To buff an epoxy coating, there are a few things to consider, depending on the condition of the cured surface.
If the surface is inconsistent, scratched, or wavy, for example, you need to start by wet sanding. This task will make the surrounding floor wet, so lay down some plastic sheeting. You'll also need a variety of sandpaper grits designed for dry or wet sanding, including 220, 320, 400, 500, 800, 1000, 1500, 2000, 2500 & 4000-grit. For best finish results, use a flat sanding block. Mist the surface with a spray bottle filled with clean water, or wet the sandpaper by dipping it in a container of clean water. Use the coarse grits (lower numbers) first, and sand the entire surface so it's level. Wet the sandpaper as needed to maintain adequate lubrication. Between coats, either use a clean rag to wipe the surface, or simply use clean water to hose it off. As you work through with slightly finer grits of sandpaper, be very thorough to sand completely. As you move up in grit, the purpose is to remove any scratches from the previous sandpaper grit. The goal is to create an extremely smooth, finely hazed surface, with consistent sheen, and devoid of sanding streaks. Remove all sanding residue using a dry, clean rag and fresh water.
Next you're going to buff and polish to create a smooth, glossy surface. You'll need the following:
- A variable speed buffer/polisher
- A polishing product
- An appropriate polishing pad or sponge
- A clean microfiber cloth to remove polishing residue
For small surfaces, you can use a drill with a small polishing pad attached. But wheter you're buffing a large or small object, you need a variable speed tool because it'll spin at a fast enough rate for the polish to be effective, but won't build up excessive heat on the surface.
Polishes range from machine polishes, plastic polishes, wood polishes, and other compound materials. Some are available in two- or three-stage kits, working from coarse to fine. Follow the manufacturer's directions, and use an appropriate sponge of pad. Use the polishing tool at the recommended speeds, taking care not to create swirls or burn the surface. If you use a hand polishing product, follow the manufacturer's directions carefully, and when you're finished, us a clean, dry microfiber cloth to gently remove residue. After polishing, you can apply a wax product to protect the surface and make it very glossy. There are a variety of wax products that include carnauba wax, furniture wax and table top wax. Choose the type of wax that works best for your particular application, and apply as directed.
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