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Cut Polish: DIY or Professional?

People always want to know if a professional service is worth it. Here we take you through the advantages of DIY and Professional Cut Polishes.

For most of us, our vehicles are either our first or second most valuable asset. Spending a little bit of money here and to maintain the value of that asset is a smart investment.

The paintwork is the most obvious aesthetic component of our cars. It’s the first thing you notice when looking at any vehicle, and an ugly paint job immediately creates a bad impression of the vehicle and its owner. Factors like salt residue, bird droppings, tree sap, and improper maintenance will, over time, degrade your paint and make it look bad.

This is where services like a Cut Polish come into play.

What is a Cut Polish?

Modern automotive paint consists of three layers on top of the metal: there is a primer to seal the metal and provide a sticky surface for the paint, the paint itself which provides the colour, and the clear coat which protects the paint and gives it gloss and depth. As the clear coat gets dirty, smudged, scuffed, and scratched, it loses its shine and starts to look matte and chalky.

The “Cut Polish” has to do with the clear coat layer. The procedure is named after the type of polishing compound that is used, a “cutting polish”. The cut polish can be thought of as delivering two benefits – the cut and the polish.

The Cut: After a preparatory wash and hand dry, the detailer uses an aggressive cutting compound to scrub off the damaged layer of clear coat. The technician will use their best judgement to select the level of abrasiveness of the polish based on the overall condition of the paint. 

The Polish: Once the cutting compound has removed the damaged part of the clear coat, the technician goes to work buffing the newly exposed clear coat to perfection. Using specialized tools and products, the technician will reveal a showroom-like shine that you won’t believe. The good shops will then provide a complimentary waxing to protect the beautiful new shine.

Should You DIY Cut Polish?

We all know that there are certain automotive maintenance tasks that are great DIY projects, while others are best left to the pros. Let’s find out the pros and cons to a DIY cut polish. Check out the details on the Cut Polish service at Island Detail right here.

Reasons to DIY

Savings. Doing a cut polish at home will undoubtedly be less expensive than hiring a professional shop, provided you have the necessary equipment. If you find yourself thinking of investing in an orbital buffer for the sole purpose of performing at-home cut polishes, maybe redo your math and think again.

Pride. Putting work into something and seeing the efforts tangibly pay off is an indescribably good feeling. If you are able to achieve a successful cut polish at home, you will undoubtedly feel proud of your work. 

Reasons to Go to the Pros

Risk. Performing a cut polish is more work than a wax job, and the consequences of doing it improperly could be disastrous. If you can’t stand the thought of accidentally ruining your beloved paint, or can’t bear the cost of expensive paint repairs, it’s better to take your vehicle to someone with experience and confidence.

Time. A true cut polish takes a long time to do properly. This is time you could spend with friends, family, or enjoying your own free time. The pros have the advantages of commercial equipment, dedicated shops, and years of experience to help them get the job done not only well, but also very quickly.

Quality. We always admire the DIY spirit, but when the rubber hits the road, odds are that the people with commercial equipment and thousands of cut polishes under their belt will end up with a better result. If your vehicle deserves the best, you should take it to the professionals. 


Getting a professional cut polish will have your vehicle looking better than you can imagine – many people tell us that their vehicle looks even better than when they bought it. Getting the work done at home in the garage or driveway can yield great results and deliver a satisfied feeling, but will take a few hours and leave you with a tired shoulder. A pro will get the job done beautifully and efficiently, and you will save yourself some time and a whole lot of effort.

If you think that your next Cut Polish should be professional-grade, just get in touch with your local detailing experts.

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