to see them when the sun hits the car just right.That’s after I use compound and polish as well.
    What if anything can I do so that I lift the sand marks out. Any help would be great!!

  12. Steve says:

    How do you do edges or tight areas or hard to reach places without taking the risk of going through. Thanks

  13. Steve says:

    how to wet sand tight places and buff without going through

  14. Sung says:

    When I originally commented I clicked the “Notify me when new comments are added” checkbox and now each time
    a commet is added I get seeveral emails with the same comment.
    Is there any way you can remove people from that service?

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