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Old 07-21-2013, 12:47 AM
BodhiBenz1987's Avatar
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: East Coast
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Color-sanding/buffing by hand?

I have been trying to paint one of my 300D's fenders and both fascia strips under the headlights, and since I seem to be pretty dreadful at painting, I was hoping I could color sand and buff out some of the defects. I don't have a rotary tool or DA buffer, and am trying to do it by hand ... I've got a pretty nice smooth finish on the fascia bits using 1500 then 2000 grit sandpaper, but I'm not having any luck getting the shine back. I've got a sort of dull shine, but you can see the very fine scratches still there. Is it possible to get it to really shine again by hand? What are the best products to use? I was using a 3M rubbing compound and Meguiars 3-step polish, but I don't think either is made for what I'm doing. I was thinking a cutting compound and then finishing compound, but there seem to be endless products (most of which are made for rotary buffers) and I don't want to spend money on any more that don't work.
Note: the paint is single-stage Nason/DuPont with reducer and catalyst according to recommendation on the can.
1987 300D, arctic white/palomino--314,000 miles
1978 240D 4-speed, Euro Delivery, light ivory/bamboo--369,000 miles
2005 Jeep Liberty CRD Limited, light khaki/slate--140,000 miles
2018 Chevy Cruze diesel, 6-speed manual, satin steel metallic/kalahari--14,500 miles
1995 S320, black/parchment--34,000 miles (Dad's car)
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Old 09-10-2013, 12:45 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: San Antonio, Tx.
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I suggest to go to Harbor Freight and buy a cheap buffer and wool pad you can usually get one for under $65. that is the only way I know how to get the shine you are looking for.

1975 300D, Feuerrot and Parchment interior

1971 220D (RIP)
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Old 09-10-2013, 03:22 AM
Stretch's Avatar a shield of steel
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Somewhere in the Netherlands
Posts: 14,453
If you post up some clear pictures I'm sure many here can help.

A buffing machine will help but it isn't in my opinion absolutely necessary. Doing it by hand will take a lot longer but you should have better control over the rate of material removal.

If you can see scratches then you probably need to sand it smooth with water and paper. If that removes too much paint then you need to spray on some new.

Make sure that you leave enough time for the paint to harden before you polish it.

It might not be apparent to you so I'll say it just in case - polishing is all about removal of a surface by making it smoother and smoother. It is meant to be a process of careful erosion rather than stripping though!

{So again if you can see scratches it is probably unlikely you'll get it to shine - cut it back first}
1992 W201 190E 1.8 171,000 km - Daily driver
1981 W123 300D ~ 100,000 miles / 160,000 km - project car stripped to the bone
1965 Land Rover Series 2a Station Wagon CIS recovery therapy!
1961 Volvo PV544 Bare metal rat rod-ish thing

I'm here to chat about cars and to help others - I'm not here "to always be right" like an internet warrior

Don't leave that there - I'll take it to bits!
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Old 10-15-2013, 02:10 AM
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Essex, united kingdom
Posts: 3
color-sanding by hand

if you can get "farecla" G3 compound this is the absolute best stuff I have found for bringing the shine back, it is a very fine compound that will remove light scratches and dullness in the paint, polishes like meguiars and auto glym are waxes and do not have any cutting capabilities, you have done exactly the right thing with the 2000 grit paper, and you are literally 2 stages away from a really good finish, The rubbing compound is a much harsher form of the polishing compound. if you can find a local car paint supplier ask them if they supply it this will bring the shine back, you apply it on a damp cloth and apply in straight lines across the panel unlike wax which is done is circles and as it cuts back the paint it brings the shine back, after that use any wax polish you have and you will have a lovely finish, I have never machine polished a car and have always done it by hand and I swear by Farecla G3 and auto glym.
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Old 06-09-2014, 11:55 PM
scotty b's Avatar
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Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 46
You WILL NOT get a reflective, shiny finish by hand unless you are Popeye and have all the time in the world on your hands. I do this for a living and can promise you, wet sand by hand out to 1500 or 2000 then switch to a buffer with a wool pad ( unless the paint is less than a day old, then use a foam pad only ) depending on the finish you seek you may want to do the wool pad with a buffing compound then go to a soft foam pad with a swirl mark removing compound. This will give you the best finish next to some serious work. The green 356 was done out to swirl mark level, the black was done 2 steps further, and IMHO only black needs to be taken that far.
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