Best Polishing Compound for Black Cars 1

Best Polishing Compound for Black Cars

Polishing compound is also known as cutting compound.  It will help to remove swirls from cars.  And nothing gets more swirls than a black car.  I have tried plenty of compounds and I have achieved some amazing results.

Whats the Best Compound for Black Cars?

Maguiars Ultimate Compound can work magic on black paint.  This consumer level product is one of Meguiars greatest hits.  I’ve used this compound a lot and have loaned it to friends to try for themselves.

It can be applied by hand using a microfiber applicator pad.  Apply to small sections at a time to make sure you cover every area equally.

It will easily remove oxidization and water spots even when applied by hand.  Read more below…

  1. Meguiars Ultimate Compound
  2. Sonax Profiline CutMax
  3. 3D ONE Compound
  4. Meguiars M105

What does Compound do to car paint?

Compound is an abrasive product that can be used either by hand or with a polishing machine to remove swirls and scratches from car paint and plastic.  

Compound is more abrasive than polish which is also abrasive but has finer cutting particles and will give a glossier finish.


Multi stage paint correction

Compound is usually the first cutting step in a multi stage correction.  You will usually follow up with a polish or finishing polish.  This is because compound can leave behind a cloudy or haze appearance in the paint.  A polish and soft pad will restore the reflection.

Can you apply compound by hand?

Absolutely, it just takes longer.  And you will have a sore arm.  But I have done it plenty of times before I got my first polishing machine. 

When applying compound be hand.  It’s generally better to use microfibre pads and not foam.  Foam just doesn’t cut enough.  You can apply polish, glaze or wax with a foam pad.  

Meguiars Ultimate Compound is the best compound to apply by hand due to the fact it stays moist for so long.

1. Meguiars Ultimate Compound

If you just want to give your black car a badly needed boost you will be very impressed with Meguiars Ultimate Compound.  It can be applied by hand or with a machine, it just takes a longer by hand.  But its worth the effort.

It’s delivers excellent results with a DA polisher.   Compared to professional compounds like Meguiars M105 and M205, Ultimate Compound doesn’t produce as much dust.  It stays moist longer and is easier to work with.

Also, purchase Meguiars Ultimate Polish and apply it directly after.  It will add some glaze and polish out the finish to give a deep mirror shine.  

It stains plastic and rubber trim so you should mask it off.

Meguiars sell all three products, Ultimate Compound, Ultimate Polish, and Ultimate Wax in this Ultimate 3 Step Paint Correction Kit.  

2. Sonax Profiline CutMax

Sonax CutMax is heavy cut compound so your paint needs to look pretty bad if you need to use it.  It can remove lots of clear coat damage from the weather and poor washing techniques.

SONAX Profiline Perfect Finish is the polish that goes hand in hand with Cutmax.  I have used Prefect Finish many times and it can give you perfect results with a DA polisher.

Cutmax is much loved because the residue is easy to remove in places of high humidity.  Hardly any dust is produced.

Its used extensively by professionals detailers.  They buy it in huge quantities. 

3. 3D ONE Compound

The cut level of 3D One Compound is determined by the pad you use.  So for that reason its sometimes called an all in one compound/polish.

These new products are something that I’ve been toying with for the last few years and they can be extremely effective.  

Pro detailers are starting to use products like this more and more.  Its easy to apply and is very effective.  


4. Meguiars M105

These old Meguiars products have been around forever.  They have a huge fan base that will use nothing else.  Its usually used by professional detailers.  I must admin I haven’t used it in years and its not something that I would recommend to beginners.

Meguiars M105 is a pure compound and has nothing else in there.  It delivers excellent cut levels when used with a machine.  So don’t use it for too long or you could cut too much.  It can remove 1200 grit sandpaper marks.

The finishing polish to use with it is Meguiars M205.

Can be difficult to use as it dries out quickly.  Once you see some dust you should stop and clear out the pad.  

Residue can be hard to wipe off especially if you are working outside in warm weather.  But with all those negatives it still can deliver an excellent level of cut and gloss.

It doesn’t bother most people but I don’t like the dust it produces because it gets everywhere.

How much clear coat gets removed by compound?

The amount of correction you get depends in a number of factors.

  1. Hardness of paint
  2. Type of polishing machine
  3. Type of polishing pad
  4. Type of compound
  5. How much pressure you use

It can take along time to remove all the clearcoat and get down to the paint.  But some people my compound and polish a few times a year.  So after a few years of aggressive compounding you could start to cut through. Professional detailers use a digital paint depth gate to measure the amount of paint on the car.  ERAY make good quality paint gauges… ERAY Coating Paint Thickness Gauge Meter Digital Handheld for Car Automotive with Backlight LCD Display (Black)

Beware, compound can stain plastic

Polishing compounds almost always stain plastic and rubber trim.  So its a good idea to use tape to cover these parts over as the stains can be difficult to remove.

If you do get some on trim, try to wipe it off immediately.  An IPA spray will help.

If you find some staining on your plastic that you missed, you can try to remove it with a pencil eraser once its fully dry.

You can also cover over the stains with something like Solution Finish Black Trim Restorer.

Preparation for compounding and polishing

Your compound might not work very well if you haven’t prepared your paint properly.

You need to wash your car first.  That probably goes without saying.  You can use a shampoo that helps remove any old wax or sealant on your car like Adams Strip Wash.  But any shampoo will do.

The next stage is called decontamination.  You can spend a lot of time (and money) on this stage.  

Its usually a good idea to clay your car if the paint feels rough to the touch after washing.  That will make polishing easier because the junk the clay removes will clog your pad and cause scratches.

I like to use Adams fine clay but there are plenty of others out there.  Just use clay from a trusted brand.

Professional detailers and detail enthusiasts like myself like to go a lot further when preparing for compound.

Carpro make great products to help you get the best results from compounding and polishing

  • Carpro Iron-X
  • Carpro Tar-X
  • Carpro Eraser

Carpro Iron-X is an iron remover spray.  You spray this all over your washed car and rinse off after a few minutes.  It brakes down iron particles (fallout) that has stuck to your paint.

Carpro Tar-X removes tar.  But it can also remove other random junk that’s stuck to your paint.

Carpro Eraser will remove any wax or oils that are on your paint.  You can also use this after compounding to remove only oils from your compound or polish.

Your paint will feel silky smooth after doing all of this.  And now its ready for compounding.


For pro detailers I recommend the excellent Sonax CutMax.  When used with a DA polishing machine it can give quick results even on extremely damaged black paint.

For hand application you cant go wrong with Meguiars Ultimate CompoundIt removes scratches and oxidization from faded black paint with ease.  Use a microfibre pad and massage in to the paint and wipe off.  Then pick your jaw up off the floor.

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