Car Polish Vs. Glaze


Car polishes and glazes are basically designed to do the same thing: give your car's paint a better shine. However, they accomplish this goal in two very different ways. When looking for a superior shine, you must consider what the paint needs.


  • The most important thing to consider when choosing between a polish or a glaze is the current condition of the paint.

    While no amount of polishing or glazing can totally repair damaged or poorly applied paint, these products can remove or repair surface damage to a good paint job. A severely weathered factory paint job may be too thin to polish out, necessitating a new paint job. But a fairly new paint job, or a car fresh from the factory floor for example, may not need the aggressive paint removal found in a polish, and a glaze may be in order.


  • The key benefit of polishing is the removal of oxidized paint to restore the rich factory color. Once this is accomplished, a quality wax will maintain the shine.
    Glazes, on the other hand, tend to be much less aggressive and are used to seal the surface scratches associated with harsh rubbing compounds and wear. This results in a smooth, protected paint surface.


  • Car polishes remove oxidized paint to reveal clean paint. They do this with solvents that are mixed with fine abrasives that scrub the surface clean. As a result, it can remove fine surface scratches and give the paint itself a smoother finish by even removing some of the orange peel effect found in the factory paint

    Glazes do not remove paint. They improve shine by removing dirt with solvents, and by filling fine surface scratches with resins. The result is an increase in surface smoothness, and better protection from the weather.


  • Effects associated with polish include a permanent improvement to the overall smoothness of the paint. By removing the oxidized surface layer of paint and dulling contaminants, a smoother surface results. As a result, the underlying paint surface that is now exposed will rapidly oxidize if not sealed and protected.

    Glazing seals and fills surface scratches. This also results in a smoother, better-protected surface. However, damaged paint will still remain under the glaze and result in a dulling of the surface shine, as well as the paint color.


  • The best choice depends on what you are trying to accomplish. If you have an old, faded paint job, combining a polish and a glaze will work wonders for your vehicle. However, if you have a newer car with good paint, a glaze could a better way to add protection and shine.

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  • Photo Credit "my car" is Copyrighted by Flickr user: jam343 (junichiro aoyama) under the Creative Commons Attribution license.
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