How To Prime A Foam Pad When Using A Dual Action Polisher
Priming the pad refers to applying product to the entire work surface of the pad that will be in contact with the paint. Why prime the pad? Priming the pad ensures that none of the pad is dry when it's in contact with the paint. The pad will glide over the paint a little more easily from the start because the product and its lubricants have already been distributed over the pad face.
Priming clean, dry pads
Apply the desired product to a clean, dry pad. Use your finger to spread the product over the work surface of the pad. Work the product into the pores to ensure that no foam is left dry. Spread it to the outer edges of the foam pad.
On a curved edge pad, be sure to prime the edges if they will be coming into contact with the paint.
Adding "Working Product" to the primed pad
Adjust the amount of product you apply as you work...
Before you take the first pass with a polish, apply more polish to the pad than you think you'll actually need for the section you're working on. This is because some of the product is going to seep into the pad and less polish will be left on the surface to actually work into the paint.
After the first section, reduce the amount of polish you apply to the pad. The pad is already primed and lubricated with product because some of the initial amount will stay inside the pad.
When applying product to the pad, be careful to use enough product to properly lubricate the pad, making it easier for the pad to rotate.
Also be careful to avoid using too much product. Too much polish will over-lubricate the pad and inhibit the abrasives' ability to abrade the paint.
You want just enough polish to provide a lubricating film between the paint and the pad that still allows the abrasives to work efficiently.
For concentrated products or if you're working on a small section, apply 3 to 4 pea-sized drops of product. Be sure to apply enough product to sufficiently lubricate the paint.
Polish can be applied in a circle towards the outer edge of the pad. Polish automatically migrates to the center of the pad as the pad rotates, so starting with the polish at the outer edge lessens the likelihood of over-saturating the center of the pad.
When the center of a pad becomes wet, it holds heat better than dry foam. Excess heat can accelerate de-lamination of the hook and loop fasteners material from the pad.
When you reduce the amount of polish applied to the pad on subsequent section passes, only apply half a circle.
Polish applied in a circle towards the outer edge of the pad will gradually migrate towards the center, thus covering the whole pad. When you need to reload the pad, apply a semi-circle of polish to the pad because you only need half as much for subsequent section passes.
The X pattern is a popular method of applying product to a pad because it's simple and you get a measured amount of product on the pad.
However, as we previously mentioned, you are putting polish in the center of the pad, where there's a potential over over-saturating the foam.
When you reduce the amount of polish applied to the pad on subsequent section passes, only apply one line of polish across the pad.
Another option is to use a product such as XMT Polishing Pad Conditioner to lubricate and condition the surface of a dry pad. This will improve the buffing cycle and provide lubrication to the paint surface to help prevent micro-marring during the initial break-in of a dry pad. This will also make cutting pads, which are usually very stiff and aggressive when dry, more pliable to conform to the contours of body panels.
A spray-on pad conditioner is a quick and easy way to prime foam pads.