Master’s in the Craft of Paint Correction
Remember how good your car’s finish looked when you first saw it on the showroom floor? Sure your car still shines, but shine means nothing without the depth and clarity that comes from proper machine polishing performed by an advanced paint correction specialist, like Detailinger in Laois. Paint correction and restoration (swirl removal) is a labor-intensive process utilizing Nano-technology abrasives (compounds and polishes). The art of safe buffing techniques is what separates the true professional detailers from all the rest, and it is a skill-set that is mastered by very few. We have also spent a lot of time fixing work that was done incorrectly by unskilled buffer operators from other detailers, body shops, and manufacturers.
Our paint correction and restoration specialists in Laois take the extra time needed before any machine polishing is done. This will often include a thorough, but safe, wash (two bucket method) to remove all dirt, brake dust, and grime from all of the exterior surfaces. We utilize a digital paint depth gauge that we test all panels prior to polishing (if not you can and will burn through the clear coat). The paint is then cleaned with a clay bar to remove embedded contaminants that could not be removed during the wash process.
This is followed with a chemical bath to remove any iron deposits. After this is performed, and the vehicles exterior is completely pneumatically dried of water, all of the exterior trim is taped off to prevent damage or staining from the compounds and polishes. At our shop in Laois, the paint correction or restoration portion of the detail can take anywhere from 12-30 hours. The length of time will vary from one car to the next. It is entirely dependent upon the color of the vehicle and how much damage needs to be corrected to reveal that perfect finish.
Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you need further information about paint correction.
- Paint correction is the process of removing minor scratches and imperfections found in the vehicles clear coat. Using an electric polisher, a microfiber buffing pad, and a special cutting compound, the detailer or you will cut into the clear coat of a vehicle’s paint till the scratches are leveled or removed.
- When completed correctly and taking your time – there is no need to stress. However, if you try to rush the job, it is possible to damage the clear coating past the point of repair. That all said, paint correcting a car’s paintjob is a critical step if you plan on applying a nano ceramic coating or paint protection film.Paint correction can be broken down into multiple stages – based mainly on the damage to the clear coating.
Two bucket hand wash
Ensures no new scratches are introduced to the paint.
Removes iron fallout that, if left untreated, creates tiny corrosive rust spots.
Clay bar treatment
Lifts embedded contaminants from the paint that can’t be removed from a simple wash.
Single, or multi-stage paint correction
Through polishing, and sometimes compounding, your vehicles paint will be restored to a like-new finish. It is highly recommended to lock in that finish with a ceramic coating application.
- This one is self-explanatory. It’s a single step polishing job using a cutting compound (or the liquid polish) and a pad. The single stage paint correction is intended to remove small marring and swirl marks that are lightly removed.
- When the car’s paint has moderate or medium swirl marks and scratches that are embedded in the clear, stage 2 is the next progression. At this point, you’re going to use (2) different polishes and pad combinations. Typically – it starts by using a more abrasive polish first, then stepping down to a finer compound, to remove any light scratches left by the first step.
- If you get to this point – it’s a good idea to do some careful research and perhaps defer to a professional. This is a three-step program, where the car’s paintjob has heavy swirl marks, marring, or other defects. The first step involves using a heavy cutting compound, with a machine polisher, and polishing pad – to really dig into that paint damage. The second step progressively decreases the grit, and finally, a light polishing compound should smooth out the damage.
- At the source, machine polishing is intended to remove imperfections on the vehicle’s painted surface. It’s a service that is completed typically to prep a vehicle for a protective coating or film. The process is always customized based on the type of paint, surface imperfections, and the request of the customer. The detailer will polish a vehicle to remove a few individual imperfections including:
- Removing fine scratches
- Remove Spider Webbing or Swirl Marks
- Get rid of stains left by animal waste (bird droppings and bug splatters)
- Remove calcium deposits (water spots)
- Damage or high / low spots by poor installation of DIY protective solutions
- Removing wax, paint sealants, or ceramic coatings from paintwork
- There is some liquid, chemical products that can be used to remove existing ceramic coatings. However, the risk of using these products is similar with being too aggressive with polishing – as it can damage the clear coat of the vehicle’s paint.
- Essentially – YES. The process of polishing involves using a gritty substance called a cutting compound. When you activate the electric polisher, the polish liquid or paste is spread evenly on the vehicle’s painted surface, creating friction to cut through the clear coat of your paintwork. The polishers are made in multiple grit levels, some of them are intended to fill a scratch – while others are designed to remove the clear until the scratch is removed.
- This introduces that potential risk we spoke about above.
- If the scratch is deeply cut into the clear coat, it is better to consult with a professional detailer or auto body repair company prior to starting to remove the damaged. If you cut the clear too thin, then protective coatings will have a hard time bonding to the surface. Additionally, the paint will not “pop” or shine as well as you’d hope.
- It really depends on the condition of the car’s paint. When you apply a ceramic coating – regardless of the different formulation or application method, the coating’s job is to bond directly to the surface, harden, and provide a protective layer. When the coating hardens, it is transparent – making it act like glass. This amplifies the paint underneath.
- So, a gloss finish will appear ‘more-glossy’ while a matte finish will provide more depth. Any tiny or hard to see scratches will be amplified or enhanced. Any swirl marks will stand out – not be covered up. This is one of the biggest myths about DIY ceramic coatings and other paint protection coats – that they fill scratches and improve the condition of paint.
- Unfortunately, that’s only possible through paint correction. As such, if you have ANY imperfections in the vehicle’s paint surface, it’s highly recommended to have a professional detailer polish or buff the paint as part of the prep work.