Rubbing Out Blemishes While Retaining a High Gloss

Advice on how to polish away small defects without doing damage. March 9, 2008

What is a good, one step, maybe auto polish that I could use to rub out minor bubbles in a poly finish I applied to a small project and still have the gloss finish retained? I'd like to stay away from the pumice, rottenstone procedures if possible. I've never been able to master them.

Forum Responses
(Finishing Forum)
From contributor J:
Finesse-it. About 14 bucks a quart and it works wonders.

From the original questioner:
Thanks. I'll try it.

From contributor C:
You cannot rub out minor bubbles and "still have the gloss finish retained." You could rub out the blemishes and then re-polish the surface to a gloss (though the polished glosses are slightly different than the gloss straight off the gun). For polishing most surfaces, I have found the Abralon discs to be extremely effective and fast. They will not get clear back to a full gloss, though (you have to follow them up with a liquid polish or wax). The Abralon discs are pretty useful, even in very tight quarters, if you fold them and use them to polish by hand. I take off any higher bumps with a razor blade before I start polishing. This saves lots of time and helps to prevent abrading through my final coat's film thickness.

From contributor J:
Contributor C, just because you can not do it doesn't mean that it can not be done. It means that you can not do it.

From contributor C:
I disagree. Abrasion is necessary to remove the blemishes. Abrasives so very fine that they leave a glossy surface behind are also much too fine to remove any significant blemishes. This is a basic dilemma. Excessive polishing with very fine abrasives might eventually remove the blemishes, but is also likely to remove too much film thickness in the unblemished areas... again, a basic dilemma.

Exactly how minor the blemishes are is unknown to you and I, however my judgment is that they are likely to be significant blemishes requiring some significant abrasion to remove before proper polishing can be achieved. You and I would likely be in agreement as to how to proceed if we actually inspected this finish up close.

From contributor N:
I've found that tiny bubbles and imperfections can be rubbed out with brown paper (trash bag) or even a dollar bill, without marring the sheen or finish. Depends totally on what you're trying to remove. As explained above, abrasion is necessary, but sometimes it doesn't take much.