How to Polish Cars

 Learning how to polish cars the right way is a real skill. A skill that is acquired by research and lots of practice.

This is one of those processes where the small details can mean the difference between a professional looking result and an amateurish one. The tiny alterations in execution make a world of difference. If you know the right way, everyone will see the difference.

Following are some tips on how to properly polish cars. Each tip has a reason, and each is important to create the perfect final effect. You polish a car because you want your car to look its best.

In order for your vehicles paint to look its best, a good polishing with the best car polish is necessary.


Of course to get the most out of your polish and wax, the paint needs to be clean and prepped with a clay bar first. Mask off emblems, and edges of panels to reduce the risk of any buffer damage such as burning the paint.

How to Polish in General

You may be in a hurry to get the job done. After all, polishing a car is not everyone's idea of fun. However, doing it right takes time. You want to work at a slow pace. The paint polisher needs time on each portion of your car to get its work done. If you move too fast, it'll show.


Moving too fast will not only fail to remove defects, it can also make a mess of your paint. Unfortunately many people using buffers have never learned how to polish cars correctly. Ever see a vehicle drive by that appears to have 3-D lines all over it? These are known as holograms or buffer trails.

Moving too fast, holding the buffer at an angle, using the wrong polish/pad combinations, or dry pads can result in buffer trails being left behind. I like to give pads a light mist of water to avoid placing a dry pad on the paint.

You want to work one small area at a time. This way you can concentrate on your work and complete each area. You want to use movements that are both vertical and horizontal to polish these small sections properly.

Using the Polisher

When you are paint buffing, you want to position the cord of the polisher to be over your shoulder. This helps you to control it and to keep it away from your freshly polished paint job. Otherwise, it could end up scratching the paint.


If you're attempting to polish away defects, you may have to make a few passes with the polisher. Make sure to avoid heating up the paint too much. If a scratch is too deep to safely remove, know when to stop. Use buffer pads and polish combinations suited for your paint surface.

Your goal is to remove the defects but not to do anything more than that. Clear coat is so thin, a polisher can burn through it extremely fast if you aren't careful. Don't lift the polisher off the paint while it's still working. It's just not a smart move.

Now you know how to polish cars the right way. You need to take your time and pay attention to the small details of your work, because they'll translate into how your car looks when you're done. A good polishing can make your car look brand new.

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