Polishing Compounds

Keep your projects and surfaces looking their best with high-performance polishing compounds from Cromwell online. We stock a wide selection of bars and pastes to suit all smoothing and finishing applications on metal, plastic and other synthetic materials.

We carefully select the products in our range from high-quality, market-leading brands like Canning-Lippert®, Kemet®, Engis® and our own brand York®.

What are polishing compounds?

Supplied as a bar or in a paste, polishing compounds feature a blend of powdered aggregates combined with fats and wax. These range from super coarse to super fine and are designed to smooth and polish rough surfaces on metals, plastics and even wood. Applied by hand or used in conjunction with a buffing wheel, polishing compounds can rejuvenate old, scratched materials or prep and finish new projects.

Why polishing compounds?

Polishing compounds are an effective and efficient way of making scratched or damaged metal, plastic or wood shine as well as getting rid of any uneven areas or bumps.

When to use polishing compounds?

Polishing compounds are normally used when finishing a project or to give new life into old or dull metal. They are used by professionals and hobbyists alike.

Polishing compound types

While there are several blends of polishing compounds in their associated colours, each blend falls under one of three main types.

• Primary or first cut   -   Used to remove scratches and filing marks to thoroughly smooth a surface

• Intermediates   -   Cuts through ridges and rough marked surfaces to deliver a moderate polish

• Finishers   -   Also called finishing rouge, these compound types buff and finish a surface to deliver a high shine

Considerations when choosing polishing compounds

Material - while many metal polishing compounds are quite versatile, others are only effective on specific materials like plastics and other synthetics.

Application - whether smoothing rough edges and filing marks or buffing to a shiny finish, choose the correct compounds to achieve the application you want.

Polishing compound jargon buster

There are plenty of polishing compounds available on the market, some are suitable for one type of metal, while others can be used on a wider range of materials. To help you make the best purchasing decision, we've outlined the basics for the most popular types of polishing compounds...

• Aluminium - Used on soft metals, this polishing compound smooths out scratches and pits to deliver a smooth surface

• Black - Made using black emery minerals, this type is used on softer metals like brass and aluminium to smooth out rough and heavily scratched surfaces and to remove paint and other finishes

• Blue - Designed for use on non-ferrous metals and plastics, this polishing compound smooths rough surfaces and buffs to a shiny finish

• Brown Tripoli - Is widely used on soft metals like copper and aluminium to smooth scratched surfaces and polish to a bright finish. It can also be used to polish wooden surfaces

• Diamond - Supplied as a paste, this polishing compound is available in a range of grades to suit all metal polishing applications

• Grey - A good all-rounder, this polishing compound is medium grade and ideal for use on all metals to remove ridges and buff to a good finish

• White - This rouge compound provides an excellent buff and finish on hard metals like stainless steel, while the fine grade abrasive can provide good cutting performance to smooth soft metals

• Yellow - Used widely by jewellers, this polishing compound offers an excellent finish on gold, platinum, and other hard metals


Is rubbing compound the same as polishing compound?

No, these two products are different. Rubbing compounds are used on uneven and scratched painted surfaces to provide a consistent, rejuvenated finish. Polishing compounds on the other hand; smooth out surfaces and buff to a shine.

Can polishing compounds be used on resin surfaces?

While some types of polishing compounds can be used only on metals, blue polishing compound is suitable for use on synthetic materials like resin.