The terms “polish” and “wax” are often misused. Polishing is the use of an abrasive substance, rubbed over paint by hand or with a machine, to remove oxidized paint or take the surface of scratched paint down to the bottom of the scratch, thus removing the scratch. Always start with the least abrasive polish available and work in small areas, inspecting your work as you go. After polishing, wax your vehicle with a non-abrasive protectant.
This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.hagerty.com/articles-videos/articles/2006/05/30/paint-polishing-tip