How to Buff a Car with Some Easy Steps & Tips


In order to protect your car’s beauty, you need to wax and wash it on a regular basis. While using a high quality protectant, you’re able to enhance the look of your car, and give it a great shine.

In fact, the protectant is considered the last step to give your car a good shine. Almost every car is attacked by contaminants, and bombarded by foreign objects every single day.

Thus, you need to know how to buff a car.

There are some simple things that make a car’s finish look perfect. Polishing or buffing your car properly allows you to remove numerous defects, such as etching, swirl, oxidation and scratches. This enhances your car’s gloss, and prepares it for protection. There are different kind of pads and polish to buff your car. A better understanding of the entire process can help you keep the car in excellent condition.

Understanding the Car Buffing Process

Though it’s easy to give you some advice about the steps required to make the car look good, you need to consider some variables. The first variable is your expectation about the entire process. Some damage to the car may be unrepairable.

Quality car buffers are used to remove small amount of the paint’s surface. Since this is at the microscopic level, it doesn’t mess with the paint film’s integrity. The cutting ability of the buffer is determined by the amount of paint removed and finish.

A high quality polish creates a wet looking deep gloss. On the other hand, a low quality polish clouds the paint’s surface. Each buffing polish is specifically designed for a purpose and application. When choosing a polish and buffer, you want to consider a few variables (listed below). Eventually, you have to decide between a wax, sealant or a mixture of both. You can see some of the best car wax here , sealants, or carnauba wax.

● Paint Hardness

● Paint Condition

● Paint Thickness

● Products

● Application Tools and Process

● Work Space

● Time Available

● Weather Conditions

● Skill Level (Beginner Car Buffing )

 Related: Car Buffers for less the $100

How to Use a Car Buffer: Speed Settings as Compared to CAR Damage

It’s important to use the least abrasive polish to give an excellent finish to your car. Regardless of what you might have heard or seen in advertisements, a single polish can’t give the best results. Before we get into the steps- there are a few points you need to know about how to buff a car (pre process). Here’s some important information that will help you during the car buffing process.


If you can notice moderate to severe damage, heavy swirl, scratches or other serious problems, you should use a high quality foam pad with a swirl remover. The speed setting should be at 5 or 6. This will help you buff the car in the best possible manner.


When you want to get rid of normal swirl, moderate or lite oxidation, lite scratches and water etching, you need to use a finishing glaze and foam pad. The speed setting should be at 3 to 5. This will give an excellent finish to your car.


In case your car doesn’t have a lot of damage, but you still want to enhance the gloss and prepare a cleaner surface for the protectant, you should use a pre-wax polish enhancer and high quality foam pad. The speed setting should be between 1 to 3.

These are some tips you need for exceptional results. You can use a dual action polisher , the Flex is also awesome- check the reviews (the best for beginners and pros). They both give great results and are used by auto pros of all levels (See the how to video below). It can help you achieve the best results with minimal efforts.

Here is “How to Buff a Car and What Not To Do”

In this video you will see different paint testing techniques using a paint coat thickness gauge tester and various buffers and pads.

Polishing Technique and Tips for beginners

Before you start working on the entire car, it’s better to choose a test spot on the worst affected area of your car- its best if you could us an older car, piece of a car or scrap metal. You should always start with a less aggressive product. In case you don’t notice positive results, you should choose a more aggressive product.

Once you’re finished with your test spot (if it was necessary), and notice positive results, you move to buffing your ride. If you don’t see positive results or they don’t meet your expectations, try something different- you are basically testing the waters.

The safest way to find out which wax or polisher works for you is pay for it to get done by a professional first, ask what they use and why- then repeat a few months later once you are on your own. (Highly Recommended)

As mentioned earlier, a lot of variables come into play. It’s important to determine if you can change something that helps you meet your expectations.

In some cases, a simple change or step in the process can give a completely new look to your car, so don’t get discouraged. Eventually, your car looks great

. When you wonder how to buff a car, it’s important to understand that polishing the car is quite easy. However, there are still some tips to help you with the process. You can use these tips to notice exceptional results.

Some Steps to Follow

Step One

You want to wash your car first (for trucks and really dirty cars, use a power washer to get all the grim and dirt out of the surface, wheels, and all the hard to reach places), make sure you remove all residue and dirt- If you skip this step, you risk creating more scratches.

Start working on a small area at a time. It’s better to work on just a 2ft by 2ft area. This allows you to concentrate on the work.

Step Two

Ref: WikiHowTo

Keep moving slowly. Most amateurs move the polisher and pad very fast over the paint. They don’t allow the polisher to work effectively on the car’s surface.

Step Three

Now, place the wax on you ride- don’t overuse the wax when 1st applying and use a Soft Foam 4″ Applicator Pad. Once again, we list the best waxes in the auto business on AutoDeets. After some time, you should start using slow overlapping motions. You should move from up to down, and side to side. The pad should always be kept level. Amateurs tend to watch the paint, and forget what the pad needs to accomplish.

Do You Have a Black Car? How about White?

Step Four

You should never dry buff. In order to achieve good results, you should work the polish. It’s important to make sure the polish dries properly.

For Other Steps: See Wiki

Step Five

Repeat. While working with polish, you should keep the cord over your shoulder. It needs to be kept away from the paint. This avoids any scratches on the surface. You should always use the correct speed combinations, polish and pad.

Step Six

When you’ve been working with polish for some time, you should use some pressure. You shouldn’t use excess pressure as it may damage the paint. You should never lift the polisher off the paint when it’s turned on.

Remember all waxes, buffers and cars are different so use these steps as a guide but use you best judgment while buffing your ride. Its all in the deets!

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