Renewing Your Imperial's Paint


Imperial Home Page -> Repair ->Body -> Paint -> Renew

Question from Clay:

Does anyone have a product they would recommend to bring back the shine on my '60 Imperial's paint? The finish is now dull, and a bit rough. The only product I can think of to use is Dupont rubbing compound. Is there something better on the market?


From Kenyon:

I am a devotee of electric buffers!!!

Look into the DeWalt unit. It has a thumwheel that lets you set the RPM and has lots of torque. The air guys will probably have their own reasons, but I like the cord being softer than the air hose and more extendable with extension cords. Draping the cord over my shoulder beats draping an air hose over my shoulder, etc.

The electric unit will work at your buddy's house or the cabin or wherever and is not tethered to your compressor. Most of the body shops use air because they have it rigged all over the place and its convenient. Most detailers use electric (in my world anyway).

The swirl marks are a result of a coarse cut that wasn't polished to the second stage. More time and some practice, and they'll go away. I find that the wax fills the smallest ones in nicely, and I skip the micron sized swirls with a wax application. The finest swirl remover should eliminate what you're seeing on the various polished camaros and mustangs around town.

I mentioned the 3M Hookit pads but did not mention that they take a (bright yellow I think) attachment that threads onto your polisher that has velcro on the base. The Hookit pads just smunch onto the velcro and are terribly easy to swap on and off. They will wear down, and a pair of the white and a pair of the grey are a good starter package. Photos available upon request, but your auto paint stor should have these sorts of things for you to inspect.

See if you can borrow someone else's to try out if you're on the fence about what works best. The best kind of power tool or motor boat to have is "someone else's".

From Kerry:

I have both the electric and air. I prefer the air because it weights about 1/2 as much as the electric, or less.

Other than the weight, Kenyon has nailed the advantages. I can't manage holding the electric buffer up all day though or anywhere close to it.

From Dick:

I also use both. I use the air in close quarters or where I am being extra cautious around edges or tight spaces - because I can feather the throttle easier to keep the RPM down. My electric is a Black and Decker professional model, with 825 RPM - I love it for large jobs, but I agree, they are heavy!

For someone who has not been doing this for years, I'd recommend the air polisher because it is much more forgiving of mistakes, at least the RODAC unit I use is. A powerful electric buffer can ruin a nice paint job (or a windshield wiper arm, or a gas door lid) so fast it will make your head spin at 1000 RPM!

This page last updated May 4, 2004.  Send us your feedback, and come join the Imperial Mailing List - Online Car Club