There are too many variables. But for multistage corrections I would normally compound with scholl s3 on a heavy foam pad, and then either use s3 again on a polishing pad and finish with s40 on a finishing pad, OR go straight to s40 from compounding if I wasn't digging around at scratches
I am currently doing Optimum Hyper Compound followed by Optimum Hyper Polish and if at all a Finishing polish is required, i'd finish with Menzerna SF4500. For a one step polish, I would use Optimum GPS.
For a single-stage you might like to try something like Auto Finesse Tripple, or Zaino AIO- both are polish and protect solutions. If a car only needs a very minor correction this might be all you need.
If you're looking for a full correction though, you might like to work with the tried and true standards - Scholl's S3, (strong cut) , S17 (medium cut) and S40 (low cut, for finishing) or Meguiar's #105 (strong), Microfibre Correction Compound (medium) and #205 (low cut, finisher).
You can actually get fab results with just a cut and finish, using the strong cuts for hard German paint or the medium cuts for pretty much anything else, and the finishers to clean up and bring the gloss back after correction. For soft paints such as Japanese, you'll probably want to stick to the AIO products or just a finisher, although if much correction is needed you can use a medium cut polish *if you are careful*.
If you're just starting out, we offer machine polishing, detailing and wet sanding training, feel free to pop me a PM or email foxx(at)shinerama.co.uk if you would like more info
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