A car’s exterior paint protects the metal from corrosive environmental influences, but it ought to take a beating at the same time. Bird droppings, insect remains, tree resin and stone chips are among the things that attack the upper coat of paint. As a result, the paintwork becomes dull and faded. 

Keeping the car polished can help. The polishing process involves grinding at a micron level: car paint is usually 100 to 140 microns thick. Each polish removes between 0.1 and 0.5 micrometers of clear lacquer. As a result, the paint appears shiny again and is more durable and easier to clean. 

The car can be polished in two ways: manually or mechanically. Although the actual polishing makes sure that the paint shines, it is also important that the correct preparation and postprocessing is also followed. 

The process of polishing your car

Correct preparation for polishing

Prior to polishing the car, we prepare the paint for its shine treatment. Step one is washing the car and inspecting it. Basically, all painted body parts should be checked for particularly stubborn dirt while taking a brief walk around the vehicle. 

The paintwork can be easily scratched by any remaining dirt, as it acts like sandpaper. It is often the case that even after intensive cleaning, dirt will still cling to hard-to-reach areas. If you use the right cleaning agents (such as a clay bar) and apply them correctly, you can treat this problem.

The deep scratches and stone chips often go all the way to the metal plate. In this case, the protected area must be treated immediately to reduce the corrosion risk. A sheet metal that has been left in the open rusts quickly, letting rust infiltrate into the paint and spread further. 

Feel the paintwork after washing to ensure smoothness and check any dull areas. For the best results, first use a paint cleaner to smooth out rough areas of the paint. They absorb dirt with their special cleaning compounds.

Important: Keep away from the sun when polishing, as the polishing agent dries faster and leaves permanent marks on the paintwork. You should polish your vehicle in a protected place, such as a garage or carport. Moreover, a gust of wind won’t threaten to re-cover the clean car in new dirt. Masking tape should be used to tape off all the plastic surfaces before polishing. If not, they could end up being polished and looking shiny or even white.

Pay attention to these things!

Wearing jewelry such as rings, watches or bracelets while you polish the car can result in unsightly scratches in the paint. A microfiber cloth is used to apply the polish and then move it around the paint in circular motions. Starting from the top of the car roof, experts suggest working your way down. 

The whole car must not be treated at once, so it is helpful to treat smaller areas. If the polishing agent dries out it will be difficult to remove later. The paint can easily be damaged when you apply too much pressure, especially at corners and edges. Polishing your car by hand requires some effort, but the result is worth it.

Be careful with matt paintwork!

Taking care of matt paintwork is much more problematic. Because the paint loses its rough texture when polished and becomes shiny, you shouldn’t use a polish here. With matt paint finishes, mistakes are hard to rectify. Hand washing is the best way to clean matt paint. We advise you to use a brush-free or touchless automatic car wash.

Find the right polish

Polishes contain abrasive agents which remove small scratches, smooth the paint, and remove roughened paint layers. It’s hard to find the right polish. If you use high grained polishing compounds on your clearcoat, it can do more harm than good. There are also differences between polishes on their own and polish/sealant mixtures. If the paint is only to be sealed once, they are unnecessary.

Should you polish by hand or machine?

You should use a polishing machine and abrasive paste with coarse grains only on paint with heavy scratches or flash rust. A fine grain hand polish is sufficient for a paint surface still in good shape. A polishing machine, however, may be necessary for weathered and pale surfaces. However, if you aren’t experienced handling and using one, it won’t be worth buying one.

The most common error in polishing and sealing is polishing a hot car or polishing in the scorching sun. This causes fast evaporation of water components, which in turn penetrates into the paint, causing damage to the paintwork. Many times, sealing is also neglected after polishing.

Can you polish car paint with a household remedy?

Often people wonder if their car paint can be polished with a household remedy. Possibly this could be done, however only to a limited extent. A popular method for removing small scratches is to use toothpaste. There should be no coarse grains, or else scratches will appear relatively quickly. 

You can also achieve a certain shine on your car using certain home-based preparations such as baking soda, vinegar, cornstarch or rubbing alcohol. In practice, home remedies can only be moderately effective in polishing your car. We therefore recommend using a proper car polish!

Can you polish away any paint scratch?

A significant role is played by the extent of the scratches. The best way to check this is to touch the scratch with your fingernail. It is a deep scratch if your fingernail gets stuck, and car polish will not be able to fix it. Before using the car polish here, we need to fill it up with paint.

We can, however, easily take care of superficial scratches with a polish. Using the right polishing products is important.