Someone please explain the types of bonnets and what they do


Well-Known Member
I've been going around in circles looking at which bonnet does what. Would I use a foam bonnet to apply wax, or to use with polish to remove swirl marks? Would I use a microfiber bonnet to remove the wax or to buff the paint after removing the wax?? What I would like to know or see is a breakdown of what each type of bonnet does.

Let's say I have some swirl marks and a bit of deep scratches that I want to polish out.

I would start off by using polish, then buff, then wax and buff, then a sealer. But what type of pads would I use??


Well-Known Member
First, lets start with what kind of machine you are it a rotary, a dual action random orbital, a low speed orbital?

General pad info. You can use foam for all stages of paint correction, but they do come with different abrasiveness for different results. Lets use The Lake Country CCS pads as reference. I use them with the Porter Cable 7424XP(dual action orbital). I only picked a few of the key pads, but there are many different kinds available to do whatever you need them to do.

Yellow cutting pad: Removes heavy swirls, scratches, and oxidation with a polishing compound. Should only be used on older paint jobs that only have these "extreme" conditions. Pretty much the last step before a repaint.

Orange light cutting pad: Ideal for scratch and swirl mark removal under normal conditions. generally used as a pre-curser to the the polishing steps.

White finishing pad: This pad is very very lightly cutting and is perfect for the application of cleaner waxes and polishes.

Black finishing pad: This pad has no cut. I simply applies layers of waxes, glazes or sealers.

Wool pads are great to use, but they generate more heat from friction and because of that are for more seasoned detailers. Burning through pain is not fun. They are typically used on oxidized or freshly color sanded finishes to restore the shine.

You can use them all with a wide variety of polishes, cutting compounds, waxes, and machines.


Well-Known Member
I have a simple random orbit polisher

Are all pads colour coded then, or would I have to look at the bubbles in the pad to determine the cutting power?

From what I've read, the less bubbles in the foam per square inch, the coarser/more it cuts.

What about the microfibre bonnets? Are those just for removing wax and final buffing?


Well-Known Member
I like to use the microfiber for final buffing. The pads are color coded for manufacturers. That is something that us determined when you buy them, and those manufacturers describe the use for the particular pad.

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