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Menzerna Power Finish PO203S Review


For years now Menzerna of Germany has set the standards in the detailing industry for producing high quality polishes that perform exceptionally well. The fact that they supply polish to Mercedes-Benz for their OEM finishes is a true testament to their commitment to produce some of the finest automotive polishes in the business.

One of the most popular combinations for multi-stage polishing has been Menzerna’s PO83 Super Intensive Polish for the removal of moderate paint defects, and then followed by PO106FA Nano Polish (Super Finish) to restore a high level of gloss.

Although this is a tremendous combination, sometimes we have the need for a one-step polish depending on the condition of the paint and/or the amount of time we have to work within. Menzerna saw the need for such a one-step polish that would provide a medium level cut, yet would finish out like a final polish, and thus created PO203S Power Finish.

Power Finish has a cut level just below that of PO83 Super Intensive Polish, with a finish that will rival that of the PO106FA Nano Polish. It will cut through fine swirls, water spots, and light scratches on any type of clear coat. It is a body shop safe, low-dusting formula and is silicone-free.

I have used Power Finish on a lot of cars since it was introduced, and I am always impressed with its versatility. You can change up the pad that you use with it depending on your needs. If you’ve got heavier defects, then use a Green LC light cutting pad. If you’ve got lighter defects, then use a White LC polishing pad or a Black LC finishing pad. For darker colors (especially on soft clear coats, or ones with heavier defects), you may need to follow it up either with a finishing pad and Power Finish, or step down to a finer polish like PO85RD. Some black cars in particular have very soft and finicky paint that will not finish down properly without a finishing polish and pad (Menzerna PO85RD or Finish Polish II and a Blue LC pad). Black vehicles like Acura, Jet Black BMW, Infiniti and Porsche come to mind!

Most of the time I will use a White LC polishing pad with Power Finish because it provides a decent amount of cutting ability, yet finishes down very nicely on all but the softest of clear coats. I will lightly spray some water onto the pad so it’s not a completely dry surface on the first pass. Then I will add 3 or 4 pea sized drops of polish directly onto the pad surface (spread them out evenly on the pad).

For a rotary polisher, the speed range I use is typically between 1000~1800 RPM’s, start slow, work your way up to a higher speed after a few passes, and then back down to a slow speed to burnish the finish. After the polish has changed to a more clear color, then it has completely broken down and is ready for removal. Wipe down the area with a soft microfiber towel and inspect your work. You should also make it a habit of wiping down the surface afterwards with Isopropyl Alcohol to remove all of the polishing oils to make sure that the surface has been fully corrected. For a Dual Action polisher, I would work it at speed 6, and then back it down to 4 at the end for a nice finish!

If you’re looking for a versatile one-step polish that can remove medium/light level defects yet finish down very fine, then you should give PO203S Power Finish serious consideration.

Here is an example of the correction capabilities that PO203S Power Finish can provide. This was on a 2008 Lexus LS460L:

Before using PO203S on black paint
After using PO203S on black paint

Just after polishing with PO203S/White LC pad: (On a side note, see the laundry basket in the reflection? That is used strictly for my soiled microfiber towels and polishing pads while I am detailing. You want to be sure that you keep your dirty and clean items separated, and the last thing you want is for your MF or pads to hit the floor!)

After using PO203S on with a white pad
All finished then sealed with OPT Opti-Seal:
After using PO203S and OPT Poli-Seal

And here’s a 2006 Mercedes SL500 after being polished with PO203S, sealed with Optimum Opti-seal, and then topped with P21S 100% wax:

After using PO203S, OPT Poli-Seal and P21S 100% Carnauba Wax

If you have any additional comments or questions, please submit your reply in the comment box below.

Todd Cooperider Esoteric Auto Detail
Todd Cooperider
Esoteric Auto Detail
Columbus, Ohio

20 comments on Menzerna Power Finish PO203S Review

  1. Danny says:

    Hi I was wondering what are the difference between these 3 polishing, after reading your review I didn’t know which one of these were better. Menzerna PO85RD and Finish Polish II and the PO106FA Nano Polish (Super Finish).

    Sorry I put the wrong email in my first post. Please reply to this one thanks.

    • Danny,

      Thanks for the question.

      Actually these 3 polishes are all great, but they serve different purposes or polished needs.

      The PO203S is a medium/fine polish that works terrific as a one-step polish with the ability to cut more aggressively, yet finish down fine.

      106FF/FA is a fine polish, with less cut than the PO203S. This is typically preceded by Super Intensive Polish in a two-step method, or can be used by itself when all you need is a light polish.

      PO85RD is an ultra-fine polish with very little cut at all, and is usually used after 106FA. This is also commonly referred to as the burnishing or jeweling stage when you’re trying to extract the last bit of gloss potential. Soft, darker colored paints respond well to PO85RD.

      I hope this helps to clarify things a bit for you.

      Please let me know if you have any additional questions or comments.


      • Danny says:

        So, does this mean that I apply SIP, then 106FF, and last I add the PO85RD or is it optional. I’m just starting to get into detailing my car , So I like to get all the information I can before buying it products. Also do you think that the 106FF or PO85RD can be used after the Meguiars #105 or should you only use #205 after it. Thanks

        • Danny,

          Yes, use SIP if a lighter polish isn’t aggressive enough, and then follow that up with 106FA. PO85RD is optional after 106FA.

          Yes, you can follow M105 with 106FA. It really depends on the paint, how well the M105 finished down, etc. It just takes time to learn the different combinations, and when you need to use one polish vs another.

          M205 is very easy to use, and is a great follow-up for M105.


  2. Danny says:

    Hi I didnt know where to post this question but I’ll post it here 😀 since I asked a few question on this page.
    Which polish is more agressive?
    Menzerna Power Gloss compares to the SIP

    Power Gloss compared to the M105

    • Danny,

      For miscellaneous questions with no current topic covering them, you can just go to the top of this page and click on the Ask a Question icon in the middle of the banner. This will send the question in to the Pro Team, and we will make a new post.

      To answer your question, the aggressiveness comparison from most to least goes like this:

      Menzerna Power Gloss
      Meguiars M105 (slightly less cut in my experience than Power Gloss, but finishes down much better!)
      Menzerna Super Intensive Polish

      When I use Power Gloss, it’s for very deep defects, and I know I’m going to follow it up with at least 2 more refining steps (SIP then 106 for instance).

      When I use M105, I know that I can usually go directly to a finishing polish like M205 or 106FA afterwards.

      I hope this helps.


  3. Danny says:

    Oh ok thanks Todd ill type it up there from now on 😀

  4. Tommy says:

    hi todd in this post you talked about the PO85RD, is this the one you are referring to?

    Menzerna PO85RD

  5. 9S says:

    I like this product, It’s perfect clear coat and remove swirl.

  6. Justin says:

    Todd – Menzerna M203 has become my “go-to” polish lately.
    On newer cars with common “dealer installed” damage, this is a life saver. A little Menzerna M203, a few orange Lake Country pads, and either a Makita rotary or a Porter Cable polisher and the paint is back to new.

  7. Mike S says:

    Hi Todd,
    I keep reading all your reviews when you use PO203S and can’t believe the results you are getting. I seem to get absolutely no result from this product. I have used it on a silver VW Jetta and a black Ford Mustang. I used 4 small drops on an orange pad on my porter cable (with PO203S). I used the technique you used in this review. Before and after shots look almost identical. What am I doing wrong? I have been going to M105 and get pretty good results but I would rather use the Menzerna for a one step polish due to time constraints.

    • Mike,

      Sorry to hear that your first couple of trials with 203 haven’t given you the results you desire. It could be the paint you’re working with, the way you’re using it, or a combination of both. Keep in mind that especially on harder paints, you won’t be able to achieve “full” correction since this is a medium cut polish.

      Make sure when you use it that you’re applying enough pressure. You don’t want so much that it bogs down the PC, but you want to use a fair amount. Also make sure that you’re working it until it goes clear as well, and back off of the pressure and speed for your last couple of passes.

      I’ve found 203 to be very good for heavier cutting when combined with a wool pad (on a rotary), and then you can follow that up with 203 and an orange pad on the PC.

      After you test different combinations and techniques, you’ll find a good process that will yield similar results to what many other people are finding with this product..


  8. frank says:

    i have a black 03 ford lightning.. which the paint has lots of hard water stains guess when i park next to the those lawn sprinklers then the hot sun burns it in nicley.. do i need a new paint job .. or buy my self an polisher and got to town step by step .

    • Even if the hard water spot etching is too deep to fully correct, you could still make a significant difference by machine polishing! If you decide the DIY route, then take your time researching the wide variety of paint correction articles we have here on DI, get yourself a buffer, pads, and polishes, and then have fun bringing your black paint back to life! Just be patient and remember that nobody became an expert after their first time or two.

  9. Marco says:

    How can be compared PO85RD with PO85RE?
    Sorry if i’m slightly off topic

  10. Vince R. says:

    Just adding to an old thread here for those that are searching for answers. I used Pf2500 (formerly P203S) to polish a dark blue Chrysler Town and Country minivan. This van had water spots that had been on the paint for over a year and a half and would not even come close to coming off by hand. I used a flex 3401 and a blue Lake Country Hybrid pad (this is a light cutting pad) to polish with PF2500 and it easily took out the water spots and finished down beautifully. Followed it up with Chemical Guys EZ Creme Glaze and used Black Fire Wet Diamond to finish it up. The van looked better than when it came off the showroom floor and several neighbors mentioned they had no idea I knew how to professionally detail a vehicle. It was my first time using all of these products! Can’t speak highly enough of Menzerna PF2500! And don’t be afraid to buy a Flex 3401 either…It’s incredibly easy to use. So glad I bought it instead of the Porter Cable since I only wanted to buy one buffer. I simply could not believe that I made a vehicle look that good.

  11. Thijs Demeyere says:

    Hello, can you buy menzerna products online? And if so, where?

  12. Per says:

    Hi Todd.
    I hope that you can help me regarding my Lexus LS430 -04.
    I just bought and I have learned that it has a soft paint.
    I have all of Chemical guys hex-logic pads, and M105,M205, PO203S and PO85.
    What combinations would you choose?


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