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I did some antique boat refinishing and used 1500 grit paper wet (just like you do with the regular painted surfaces,  then buffed it with Presta Chroma polish (available on ebay) with a buffer,  careful not to burn through on edges.   3M also makes a 1500 polish which takes you from 1500 grit paper to the finished polish stage.   It comes out like a mirror if you do it that way.  I had a picture of the finished boat transom I replaced but can't find it at the moment. 

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On 3/21/2019 at 3:29 PM, auburnseeker said:

I did some antique boat refinishing and used 1500 grit paper wet (just like you do with the regular painted surfaces,  then buffed it with Presta Chroma polish (available on ebay) with a buffer,  careful not to burn through on edges.   3M also makes a 1500 polish which takes you from 1500 grit paper to the finished polish stage.   It comes out like a mirror if you do it that way.  I had a picture of the finished boat transom I replaced but can't find it at the moment. 

Thanks for your reply. 

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I did this on a few award winning boats for a friend as well.  There is a finer grit of 2000 which you could use in places where you may want to hand buff,  which will make the finish come up easier.  You can even go as fine as 3000 but varnish isn't as hard as some urethane automotive finishes so it buffs easier.  An adjustable speed buffer set on the lowest setting 1000 rpm should work well.  You can even do it with one of the random orbit ones you buy at the parts store ,  it just takes a little longer.  Less of a chance of burn through with that.  I think the Meguiars product I used to use was step 3 with step 7 being a show car glaze.  I can check and see if i still have any around to be sure,  but the Presta Chroma polish 1500 works well and is cheaper than Meguiar's.   I use water in a spray bottle as well when buffing as the pad eventually starts to get a build up of polish and that helps use up the polish in the pad.  I think the heat starts baking it on very slowly,  working over an area with a few squirts of water,  seems to clean the pad off.  I have also used a small right angle air grinder for small areas with the velcro stick on wool pads.  Again watching your RPM's.

 Good luck.  If you have any other questions,  just fire away.  I just buffed out a terrible finish on my 40 Ford coupe,  cutting down the finish from 600 to 1000, then 1500 blocking it to remove alot of small  ripples and irregularities in the body work. (I didn't do the body and paint work)   It came out like a mirror.   I did my 36 Cord as well.  Painted in enamel in the 60's loaded with sins in the paint (fortunately a very straight body) I often wonder if they used a broom to paint it.  It's far from finished but the pictures give you an idea of how it turns out.  

I've told people you would be amazed how a really bad finish can be made very good with some cutting and buffing. 

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