Polishing issues


I just polished my board, and I would like to know your opinions about some issues on the final outcome.


In my case I had a lot of white points all along the board (which does not bother me much, but I think it might not happen), what could have caused this?


Also throughout the polishing process I noticed that while the board was getting shiny, after passing the polishing product, I continued to see the scratches under the sheen (I thought they could be from the wetsanding process). I’ll explain better the process I’ve done. Before giving the polish, I gave the gloss coat, which I rubbed with # 240 (on a few parts of the rail line) - # 400 dry (on the whole board, with the polisher at 900rpm) - # 600 Wet - # 800 Wet - # 1000 Wet (all the wet was by hand).


Then I applied a product that I have that is Presta Ultra Polish (http://www.prestaproducts.com/Ultra_Polish__Chroma_1500-details.aspx) with the wet board. This product I think is not for cutting but to give shine (I assume that #1000 wet was enought to dont see the scratches. I gave this product with a medium thickness wool pad in about 900-1500rpm.

The final result is great for me, but want to figure it out how can I improve next time, and if is possible to dont see these scratches next time. I’ll show some pics of the final result, maybe the scratches on the board are harder to show, but hope I explain well :slight_smile:


Thanks, Tiago

Alo Tiago, creo que estás en Brasil, por lo que resina de gloss no hay ahí.

Those points are ok with these softer resins; depends on the brand and with the process. If you have bigger ones, the problem could be the presence of air in the surface.

Sometimes is excesive lost of monomer; dropping of the temperature and not the exact catalist proportion.

Room air dust is the other factor.

Regarding the polishing. After the first ride all will be perfect; it would smooth out those light scratches.

In my opinion, seems that you are using the other system “P” marked in the sand paper. Better to use the normal one; actually your 800 is 600, etc.

Sand paper without the P. Jump from 600 to 1000 or 1200.

The presta are good products.

The work looks good man.


The problem, as I see it, is starting with too coarse of a grit.       240 grit is not necessary.         Start with 320 grit,  then step it up to 600 grit.      The polishing process also uses two different compounds.        ALL OF THE STEPS, should be done as a WET process.      Proper polishing, is a messy business.       Create an isolated area to do it.        What  I’ve described is the process we used at Surf Systems, and Surfboards Hawaii, with outstanding results.        Showroom sparkle, to the max.

Considering the products you are using;  listen to Reverb.  He uses these products and pictures of his polished boards always look Super.   Lots of Wet n Dry is done Dry.  A lot of guys never use water.  From what I can see those “scratches”  look like they were caused by other variables and not your sanding.  But no matter what, you always want to attempt to improve the way you put your gloss  resin on and the way you sand it.  I’m sure the next one will be even better.  Most guys use low RPMs.   Less messy and no burns.

I may be wrong, but those white spots look to me like air in the lam (dry lam).

Tiago, just curious: did you do a clear lam over a tinted lam?

As far as the gloss goes, that looks great for your experience level.  Better than anything I have done.  Follow the guys’ advice and you’ll just get better.

grit rule:

no more than 100 between two grit dry sand

no more than 200 between two grit wet sand. clean board between each grit.

Listen to lemat; All of you.   This is a Great Rule of Thumb.  One that even the experienced of us should remember.

The white spots are probably micro pinholes that formed in the gloss.  The white is the polishing compound left in the holes.  Maybe you could put some tint in the polishing compound and lessen the effect? Don’t make it too dark or you’ll have dark spots…


As to BIll’s mention of how messy polishing is- my shaping room is also my glassing room.  The first time I polished a board I had to repaint the shaping room because the polish splattered all over the walls.  Lesson learned.

I cut 3 holes in the bottom of a plastic trash can bag and slip it over my head upside down…  one hole at center of bottom for my head and one in each corner for arms.  Polishing is indeed messy work.  

Seriously??  If you guys would do two things for sure and an optional 3rd;   You wouldn’t make a mess.   Spread #2 Polish with a Chip Brush, sponge or rag.  Let it dry enough that you are not polishing WET polish.  It will still fly, but not as much as wet.  Polish at Low RPM s.  Go in an Automotive Paint Shop, detail shop or someplace like Aloha Glass or Paradise Glass and you will see what I mean.  If you can’t watch,  Listen!  They are polishing at LOW Speed…   Optional Third;  If you do not have a dedicated space for polish or sanding;  do it outside under a patio or canopy.  It’ll make a mess out of the lawn or cement, but hoses off easily.  You can also cover your walls and side lights with painters plastic taped up near the ceiling and draped down over your lights to the floor. Works for me.  Low RPM is the key.

Absolutely right!  Pinholes and polish.  Some polishes won’t show.  But you have a dark background so;   It might be possible to use a needle and an air gun to blow them out.  Then put a little blue pigment on your finger and dab it into the holes.  Wipe of the excess with a paper towel and hit lightly with the wool pad.  Should make them go away.

But;  John’s metod works as good as any.  I think you got that idea out of that book;  “101 Things to do with paint cans”.

  • The specks are pits caused from micro bubs trapped just  below the wax layer and opened up when fine sanded.  Use 100% finishing resin at 60 degrees or more and you won’t get those. Sanding resin (waxed laminating) will usually give you pits.

  • If you hand sand with anything coarser than 1000 in the field you’won’t be able to remove those scratches with polish alone.  When fine sanding you must use a machine and then you can start with 320 and take it to 400 then to polish if your technique is refined.  You can hand sand the rail apex only (320-600) but the rest is machine.  Sanding dry works fine if you just go to 400 as stated. You’ll go through some paper, one sheet of each grit per 1/4(half of one side) of the board.  If you choose to go wet you’ll save on paper.

  • Polishing to museum quality is like voodoo, someone can give you tips but the only way to achieve it is through lots of experience.

 Btw, you did really good for your first shot at glossing/polishing.

    One of those fundamental truths, about so many aspects of surfboard construction.       Well said Gene.

the crux of my existence! Haha 

surfboards are a long game. 

…seems that some of you does not understand that in most parts of the world the factories; yes, bigs like Reichhold or smaller like Elequeiroz, to name a couple, do not produce gloss resin in their plants outside USA; so if Tiago guy here is in Brasil, for example, the % of him using gloss resin is minimum or at top dollars or old (shelve old) gloss resin.

You guys are given advice for gloss resin. I have been glossing more boards with Hot coat resin than with gloss resin. With gloss resin, if you have a nice coat, is a child game, no any voodoo. The problems are high with Hot coat resin, however, is a better resin, no so brittle, so in the end (as mentioned that after a ride all would be smooth and perfect) the board will be better in the long run duration.


Reverb , I no longer use polyester resin , but when I did , I always used hot coat resin to polish because like you I thought it was a better tougher resin , I now believe that epoxy resin and S cloth is the best combination , if I want shine I use U POL .

My sanding skills utterly sux, so it’s all these finishing tips are magik to me.   


Olá reverb, I’m in Portugal, almost there :smiley:

You’re right, here we don’t have gloss resin, I mix the resin whit a percentage of catalyst + wax in styrene + styrene monomer.

The resin I used was Hegardt H61, think is good quality, but maybe the conditions of my lamination room were not the best, due the temperature and dust. I’ll check about the “p” in the sanding paper, can be it.