What are the stages of Paint Correction?


Scratches, swirls, and oxidation can cause your car’s paint finish to appear dull and ugly looking. So we need a perfect solution for our paintwork to keep it looking its best as the years go on. We will tell you the stages of Paint Correction and how they can benefit your vehicle through this article!

What is Paint Correction?

Paint correction is the process of removing imperfections in a vehicle’s finish and restoring it to a better-than-new condition. Paint Correction will remove swirl marks, automated car wash corroding, fine scratches, water spots, and etched bird droppings (unless it’s already caused permanent damage).

The Paint Correction process can take quite some time. It entails using special polishing machines of various sizes, numerous diminishing abrasives, different compounding/polishing pads, and, on occasion, sandpaper. Every paint job requires a unique process. The hardness, thickness, and depth of imperfections can all vary. Depending on the curves of the panels, each vehicle requires a specific procedure or combination of equipment.

Paint correction removes minor scratches and helps to level the surface. Additionally, paint correction adds a new gloss to the surface. 


What is the purpose of Paint Correction?

Machine polishing is done to remove imperfections from a vehicle’s painted surface. The process depends on the type of paint, surface imperfections, and the customer’s specifications. Our detailers will polish a car to remove a few minor flaws such as:

  • Getting Rid of Minor Scratches
  • Get Rid of Spider Webbing and Swirl Marks
  • Remove stains caused by animal waste (bird droppings and bug splatter)
  • Get rid of calcium deposits (water spots)
  • Damage or high/low defects caused by improper DIY protective solution installation
  • Getting rid of previous wax, paint sealants, or ceramic coatings from your paintwork

What is the Paint Correction process?

The paint correction process consists of several stages, and a professional detailer must understand the entire process and how they fit into it. 

 3 Step Paint Correction

A 3 step polish or Paint Correction is appropriate for cars with heavy swirl marks, scratches, and other paint defects, and it necessitates the use of three distinct compounds, polishes and pad combinations as well as possible spot wet sanding for deeper scratches.

The first step is to use a heavy cutting compound with a heavy pad to remove deep swirl marks and scratches. This step will leave behind very fine marring or scratches which leads to needing a second step.

The second step is to use a medium cutting polish and polishing pad to remove the fine swirls left behind from the aggressive first step and other swirl marks to optimize the paintwork to a swirl, and hologram-free finish.

The third step of the Paint Correction process is a finishing polish with a polish pad. This is the most important and final step to get the ultimate depth and gloss to your vehicle’s paint. This removes any small micro marring and “jewels” the paint to a super deep and glossy finish. 

2 Step Paint Correction

Stage 2 is appropriate for cars with moderate swirl marks and light scratches and involves using two different polish and pad combinations.

The first step is usually using a heavy cutting compound to remove imperfections like swirl marks, light scratches, and other minor paint flaws. Paint Correction process followed by a finishing polish and finishing pad to refine the paintwork further by expelling any marring or holograms left by the previous step. 

Single Stage Paint Correction

A single stage polish is the polishing of the paintwork in a single step with a single type of polish and pad combination. This type of paint correction is appropriate for paintwork already in good condition with no visible swirls and only minor marring on a dual action machine. Polishing the paintwork involves refreshing it with a finishing polish and a finishing pad only to give a nice gloss but this stage will not remove heavy swirls or scratches. 

How long does it take to do Paint Correction?

It is entirely dependent on the current state of your paint. Minor paint corrections can take up to two days, while some heavy scratches for badly weathered and worn painted surfaces can take multiple days – up to 50+ hours of polishing, refinement, and finishing for one car. 


How much does Paint Correction cost?

An expert should provide these services, it is not something a home detailer can attempt, the risks are too high to damage or burn the paint. That’s why paint protection can easily cost upwards of $550 – $2000 depending on the size and state of your vehicle.

Is it worthwhile to have paint polishing done before installing PPF or coatings?

YES! The advantages of paint correction outweigh the costs. Even on new vehicles, removing swirls, marring, and other flaws improves the paint’s clarity, depth, and gloss. The condition of your paint determines how nice it looks. The finishing touch is film and ceramic coatings, such as our professional Bombshell Coatings ceramic coating range. Our single-stage process is non-invasive to the clear coat and takes 5-8 hours to complete on average.

Does Paint Correction remove swirl marks?

The paint correction service will restore your paint to like-new condition. Repair minor scratches, swirl marks, and water spots on your car and remove oxidation, spider web swirl marks, and other paint flaws as well.

Removing the scratches requires the slow removal of microscopic layers of clear coat to level out the surface once more. Compounding agents, also known as polish, are specially formulated liquids that, when applied to the rotating pad of the buffing or polishing machine, act as highly fine-grit sandpaper, gradually sanding down the clear coat surface.

We highly recommend locking in newly polished paintwork with a ceramic coating to give it that new showroom appearance that will last up to 4+ years! 

Each stage plays an important role in the process of Paint Correction, and our team of professional detailers give the best results for vehicle’s paint and owners. If you have any questions about Paint Correction, feel free to contact us at Streamline Auto Care!

Share this post


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *