How Do I Apply Rubbing Compound?

Rubbing compound is applied by spreading the compound onto a damaged painted surface using an orbital polisher with wool pad attached, according to Automagic. The compound can be used to remove light scratches in a top layer of clear-coat paint or single-layered paint, as long as the scratches do not extend completely through the layer.

  1. Clean the painted surface

    Wash the painted surface with an appropriate soap type formulated for the type of paint or clear coat being compounded. Make sure to remove all dirt and debris from the scratched area, as any left in place leads to further damage to the paint when the rubbing compound is applied. Allow the surface to dry before continuing.

  2. Prepare the wool pad

    Attach the wool pad to the orbital polisher, and center it in place. Use a #1002 pad cleaning tool to spur the wool pad, and remove any old material from its surface.

  3. Apply the compound

    Apply the compound in a straight line across the scratched area. Set the orbital polisher to a low RPM setting, and apply the wool pad to the compound, spreading it across the scratched surface. Work in small circles to keep from lingering in one spot, and continue to buff the surface of the paint, leveling out the scratches until they disappear. After compounding, polish the area to give it an even look that matches the undamaged paint surrounding it.