Polish Plastic Lenses
Written by: cdnred99
If your lenses are scratched or just getting dull you can polish them with a bit of buffing compound and a drill with a 4 or 5 inch loose buffing pad. I would recommend you do this somewhere where dust is not going to be a problem because you will get a fair bit of it coming off the wheel.
Don't use a sewn buffing wheel. It can dig a trench pretty fast and the drill I used runs at 2700 rpm which is fast. It gets the plastic too hot. I pulled this off the parts Paseo for the demo. Its a typical scratched up and tired looking tail light.
Make sure you clamp down whatever your polishing. If the wheel grabs it and flips it into your face or some other part of your body, car, cat, wife or girlfriend's face it's going to ruin your day! Remember, pain is a very effective teacher!
With the buffing wheel spinning, apply some of the compound. Don't load it up with a lot just, get some good color on it.
Keep the wheel moving up and down the lens while you're polishing and give it a little bit of pressure. Work a small area at a time (3 or 4 inches wide and the height of the lens). Once you get used to it, you will start to notice when its not buffing as much so you add some more compound to the wheel.
This is half way across the lower part of the lens, you can see a fair bit of a difference in the reflection. In the second picture the whole bottom section is done.
Another thing you can do while your at this is get rid of the markings on the lenses. Take a razor and shave the markings off as close to the lens as you can, then clean it up with some 400 grit paper. You just want to sand enough to make them disappear.
Keep working the area with the buffer until there's no sign of the marks.
If you have deep scratches just keep working on the area till there gone. Like anything, you can do a little or a lot. The more you work on a lens the better its going to look. Practice a bit, keep compound on the wheel, keep it moving so you don't melt the lens, and shine those suckers up to what ever level your happy with. This was a so-so polish on this lens and it took about an hour.