One of the most common questions I receive is “Which pad and product should I use to correct my paint?” Unfortunately the simple answer is:
I Don’t Know
This is because there are many variables when it comes to paint correction, so no two vehicles will be the same, and therefore what may have worked well in one instance may not work as well in another – even if they are on the same year, make, model, and color vehicle. This is why test spots are an important part of the paint correction process. Luckily, there are many popular products available today that work well in many scenarios, and when paired with the right pad, can be adjusted to fit your specific needs.
One of the keys to successful paint correction is being able to make the necessary changes to your products, pads, and technique in order to produce the results you are looking for. I discuss some of this in my article on Analyzing Your Test Spot, but I’d like to spend some more time discussing the product and pad choices.
It seems the majority of individuals who are beginning to learn how to correct their paint assume that a finishing polish goes with a finishing pad, a cutting compound goes with a cutting pad, and so on. This mindset is extremely limiting and will certainly reduce the success you have with paint correction. The beauty of having many different types of pads and many different types of polishing liquids is that you can mix and match the liquids with the pads to create even more options for you in terms of cutting ability and finish!
Let’s consider the very popular Meguiar’s M105 and M205 products. M105 is known as a heavy cutting compound that is capable of removing some pretty nasty defects, and M205 is thought of as a finishing polish that can remove light defects and produce a nice glossy finish, but what if I told you that M205 could be used as a cutting compound and M105 could be tamed to a more mild cut.
Optimum Hyper Spray Polish paired with a light cutting pad to produce more cut while still finishing for an excellent one-step correction combination on this harder GM paint.
By simply pairing M205 with a more aggressive pad, such as a light cutting pad or even a microfiber cutting pad, you’re going to increase the cutting power compared to using M205 with a finishing pad. Likewise, if you were to use M105 with a finishing pad it would have considerably less cut, and usually a better finish, than if it were to be used with a heavy cutting pad. Makes sense, right? Learning to experiment with what may feel like a non-traditional product/pad combo can lead to some great results… so don’t be afraid to think outside the box! Once you can understand that there is no true wrong or right pad combo, your paint correction results will surely improve even if you only have a couple of products to work with.
As always, thanks for reading!