Learn how to restore your vehicle using your circular polisher and Lake Country CCS Foam Pads. This guide will walk you through the basics of pad and polish selection and how to remove swirls, scratches, and oxidation using your circular polisher.
The techniques described here work with any pads with hook and loop fasteners that require a backing plate.
CCS Smart Pads™ Features:
Easy on and off.
With hook and loop fasteners, you can remove a used pad and replace it with a fresh pad in seconds. The hooks and loops provide a secure connection combined with the ability to change a pad almost instantly.
Lake Country's 7.5 and 8.5 inch pads are curved at the edges to eliminate any blunt edges of foam. The curved edge makes it easier to cut in close to mirrors, bumpers, and other features.
CCS stands for closed cell structures, which are the small pockets that dot the front of the pads. These pockets enable the pads to absorb less product and keep it on the work surface. They act like little reservoirs where excess product is stored until it is needed on the work surface. This improves operator control and lessens product waste. The pockets also reduce surface tension so flat pads move more easily across flat panels.
What accessories do I need?
Lake Country pads attach to your circular polisher with a hook and loop backing plate. The hook and loop fasteners hold a pad securely to the plate, which is screwed into the polisher.
Yellow Cutting - Use this pad to apply compounds or
polishes to remove severe oxidation, swirls, and scratches. It is the most
aggressive and should only be used on oxidized and older finishes. Always
follow this pad with an orange pad and a fine polish and then a white pad to
refine the paint until it is smooth.
Orange Light Cutting - Firm, high density foam for
scratch and defect removal. Use this pad with polishes and swirl removers.
It’s an all around pad that will work on most light to moderate
Coarse Green Cutting/Polishing - This foam is of medium density with
the ability to level very fine scratches and very light oxidation. Use
light to medium cut swirl removers with this pad.Note: This
is a different green foam than the 6.5 inch green pad. The 7.5 inch and 8.5 inch green foam is more coarse.
White Polishing - Less dense foam formula for the
application of waxes, micro-fine polishes and sealants. This pad has very
light cutting power so it is perfect for pre-wax cleaners.
Finishing - Composition is firm enough to withstand
added pressure during final finishing to remove buffer swirls. It has no cut
and will apply thin, even coats of waxes, sealants, and glazes.
Finessing - Flat pad has soft composition for applying
glaze, finishing polish, sealants, and liquid waxes. Flat pad provides full
contact with paint surface to minimize the pressure applied by the user.
Red UltraSoft - This soft, imported foam is ideal for applying the final coat of wax or sealant. The foam works especially well when applying liquid waxes or sealants because it is firm enough to keep the majority of the product on the paint, rather than soaking it up. The red foam has no cut or cleaning ability.
How do I polish out swirls and scratches?
The following is a general guide to paint correction with a circular polisher. It explains the complete process from compounding to polishing to finishing. If your paint does not require compounding, skip to polishing. If you’re not sure, start with polishing. Always take the least aggressive approach first! If you don’t get the desired results from polishing, then step up to a more abrasive swirl remover or pad.
The pads pictured at
the beginning of each section indicate what pads can be used to perform the
Please note:If your fingernail catches the scratch or swirl, it will require painting and must be repaired by a professional. Attempting to remove deep blemishes like this could result in cutting down to the primer.
I. Compounding & Swirl Removal
A compound is the most aggressive type of polish. A compound is designed to remove the deepest scratches and swirls and heavy oxidation. It should never be used on new or like-new paint. XMT Heavy Duty Swirl Remover 4 is a compound.
Choose a cutting pad according to the condition of your vehicle and a swirl remover.
Apply a bead of swirl remover around the edge of the pad. Some will say apply a quarter size amount. You can even apply it directly to the paint. Ultimately you're going to spread it around so how the swirl remover gets on the paint is up to you. Spread the swirl remover over a small section (about 2 x 2 sq. ft.) with the polisher turned off to prevent sling.
Set the maximum speed at 1500 RPM. Turn the polisher on and work the swirl remover in a side-to-side, slightly overlapping motion. Move slowly to give the abrasives time to work. KEEP THE POLISHER MOVING AT ALL TIMES.
When the swirl remover turns to a transparent film, the abrasives have broken down. Turn off the machine and lift it off the paint. Buff away the residue with a soft Cobra Microfiber Towel and inspect your results. If you are not satisfied, you can repeat the process or upgrade to a more aggressive cutting pad.
* If you used a compound, a light haze or dullness
is normal. The next step will restore the gloss.
A polish contains very fine abrasives and many contain chemical cleaners. The purpose of a polish is to remove very mild imperfections and restore gloss to the paint. A polish is used as the only correction step if the paint is in fair condition. If you’ve just used a compound or swirl remover, the polish – or finishing polish – will remove any compounding haze and restore the paint’s shine.
If your vehicle did not require swirl removal and has no significant imperfections, you may opt to use Pinnacle Paintwork Cleansing Lotion or XMT Finishing Glaze instead of a true polish. A prewax cleaner will clean the paint and improve its luster. A glaze fills in minor imperfections to create a smooth texture.
The white polishing pad works well with fine polishes and light swirl removers.
Use a polishing pad on your polisher. Apply the polish of your choice to the pad or to the paint and spread it around with the machine turned off.
Set the maximum speed to about 1000 RPM. You're not trying to cut. You're just trying to burnish the paint to a high gloss. Work in a side-to-side, slightly overlapping motion until the polish turns clear or appears to dry.
Buff with a Cobra Microfiber Towel and check your results. If you can still see some haze, repeat the process.
Once you've achieved the optimum shine, follow up with a wax or sealant to lock it in. Pinnacle Liquid Souverän™ is a great choice for machine application, but the paste waxes - Souverän and Signature Series II - can also be used. You’ll need to turn the paste wax upside down and work it out of the jar. Then butter the pad like you're buttering bread.
Note: Because of the speed and heat generated by a rotary polisher, you may elect to do the finishing work by hand or with a dual action polisher. If you are comfortable using a rotary, use it at a slow speed with zero pressure. Keep the machine moving at all times.
Apply waxes, paint sealants, and glazes with a finishin pad on your circular/ rotary polisher.
Use a foam finishing pad on your polisher. Apply the wax or sealant of your choice to the pad or to the paint and spread it around with the machine turned off.
Set the maximum speed to about 1000 RPM. You do not need speed to apply wax. Work in a side to side, overlapping motion until you've achieved even coverage. You don't need to work the product in because there are no abrasives to break down in a wax. Just spread it on.
Keep the polisher moving continuously. A
circular/rotary polisher will burn the paint if it is left on the same
spot for more than a second or two.
Work at a slow speed. A slower speed will reduce
the heat build-up and thereby reduce the risk of burning the paint.
Work the pad flat against the paint or with the back
edge of the pad tilted very slightly upward (that's the edge closest to you).
This position will help you avoid dragging the edge on the paint, which
Foam & Wool Pad Cleaning
Clean foam and wool pads with Snappy Clean. Dissolve a pack of Snappy Clean in a bucket of water per the directions before you begin detailing. As you use pads, toss them in the bucket and let them soak until the end of your detail session. When you are ready, agitate the pads with theFoam Pad Conditioning Brush and then rinse them well. Lay pads out to dry.
When your clean pads are dry, put them in a sealable plastic bag or container to keep them free of dust until their next use.