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Restore Your Garage Queen’s Glow with Rubbing Compound

No Need to Fear Scratches

In the past finding scratches in a car’s paint evoked frenzied fits from owners because there wasn’t an easy way to eliminate them. Today, clear coat finishes eliminate this fear of scratches. With a good rubbing compound and a little elbow grease, you can send those scratches into the great beyond.

Know Your Compounds

It is easy to get rubbing compounds and polishing compounds mixed up. They have similar duties (removing paint imperfections like scratches) but a rubbing compound is a more abrasive product. You use it to remove medium to deep scratches and oxidation from your paint. A polishing compound is a gentler abrasive mixture that eliminates light scratches in the clear coat. The last step before waxing, it can take out swirl marks, bug residue and faint oxidation. Think of it as a very fine grade sand paper.

A Good Wash is First Step

Before you tackle those pesky scratches, wash and dry your car. You want the paint free of any debris. Next, determine what kind of scratch you have (light, medium or severe) and select the appropriate product. If the scratch or film you want to remove is above the clear coat (like paint transfer from a traffic cone) then a polishing compound may be all you need. For a medium scratch (one not gouged into the primer coat) turn to a rubbing compound for a little more muscle.

Work Up a Little Heat

Apply a rubbing compound like SONAX Cut Max to a buffer pad. You can apply it by hand but an electric buffer will heat up the clear finish better, which allows the compound to do its job. Use caution when operating a buffer, too much pressure can result in swirl marks in the clear coat called “holograms”. Always turn the buffer off before lifting it up and off of the paint surface.

Make that Scratch Disappear

Work slowly in small 2x2 overlapping sections so that the product does not dry out. You are trying to level the clear coat out so that the scratch disappears. If you cannot eliminate the imperfection, then seek out a professional. You don’t want to risk damaging your base coat.

Protect with Wax

When you have removed the scratch, apply a healthy coat of carnauba wax. You have thinned your clear coat out during this process so you need to build back your paint’s protection. A good wax will bring out the richness in the color as well as give it that killer shine.

Turn Minor Tragedies to Triumphs

Scratches and other paint mishaps are a fact of life even for a garage queen. By using rubbing and polishing compounds you can turn these minor tragedies into triumphs and give your car the royal shine it deserves. Classic Auto Insurance is proud to partner with SONAX to bring their fine products to the attention of our classic car community. Learn more about the SONAX quality line of car care products at

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Be ready for life’s little surprises with the right car insurance. Let our friendly staff at Classic Auto Insurance help you find the right policy for your needs. Visit our website at and see how we can help safeguard your dream car.

Posted: 12/14/2015 12:00:00 AM with 0 comments

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