This article will discuss different polishing methods in the detailing industry. After attending the Creator Summit in Chicago and speaking with experienced trainers and vendors, it became clear that there are various approaches to polishing depending on personal preference and specific findings. Detailers often have different techniques, hand movements, speeds, pressures, and product choices, which can be confusing for beginners. However, practicing and finding what works best for you is key to mastering polishing.
The Complexity of Polishing
Polishing paint is a finicky process that is constantly adapting and changing due to factors such as different paint systems, humidity, heat, and the wide range of products, pads, and machines available. With so many variables at play, trying and understanding all the nuances of polishing can be overwhelming. However, it doesn’t have to be complicated.
Start Polishing with the Basics
To begin your polishing journey, start with simple compounds and polishes that are readily available locally. Pair them with flat pads and focus on mastering the basics before venturing into more advanced techniques and products. It’s important to note that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to polishing. Each detailer has their own unique style and preferences, so it’s essential to experiment and find what works best for you.
Pressure and Arm Speed
When it comes to pressure and arm speed, there is no right or wrong answer. Some detailers prefer using light pressure and allowing the machine, pad, and product to do the work, while others may apply more pressure.
Similarly, arm speed can vary from person to person. For example, the video creator mentions that their arm speed is faster than most detailers, but that doesn’t mean it’s incorrect. It’s all about finding your own rhythm and what yields the best results for you.
Multiple Applications and Short Polishing Cycles
This is about preference as well. Doing multiple applications or short polishing cycles rather than long, slow arm passes works for me. This allows me to complete jobs quickly without sacrificing quality. However, it’s important to note that some paint may require more time, pressure, and slower arm speed, while others may not. It’s all about adapting to the specific paint system you’re working with and understanding its needs.
Practice and Adaptation
The key to becoming proficient in polishing is practice and adaptation. Take the time to watch and learn from other detailers, but be bold and experiment and develop your own style. As the detailing industry evolves, so should your techniques. Stay up to date with the latest products, pads, and methods, and combine that knowledge with what you’ve learned from experienced detailers.
Lastly, share your knowledge and experiences with other detailers. Instead of criticizing or judging different methods, focus on what works for you and explain why. By sharing your insights, other detailers can learn from your experiences and decide what techniques and methods they want to try for themselves. Remember that what worked in the past may not work as effectively now due to changes in pads, polishes, compounds, and paint systems. It’s crucial to stay adaptable and open to new approaches as the industry continues to evolve.
In conclusion, polishing in the detailing industry is not a one-size-fits-all process. Detailers have various methods, techniques, and preferences, and it’s essential to find what works best for you through practice and experimentation. Start with the basics, master the fundamentals, and then adapt and evolve as you gain more experience. Stay up to date with the latest products and techniques, and don’t be afraid to share your knowledge with others. With time and dedication, you’ll become a skilled polisher capable of achieving the desired results for your customers or personal standards.
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