Polishing or rubbing compound for light scratches

Discussion in 'Detailing & Truck Care' started by dsfloyd, Apr 1, 2014.

  1. dsfloyd

    dsfloyd Epic Member 5+ Years ROTM Winner 1000 Posts

    Ok so I took the truck out on some trails this weekend. The truck did great in some harder spots. The downside and the reason I tend to stay in more open areas when off-roading, is that the trail got very narrow with brush in some areas. It now has scratches running the entire length of the truck on both sides. Fortunately the scratches are very light and none seem to have gouged into the paint. After washing most scratches are hard to see unless the light is right.

    before washing.
    after washing

    My question is with the very light scratches would just a good polish and time spent on doing it right get these out. I know that for deeper scuffs and scratches that a rubbing compound is used but is more like a sand paper to the paint. Again none of these seem to have any ridges or edges to the scratches, they even "disappear" when rubbed with water and towel then come back as water dries.

    I may be lazy and pay someone to do it as purchasing the polishers and everything wont save me much or any money. If I do buy the polisher etc is a rotary polisher/waxer better or a random orbital polisher/waxer better. I know the random is supposed to help with swirls or burn in but is that just marketing or legit.

    I have other scratches and chips in the paint and I believe in using a truck as a truck but I do try to keep it purty as well so I would like to get these out as much as possible. Maybe next trail ride I will bring a chainsaw for the narrow parts :rofl:, but I guess that is why you don't see many trucks like mine on most trails.

    On a side note I thought my truck kicked arse on the trip and I had a blast (minus my internal crying, while my daughter and nephew were busting up laughing as the screeching went down the side of the truck). First time with these tires really in the rocks and as in every other condition I have had them in I thought they performed extremely well.

  2. Enkeiavalanche

    Enkeiavalanche Loving the Outdoors Staff Member 5+ Years ROTM Winner 5000 Posts

    Well it's about time someone had some Spring Fun....:great: A little buffing should get most of that out..
  3. 95_5spd

    95_5spd Active Member 2 Years 100 Posts

    Get a microfiber towel or polishing pad and some rubbing compound. That stuff does wonders. I took a whole bunch of light scratches out of my truck with it and with a polish or wax afterwards it'll shine up good.
    I use the turtle wax rubbing compound. I think it was like 5 bucks for a good amount.

    99'HEARTBEAT MODERATOR Staff Member 5+ Years ROTM Winner 1000 Posts Platinum Contributor

    Dave....If your going to go with a Polisher's.....One to look at is the Porter Cable 7424XP....As it is Very User Friendly.....I've have been using my PC 7424 XP it for sometime now, and I Could Not Be Any More Pleased with the Results I have received from It....IMO using the PC and Polishes from Adams, its the Easiest Way to Remove Surface Defects, like Scratches in the Paint, and Swirl Marks.

    ....I would also mention, before using a Polishing or a Rubbing Compound and that is, Do a Clay Bar First, as it Cleans the Paint Better than Washing Alone!!....it is the Safest and Most Effective Way to Clean your Trucks Paint!....as it Safely Removes these Contaminants from the Paint and leaves it feeling Slick and Smooth.

    Porter Cable 7424 XP Dual Action Orbital Polisher
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2014
  5. dsfloyd

    dsfloyd Epic Member 5+ Years ROTM Winner 1000 Posts

    As always, thanks for the help :great:.

    Planning on many more off road trips, hopefully with a little wider trails:glasses:
  6. summitwhite11

    summitwhite11 Active Member 2 Years 500 Posts

    There are some awesome how to guides here, great products as well, I don't use all of the products, but those I do are great. scroll down the page to the how to remove scratch's.
  7. dsfloyd

    dsfloyd Epic Member 5+ Years ROTM Winner 1000 Posts

    Thats a great link. Thank you
  8. The Heater

    The Heater Rockstar 100 Posts

    There are some good articles on that web site, but the problem is they are all geared toward selling their products.

    If it were my truck, I would test the paint by using an orbital (not DA) polisher and some 3M PerfectIt compound, with the correct pad, and go over a straight line portion of the scratches, a small area maybe a foot or two long by 6-8 inches wide. If you are not familiar with using an orbital polisher with compound and the use of moisture with it, then don't try it out or you will have bad results. But assuming you know how to use the orbital polisher, this test will tell you how bad the scratches are. You might be able to use 3M's normal cut compound to remove all those scratches.

    However, if the test does not remove them, I suggest rather than trying a bunch of stuff from Autogeek or some other consumer detail supplier, you go to an auto body shop and buy several grades of wet dry sand paper and wet sand the area, then compound, then glaze and polish. A DA polisher can be used to apply finishing glaze, but prior to that, the orbital is what you want to use for best results, again only if you are experienced using it, as otherwise you can burn all the way to the metal very easily.

    You can usually get the scratches out completely without wearing through very much paint at all, starting with 800 grit and gradually working to 2000 grit, using lots of water and a hand pad you buy at the auto body supply shop. 2000 will provide a totally smooth surface, better than what you had prior to the scratches, and then when you compound and polish, it comes out like glass. A random orbit or DA polisher will not provide the correct polishing to remove deep scratches. Only works on very shallow scratches.

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