Paint Correction is the process of refinishing and rejuvenating the top coat (most commonly the clearcoat layer) of a vehicle’s painted finish. This process is also commonly known as swirl mark removal, or machine polishing. Paint correction is a multi-step machine polishing process using varying grades of paint cleansers, polishes, and compounds. This process requires a high degree of skill and experience, though once complete, can really transform the look of a vehicle and restore the brilliance in its finish.
What Causes a Vehicle to need Paint Correction?
- Bird Muck, Bug Splatter, and Tree Sap
- Hard Water (which can create water spots)
- Automatic Car Washes
- Poor Past Auto Detailing
- People brushing against the vehicle with clothing and bags
In all of the cases above, the damaging results of these elements can only be fixed through paint correction. Waxes and Glazes used in basic auto detailing packages may temporarily mask or hide these defects in the paint, however, they will return again quickly if they are not fixed through paint correction.
How Does Paint Correction Work?
The diagram to the left illustrates the most common make up of a vehicle’s paint, where the clearcoat layer on top has been damaged over time (likely by the elements listed in the section above). The red line provides an example as to where the clearcoat layer would be reduced to through the paint correction process. As you will notice, most marks will be removed completely, while the more severe defects will be greatly reduced and will become much harder to see. The level of clearcoat which we are able to safely remove will be gauged by a paint thickness meter.
The short explanation for this process is that we are removing microscopic amounts of the clearcoat surface to smooth away problems. This is done on a truly microscopic level, as we are only removing a few microns at a time with this process. This is achieved through using a combination of cleaners, polishes, and compounds with a combination of rotary and random orbital machine polishers. Each step of the process is carefully controlled and inspected using specialist lamps and a paint thickness meter.
Please note that paint correction is also possible on older vehicles which may not include a separate clearcoat layer (1 stage paint).
How Much Does Paint Correction Cost?
Since every vehicle’s condition is different, paint correction is billed hourly at $60/hr. If you would like an estimate for a paint correction on your vehicle, please visit The Toy Wash and have one of our Paint Correction Specialists evaluate your vehicle – we would be happy to provide you with an estimate at no cost.