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Fresh paint, how long before polishing?

Discussion in 'Detailing' started by Y83OLK, Feb 15, 2010.

  1. Y83OLK
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    Y83OLK Hulk Smash!

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    Hi,
    Currently im getting some repairs done on my 2001 s3, Its having the roof/ a pillars and rear quarters sprayed.
    How long should i wait before polishing?

    As i want the rest of the vehicle detailed/ corrected, but should imagine these area's wont be touchable for a while.

    Regards
    Callum
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  2. WX51TXR
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    WX51TXR Polished Bliss

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    Providing that the bodyshop follows current industry standards and chemically cures and low bakes the fresh paint using IR lamps, then you should be able to polish it immediately. We routinely take in cars directly from our local bodyshop for major correction work. However, if an old school approach is used, with no forced curing whatsoever, you should wait 30-60 days before polishing. :icon_thumright:
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  3. JD09
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    JD09 I'm not modding, I'm improving

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    I was told that it was in fact waxing and sealing that shouldn't be done on fresh paints.

    As the gent above has mentioned, hopefully the workshop will have used the correct techniques. I would personally leave the wax/Last Stage Protection out for a month or two to let the paintwork "breathe".

    May or may not be right, but just what I have been told!
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  4. WX51TXR
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    WX51TXR Polished Bliss

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    Technically this is the reason why fresh paint used to have to be left for 30-60 days before being worked on... it was to let the residual solvent base gradually evolve to the atmosphere (i.e. degassing of the finish). If you blocked the pore structure of the fresh finish with wax or polymer molecules, the pathways for this process were vastly reduced, meaning the finish stayed soft for much longer than necessary (and would sometimes never cure properly at all). These days, freshly painted finishes are nearly always force cured, which degasses the finish within the space of a few hours. Thus, what used to take 30-60 days can now be achieved in a morning, and the resulting finish can be polished and protected straight away. Indeed, failing to protect a freshly painted finish immediately these days can lead to more serious problems, as modern water-based clearcoats are nowhere near as resistant to acid etching as older single stage finishes, and are thus more susceptible to bird **** etching, etc. :sm4:
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  5. JD09
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    JD09 I'm not modding, I'm improving

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    Summed up in a paragraph :)
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