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Thread: DA Machine Polishing - A Beginners Perspective

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    Default DA Machine Polishing - A Beginners Perspective

    Following on from my thread about being convinced to buy a DA - I did so and have done a small write up to hopefully give others who have been tempted but not taken the plunge.

    Dual Action (DA) Polishing – A Beginners View

    I am sure there are many of you out there who have often thought about having ago with a machine polisher, but have always steered
    away because you thought you could do more damage to your car’s paintwork than good.

    I would say in some respects that is true and without a bit of research results could be disastrous. The aim of me writing
    this is tohopefully give you a bit of confidence that with due care it is something that you can have ago at in relative safety.

    In this instance I will be referring to use of a Dual Action (DA) polisher as they are much more user friendly than the rotarys.
    In particular the DAS-6 Pro.

    Having recently bought a new (well new to me) car which was black in colour, I decided it was time to get a DA.
    I read loads of guides on the net and watched lots of video’s on YouTube.

    Eventually after lots of advice I plumbed for the DAS-6 PRO - Sonus and Menzerna Kit from Clean Your Car website.

    After it arrived, I popped to my local scrapyard and got an old wing panel. Had a practice spin with the DA on
    it to see what it was actually like. Not too bad, but after much reading it is very true when they say it’s all technique!!

    To challenge myself a bit more after having it recommended by a fellow member on this forum, I got a wire scouring
    pad and made vertical lines on one part of the panel and swirls on the other. These were far in excess of what you
    would realistically find on a car unless it was in very very poor condition!

    I started using the PF2500 polish, but quickly found it was not doing much. I switched to the FG500. Using the FG500 and the Yellow Sonus pad.

    I got to work on spreading out the polish and working it on the paint work using speed setting 3. Then, upped the speed
    to 5 and worked the polish all over. I used the vertical then horizontal with a 50% overlap to cover the entire panel.

    Once finished, wiped it down and was amazed at how well it had got rid of the lines and swirls. Swapped the yellow
    pad for the orange, and used the Final Finish polish. I have to say, I was pretty impressed at the results.

    Now, remember this is the first time that I had ever used a DA! If I looked under bright light and close up the swirls
    were ever so slightly visible as were the lines. From what I have read and seen a seasoned DA user would probably
    have eliminated them completely! But, for me I was under to illusion that I was going to get a perfect result.

    I then experimented on the panel to see how much pressure I could apply, how much of an angle from flat I
    could get the polishing head etc to see if any damage was inflicted.

    Much to my delight everything I tried to spoil the paint failed! Wiped the polish off with a microfiber and it was as good as new!!

    So, that gave me the courage to tackle my own car! Now, my car is less than a year old and scratches
    and swirls were very minor. I knew it would not be a mammouth task to get the paint looking good all over.

    There was however a “n” shaped scratch under the passenger mirror which stood out far more than
    I liked and a few other scratches which were more visible than should be.

    I used the same FG500 polish to start with and worked on one panel at a time, wiped it down to inspect, and followed up with polish.

    I did try initially with the Final Finish polish, but thought I would give my Autoglym Ultra Deep Shine polish ago.

    The Autoglym polish gave me what I was hoping for. A nice clean reflective panel with no signs of swirls or scratches – Result!!

    The “n” shaped scratch which was bothering me almost totally disappeared. You would have to know it was there to
    even see it, whereas before it was clear a few feet away.

    Must have taken me best part of 3 hours to polish the car all over, but the effort was certainly worth it.

    From my total beginners point of view, here are a few tips I read/watched on the net and applied today:

    1. Start with a fine cutting polish first to see if this is enough to do the job you want to achieve.
    2. I found that using the “Cross” method of applying the polish worked best for me with the FG500 polish,
      then when using the Autoglym Ultra Deep Polish, 5 pea size blobs.
    3. Don’t be tempted to use too much polish! It will fling off and splatter everything (my jeans and top were covered in polish on the first few attempts!
    4. Start / finish with the pad against the paint.
    5. Start on speed 3 and move up the speed as required – I only used a maximum of 5 when doing the final polish.
    6. Wipe down the paint frequently to inspect the work.
    7. Let the polisher do the work for your – Don’t force it!
    8. Don’t be afraid to apply pressure to the top of the DA to get the polish working.
    9. When finished for the day – rinse the pads under warm water with a bit of washing powder/liquid to get rid of all the old polish –
      Dry and store away. (don’t leave dirty)

    I am sure there are many many pro’s out there who will question the way I have done things – and quite rightly so.
    However, using the method above I achieved the results I wanted and did not damage my paintwork!

    I am hoping over time comments and suggestions will be make which will generate better results not only for me, but others too.

    Don’t be put off buying a DA because you think its difficult, could harm your car etc. If you approach the process in the
    correct way, the results are worth the effort.

    Don’t forget until earlier this week I had only ever seen pictures of DA’s let alone used one!!
    Today I machine polished my car all over with very satisfying results.

    Last edited by Aidi; 2nd December 2012 at 21:44.

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