Apply polishes and waxes with a dual action polisher! A dual action or orbital polisher is a faster way to achieve smooth, shiny paint than hand polishing. Our CCS Smart Pads dual action polisher guide explains how to use CCS Smart Pads™ Professional Foam Pads by Lake Country to remove swirls, restore gloss, and apply wax using a dual action orbital polisher. These techniques also work for all flat foam pads with hook and loop fasteners that require a backing plate.
CCS Smart Pads™ Features:
Easy on and off.
The hook and loop backing allows you to pull off 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 the pad almost instantly.
Flat, full contact surface.
6.5 inch pads are perfectly flat to provide maximum pad to paint
contact. They have enough give to go over a vehicle's curves but they do
encourage the operator to use the pads flat on the surface, as they are
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?
You will need a dual action backing plate with hook and loop fasteners to attach a pad to your polisher.
For the Porter Cable 7424XP, you will need to purchase a backing plate in order to attach the foam pads onto your polisher. The backing plate has Velcro® brand hook & loop fasteners on the bottom of it to hold foam pads in place as you polish. You will see it described simply as "hook & loop" on pads and backing plates with this feature.
Note: We recommend using a smaller backing plate with a larger foam pad to leave an edge of foam exposed around the backing plate. This margin of error protects the vehicle from unintentional impact with the backing plate if you tilt the polisher.
CCS Pad Options:
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
Pink Cutting/Polishing - This foam is of medium density with
the ability to level very fine scratches and very light oxidation. Use
light swirl removers with this pad.
White Polishing - Less dense foam formula for the
application of waxes, micro-fine polishes and sealants. This pad has very
light cutting power so its perfect for pre-wax cleaners.
Green Polishing/Finishing - Use this foam to apply one-step cleaner waxes. It is a balance of polishing and finishing that is perfect for all-in-one product application.
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 dual action 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 job described.
Please note:If your fingernail catches the scratch or swirl, it will may require wetsanding, the use of a high speed circular polisher, or possibly repainting. Consult a professional if you are not comfortable performing this type of work.
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. Because dual action polishers do not generate much heat, aDA polisher may not be sufficient to break down the abrasives in all compounds. We suggest using a swirl remover, like Pinnacle Advanced Swirl Removerwith your DA polisher.
Choose a light cutting pad and a swirl remover based on the condition of the paint.
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 on the polisher at 5. Turn the polisher on and work the swirl remover in a side to side, overlapping motion. Move slowly to give the abrasives time to work.
Apply polishes and swirl removers with an orange light cutting pad on your dual action polisher.
NOTE: The Porter Cable tells you if you're applying too much pressure. The pad will stop rotating. Lighten up on the machine until the pad is able to rotate.
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, repeat the process with the same product or a more aggressive polish (like XMT Intermediate Swirl Remover 3). If you still see no results, upgrade to the yellow cutting pad.
Remember, some scratches are too deep to be removed by a dual action or orbital polisher, but their appearance can be greatly improved.
If you see hazing at this point, it is a normal effect of using a heavy cut swirl remover. 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.
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 4.5. 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.
The white polishing pad is designed for fine polishes and pre-wax cleansers.
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.
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 3 or 4. 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.
Buff off the product with a Cobra Microfiber Towel or slip a Microfiber Bonnet over an unused pad. The bonnet is like having a microfiber towel on your polisher. Just be sure to put the bonnet over a clean pad so no product will seep through the bonnet.
The gray finishing pad is soft and nonabrasive.
The polisher will do the work for you. There's no need to apply pressure.
Pad and product selection is not an exact science. The severity of the imperfections, the cut of the pad, and the aggressiveness of the product all factor into the final results. Don't be afraid to experiment.
Start with the least aggressive method first. Go to a more aggressive pad or polish only if necessary.
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.