Let’s Shine And Polish


solid fixture here in the forum
Staff member
Don’t capitalize the “P” unless you’re referring to the people of Poland:rolleyes:

Anyway . . .
Harbor Freight has a an affordable polishing kit #98707 ($19.99). It’s title suggests that this is for Aluminum however it comes with compounds that can be used on just about anything.

Use your drill but everything else is provided to make a mirror finish, if that’s your goal, for Stainless Steel to the softer metals like brass, copper and aluminum. Bet you didn’t know these buffing compounds can be used to buff to a high luster many finished woods!
I’ve used a drill, a small buffing wheel and compounds to polish and remove scratches in auto glass, non-glass composite headlights that dull and even paint correction on automotive finishes like fish-eyes, orange peel, and runs. Exotic woods that have lost its luster can easily be polished to an ultra high level and maintained with either wax or a coat of clear.

This kit comes with Black Emery, Brown Tripoli and White Aluminum compound.
I’ve done many trim pieces all the way up to the Corvette trim rings with this kit. Once you get comfortable and see the great results you’ll want to get the more economical larger wheels to put on your buffer/polisher and your dedicated polishing wheel (not to be confused with your average table top grinder).

Table top grinders may work for small hand held parts but just try doing a hubcap, a chrome valve cover or a car bumper - eh eh! If you want to accomplish anything then get something with a longer arbor so you are not blocked by a table top or other obstacles when maneuvering large items.

I’m not here advertising something from HF, I’m offering some tips on polishing that I don’t hear or see on YouTube or on your average Google search’s.

First, let me tell you that all the compounds are imported into the US. The stuff is not profitable to manufacture here, but to repackage into pastes and bars from 1 oz. to 3lb bars and privatize labels to sell through dozens of retailers like Eastwood and HF to name just two is.
So buy all your needed compounds and rouges as cheaply as possible, it’s all the same (if you are going any farther than polishing just an item or two).

Ever see Stainless Steel shine like the highest grade Chrome with high nickel content? It takes Black or dark charcoal compound buffing followed by a Tripoli like the Brown. It will remove scratches and done correctly with not too much compound use, you can get a mirror finish that will last for years untreated.

Brown Tripoli will make Aluminum shine like chrome while Green rouge or White Aluminum Oxide, a chemical compound of Aluminum and oxygen, is used to bring an even higher luster (or a satin finish) to Aluminum and most other soft metals like silver, gold, platinum and silicon products.

Wheel speeds for a 6” pad should not exceed 3400 rpm, effective speeds begin at 1500 rpm.

I can provide useful buffing and polishing instructions as requested to correct and accomplish many desired finishes.