We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Is Cutting Compound?

By Cindy Quarters
Updated May 23, 2024
Our promise to you
WikiMotors is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WikiMotors, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Cutting compound is a paste-like substance that contains abrasive particles. It is often used to remove damaged paint from an automobile. This compound is typically used on cars that don’t have any type of clear protective coating layered on top of the paint.

As with sandpaper and other abrasive materials, cutting compound comes in a variety of different grit sizes. The coarser grit is used for rough, heavy work, such as removing a layer of paint from a large area or smoothing a deep scratch. The finer grit is used when there is less of a need to remove a lot of old pain, and to achieve a more finished, polished look. Often a job will be started with coarse cutting compound and finished with some that is very fine.

Cutting compound is often used to restore the appearance of auto paint that has become oxidized. It is applied like paste, but, when rubbed, the abrasive particles will cut into the surface of the paint. This allows the top layer of paint to be removed, exposing the under layer. When paint is oxidized the outer surface of the paint will have a faded, weathered look, but underneath the oxidation the paint looks like new. Once the outer layer has been cut through and rubbed away, the paint that is left matches the original color of the car.

Many scratches can also be removed through the use of cutting compound. The scratched area is rubbed with the compound until the paint around the scratch is smooth enough that it all looks the same. This usually works well on surface scratches but is generally not successful on very deep scratches, since too much of the paint would have to be removed to achieve any kind of a result. In such cases the area may be smoothed out through the use of cutting compound, but new paint will have to be applied to completely hide the scratch.

It is important not to overuse cutting compound. If too much is used at once, or if it is rubbed in too hard, it is possible to strip all of the paint from the area. This leaves the bare metal of the car exposed, making it unattractive and vulnerable to damage from the weather.

After paint has been removed, the newly exposed area must be protected in order to prevent additional damage. The area should be waxed with a good-quality wax. It can then be polished so that the area looks and acts like new.

WikiMotors is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
WikiMotors, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WikiMotors, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.