Chevrolet Corvette Detail Guide: Polish

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The Chevrolet Corvette, from the Classic C1 Stingray to today’s C6 Vette, is one of the most stunning cars ever to grace showroom floors, but its finish is not everlasting or impervious. Your Chevy Corvette’s paint, like many other components on your car, is a system that requires maintenance; even the most pristine examples could use some additional finishing work every now and then. Whether you still have the original factory paint job or a recent re-spray, there is possibility of minor flaws in the paint that can be taken care of with a few simple tools and techniques. For example, a dust nib (a tiny particle of dust or lint that lands in wet paint) is a flaw that most car manufacturers, dealerships, or paint shops address before the car is sold — or returned to its owner, in the case of a re-spray. Sometimes, these flaws are missed and must be corrected. A few abrasive finishing materials and some basic knowledge of paint systems will help you get your car’s finish back to showroom quality in no time at all.

Unless you remove too much paint, fixing minor paint flaws through
polishing isn’t harmful to the paint system. If you remove more than
50% of the clearcoat finish, premature paint system failure is likely
to occur. Polishing is a delicate art, and one that requires careful
attention if you want good results. A good rule of thumb to follow is
if you can feel a scratch or other flaw with your fingernail, it’s too
deep to be completely polished out. However, polishing can be used to
hide the flaw and make it less noticeable from a distance. If a scratch
has a hard edge, or one that goes in at a 30- to 60-degree downward
slope, it makes it more difficult to polish out. This hard edge creates
a surface that reflects a lot of light, making it instantly noticeable.
A good polish will round the edges of such a scratch, reducing its
reflection and thus hiding it more effectively. There are many other
flaws that can be remedied through polishing, including rub marks,
paint transfer, micro-marring, etching, orange peeling and runs and
sags. To make sure your paint is in as good condition as the rest of
your ‘Vette, polishing is a necessity.

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