I have never had any experience with polishing. I thought dremel and polishing accessories would solve the problem, but apparently they did not.

I tried to polish the mobile phone camera cover with dremel polishing wheel 13mm (414), but had no success. I did it at ~13000 RPM using dremel polishing compound (421). The images are still foggy and contrast edges are smudgy. Am I doing it wrong?

How to polish it to glassy flat surface?

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  • 5
    \$\begingroup\$ A dremel seems a wee bit.... extreme.... \$\endgroup\$
    – twalberg
    Aug 21, 2020 at 20:09
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Power tools and photographic equipment (of any quality) rarely go together. \$\endgroup\$
    – FreeMan
    Aug 21, 2020 at 21:11
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ A note for next time - when practising any potentially equipment-killing task… start at the other end, away from the delicate bit. I think you've properly killed that now. \$\endgroup\$
    – Tetsujin
    Aug 22, 2020 at 7:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Tetsujin, I has been already scratched \$\endgroup\$
    – Qeeet
    Aug 22, 2020 at 16:46
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ But now you killed it stone dead. It looks like you attacked it with a wire brush. Had you started from the other end, you'd have discovered how much worse you were going to make it… before you actually did. \$\endgroup\$
    – Tetsujin
    Aug 22, 2020 at 16:48

2 Answers 2


The problem is, any clear piece of plastic or glass that is not FLAT to an extremely precise standard is going to act as a lens or prism of some sort, adding distortions and aberrations. Using a polishing wheel is most certainly not going to help making a surface perfectly flat.

In addition, if the surface is plastic, most abrasive compounds you would use will actually embed abrasive particles into the plastic - even worse if the particles are transparent. There are special polishing pastes made for mobile phone displays, these might be one of the better fits. You would need something that is fine enough to not create scratches that are anywhere near as wide as the wavelength of blue light.

IIRC, plastic surfaces are often polished chemically, using solvents etc. - but any experimentation could truly ruin the surface here.


Polishing is only the last step in a series of steps to get a clear finish.

First, you need to get out the scratches, which you do by (counter intuitively) adding more (but smaller) scratches. Polishing compound, on its own (unless you want to spend days polishing the same spot) can't cut deep enough to get down to the scratches.

If you want to get those deep scratches out, you'll need to start with a higher grit abrasive, then work your way up the grits until you get to polishing.

Side note: I wouldn't ever recommend someone take a dremel tool or abrasive to a phone or lens, unless no other option exists.


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