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How To Hand Polish Lacquer and Paint

Nitrocellulose Lacquer

Gloss Nitrocellulose Lacquer should be allowed to dry at room temperature for two weeks before polishing is performed. This allows the lacquer to settle and harden, allowing for a higher gloss shine to be achieved and minimising the risk or cracking and peeling.

Hand Polishing
Wet sand the lacquer using 600 grit wet/dry abrasive paper. Only a small amount of water is required, just enough to lubricate the surface without soaking it.

Continue wet sanding through 800 > 1000 > 1200 > 1500 > 2000 grits. Work consistently in straight lines, not swirls.

Ensure the surface is clean, dry and free of all sanding residue.

Using a soft lint-free cloth apply our RF3 polishing compound. The compound should be dabbed on to the cloth, not the workpiece. Work consistently in straight lines, not swirls. Do not allow the cloth to dry out during application. Use a clean part of the cloth to wipe off any residue.

To enhance the gloss further apply our RF5 polishing compound using a clean, soft lint-free cloth. The compound should be dabbed on to the cloth, not the workpiece. Work consistently in straight lines, not swirls. Do not allow the cloth to dry out during application. Use a clean part of the cloth to wipe off any residue.

For the deepest gloss shine apply our RF7 polishing compound using a clean, soft lint-free cloth. The compound should be dabbed on to the cloth, not the workpiece. Work consistently in straight lines, not swirls. Do not allow the cloth to dry out during application. Use a clean part of the cloth to wipe off any residue.

Finish with your polish of choice. Ensure it is silicone-free.
Note: Each stage of the above process eliminates the scratches and swirl marks of the stage before. Working through the stages these marks are gradually minimised until, with the RF7, they are eliminated entirely to give an exceptional gloss sheen. It is important that each intermediary stage is followed, otherwise the finish will be swirly in some parts and highly polished in others. Do not reuse the same part of a polishing cloth for two different compounds; do not mix liquid compounds.

Machine Polishing

Great care should be taken if machine polishing nitrocellulose lacquers using a buffing wheel or similar. In comparison to modern car lacquers nitrocellulose is softer, and if too much force is used the buffing wheel can go through the top coat of lacquer and in to the colour coats below, leaving the finish in need of repairs. Be gentle!

Cellulose Paint

Cellulose Paint should be allowed to dry at room temperature for two weeks before polishing is performed. This allows the lacquer to settle and harden, allowing for a higher gloss shine to be achieved and minimising the risk or cracking and peeling.

Hand Polishing
Wet sand the lacquer using 600 grit wet/dry abrasive paper. Only a small amount of water is required, just enough to lubricate the surface without soaking it.

Continue wet sanding through 800 > 1000 > 1200 > 1500 > 2000 grits. Work consistently in straight lines, not swirls.

Ensure the surface is clean, dry and free of all sanding residue.

Using a soft lint-free cloth apply our RF3 polishing compound. The compound should be dabbed on to the cloth, not the workpiece. Work consistently in straight lines, not swirls. Do not allow the cloth to dry out during application. Use a clean part of the cloth to wipe off any residue.

To enhance the gloss further apply our RF5 polishing compound using a clean, soft lint-free cloth. The compound should be dabbed on to the cloth, not the workpiece. Work consistently in straight lines, not swirls. Do not allow the cloth to dry out during application. Use a clean part of the cloth to wipe off any residue.

For the deepest gloss shine apply our RF7 polishing compound using a clean, soft lint-free cloth. The compound should be dabbed on to the cloth, not the workpiece. Work consistently in straight lines, not swirls. Do not allow the cloth to dry out during application. Use a clean part of the cloth to wipe off any residue.

Finish with your polish of choice. Ensure it is silicone-free.
Note: Each stage of the above process eliminates the scratches and swirl marks of the stage before. Working through the stages these marks are gradually minimised until, with the RF7, they are eliminated entirely to give an exceptional gloss sheen. It is important that each intermediary stage is followed, otherwise the finish will be swirly in some parts and highly polished in others. Do not reuse the same part of a polishing cloth for two different compounds; do not mix liquid compounds.

Pre-Cat Lacquer

Gloss Pre-Cat Lacquer should be allowed to dry at room temperature for four weeks before polishing is performed. This allows the lacquer to settle and harden, allowing for a higher gloss shine to be achieved and minimising the risk or cracking and peeling.

Hand Polishing
Wet sand the lacquer using 600 grit wet/dry abrasive paper. Only a small amount of water is required, just enough to lubricate the surface without soaking it.

Continue wet sanding through 800 > 1000 > 1200 > 1500 > 2000 grits. Work consistently in straight lines, not swirls.

Ensure the surface is clean, dry and free of all sanding residue.

Using a soft lint-free cloth apply our RF3 polishing compound. The compound should be dabbed on to the cloth, not the workpiece. Work consistently in straight lines, not swirls. Do not allow the cloth to dry out during application. Use a clean part of the cloth to wipe off any residue.

To enhance the gloss further apply our RF5 polishing compound using a clean, soft lint-free cloth. The compound should be dabbed on to the cloth, not the workpiece. Work consistently in straight lines, not swirls. Do not allow the cloth to dry out during application. Use a clean part of the cloth to wipe off any residue.

For the deepest gloss shine apply our RF7 polishing compound using a clean, soft lint-free cloth. The compound should be dabbed on to the cloth, not the workpiece. Work consistently in straight lines, not swirls. Do not allow the cloth to dry out during application. Use a clean part of the cloth to wipe off any residue.

Finish with your polish of choice. Ensure it is silicone-free.
Note: Each stage of the above process eliminates the scratches and swirl marks of the stage before. Working through the stages these marks are gradually minimised until, with the RF7, they are eliminated entirely to give an exceptional gloss sheen. It is important that each intermediary stage is followed, otherwise the finish will be swirly in some parts and highly polished in others. Do not reuse the same part of a polishing cloth for two different compounds; do not mix liquid compounds.

Metallic Paint

Metallic Paint is not a top coat and should not be polished directly. Please apply a compatible clear coat over the metallic paint, and follow the polishing instructions for the chosen top coat.