I’m a polisher not a writer!
I’ve been in the detailing industry for over 20 years now, and one of the top questions I get asked is how can I get my aluminum tanks to shine like yours…
A few of my videos on youtube give a general idea of how to get a good mirror finish. But still lack all the little things that should be done to achieve such a shine. In this article I will try and cover all the basis. Before I begin please remember there are 10, 20, 100 ways to do all things… after trying many many different ideas and other methods this is how I do it!
#1 Prepping the surface
Make sure the surface is free of dirt, if there’s oil or grease use some varsol/paint thinner to remove it. Tar or road paint can be easily removed with a metal scrapper or flat screwdriver.
This step In my opinion is the secret, the most important of all the steps.
The Depthness of the shine you will have will be in direct proportion to the sanding you do. So with that said… depending on how far, how much work and time you want to spend on sanding will determine how close to a perfect mirror your surface will become.
Choosing the grits: 95% of my jobs are done with 320 followed by 400 and finishing with 600. Some jobs will require a bit more work and time, Older and much more pitted surfaces will need to be sanded with 180 grit first, I never go lower then 180 on aluminum it will just create more unwanted work and loss of time to get all the marks done by the harsher grit. So 180, followed by 320, 400 and finished with 600 grit ready for the polishing step. On occasion when a tank is in very good shape I will use 800 or 1500 grit to finish.
After posting my how to videos on you tube I had no idea I’d get the response I did… with that followed an enormous amount of questions especially what tools and products do I use… there are a LOT of products out there and I’ve tried many! To be honest most of them don’t work very well. after many years of trial and error and trying pretty much everything on the market... I put together a kit of all the stuff I use on a daily basis to run my company, no bullshit no sales pitch I use this stuff so I know they work!