Built my first computer in 1979. Yes, I am a very old geek. For reference, IBM first began selling PCs in 1981.
I've replaced the paste on many chips over the years. In my experience, the wiping method tends to leave air pockets unless you're extremely careful and spread the compound very smoothly. It's a lot easier, and more effective imho, to use the pea or line method on ANY chip. The pressure of a laptop heat sync is quite sufficient to spread the compound evenly.
I do recommend using only compounds which are 100% non-conductive. I also recommend buying a compound with the longest lifespan, unless you are sure you want to go through this procedure every couple of years.