The goal of polishing is to remove a thin layer of clear coat by buffing an abrasive compound onto your car’s paint. This process makes small scratches and swirls disappear, leaving you with a level surface to work with. If your paint is in relatively good condition, you can use this mild one-step polishing compound, which will remove light swirls and scratches.
When polishing, you should work in sections. It can be tempting to rush ahead, but the process requires attention to detail so you don’t ruin your paint. First, protect any delicate areas like rubber moulding with masking tape. Then, center an applicator pad on your orbital polisher. Next, add some polishing compound to your pad, and at a low speed, lightly spread the polishing compound around the working section. Then, adjust your orbital polisher to a higher speed (generally there’s a recommended speed in the manual, but if not, between 3 and 5 is a safe bet).
Finally, work in the polish using back-and-forth strokes creating a crosshatch pattern. Continue until the layer of compound is thin and evenly applied, and wipe clean with a microfiber cloth. Use the same process for each section until the whole car’s complete.