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#4571413 - 11/12/17 12:35 AM Burn through while hand compounding
Boosted240 Offline


Registered: 07/06/09
Posts: 20
Loc: Canada
I found a black spec on my white paintwork today that looked like a small dot of paint overspray. It had most likely always been there but I just never noticed. Clay did not remove it, so I proceeded to use CG V34 compound on a orange foam hand applicator. The black dot proved to be quite stubborn and I managed to removed the majority of it with the foam hand pad. I should have stopped and left it there but I made a rather dumb mistake of reaching for the microfiber cloth and putting a drop of compound on it and working it with my index finger, as a final attempt at getting some good cut at the remaining defect. I cleaned off the compound with quick detailer which revealed that the area was faintly darker than the rest. Yep, I believe I burned through the clear coat by hand compounding. At first I wasn't exactly sure on how it happened, as I was under the assumption my car was previously repainted in a single stage white. But now it's apparent that some panels still had the thin Nissan factory base/clear, which was probably already compounded down a bit from a couple body shop visits it had in the past. There is a possibility the area is just marred from the compound from what I searched, so I will try to take the DA to it with some finishing polish to see if it remedies it. Either way, if it's burned I have nothing to lose and a lesson learned first hand, literally.

Any detailers here that can chime in on how common burn through is? How do you approach compounding/polishing when you or the owner are unsure of the vehicles paint history? Do you use a paint thickness meter before compounding a vehicle?


Edited by Boosted240 (11/12/17 12:40 AM)

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#4571598 - 11/12/17 09:29 AM Re: Burn through while hand compounding [Re: Boosted240]
Ethan1 Offline


Registered: 12/29/14
Posts: 1632
Loc: 'murica
If you burned through with your finger, the clear was already waaaay thinner than what the paint manufacturer specs for UV and chip resistance.

It's just like if you took a grinder to rusty metal and it crumbled immediately. The material had already essentially failed, you just gave it one last little shove over the edge.

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#4571772 - 11/12/17 12:22 PM Re: Burn through while hand compounding [Re: Boosted240]
SatinSilver Offline


Registered: 01/24/08
Posts: 10172
Loc: OH
Any pictures of it? In general it's a good idea not to chase the small blemishes too much. Just give it a little attention and move on. Otherwise, you're kind of chasing your tail.

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#4578298 - 11/18/17 07:41 PM Re: Burn through while hand compounding [Re: Boosted240]
parshisa Online   content


Registered: 05/21/17
Posts: 528
Loc: TX
No way you burned it through. you just need to polish it out
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#4582776 - 11/23/17 10:15 AM Re: Burn through while hand compounding [Re: Boosted240]
HoosierJeeper Offline


Registered: 11/23/16
Posts: 1276
Loc: WI
What kind of car do you have? Lots of Japanese makers still use single stage white paints, so there wouldn't be any clear to start with.
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#4603686 - 12/14/17 05:12 PM Re: Burn through while hand compounding [Re: Boosted240]
Silverado12 Offline


Registered: 02/26/13
Posts: 3114
Loc: Central Virginia

Single stage paint isn't necessarily bad. This Mustang is single stage original color (which was clear-coat). There should be a fair amount of room for buffing.
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#4613298 - 12/24/17 06:10 PM Re: Burn through while hand compounding [Re: Silverado12]
RTexasF Offline


Registered: 10/01/02
Posts: 2879
Loc: North TX
Originally Posted By: Silverado12

Single stage paint isn't necessarily bad. This Mustang is single stage original color (which was clear-coat). There should be a fair amount of room for buffing.


There is no such thing as single stage which was clear coat. It's either straight paint (single stage) or paint with clearcoat over it. I have heard of clear mixed with paint but have no confirmation such a mixture exists.

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#4614762 - 12/26/17 02:25 PM Re: Burn through while hand compounding [Re: Boosted240]
Trav Offline


Registered: 11/20/06
Posts: 18893
Loc: MA, Mittelfranken.de
If you can feel a divet in the paint then its for sure burnt through, don't buff it anymore trying to flatten it.
It can be repaired without full panel repainting but you cant do it you need a pro, a real pro not some jamoke doing mobile paint touch ups.

Basically it will require a light scuff on the area, a solvent softener then apply some color in with a touch up gun/airbrush with an 0.2-0.3 needle, a clear touch up then blending clear solvent before a light buff to bring it all together. Unless you have been taught, have the equipment and practiced a lot on old panels this is not a definitely not a DIY or detailer job.

Concentrating on an isolated area with a cloth and compound with a finger is a sure fire way of burning right through.
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#4614765 - 12/26/17 02:31 PM Re: Burn through while hand compounding [Re: RTexasF]
Trav Offline


Registered: 11/20/06
Posts: 18893
Loc: MA, Mittelfranken.de
Originally Posted By: RTexasF
Originally Posted By: Silverado12

Single stage paint isn't necessarily bad. This Mustang is single stage original color (which was clear-coat). There should be a fair amount of room for buffing.


There is no such thing as single stage which was clear coat. It's either straight paint (single stage) or paint with clearcoat over it. I have heard of clear mixed with paint but have no confirmation such a mixture exists.


Back in the day single stage lacquer was commonly cleared, you could either just buff the lacquer out or clear it. A lot of guys did clear single stage acrylic enamels with clear also. Metal flake jobs are a good example.
Most custom rattle can mixes are a combination of base clear or can also be ordered in larger quantities. Its not as pretty as true base clear but it works, it is also sometimes found on some body color plastic trim parts.
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