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Do-It-Yourself Projects
Erase Chalky Paint
By Mike Bumbeck/
Printable version
Degree of DifficultyEasy
Estimated Time180 minutes
180 minutes
Before using any rubbing or polishing compound, remove all old wax, dirt, and grime by washing the vehicle in a shaded area if possible. If not, be sure to at least park the vehicle in a shaded area before drying it and applying any rubbing or polishing compound. It's crucial that you never use rubbing or polishing compounds in direct sunlight the product can quickly bake itself into hot painted surfaces. Work in small overlapping areas so you can stay ahead of the product, and the process. You'll soon be seeing your smiling reflection looking back at you from your shiny, preserved paint.
Step 1 - Clean and dry the vehicle, preferably in the shade. Test all products on an inconspicuous part of the vehicle to get a feel for how they work.

Step 2 - Apply compound by hand, or with a buffer turned OFF, to work material evenly into the buffing pad and the work area. Buff in lengthwise strokes with the bodylines of the vehicle. Do not work in circles as this can show up as "swirls."
Apply Compound
Step 3 - If available, use a random-orbital buffer. If using a circular buffer, be extremely careful not to burn through the paint or clearcoat. Let the product do the work. Lengthwise even strokes with light pressure are key.
Use a Buffer
Step 4 - Make sure to remove all of the rubbing compound before moving on to polishing. Polishing compound is applied in the same way as rubbing compound. In general, use the most aggressive product first, followed in sequence by less aggressive product or products.
Remove All Compound Before Polishing
Step 5 - The results speak for themselves. Regardless of which type of product you use, always apply a good coat of wax as a final step and on a regular basis thereafter to protect the paint, and prevent oxidation from starting up again.
Always Apply a Good Coat of Wax
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