Polishing a car

This has been coming on for some time now. I just had to find the right car to do it with, so when I got my 1/12 Tamiya Mini I thought it would be the perfect candidate.  Now before I begin, this is just my way of doing things. I am in no way saying this is the best way of doing it, but so far its been working for me. If anyone has any other suggestions please do forward them .

So before I begin, I spray my cars with 2k automotive clears and paints. This is much harder wearing paints and require a bit more polishing than Tamiya.

What I use is 2000 and 3000 automotive sandpaper. I have also tried a few compounds and so far I found that Chemical Guys and Meguiars work the best. The most important item on the list is the Dremel polishing wheel. I use it only on the first speed, but be cautious about keeping it on one place for a long time as it heats up the plastic and may melt it.


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So this is what the body looked like straight after the clear. As you can see there was a fair bit of orange peel once it settled. This was caused by a change in temperature while clearing and not in a controlled environment.



When sanding the body start with 2000 paper with water. Below are some pictures of what it should look like once done with the 2000 grit paper.

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In this picture below it shows that the sanding was not done correctly. It should be an even coat ( as above) in order to make sure the final finish looks good.



The picture below shows the body done with 3000 grit. As you can see there are signs of the reflections coming through. One way to check if you are on the right track is to wet the areas with water from time to time.

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Here it seems as though I used quite a bit of polish however this was just one finger tip that was spread over the area I wanted to polish. I find it better to focus on one area at a time .

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A tip when using the Dremel. I put some masking tape over the chuck as the polishing lop can bite and you don’t want this rough edge damaging your new paint job.


This is after the first layer of Chemical Guys rough compound. I prefer to do two coats of the rough and medium polishes.

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And after Meguiars scratch x. The lines left are just from the mop and will be wiped away after the final layer.


Once the scratch x was done I wiped the body down with Meguiars Carnauba wax. For the best results use a micro fibre cloth.

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Here are some final pictures of the entire body.

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So I hope that this has helped some as its been a frequently asked question.


One thought on “Polishing a car

  1. Years ago, when I first got my airbrush, this was something I wanted to try. I was going to use those sponge pads….. I think they were from detail master. I never did, but after reading your post and seing your pictures…I think I want to try it again.

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