Auto Paint Repair

Using Car Paint Polish to Restore Gloss


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Car paint polish can be used before you wax your car in order to get a gorgeous shine and gloss to your vehicle. Polishes come in many different forms such as pastes, liquids and two step systems. Using these products can take a lot of work but your car will look fantastic once you're done.

Tools and Materials Needed:

  • Water
  • Soap
  • Cloth
  • Masking Tape
  • Car Paint Polish

Step 1 - Wash the Car

Wash the vehicle to get rid of any dust and debris. It is best to wash it out of direct sunlight, as this will heat up the car. It is also best to rinse the car off from the top down, so everything washes away and you don't transfer any dirt from one place to another on the vehicle.

Step 2 - Polishing Conditions

Read the directions of the car paint polish carefully, as all are a little different. Some polishes may stain your trim. If this is the case then cover up the trim with newspaper or masking tape. Other polishes may need to be used at specific temperatures. To make sure you do not damage any part of your car, follow the application directions on the package. Make sure you shake the bottle of polish very well before using it.

Step 3 - Polishing

When polishing you want to work one section at a time. Use a damp, soft cloth (terry cloth works best), and apply the polish in one-inch circles. Keep using a circular motion to rub in the polish. Most polishes contain small beads which are abrasive and will rub away any imperfections or rough spots. This produces a very shiny finish when you are done. The polish is dry when it has gone all hazy. Once the polish is dry, use a different towel to buff off the polish. Once you are done with one section, move to another. When buffing, your towel will accumulate dry polish, so make sure to snap it occasionally away from your car. This dried polish can cause swirls on your car if you're not careful.  If you want your car to look brand new, you can apply up to three coats of polish. 

When Should You Use Polish?

It is not necessary to use polish every time you wash your car. Polish is best used if you feel your car has marks on it or you are not getting the shine you want from waxing. Many times the brushes used in automatic car washes will create swirls on your car or you may notice a lot of small scratches. It's time to get out the polish the next time you wash your car. Always remember that you should polish your car before you wax. 

How Long Will It Take?

It should take you about two hours to buff a mid-sized car. It is recommended that you polish on the first day and then apply wax on the next day. There are even polishes that are wax based, so you can skip waxing. However, this wax will not last as long as a full waxing.

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