Trailer polishing information

This is a follow-up on some new techniques and observations that I have made. It seems that there are many ways to go about getting the same result.

1. Acid Baths: I do not believe this is necessary. A good wash with soap and water is what I would recommends as a starting point.

2. Compounding: Compounding is the first step to achieving a good polish. It takes off the years of weathering. The trailer that I am polishing has/had 55+ years of oxidation. It is very frustrating to spend a lot of time with a product that is not course enough to rapidly see results.

I have tried two techniques both seem to work well.

1st: From a tip by Brian Casson, who has done a very nice job polishing his 1950 Royal Mansion, I tried using 3M Super Duty Rubbing Compound. This is a product that used correctly will give you instant results. My technique was to apply small dabs of the material about a 1/4 teaspoon in 5 inch intervals over a two square foot area. I then compounded with a wool bonnet at 400 rpm. Compound the surface until nothing is left, repeating the process until the surface is free of pitting for my trailer this took 4 or 5 passes. It's price at around $10 a quart makes it relatively inexpensive.

Brain Casson's polished 1950 Royal Mansion
2nd: From the Perfect Polish people I tried using Nuvite G6. I followed the application procedure found at The Nuvite is more expensive than the 3m Super Duty rubbing compound at around $49 a pound but in my opinion the cost is worth it. The cut is much more aggressive than the 3m Super Duty and about half as much needed. I have some heavy oxidation and pitting on my trailer that I was never fully satisfied with the outcome from past polishing procedures the G6 has been the only product to cut through and give a high shine.
Test area with Nuvite G6 followed by F7. Approx time to take area from oxidation on right to shine on left 1 hour to 5 square feet.
3. Removing Compounding Residue: With both the 3M compound and the Nuvite the residue should be mostly removed by the compounding tool. What is left can be wiped off with a soft cotton rag. No more mineral spirits!
4. Cyclo polishing: Once you have compounded you will be left with swirl marks which need to be removed, this is where the Cyclo comes in. The perfect polish technique,, seems to be the most effective. I followed up the Compounding with Nuvite F7, nothing finer, and have gotten very nice results. Using the Cyclo wraps works very well. The one thing that I really like about this is the ease of clean up. Once again no more mineral spirits. I have also found that the wraps are not that hard to clean with soap and water and can be used again and again. This is better than the mounds of black rags that were soaked in mineral spirits and thrown away.
4. Preserving the finish: Not a lot has been discussed on how to preserve the hard work of getting a good shine. The best way to keep a trailer shinny is to keep it out of the elements. No problem if you have a warehouse but I don't. My trailer sits outside 24/7. After one rainstorm I can see a difference in the reflective quality of the skin and streaking from water runoff. I have begun applying wax with the Cyclo after polishing. I know that this will not give permanent protection but hopefully it slows the dulling process down. With the Cyclo I am able to cover a good 10 square foot area with wax in a matter of minutes. I use the green foam pads for the application and the Cyclo wraps to remove the wax. Its quick and easy.

back to restoration