Detailing With Rupes
The first thing to keep in mind when approaching a detailing job is there are no absolutes. Every job will be unique based on the history of the surface to be detailed. You may be working on a factory prepared surface with properly applied clear coats, or a surface repainted one or more times and protected with harder or softer clear coats, depending on the quality of the previous work. The surfaces may be flat or undulating, depending on the “style” of the vehicle being detailed. You may also need to deal with flaws in the surface, from dimples to deep scratches. You could be detailing a car in an enclosed space, or out in the open. All of this means you should be flexible in the contents of your detailing bag, maintaining polishing pads of different densities and sizes and heavy, medium, and light polishing compounds. Plan out your detailing job before starting your work . A good plan will ensure you have the proper materials in place when you need them, and that you won’t overextend the capabilities of the products you use by trying to do too much at one time.
Divide your project into manageable parts instead of trying to work one process over the entire vehicle at once. For instance, work one fender or door at a time and plan to process the hood in quarters instead of all in one pass. Choose your materials based on the characteristics of the surface, or surfaces, to be detailed. Break down your job into it’s component parts: sanding, polishing, and protecting; and decide which materials are needed for each section of your project.
For the sanding segment of your project we recommend using the Rupes X-Cut Foam Abrasive discs. These sanding discs are optimized for wet sanding, leaving a great finish without a deep scratch. Paired with the Rupes soft interface, these sanding disks will mold to curves in your work surface. Use of the X-Cut Foam Abrasive sanding discs will reduce your compound polishing time and quickly bring you to your desired gloss level. The X-Cut Foam Abrasive discs come in three grit levels: the P1500 provides a coarse sanding pass to quickly smooth out the scratches and imperfections in your work surface; the P2000 is the “medium” grit disc to be used when the work surface is already relatively smooth, or as a bridge between the P1500 and the P3000 fine grit sanding disc used in the final sanding pass prior to polishing the surface you are working.
The Rupes system offers five choices in high performance polishing compounds. ZEPHIR GLOSS is used to remove marks produced by grains down to P1500 and is designed to be used with a dense, or hard, buffing pad. QUARZ GLOSS is used to remove superficial scratches and marks produced by grains down to P2500, and things like car wash brushes. KERAMIK GLOSS is a fine abrasive designed for use with a medium-hard buffing pad and is excellent for operations after the use of P3000 microabrasives. DIAMOND is an ultra-fine abrasive that provides a showroom finish applied with a medium-hard buffing pad. Rupes also offers UHS EASY GLOSS for use with scratch resistant and high solid ceramic paints. All of the Rupes polishing compounds produce excellent results without leaving halos and holograms.
Pair your polishing compound(s) with the Rupes polishing pad best suited for the work surface being processed. Rupes offers five compound pads and two microfiber polishing pads to choose from. The compound pads are all high performance pads for use with orbital polishers and have cell structures that range from coarse to ultra-fine. The Rupes Blue Pad is a coarse polishing pad ideal for removing scratches and restoring paint jobs. The large dimension of the Blue Pad cells dissipates heat build-up optimizing the polishing compounds performance. The Rupes Green Pad is a medium compound pad, primarily for use with medium gel abrasives such as the QUARZ GLOSS polish, however, the Green Pad’s characteristics make it a good choice for use with any polishing compound if your choice of pads is limited. The Rupes Yellow Pad is a versatile pad with a fine cell structure and a medium-hard consistency, making it ideal for use with the KERAMIK GLOSS and DIAMOND polishing compounds. The Rupes White Finishing Pad is an ultra fine compound pad for use with ultra fine gel polishing compounds. This finishing pad has a very fine cell structure and soft consistency making it beautifully suitable for convex surfaces and irregular shapes, such as those found on sports cars and vintage vehicles. Use this pad with DIAMOND polishing compound for a “show car” finish.
Rupes has patented an innovative microfiber polishing pad manufactured using a polyurethane resin directly injected between the velcro interface and the microfiber fabric providing a stable and secure bond without the use of adhesives. These unique polishing pads have a beveled edge allowing conformability to convex shapes during the polishing process. These polishing pads are comfortable and easy to use and can greatly reduce polishing cycle times. Rupes offers two microfiber polishing pads, a blue cutting pad and a yellow finishing pad. The Blue Cutting pads features a short, dense microfiber perfect for use with heavy cutting polishing compounds. The Yellow Finishing pad features a long, soft microfiber for use with ultra fine polishing compounds.. Both pads produce high quality results.