Why You Should Be Compounding Your Car and How to Do It
July 31, 2017
Damage to your car’s paint is inevitable because your car’s exterior is exposed to harmful elements like UV rays, acid rain, and contaminants on a daily basis. Minor paint damage like scratches or swirl marks can be temporarily remedied by applying wax or polishing agents with the use of buffing or polishing machine. However, for a more permanent solution especially with scratches that go deep into the paint layers, paint correction by compounding is needed. Compounding is when a compounding agent is used to remove scratches by leveling the uneven paint surface. It is sometimes confused with polishing which is a broader term for removing paint defects and applying wax and sealant for protection. The key difference is the compounding or leveling agent applied which acts like a liquid sand paper to remove a larger amount of clear coat layer and even out the surface.
Benefits of Compounding
- Defect is permanently removed – Since the process of compounding smoothens the damaged areas of the paint, the paint correction is more permanent and will not come off after a few washings.
- Contaminants completely eradicated – Dirt, dust, tree sap, bird droppings, and other contaminants are removed from the car’s exterior so that they cannot cause further damage to the paint coatings.
- Provides a smooth, shiny exterior – The compounding process gives a new life to your previously dinged up car. It leaves your car’s paint looking new and shiny with no trace of the scratches.
- Adds protection – Applying wax, polish and paint sealant to the car will provide additional protection against external elements.
How to Compound Your Car
Polishing your car is ideally done twice a year to immediately address minor damage and prevent existing scratches and marks from worsening and going deeper into the paint coatings. Here are the basic steps you can follow to compound your own car:
- Washing and Decontamination – Make sure that your car is clean and free from dust, debris, and other contaminants before applying the compound. Wash your car thoroughly and remove all contaminant by using detailing clay, tar remover or products that remove contaminants that bonded to the metal. Dry your car completely afterward to avoid water spots.
- Application of Compound – It is important that you choose the right compound formulation for the specific type of paint damage you’ll be treating. Compounding agents either use Super Micro Abrasive Technology (SMAT) or Diminishing Abrasive Technology (DAT) which have different approaches and effectivity in removing scratches. Choosing the right applicator (for polishing by hand) or compounding pads (machine polishing) is also crucial in setting the right level of pressure and abrasion to your car’s exterior. Apply just the right amount of compound in a steady even motion to keep the area moist.
Applicators collect debris and gunk during the process and must be constantly rinsed. When working with a machine polisher, be careful not to overwork and cause extra friction to the parts you are working on.
- Rinsing and Drying – Once the compound has been applied to the entire body of the car, rinse the car’s exterior with clean water and dry the surface thoroughly.
- Buffing and Waxing – Buffing your car will leave its exterior shiny and smooth. Apply wax or fine finishing polish to your car with the use of terry cloths or a foam pad on a machine polisher. Allow the wax to dry and wipe off any excess with a microfiber towel.
- Touching up the paint – In some instances, paint needs to be reapplied to deeply scratched areas to cover up the coat layers removed by the compounding agent.
Dullness in a car’s paint is often associated with the car needing to be washed or waxed. Sometimes, you need a professional detailer to carefully assess the paint condition and determine the severity of damage that most car owners fail to see. Call DetailXPerts now to have your car checked. Our team of detailing experts will discuss with you whether your car is in need of compounding and how your car can have a renewed gloss and shine.