The Difference Between Compounding & Polishing

Compounding otherwise known as the major correction step in a paint correction procedure. A compound is a liquid or paste containing very heavy cutting abrasive technology used to remove below surface defects such as swirl marks, deep scratches and water spot etchings. The compounding procedure is also carried out after dry or wet sanding has been carried out to level paint, remove orange peel, RIDS (random isolated deep scratches) and denibbing marks (sand marks left behind after repairing RIDS)

Polishing otherwise known as the minor correction step in a paint correction procedure. A polish is a liquid or paste containing light to medium abrasive technology used to refine the compounding procedure and add gloss and clarity to the clear coat. Polishing will remove light defects from the paint as well. 

Due to paint hardness, there may be many variables when choosing the correct machine, compound, polish, cutting wool, microfiber disk or foam pad combination for a particular paint system. 

Detailers will always carry out a test spot to determine what the best combination will be. The least aggressive combination should always be tested first. Once a test spot has been dialed in, the same procedure will be replicated to the whole car. 

Following the compounding & polishing procedure the paint is LSP (Last Step Product) ready. By now the paint should show superb gloss and clarity and no swirling, scratching or water spot etching and is now ready for application of a protective product such as a quality wax, sealant or coating to protect the finish. 

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