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Buff, Wax and Polish a Black Car

Buff, Wax and Polish a Black Car

Black paint is notoriously hard to maintain since it requires regular polishing and waxing. You cannot achieve a bright, lustrous and flawless finish simply by washing the vehicle regularly. In fact, incorrect washing will cause swirl marks, which is the curse of black paint. Swirl marks are more visible on dark coloured paint, and look magnified when light is shining directly on the surface.

So how do you perfectly buff and polish a black car? EASY! It is all in the technique…


1. Wash – Black paint should be washed weekly

Always use a good quality car shampoo, using quality microfiber cloths and a car wash mitt to wash and dry your vehicle. Park the car in a shaded area, never wash in direct sunlight, and let the exterior of the car cool in the shade before washing. If you don’t have access to a garden hose, use the 2-bucket method. Fill one bucket with clean water and the other with washing solution. Constantly rinse the wash cloth in clean water to reduce the possibility of scratching or swirling the finish. If the vehicle is covered in dirt or mud rinse it well before applying car shampoo. Wash the car from top to bottom, starting with the roof, trunk, and hood. Work your way towards the lower parts of the vehicle, making sure to rinse the wash cloth in clean water after washing each section. The wheels and tyres should be the last parts to be washed. After washing the exterior, give it a good rinse making sure you remove all traces of soap suds from the finish. Wipe the paint clean using a dry microfiber cloth or a chamois.

2. Pre-clean

There is a huge difference between a pure polish and a polish and wax. Pure polish is best for black vehicles. Pre-cleaning is basically removing blemishes and oxidation on black paint. Start by applying pre-cleaner on the topmost portion of your vehicle and work your way downwards. Apply the cleaner on a clean microfiber cloth and work the cleaner on the paint surface, working one section at a time. Apply more product over deeper scratches and swirls. Let the product dry to a haze and wipe off with a dry microfiber cloth. After cleaning the paint, you must immediately follow with a polish and wax. Polishing will remove the compound scratches and help achieve the best results.

3. Polish & Buff

Apply a small amount of polish on a clean microfiber cloth, and work one section at a time, apply the polish evenly on to the paint. Apply extra polish over blemished areas. After polishing the paint work, buff the surface lightly using a mildly damp microfiber cloth.

4. Wax

You can use any type of car wax. Apply a small amount of wax on a clean microfibre cloth and work one section at a time. Start with the hood, roof, and trunk, working your way down to the doors and bumpers. Only apply a light coat of wax at a time. (Multiple light coats offer better protection and shine than a single heavy coat). Allow the wax to dry to a haze for 10 – 15 minutes. Remove the haze and buff the surface lightly with a clean microfibre cloth, starting from the top and working your way down to prevent scratching the finish. Make sure you remove all traces of wax on the paint finish.