When Should I Use A Polishing Compound?

How To Use Polishing Compound

When should I use a polishing compound? Polishing compounds are common materials for giving your car a smooth finish. They are commonly used in the automotive industry for polishing cars. However, auto mechanics use these rubbing compounds to repair the scratches on a car’s body.

There are many types of polishing materials for versatile use. Some are coarse and used for reviving cuts, whereas some are used for smooth finishing. We will share with you different types of polishing compounds, their uses, when you should use a polishing compound, and three stages of polishing. So, jump on to the next section.

When Should I Use A Polishing Compound?

You should use polishing compounds to remove imperfections from the surface of the metal body. If your car has scratches and marks, you can use various polishing compounds to reduce the scar and get a clear finish. They come in various colors and have different polishing abilities. You can use a particular polishing compound to finish a particular surface of metal, wood, or concrete.

If the scratch is too deep, you should not use the polishing compound without fixing the ditch. Automotive experts can fix it with proper action by measuring the depth of the scratch. In this case, if you apply the polishing compound by yourself, without fixing it, the car may lead to destruction. The UV ray of the sun can damage the color and fade it if kept untreated.

How To Use Polishing Compound?

Polishing compounds basically have a coarse component that evens out rough surfaces. And you should do polishing followed by waxing. You can polish your car like a new one by following some simple steps. And you will see noticeable changes as you keep rubbing compound before and after. The things you will need throughout the polishing process are as below-

  • Polishing Compound Bar
  • Buffing Wheel
  • A Dremel or Grinding Tool
How To Use Polishing Compound

Process Of Polishing

Step 1

Take a suitable polishing compound for the type of material you have to polish. A single polishing compound for cars does not suit all the materials. So, you have to know which is the best option for a particular metal.

For example, aluminum plates only require a single compound when it is scratch-free. But if there are some scratches, you will need multiple polishing compounds to bring out the shine. Also, copper, brass, stainless steel, etc. need coarse grain multiple rubbing compounds.

Step 2

If you need multiple polishing compounds:

  1. Start with the most coarse one.
  2. Move to the finest grain.
  3. Turn on the buffing wheel and take a small amount of rubbing compound into it.
  4. Polish the surface with a gentle push.
  5. Do not push hard against the surface.

Step 3

Polish the entire thing. After polishing with the first coarse compound:

  1. Use the next one.
  2. Use the same technique as step three.
  3. Do not hurry when using a Dremel tool.
  4. Finish the polish with the finest polishing grain.

Types of Polishing Compounds

Polishing compounds come in different varieties. And they are purposeful in very different events. So, the common types of polishing compounds are as below-

  • Black: The black polishing compound is the most abrasive compound among all. It has emery that reduces the roughness of a surface. The black polishing compound is generally used as the base polishing material. You can use it to revive the deep and rough scratches.
  • Brown: Brown is a base polishing compound. It contains Tripoli, which helps to polish up a lightly-scratched surface. It is a multi-purpose compound that is similarly effective on copper, silver, brass, or aluminum.
  • White: The white polishing compound is effective on hard metals. You can use it for polishing stainless steel or other hard metals that are covered with chrome or nickel. It removes the scratches and gives the metal a shiny surface.
  • Green: The green compound is the middleman of the polishing compound set. It leaves the metal with a mirror-like finish which is a pre-requirement for a glazy finish. It is mostly used on stainless steel.
  • Red: The red polishing compound does not cut away the metal; rather, it polishes the surface and makes it shiny. It is mostly known as the jeweler’s rouge. It has a relatively finer grain that normally is used to polish jewelry materials, like- gold, silver, etc.
  • Blue: The blue polishing compound for cars is a smoothing agent for metals. It gives the metal a final finish. However, this ingredient is mostly used on precious metals, like platinum.

Stage Of Polishing

Metals are polished in various stages to achieve the ultimate shine. You can not get the best result with a single polish. Therefore, following the stages of polishing is a must. 

Stage 1: Rough Cut

It is the very first stage of metal polishing. You would use the most coarse compound for a particular metal at this stage. It reduces the cut and lessens the roughness of a scratchy surface. After polishing, you would achieve relatively less roughness on the metal surface. The first stage prepares the metal for the initial polish.

Stage 2: Initial Polish

It is the middle stage. And you would use a less coarse compound than the first stage. After finishing the polish, you would achieve a much smoother and shinier surface that is ready for a final polish.

Stage 3: Final Polish

At the third and final stage, you would pick the finest compound for the metal. And after polishing, you would achieve a smooth, shiny finish.


Now you know about the stages of polishing and when you should use each stage—also, the types of polishing compounds and their uses. However, you must not use a polishing compound unless you are sure the damage is not severe. Take professional help if required. And, more importantly, have appropriate knowledge about polishing the car surfaces before you start polishing the scratches. Also, do not keep the cuts and scratches unattended to prevent color fading.

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