With such a wide range of finishing polishes on the market, even within the Menzerna brand, it can be hard to distinguish between the different products on offer. The role of a finishing polish is to flatten the surface of the paint so that light reflects more freely off the surface, thus improving gloss. They are typically used after a heavy cut compound, as these can leave holograms in paint, which a finishing polish will remove. This review will look at Menzerna 3500 Super Finish, one of three Menzerna finishing polishes.
This polish is rated by Menzerna as having a cut rating of 3/10, and a gloss rating of 10/10. The slightly higher cutting value of Menzerna 3500 over 3800 means it is possible to remove swirl marks from almost all types of paint, while also leaving a deep shine on the surface. Menzerna 3500 contains no silicone or fillers that could mask imperfections.
Menzerna 3500 Application and Usage
To test Menzerna 3500 I am using my Vertool Forced Drive orbital polisher coupled with a Menzerna green foam pad. I’ve also got a black scrap bonnet, which will show imperfections very clearly.
I used an old rag to inflict swirl marks into the paint, shown below, which could simulate poor wash techniques, which are the leading cause of swirl marks. Before polishing it is important the paint is prepped, which involves chemically removing tar and iron fallout, followed by a clay bar if necessary, to remove any embedded contaminants.
With my pad primed with the product (this helps reduce hazing), I applied between 5 and 6 dots of polish, about the size of a pea. Starting the machine on a low-speed setting to spread the polish, I then raised the speed of the machine to setting 5 (out of 6).
The polish itself is grey so is visible on the surface, but after 4 passes or so it will turn transparent. At this point, I increased the speed of the machine and made one final pass applying as little pressure as possible.
Wiping away the residue revealed a deep shine, with all the inflicted swirl marks removed. The metallic flakes in the paint allowed for a very deep shine. I used a panel wipe to ensure all traces of the polish had been removed.
How Is this Polish Best Used?
This product is intended to be used after a cutting stage with a more aggressive compound, such as Menzerna 1000. It will be able to refine the work done by the heavier compound, just like 320 grit sandpaper can be used to refine sanding marks left by 120 grit in wood.
As demonstrated above, this product does have uses in its own right. While it would be time-consuming to remove deeper scratches, several passes with a finishing pad were sufficient to remove swirl marks from this paint.
Another use for this polish would be to correct piano black trim, as is found on many B-Pillars.
The residue is not an issue with this product, the abrasives break down well and the polish is easy to wipe away after several passes. I have also not had any issues where this polish created a lot of dust, but a spritz of water on the pad before polishing can help reduce this.
What Needs to Follow Menzerna 3500?
As mentioned, this is the last step in a multistage process, or for use by itself on a lightly swirled vehicle. After polishing use a panel wipe and bright torch to inspect the paint for any areas that may need a second pass.
To lock in the shine uncovered by this polish, a good wax or sealant should be chosen to protect the paint from the elements.
Value For Money
This product is sold to consumers in two sizes, 250ml and 1 litre. With a density of 1.1 kg/l, these pots weigh 275g and 1100g respectively. To determine a rough cost per use I weighed how much polish I would use on an area 40cm by 40cm, which was roughly 9g. The amount shown in the photo is probably more than you would need to use, but this will allow for extra polish that is needed for prepping the pad.
As a general assumption, there are around 25 sections on a medium-sized car in my estimation. Assuming the 250 ml pot will cost around £15 and the 1L pot will cost £30, for an entire medium-sized car the cost will be around £12.30 or £6.10 if the larger bottle is used. Buying 1L of this product is therefore considerably better value than buying the smaller pot and is also significantly better value than many finishing polishes from other manufacturers.
Level of Cut
This is an abrasive product, so it is removing a small amount of clear coat. However as this is a finishing polish, the amount of clear coat removed is very small compared to heavier cutting compounds.
I used a paint depth gauge to measure the total depth of the paint before and after polishing. The results showed a very small decrease in paint depth of around one micron (1/1000th of 1 mm), so there is minimal risk of burning through paint while using Menzerna 3500.
Menzerna 3500 Results
As the above photos show, using Menzerna 3500 with a foam finishing pad was adequate to remove all of the minor swirl marks from the paint, leaving behind a deep gloss finish that will impress. It would of course also be suitable to remove holograms from paint or to remove oxidisation from soft single stage paint.
Will Menzerna 3500 remove swirl marks?
Yes, Menzerna 3500 will remove swirl marks from paint, it can be used with a medium-cut foam pad for extra cut.
Is Menzerna 3500 good value?
Yes, compared to many other brands, all Menzerna polishes are of good value. Buying larger bottles will give you better value for money.
How can you remove holograms after polishing paint?
Visible holograms can occur after using a heavy cut compound with either a rotary or an orbital polisher. Using a finishing polish such as Menzerna 3500 will remove visible holograms and leave a deep shine.
I think this is a polish with many uses for those who detail professionally, or for those who like to keep their car looking well. As a finishing polish, it will produce the same gloss levels as 3800, but while also providing more cut.
Menzeran 3500 would also be advantageous to the enthusiast owner, who many enjoy polishing their car, but is potentially concerned about removing too much clear coat. It gives the ability to remove light swirl marks that the car may pick up over the year, without the need to remove more clearcoat than is necessary.
My bottle of 3500 is almost finished, but it will be replaced!
- Orbital: Upper rotational speed range
- By hand: Light pressure with circular motions
- Cut: 3/10