Car Paint Maintenance 101: Cutting, Polishing, and Waxing

Updated: 5 days ago

Cutting, polishing, and waxing are three methods of removing scratches on your car. Even though you can hear them being thrown around like they're one and the same, they are not. There's a world of difference among the three, especially because interchanging one for the other can potentially cause harm to your car paint. Of course the experts in trusted repair shops such as Flow Autobody already know this like the back of their hand. However, new car owners looking for ways to care for their vehicle may not be as aware. Car wax and polish will be your new best friends after reading this blog.

Before we get down to the specifics, let's take a look at the 4 layers of car paint. This will help you understand the fundamental differences among the three methods of scratch removal.

Understanding the 4 Layers of Paintwork

Car Panel

This also referred to as the metal substrate and is the bare metal surface layer of your car’s body. In short, this is the innermost layer of your car itself.

Primer The primer helps the coloured or tinted layer of paint (or even other primers) to adhere to your car’s substrate. Primers, sometimes also called sealers, offer your panels protection against rust and corrosion. They are also used to fill in surface scratches and smoothen out imperfections to be sanded out later on.

Base Coat This is also called the colour coat. It’s the actual paint of your car which can be applied as a single layer or in multiple ones depending on the effect to be achieved.

Clear Coat As its name suggests, it’s the clear coat made of paint or resin that’s applied as a varnish to seal in all the layers of coating underneath. In a sense, it ties together all the other layers underneath.

With all that in mind, let’s break down the difference between cutting, polishing, and waxing and how these effect your car’s paintwork.

Difference Between Cutting, Polishing, and Waxing