Polishing is a broad term for a range of processes designed to either remove or mask sub-surface paint defects and greatly enhance surface gloss in readiness for sealant or wax protection. In this guide, find out about what polishing does and why it is the secret to achieving an amazing finish, how to assess the condition of automotive paint, what the differences are between compounds, polishes, glazes and chemical paint cleaners, how to polish your paint effectively by hand, and how to polish your paint safely by machine .
The polishing step is often skipped or misquoted by many car care enthusiasts (in the latter case we mean that many people often say they have polished their car as a catch all term for whatever they have done to it). This may be because they do not fully understand what polishing does, or because they are not confident enough to try it, or because they believe it requires equipment that they do not have. As a result, many enthusiasts are left dissatisfied with the appearance of their paint. In this guide, we will attempt to shed some light on the subject of polishing by (i) illustrating common sub-surface paint defects, (ii) describing the different types of polish currently available on the market, (iii) demonstrating how to polish paint by hand and (iv) demonstrating how to polish paint by machine.