View Full Version : Buffing out for the first time

08-15-2012, 03:16 PM
I have never used a buffer before so I am a little concerned about the process of buffing waxing etc...

The boat looks pretty good(no oxidization just a little dull) I would like it to look great and I think it would with a good detailing. Is this something I should have a shop do or is it something a novice can handle without completely screwing up the finish?

08-15-2012, 03:30 PM
Gel coat is relative thick and tuff it's hard to mess it up. Give it a go you should be fine. You know we will want before and after pics....so don't forget to take some photo's:)

08-15-2012, 03:53 PM
Related question I think - how much overspray / splatter do you typically get? I watch the you tube videos and no one is making a mess. But even with small amounts that I just started to try, I'm spraying everything pretty good. ... are you masking things off as if you were painting (nearby areas you DON'T want compound or buffing). Or use even less?

08-15-2012, 03:58 PM
I did not know you are supposed to mask off anything. what do you cover the decals?

08-15-2012, 04:38 PM
You can minimize the splatter by starting out slowly and getting the compound or polish worked into the pad each application, but it's still going to splatter some. Wipes off with a wet rag though.
Another tip, once the pad is pretty heavy with compound, you don't need to keep adding compund continuously. Just sprinkle a little water onto the pad and keep polishing.
As said above, gel is pretty thick and hard to burn thru. Just watch out to not put alot of pressure directly on outside corners. Flat surfaces, you'd give up before burning thru.
There's a bunch of threads on this in this section of the forum.
It's not very technical and the results are great....do it.

08-15-2012, 05:10 PM
Do I need to mask anything off?

08-15-2012, 06:35 PM
Thanks Thrall. Memphis, sorry to throw you off on masking, I was referring there to covering areas that would get some overspray from buffer running.

08-15-2012, 10:05 PM
here is what I am working on

1987 Prostar


08-15-2012, 10:10 PM
Profile pic


08-16-2012, 03:42 PM
I hope someone will answer whether I need to mask off my decals when I am buffing? Help

08-16-2012, 04:00 PM
No just don't bear down on them to hard. If it worries you go ahead and mask them it would only take a few minutes and the peace of mind may be worth that. I have the same model boat and have buffed 3 times with no harm to the decals but you may have different results.

Great looking boat I would love to see some pics of the interior it looks sweet from what I can see.

08-16-2012, 04:41 PM
you can buff over top of decals but you run the risk of burning them- tread lightly. Don't worry about splatter - it happens and it can be cleaned up with mild cleaners.

There are a few tricks to buffing.
The buffer has a motor because it is supposed to do the work for you which means you do not have to push hard light pressure is need but not hard pressure.

Keep the buffer moving constantly. Buffing works by micro sanding the surface and if you stay in one place you overcut the area and create a ton of heat in that spot which speeds the removal of material.

A faster speed is not better. if you are using an orbital buffer there are little worries but a rotary buffer can run too fast. i don't know why they come with motors that turn as fast as they do. When I detailed I never used the fastest setting.

Use quality pads and compound. Wool is for cutting. foam is for polishing. 3M finesse-it works great. avoid compounds with wax or silicon because they gum up the pads.

08-16-2012, 07:32 PM
Always good stuff from the TT team thanks I will show some before and afters but probably not until next week

09-03-2012, 05:54 PM
Good info from all! Amazing what a nice buff will do to a boat!

Capt. Jack
09-05-2012, 11:45 PM
I just bought my first MC this summer, an 05 X-Star with 105 hrs, love the boat, problem is there is some very minor oxidation or dis coloring in some areas like the boat was left outside and not covered. Does anyone have some waxes or polishes along with buffers they would recommend. I have tried turtle wax and sea sense both oxidation remover and polish, nothing seems to last very long.

09-06-2012, 02:02 PM
Cheap rotary buffers are fine just as long as they are not high speed grinders. If you were doing a tn of buffing like a detail shop I would say to get a top of the line buffer from Dewalt but a few times a year and the $40 version from Harbor Freight will work OK. It aint the best but it will work.

Turtle wax is junk. Throw it away and go spend the money for proper compounds. I recommend 3M Perfect it and a wool pad for scratches. 3M Finesse-it and a foam pad for polishing.

After you are finished give it a coat of premium wax.

09-09-2012, 08:48 AM
Making tape and a cheap plastic drop cloth is a must. mask out and cover the inside of the boat. Slinging compound and dust will be a mess if you dont cover the boat.

09-09-2012, 09:33 AM
I would mask off the windshield frame.. That black will hold the wax and stuff in and its kinda hard to get out... I did use wd40 but the same stains show when it wears off... Nice boat BTW...