This short guide will explain the basics of polishing to remove swirl marks, scratches and oxidation using a dual action polisher.

What is a Dual Action Polisher?

A dual action polisher has a central spindle and the backing plate is offset with a counterweight. This creates a random orbital pattern that simulates a very effective hand polishing motion.

Dual action polishers are far safer than rotary polishers for the beginner, as there is no direct link between the central rotation and the orbit and therefore no excessive force in the rotation that can burn the paint.

This same feature that makes a dual action polisher safe, also increases the time it takes to remove deep defects. Recent developments of the dual action polisher however have produced machines with a larger orbit diameter which has increased the speed of defect removal considerably while still retaining the safety of the dual action polisher.

How to use a Dual Action Polisher to remove Defects

To use your dual action polisher to remove paint defects you will need some additional accessories. These accessories can often be purchased with your machine in a machine polishing kit.

Buffing Pads - buffing pads are available in a range of sizes and materials. The most common being foam. Select your foam buffing pads with a velcro diameter that matches your machines backing plate. More often than not the standard backing plate diameter will be 150mm of 6". You will want a range of different buffing pads to provide different levels of cut and finish. Heavier cut pads will remove defects much faster, but leave a dull finish. Lighter cut buffing pads will remove only lighter defects but finish to a higher gloss. We recommend using both in combination in a "multi-step correction" to achieve both defect removal and then finish to a high gloss.

Compounds & Polishes - like buffing pads, compounds and polishes come in a range of different levels of cut and finish. Generally a compound refers to a heavy cut and a polish refers to a lighter cut. You will require a combination of different compounds and polishes to achieve efficient defect removal and finish to a high gloss.

Microfibre - you will require high quality microfibre cloths to remove polish residue when finished.

  1. Tape up any plastic trim with painters tape to avoid the polish coming in contact and prevent staining.
  2. Connect your selected buffing pad to the machine using the hook and loop velcro, ensuring it is as close to centre as possible.
  3. Apply a small amount of polish to the face of the buffing pads (3-4 pea sized dots is common)
  4. Work in small sections at a time approx. 50cm square
  5. Spread the polish at low speed over the working area, then increase the speed and slowly work the machine in a cross hatch pattern until the polish begins to turn clear
  6. Turn off the machine, and wipe away remaining residue to check your work.
  7. Repeat as required until desired finish is achieved and switch to a lighter buffing pad and polish combination to finish to a high gloss.