SCHOLL Concepts F.A.Q.
All you need to know about polishing and sealing of car paints
The everyday products described as polishes are regarded separately by specialists, who differentiate between so-called rubbing compounds and sealants/polishes.
Rubbing compounds are products with a paste-to-liquid-like consistency and with a fairly high content of filling agents which create the abrasion, i.e. the abrasive effect. This abrasive effect is called the “abrasiveness of a product” or the “removal rate”. Just like other means of abrasion, rubbing compounds are classified into coarse, medium and microfine categories. Each SCHOLL rubbing compound is marked with a corresponding abrasion class, which we call “CUT”.
Sealants often also called polishes are products which leave behind a protective layer on the treated surface by virtue of layer-building constituents such as wax, silicones and similar substances. Usually, these products do not contain any abrasive components and therefore no mechanical treatment of the surface is achieved. They are intended solely for the purpose of protecting the surface but are often also improperly used for covering damaged surfaces. All SCHOLL sealants are marked with a corresponding “WAX” classification for an easy reference of the product’s durability.
SCHOLL polishes fulfill all the requirements and demands of trade and industry professionals,
- Car detailers (D)
- Commercial body shops (B)
- Automotive industry (I)
- Automotive industry suppliers of painted and plastic mounting parts (I)
- Dealerships (D)
- Marine industry (M)
- Woodworking industry (W)
- Carpentry shops (W)
in addition to meeting the high demands of consumers,
- Car enthusiasts (E)
- Boat and yacht owners (M)
All SCHOLL compounds are assigned on the website to specific customer groups. These groups stand for:
B = Polishing applications on fresh paint. The term „BodyShop“ stands for paint shops or car body repair shops. As in category D, the application of rubbing compounds in this category is also performed with the help of power polishers.
D = Paint care and treatment of used or worn paint. The term D stands for “Detailer”, a professional car care specialist. The majority of polishing application in this customer group are performed with the help of power polishers for professional use.
E = Polishing applications for used or worn paint. The majority of polishing applications in this category are performed manually. The term used in this context is “(End)consumer”, or “Enthusiast”.
I = Sophisticated polishing processes in the automotive industry (I stands for “Industry”). The applications are performed 100% by machine.
M = Applications in boat and yacht care (M stands for “Marine”). The majority of these polishing applications are performed with the help of power polishers.
W = Applications in the furniture and woodworking industry. W stands for „Wood“.
a) Applications for large surfaces are implemented in vehicle care by service providers and dealerships for the comprehensive detailing and finishing of used cars. In this regard, polishing systems have to satisfy a wide range of demands resulting from extreme variations in the condition of the surface paint and the degree of surface weathering.
b) Spot polishing is in connection with either new or re-painted vehicles and painted accessory parts attached to often freshly painted surfaces. The main job in this regard is to re-polish paint imperfections that have been previously treated, such as dust nibs, over-sprayed paint or similar flaws, in order to regain a high-gloss surface. The aim when polishing new paint that is not yet completely cured is to permanently remove imperfections and create a high-gloss surface free of holograms.
Single-coat, single-layer paint (Fig. 1): Today, this technique is only found in older vehicles (for instance, oldtimers) that were predominantly solid-coloured vehicles. Single-coat paints are nowadays extremely rare because all car paints today are water-based. This water-based paint is relatively soft and therefore has to be coated again with a second clear and transparent topcoat. This is the so-called two-coat, solid-coloured paint (Fig. 2). When using a rubbing compound, single-coat paintwork can be identified easily because the polishing pad will immediately take on the colour of the car.
Two-coat metallic paint (Fig. 3): All modern paint systems are based on two-layer paints. Water-based paint systems require a clear coat in order to give the surface in question its decisive quality characteristics. In particular, it is this clear coat that gives the metallic paint its metallic effect and gloss. Without it, the surface would be matt and dull. The actual polishing of the paint to remove weathering or to create a gloss thus occurs exclusively on the clear coat. In contrast to single-coat, solid-coloured paints, the difference – when treating two-coat metallic paints (Fig. 3) with a rubbing compound by machine – is clearly visible because the polishing pad will not take on the colour of the car.
“Scratch-resistant paints”, already widely used in the automotive industry, are based on a viscoplastic clear coat and present entirely new challenges for rubbing compounds. Although these paints are difficult to scratch, they are nonetheless subject to wear resulting from car washes and weathering over a long period of time. Treatment of these surfaces is only possible with a specifically developed rubbing compound. Virtually all SCHOLL rubbing compounds are ideally suited for mechanical treatment on challenging scratch-resistant paints.
The condition of the paint and the relevant method of treatment depend on the degree of weathering and mechanical wear. The ability of a painted surface to reflect light reduces over a period of time and is directly related to the number of car washes (that may cause scratching) or exposure of the surface to oxidation caused by environmental influences (weathering). The result is a matt, dull and lacklustre surface. The choice of the right rubbing compound, polishing pad and the method for rejuvenating a weathered surface depends, in each case, on the specific condition of the surface paint.
Basically, there are two kinds of mechanical procedures which depend on the movement of the polisher.
1. In the rotary method, the polishing pad is rotated at high speed on a backing disc over the paint surface. This procedure is extremely abrasive and should therefore be used on heavily weathered paints. Due to the different force in the interior of the rotation axis and the outside area, frequent hologram formation is to be expected.
2. The eccentric method is tuned so that the rotary motion is interrupted through an orbital transfer. This therefore prevents the formation of holograms. The full power of the rotational speed, however, cannot be transferred onto the pad. This consequently results in lower abrasiveness. The stroke of each machine is particularly important in this context for the efficiency of the procedure. Orbital machines with a low stroke generally used for sanding purposes are, therefore, unsuitable for polishing. Only machines specifically designed for polishing applications, i.e. dual-action polishers with an orbital stroke of minimum 10 mm, should be used.
Extensive tests in numerous areas of application have shown that a speed of between 1000 and 1500 rpm is regarded as the optimal range for rotary polishing. For new paint, a low speed is recommended, whereas a high speed is recommended for old and heavily weathered paints so that deeper scratches can be removed more quickly. When using orbital polishers, the speed must be adjusted to the appropriate stroke.
Holograms are micro irregularities or imperfections which are created by a higher level of abrasion when using a rotary polisher. These consistent irregularities create a light reflection, which gives the area in question the impression of a 3D effect. These irregularities are so fine that they are only noticeable on dark paints due to the high level of light absorption. In order to remove holograms physically, it is necessary to rework the affected areas with a special ultrafine rubbing compound, the anti-swirl compound. We recommend using the medium “orange” pad for such applications. Often, the soft black waffle pad is also used. However, this pad is too weak for very conspicuous or heavy holograms because the ultrafine grains of the anti-swirl compound dissipate due to the foam’s soft texture.
Imperfections arise during painting as part of the body repair or refinishing procedure or during the subsequent final drying process. Afterwards, these imperfections have to be retreated with the help of rubbing compounds and polishes. In this regard, the proper assessment of the paint – among other factors, for instance, how recent or how warm the paintwork that has to be treated is – is important in order to choose the correct spot polishing procedure.
The following common flaws are known:
• Dust nibs
During the painting process, dust that is present in the atmosphere or whirled up from the ground enters into the spray jet of the spray gun. The micro dust particles thus reach the paint surface and bind the dust grain to form minute nib-like irregularities and spots that have to be sanded out and polished later.
• Orange peel
During the painting process, a rough paint surface referred to in painting jargon as “orange peel” can occur due to various reasons: by applying excessive paint or by excessively high air flow released from the spray gun nozzle.
• Paint runs
Paint runs occur when excessive paint is applied on vertical surfaces. Paint drips – they remind us of a runny nose – can be sanded out or removed manually with the help of a paint shaver. Subsequent polishing will ensure that these imperfections are almost totally concealed.
All rubbing compounds contain an abrasive powder which controls the abrasion of the paint. This powder can settle in the pores of the plastic parts. This polish residue can be easily removed with the microfibre cloth and the cleaning and control spray. Simply spray the cleaner onto the soiled plastic part and wipe off with the cloth. Alternatively, a window cleaner with ammonia can also be used for cleaning (SHINE or ICE). A more time-consuming solution involves the use of masking tape prior to polishing. This is especially recommended when polishing new vehicles. Avoid contact with plastic parts when polishing. We also recommend using as little polishing compound as possible in order to prevent the compound from splattering.
It is possible and often even necessary to polish painted plastic parts. There is no difference in polishing on plastic and metal parts. The only consideration should be the temperature build-up. Plastics heat up considerably faster than metal parts and, if improperly treated, can cause the paint to melt. It is, therefore, important to always use TopWool lambskin polishing pads. TopWool pads have the ability to conduct heat and thus absorb any excess surface heat. Furthermore, it is important to ensure that the polisher is set for operation at a low speed (800-1000 rpm).
SCHOLL rubbing compounds are basically water-soluble. However, they should not be diluted. The consistency and viscosity of the rubbing compounds are formulated specifically to ensure best results. Any dilution would lower their performance and consequently impair the results.
Often, this is caused by “burning-in” of the polish. The reason for this is usually improper application which may be caused by:
– too much compound on the polishing pad
– too much heat generated
– Polisher speed too high
Solution: Clean the treated surface with water or SCHOLL cleaning and control spray and SCHOLL microfibre cloth red.
Of course, all SCHOLL polishes and rubbing compounds can also be applied by hand. However, the use of a polisher significantly enhances the effect of the rubbing compounds. We therefore recommend using a polisher for professional purposes.
This can be caused by various reasons:
a) The polisher is turned on before bringing the pad into contact with the paint (frequent beginner’s error)
b) Polisher speed too high
c) Too much polish
d) Tilting of polisher / formation of dust when polishing edges
e) Use of new pad that has not yet been worn in
f) Fresh pad, into which the polishing compound has not been distributed evenly prior to polishing
No, SCHOLL polishes and rubbing compounds are free of volatile silicone oils and similar separating agents.
Silicones are volatile, synthetic polymers. If released in the air, silicones in the gaseous state can spread across a room and also travel great distances where they can settle onto parts that are to be painted later. But that’s not all. Over a period of time, the particles can detach, spread again and settle elsewhere including, for instance, on filter and ventilation systems of paint cabins. In such cases, silicones can have a so-called repellent effect. This means that paint can no longer adhere to these contaminated parts at a later stage or, if at all, only at a considerable loss of quality – often identified as “silicone craters” or “fisheyes” on the paint surface.
SCHOLL rubbing compounds do not contain waxes. Sealants can be applied to protect the paint. Waxes are often used only to achieve a higher gloss level (ONLY VISUAL GLOSS). However, this is not necessary when using the SCHOLL polishing system correctly. With the anti-swirl compound, a gloss result of about 98% can be achieved. This cannot be topped even by using a wax. Moreover, it creates a “genuine” PHYSICAL GLOSS which does not originate simply because the defective surfaces are covered.
Preferably store in a cool and dry place. Make sure the temperature is not below 0°C, else the binding agents can lose their properties due to frost and this can have an irreversible impact on the efficiency of the polish. Avoid contamination. The compound should not come into contact with foreign particles (dirt from the outside). When stored correctly, SCHOLL rubbing compounds can be used for many years.
No; even though in principle it is possible. The rubbing compound would dry out too fast, however, and subsequently a considerable amount of cleaning effort would be required. The industry therefore does not recommend polishing hot paint surfaces under direct sunlight.
Thanks to the high-grade raw materials used in SCHOLL polishes and rubbing compounds, it is no longer necessary to wait for a long time before applying polish to a freshly painted surface. In general, however, too many important factors, for instance “burning-in” temperature and time, humidity, the kind of paint used, etc., are involved. As a result, it is not possible to give specific guideline values. A more accurate picture can only be presented after examining each individual case!
The paint surface should be washed clean and should be free from dirt, which can otherwise lead to scratches when polishing. The surface should only be polished when dry.
This can vary depending on the condition of the paint and the products used. When used properly and sparingly, 1 kilogram of polish should be sufficient for the care of at least 10 cars.
At the heart of every rubbing and polishing compound is the powder therein that cuts the paint surface at the nanoscale when polishing. Most of the rubbing compounds available today to consumers for manual applications do not contain the appropriate powder for modern requirements. Often, this can have disastrous consequences for the car’s paintwork. Users who apply these compounds initially notice a remarkable gloss. This is partly due to the filling agents contained in these compounds. What they do not see, however, is what is happening to the paint below the polish. The coarse and hard powder mass cuts deep scratches into the paint, often also because the polishing cloth that is used is either too rough or unsuitable for the application. What is truly critical is that, as a result of the filler effect, even reputed, independent laboratories and testing institutes are blinded by the apparent gloss. Appearances are deceptive – in the truest sense of the expression.
For this reason, we have coined the terms visual and physical gloss. The visual gloss is what the observer sees immediately after applying the polish. This gloss, however, does not last and fades away due to repeated exposure of the paint (for instance, to rain, car washes, etc.). In other words, the paint’s protection is simply washed off, something that often happens faster than expected.
What remains under the paint’s protective layer is what we describe as the physical gloss – the real paint surface. A brilliant gloss, which is also long-lasting, can only emerge when no micro-scratches are present on the paint surface. All of our rubbing compounds and polishes which contain abrasive agents (powder) (S2 to S40) are based on state-of-the-art iPT -Technology. In other words, the powder removes the dirt from the worn paintwork and polishes out micro-imperfections without causing new ones.
250 ml of compound contain millions of powder grains. Each grain in turn is made up of thousands of minute, diamond-hard polishing granules, similar to a bunch of grapes. Through polishing and the pressure exerted on the grain, more of the hard micro-granules wear away and grind, as it were, the polishing grains. Initially, the large grains clean the paint’s surface effectively and, with the increase in mechanical pressure during the polishing process, the micro grinding power of the powder diminishes and, subsequently, the gloss level increases as the grains become smaller.
Thanks to the innovative powder technology (iPT), scratches in the paint’s top layer are polished out in a single step. Micro-scratches are thus eliminated and the results are long-lasting. At the same time a long-lasting, physical mirror gloss finish is achieved. Every day, thousands of vehicles in the car industry and in automotive workshops around the world use our high-end compounds with best results. These highly demanding customers have full confidence in our long-standing expertise that spans over several decades and in the innovative, state-of-the-art powder technology (iPT) implemented in our rubbing compounds. You too can make the right choice by opting for SCHOLL premium-quality products – the best way to acquire a reliable, professional paint finish, just like the experts!
Polishing pads are made up of different materials and come in different shapes and sizes. The choice of the right kind of pad, however, depends mainly on the application and required cut. Lambskin polishing pads have given rise to one of the most common misconceptions we have about polishing pads. The lambskin pad is the most abrasive polishing pad with the highest cut that we know of. The differences between the various polishing pads are as follows:
Premium SOFTouch Topwool
Premium polishing pad made from 100% natural wool and integrated orange foam interface layer, for maximum cutting performance on fresh and worn paint surfaces.
Sandwich SpiderPad (black/white)
Innovative foam pad with calibrated surface and double-layer structure for maximum cutting performance and low heat build-up on fresh paint surfaces.
Firm, reticulated premium polishing pad. A brand new, unique heat-resistant foam composition provides a steady and consistent cutting performance.
Polishing pad (purple)
Superior, firm foam pad with a coarse porous structure, ideal for paint detailing applications. The tear-resistant, reticulated foam composition provides maximum durability.
All-purpose sponge (orange)
This all-purpose, semi-firm pad with a fine, closed-cell foam structure is ideal for final finish and sealing applications.
SpiderPad Neo (yellow)
This fine porous, reticulated hybrid pad with a calibrated surface was designed for the efficient application of the NEO Polymer Protection. Ideal for removing holograms.
EXTRA FINE (7)
SOFTouch-Waffle Pad (black)
Extremely fine and soft foam pad with an extra orange interface layer for controlling contact pressure on the surface to be polished.