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How to prime pads

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Priming pads can help you to achieve good polishing results the first time, and will make the polishing slightly easier. To prime a pad isn’t mandatory, but like anything else in the world of detailing, it is good practice to start the job properly.

Why the need to prime pads

When you start out polishing, the pad itself contains no polish. It is clean. When you start using the pad it will slowly get saturated with polish. If a pad isn’t primed, it might be a bit grabby, give you less result and in some cases it can even create marring when there is not enough lubrication between the pad and the surface. Heat buildup can also play a role in this.

How to prime a pad

Priming a pad isn;t very difficult, the whole idea is to saturate the surface of the pad with polish in order to prevent the symptoms mentioned above. This can be done in several different ways, here is one example of how to do this:

  1. Put a few dots on the polishing pad (like you normally do)
  2. Put one line across the polishing pad
  3. Put the machine on the surface, and set the speed at the lowest setting
  4. Slowly increase the speed while moving gently over the surface with hardly any pressure
  5. Set the speed so that it rotates, but with the lowest speed possible
  6. After a few passes (you’ll see the polish disappearing) turn off the machine
  7. Apply another few drops and another line across the pad
  8. repeat step 3, 4 and 5 until the polish is almost gone
  9. Your pad is now primed and ready to go nuts

Another way of priming your pads would be to rub the polish in with your finger. Put a cross on the polish pads with polish, and go from edge to edge. Then rub the polish in with your finger. Just be sure to check the pad after your first pass, to make sure that the surface of the pad is evenly covered in polish. When the pad is primed and slightly saturated, you’ll need less polish on your next pass.

Other methods

If you prime your pad, and how to do it differs from person to person. Some people don’t prime their pads, but just take it easy on the first few goes. OThers always prime, even if they do a spot repair. It all comes down to personal preference. You also might encounter that priming isn’t necessary on very hard paintwork, but is mandatory on softer paintwork.

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