How to lead sheet metal

Polishing a car: Polishing properly with car polish

Before polishing the paintwork

Thorough washing and cleaning is essential. Even small dirt particles can leave scratches on the paint when the polish is rubbed in. Small damage to the paintwork should also be touched up beforehand and thus protected from rust.

A paint polish protects the paint and lets it shine with a fresh shine. Not done properly, however, the effect can quickly turn negative. Only the correct application and observance of important points brings the desired success and can increase the value of the car.

Another important point is the sun. Many like to go out when the weather is nice, but the car polish should in a shady place respectively. Heated sheet metal leads to rapid drying and thus stains.

Further Tips and Tricks You can read about car polishing in these instructions at!

1. Wash Properly: Car wash before polishing

Before the car can be polished, it must be cleaned thoroughly.

First of all, the car needs to be clean so that it can be polished. If there are dust or sand particles on the paintwork, in the worst case, they will scratch the entire paintwork during the polishing process. Therefore, take the car to a car wash beforehand or wash it yourself.

To do this, first carefully spray it off with a high-pressure cleaner and then rinse with the Foam brush very thoroughly down the dirt. Finally, you should rinse thoroughly with the high-pressure cleaner so that neither foam nor dirt remains.

Then cover the car with a special leather for cars or dry it with a microfiber drying cloth. Remove insect remains, bird droppings and similar tough dirt with a suitable care product.

2. Before polishing: Remove scratches on the exterior mirror housing

If you are willing to invest a little time and effort in caring for your car, you can easily polish your car by hand. All you need is a clean, lint-free cloth made of microfiber, a polishing cloth or polishing cotton and the right car polish.

Before doing this, however, it is advisable to touch up existing scratches and damage to the paintwork. To do this, check the paintwork after washing Rockfall damage, especially in the cooler and hood area. You should touch up these with a touch-up pen.

The following instructions show how damage can be repaired in difficult areas. As soon as the new paint is completely dry, the car is polished.

2.1. Material and tool requirements

The table overview shows which materials and tools you need to remove scratches:

  • Spray primer for metal
  • Spray paint in the original color of the car paintwork
  • Car polish and wax
  • Wrapping paper or newsprint
  • Cloth or towel
  • Degreaser / wax remover
  • Dremel 8200
  • SpeedClic mandrel SC402, SpeedClic fine grinding brush 473S

2.2. Step 1: remove traces of wax and varnish

Treat the affected area with Degreaserto remove the wax from the paintwork as well as foreign paint traces.

Take a rag or towel and rub the area thoroughly with the degreaser. In this way, scratches under the surface are quickly visible.

2.3. Step 2: remove scratches and dirt

Move your Dremel 8200 (SpeedClic mandrel with SpeedClic fine sanding brush) along the scratches to remove dirt and flaking paint. The optimal speed is 15,000 rpm.

2.4. Step 3: apply primer and let paint dry

Protect the surrounding area with Wrapping paper or newsprint and then spray the primer on the treated area before painting it in the original color of the vehicle.

Let the first coat dry and apply a second or third coat as needed. Let the varnish dry and finally apply a layer of polish and wax.

Don't panic: scratches and damage in the paintwork can easily be touched up.

3. Car polishing by hand: Instructions in 2 easy steps

Now you have to decide on the right car polish: Depending on the degree of soiling, the type and attack of the paint, the specialist trade has different products available. For example, one is enough Hard wax polish for new cars and cars that have just been thoroughly cleaned. On the other hand, an agent with a low to medium amount of abrasion is suitable for older paints.

3.1. Step 1: apply polish

The polish is always applied in the same way:

  1. Put a blob of polish directly on the paintwork or in the lint-free rag and rub the car evenly. This creates a milky layer that must not be too thick, but must be even. Be careful not to rub plastic parts, headlights and windows. Otherwise these have to be cleaned again afterwards and may be attacked.
  2. Then let the polish layer dry until an even, dry, milky-white layer has formed on the car.
  3. Now the polishing begins.

3.2. Step 2: hand polishing

Using polish and a polishing pad, slowly rub the polish off in circular motions.

Take the (clean!) Polishing cotton or the polishing cloth at hand and rub the polish off slowly and forcefully in circular motions. As soon as the polishing pad or cloth is soiled, either take a new corner or the next cloth.

Based on the soiling of the polishing cloth or polishing cotton, you can see how much dirt is actually in your paintwork. You can do the polishing result check immediatelyonce you've rubbed off the polish.

When you have finished polishing the car, do not hesitate to go around the car a few more times and look at the surfaces, especially in the bleed. This is how you can gradually find all the polish residues. Also, look carefully to make sure that you have left all plastic parts, lights and panes clean. Polish residues should be carefully removed here immediately with a damp cloth.

4. Polishing the car with the polishing machine

Do not use too much pressure when polishing with a machine.

Polishing machines require a certain amount of practice, but do a lot of the work for you. Because the rotation of the polishing plate creates a mechanical depth effect of the polish that is far superior to manual polishing. Mechanical paint care should therefore be used, especially with heavily weathered paintwork.

Wear the Polish on the polishing hood and moisten it with a little water from the spray bottle. In this way, the agent is distributed more evenly on the paint. Then run the machine at medium speed in circular movements over the entire paint surface.

Make sure that the polishing sponge of the device is always sufficiently polish and moist so that the paint is adequately cooled. This will gradually polish the whole car, the last step is to polish by hand all the places on the car that were inaccessible by the machine.

Danger: You should only apply light pressure with the polishing machine on edges and corners.

To repolish, pull on a fresh polishing hood and finally bring the paint to a high gloss. Just press lightly. When you have removed all the polish residue, your car will shine again in a new shine.

5. FAQ: car polishing questions and answers

5.1. Auto grow or not grow?

In principle, waxing is done in the same way as polishing, but it is no longer necessary for every car. Modern metallic paints are protected with a clear coat and do not need a seal. As a rule, they also have to be polished much less frequently.

The situation is different with so-called “uni lacquers”: Their structure is determined by the Polishing process opened, so you should treat the car with paint protection after polishing.

To wax, wash your car again and carry out the polishing procedure, mechanically or manually, according to the known pattern with the paint protection wax. In this way, old paints are also sustainably preserved and retain their shine.

5.2. What should you watch out for when polishing a car with a polishing machine?

  • Apply only light pressure, do not let go of the machine
  • Do not polish too much over edges, this allows you to easily “polish through” the paint.
  • Do not polish over plastic parts and discs
  • Do not work on the same spot for too long

5.3. Where can I buy a polishing machine cheaply?

Polishing cars by hand is really exhausting, especially with regular car care. Polishing is faster with one special polishing machine. However, car owners should attach great importance to quality so that they can enjoy their freshly polished vehicle after work.

In our purchase advice polishing machine: test & comparison, we will show you which polishing machine you can use to make your car shine again and which devices are worth the money and deliver a good result.

Photo credits:,,, Race, (sorted chronologically or according to the order of the images used in the buying guide)

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