Buffing/waxing graphics


Inslee is an Idiot
Established Member
Premium Member
May 3, 2004
Land of Loonies
So, we've got this new Bronco Wildtrak and it has some graphics on the hood and side. Pretty sure they're not paint. So, how do I deal with these when buffing and waxing? Don't touch them? Light coat? What's the right way to deal with these?

Your government is lying to you


Well-Known Member
Established Member
Jan 21, 2014
I was told to treat graphics just like the paint. So wax/ceramic or whatever your doing on the car put on the graphic. If dirt gets built up on the edges you can use a little rubbing alcohol on it and the edge dirt will go away. This isn’t a problem on dark vehicles.

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Active Member
Established Member
Jun 8, 2015
The first question you want to ask yourself would be "are my vinyl graphics a matte or gloss finish?"

Protection wise you can use most any protectant with standard/glossy finished vinyl trim as many products pond to vinyl and paint work.

If you have a matte vinyl trim you want to have products made for matte finishes or products that don't alter how the matte finish looks. Many standard waxes and ceramics will add a glossier sheen and take some of the "matte" look away. This isn't to say a product has to have "matte" in its name, but it needs to be compatible.

They make protectants for vinyl that can last as long as you'd like from a month to years.

Buffing wise vinyl is very finicky. I would never go more aggressive than a Rupes yellow pad with Rupes Yellow polish or Sonax PF. Starting out lighter than this with a Rupes White finishing pad with Rupes white polish/finishing polish is a better/safer starting point. Do not try buffing vinyl unless you have good abrasive technology as Mike Phillips would say.

For any polish that gets on the edges wipe away immediately with a quality buffing towel, you may want a edged/square cotton swab in some cases.

Hope this helps!

EDIT: Here is a great article from Mike Phillips on correcting vinyl Remove swirls scratches by machine in Vinyl Stripes Decals Graphics Corvette

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