My Favorite Two Stage Polishing Routinesby Ivan Rajic
This article follows the initial article listing My Favorite One Stage Polishing Routines. In that article, I discussed a few different options available do detailers when faced with a job where only one polishing stage is to be done. Similarly, in this article I wanted to list a few pad and polish combinations I like to use when performing two stages of polishing on various types of paint. Below I will reference products I listed in both previous articles about A Few Pad and Polish Combinations I Use Regularly and Polishing Supplies for Experts and Beginners, so it may be helpful for some to browse through the other articles and get a better understanding of why I like some of these products. One note, for purposes of simplifying things, the Meguiar’s “307.5 WGCI” (mix of M105 and D300) from the A Few Pad… article linked to above is now called MD405 for obvious reasons :). In any case, onto the two stage polishing routines…
MD405 + Meg’s MF followed by M205 + Crimson
This combination is what I like to use on paints that are harder to correct and easier to finish. Most Audi, Mercedes and BMW vehicles have fairly resilient paint, which tends to need a bit more work to correct well. I find that on such paints, the combination of Meguiar’s microfiber pads and the MD405 works really well to eliminate moderate to heavy defects and still leave a nice finish behind that only requires one finishing stage. I wouldn’t use this on any of the sensitive jet black paint finishes if I’m doing only two polishing stages because it tends to leave a lot of marring and buffer marks behind, which may require more than the one finishing step to eliminate. M205 with the Crimson pad works very well to eliminate any light marring left behind from the first stage and leave a very nice, glossy finish, ready for protection.
MD405 + Orange followed by M205 + Crimson or SPF + Crimson
This is my “go-to” combination on most two-stage correction work. I find that the orange pad and MD405 can vary greatly in terms of correction and finish left behind when used with different techniques (speed, arm movement, pressure, amount of product, etc.) so I can use it as a compounding stage on almost any paint. On more delicate paints, I tend to lessen the pressure and speed in order to correct as much as possible but also leave a nice finish behind that can easily be corrected with either M205 or Sonax Perfect Finish paired with a Crimson finishing pad. Unless I’m dealing with an extremely hard paint to correct, this combo normally eliminates 80-95%+ of defects and leaves behind a wax ready finish.
D300 + Orange followed by SPF + Crimson
For paints that are a bit on the delicate side, I step down my correcting step from MD405 to D300 paired with an Orange pad. Jet black Porsche or BMW vehicles that are normally very finicky and hard to work with correct really well with D300 and Orange, which leaves very little marring to clean up afterward. Sonax Perfect Finish and a Crimson pad quickly take care of this marring and leave a glossy finish. As mentioned above, technique can also vary here and D300 can leave some deeper marring in sensitive paint when used with a random orbit or dual action polisher, so it’s necessary to figure out the best technique for this combo.
D300 + Orange followed by Menzerna SF4500 (PO85RD) + Crimson or Black
Lastly, this is my last resort for two-stage polishing routines when dealing with very sensitive paint. As mentioned above, I try to get as much correction out of D300 and Orange pad while leaving a nice finish, but that’s normally the easy part. The hard part on some of these sensitive paints is leaving a swirl-free finish and that’s where product and pad selection, along with technique, comes into play. I find that Menzerna SF4500 is one of the best fine finishing polishes available, so pairing that with a soft finishing pad like Crimson or Black tends to do a great job at leaving a perfect finish on the paint. It lightly corrects so it can eliminate the light marring left over from the compounding stage, but just as importantly it leaves a great finish over which wax, sealant or a coating can be applied.
As with my article on one stage polishing, I want to close out by saying these are definitely not the be-all-end-all combinations to use when doing paint polishing work, but they are what works great for me most of the time and should be a great starting point for many others. Thanks as always for reading and I welcome any comments or questions.
Thanks! I find these types of articles very informative. Good to see what the pros are using for pad/polish combos, because I always have questions about that.
Hello, I have a new 2014 infiniti Q50. The color is venetian ruby. What should I do to keep it protected and keep the swirl marks out of the paint. I use optimum products and I use pete’s 53 car wax. What do u recommend. If u can u can call me on my cell phone please. My number is 443 257-2855. Thank you
That’s a very general question so it’s very hard to answer. To keep it protected you should start with regular washing with quality products and techniques. For waxing or protection, I would recommend any of the newer sealants as they look good and last longer than traditional carnauba waxes. Hope that helps.
I have a black 1997 Porsche 911 which I just purchased. The paid has a lot of swirl marks. The products I have tried so far (Zaino, Wolfgang) for correcting the paint seem to leave behind additional marring. I’ve tried using hand foam application and random orbital without success. Can you offer any suggestions? I can use these products on a late model Porsche Cayenne with excellent results. Is the paint on the 97 911 softer? Thanks.