Car Care / Tech

Mythbusting – All Buffers Burn Paint

Editor’s Note – This is the fourth of a series of articles that addresses paint care misconceptions. Jason Mathews has been burning up the highway for 20 years as our National Events Manager. He has more one-on-one face time with our customers than anyone else in the company. So he’s heard it all. Today, it’s “all buffers burn paint.”

“Buffers burn paint” is a common topic that we deal with at every show. You could say it’s a running commentary. We always get hecklers, they love to pop up when we’re running a demo and go, “Ah man, those buffers burn paint” and walk away. I love it when they do that. I just yell back, “why don’t you come over and watch. I’ll do my best to burn this hood, let’s see if I can do it.” I power up to speed six and lean on a corner or contour and really get into it… that’s when you get people’s attention, they’re tuned in, and I’m actually trying to burn paint and nothing is heating up. They want to touch the pad and see how hot it is or the hood to see how hot the paint is. And I welcome it. When you talk them through the ventilated backing plate and things like the throw of the orbit and the cross-hatch pattern and how these techniques all work together, they get it. Once they realize it’s not an old rotary machine, I have turned them.

I let them take over the demo… that’s the beauty of bringing a demo hood out on the road… that’s really something you can’t show them on the web or in a catalog. We do make it look that easy because it is that easy. That’s why I love getting the machine in the people’s hands. They say you been doing it 20 years or there’s 20 coats of wax on that hood. They think there is some reason, some force that will work against them and they can’t get that pristine result on their own.

It is awesome for somebody to take that machine, feel its weight for the first time, put it on the hood and let them go to town…. let them get comfortable with it… use it at high speed, low speed, move it around, feel the vibrations and watch the results appear right in front of them, so they know there’s no snake oil at work.

That’s my favorite demo, taking that three-inch Scotch-Brite™ pad, rubbing scratches in the clearcoat, and letting them work the machine as I shine a work light right on the paint. They can see after two or three passes what I told them was going to happen is happening right there in front of them. They walk away saying, “I can do that. It’s easy… I can go home and do that on my car…” sometimes they want to get home right away to get started.

My only complaint is reach… how to get in front of more people. I can’t go door-to-door. I wish I could… so one show at a time will have to do.


  1. Maynard says:

    This process does remove clear coat, right – to smooth out those v-shaped scratches? And only so much clear coat there, so how long before it wears down into the base coat? My car has the factory paint – IIRC only about 4oz of paint on the entire car, not some show car with multiple layers of clear.

    And your illustration for the related posting (“dark waxes”) seems misleading – it shows this nice dip instead of the ‘v’ but at the edges looks like nothing is worn down – how can that be? Doesn’t an abrasive wheel take material off the whole surface fairly evenly (i.e. thinning own that red layer across the whole thing?

  2. Mike Bradford says:

    Hey Jason, do you have an email for rookies to send questions regarding GG products. Thanks

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