What's the Difference Between Paint Correction and a Cut and Polish?
You are not alone in missing that thick glossy look and the depth of a beautiful paint job. If you love your car, you’ll love it more with a little TLC.
A perfect candidate for a Paint Correction and Sealant treatment. It’s like a spa-day…but for your four-wheeled friend!
If you’re longing for that new-car glossy look once more, you’re probably looking at your car after a few years of normal wear and tear.
Unsure about what the process entails? Keep reading for some gold nuggets on the topic of car paint correction.
The Process behind it:
Paint correction is machine polishing with an abrasive compound and is commonly referred to as a cut and polish.
The process nowadays is referred to as paint correction as it’s a permanent solution that resurfaces the top layer of paint (usually the clear coat) and removes scuffs, oxidized/chalky paint, swirl marks, and restores gloss.
The term paint correction is confusing as it’s a broad term for what is technically ‘professional machine polishing’. Depending on the level of damage or wear and tear to your paint, the intensity of the paint correction will differ.
The Service Process
This will usually begin with cutting back the gloss and paint coat to a level where the damage has been done, and then polish it out. A sealant or coating is recommended for long lasting results that look even more impressive. More on this later…
If this sounds a little intense, well, in the wrong hands it certainly can be. We certainly recommend the use of machine polishers and wet sanders only be handled by trained professionals lest an amateur does more damage than good to your precious set of four wheels.
Our mobile car detailing service offers differing levels of paint correction in Brisbane depending on the level of attention needed to your car’s paint:
If you’re after a little more detail into what each of these processes involve, you can dig into it on our Paint Correction page
So, what can you do about some of the common defects in your car’s paint? Have a look at the list below and see if any of these match your woes.
Unless otherwise stated, these are some of the issues that Paint Correction can solve for you:
Swirl marks are microscopic scratches on the surface of paint that show up like cobwebs in bright light. They are caused by incorrect washing and drying where dirt particles in the sponge and chamois leave microscopic scratches in the clear coat.
Fingernails, rings, and car keys scratch the paint around the door handle and leave unsightly marks.
Lack of Colour Depth
Lack of Colour depth is where the color has faded dull appearance but isn’t classed as oxidised, typical on one stage paints that don’t have a clear coat.
Oxidised or Chalky Paints
Oxidized paint is where the paint appears chalky and dull; it’s caused by the breakdown of the paint from exposure to the sun, water, and oxygen. More common on single stage paints and white, red, and black cars.
Caused by vegetation and scrub rubbing against sides of the vehicle that leaves visible scuffs. These marks range from swallow to quite deep scratches.
Ghosting refers to the outline or visible stencil left on the paint after stickers/decals are removed. It is the contrast between the fresh paint that was protected under the vinyl sticker and the exposed paint that has faded and appears dull in comparison.
Paint transfer occurs when a car panel comes into contact with another painted object with force and leaves a layer of paint behind. Common paint transfers are yellow paint marks left from bollards or garage door frames.
The actual paint transfer can be polished off with great success; however, there are usually a few deeper scratches that are left behind. The polishing stage will reduce the appearance of these scratches, but if you can see the undercoat on your car, it’s time for the respray.
Bird droppings are very acidic and start eating into your paint the moment it hits, heat and dry weather will amplify the reaction, it’s essential to clean any droppings off as soon as you see them. If you still see a ghosting outline after washing, you have an etching mark where it has eaten slightly into your paint.
Aged Bird Droppings
Bird droppings that have been left too long can eat all the way through the clear coat. If the mark is grazed or cracking, this is, unfortunately, apparent coat failure and can only be fully repaired by repainting. The clear coat has been penetrated, and no amount of polishing will remove all traces of the defect.
Random deeper scratches are very common, and depending on the depth will determine if they can be polished out.
The general rule of thumb gives you an instant idea if the scratch is correctable. Run your thumbnail over the scratch, and if an indentation is felt, then generally the scratch is too deep to successfully correct by polishing. Normal wear and tear will see your car pick up a few deeper scratches over time.
If the scratch is a different color and you can see bare metal or primer, only repainting is your option. Where deeper scratches have not penetrated all the way through the clear coat, you have more options.
A popular choice is to get the area polished to reduce the appearance of the marks first and then determine if you can live with the result.
Alternately if chasing 100% correction, respraying is your next option. Dual or even triple stage paint correction packages may give you a great outcome and permanently reduce the appearance of those scratches without the expense of repainting your car.
There are two types of the most popular water spots. The first is mineral deposits that sit on top of your paint and is usually a combination of magnesium and calcium.
These minerals are soluble in your town water, and when the water evaporates from the surface, the minerals are left behind, causing unsightly water spotting. This type of water spot can be removed if left for a short time with specific chemicals and light polishing.
The other type of water spotting is where the same minerals have been left on the paint for some time and have started to eat into the paint. This causes deep etching and is not viable to fully correct as too much clear coat would be polished off.
If there is paint missing and the scratches show the undercoat or even the base metal, then repainting is your only option.
Clearcoat failure is caused by long term exposure to the elements. This comes in the form of bubbling, blistering, and peeling. Nothing can be done to fix this apart from repainting. See your local body shop for a quote.
If your car is keyed, unfortunately, respraying those panels is your only solution.
Believe it or not...egg damage
Throwing eggs may seem harmless but cause irreversible damage to car paintwork. The small hard shell fragments cut into the paint at the point of impact. At times and can only be fixed from repainting, a paint correction treatment (cut and polish) may reduce the appearance of these marks.
What level of paint correction do I need?
At this point, you’ve probably identified a couple of items in the list above and have determined that a paint correction treatment may well be the TLC your car needs.
Having an expert examine your car is the best way to determine the level of paint correction required to be rid of the damage.
Once your car has been detailed, it’s recommended to consider your long-term protection. This can help you to avoid some of the damage that was collected in the lead up to requiring a paint correction (cut and polish).
Spray Waxes and Sealants – Not Just a Pretty Sur-‘face’
Not sure which way to go with your sealants and waxes? Read on for a little enlightenment on some of the best products we recommend and regularly use:
Golden Touch Spray Wax
Applied wet to the vehicle this will add additional gloss, hydrophobicity until the next car detail service
Applied dry after wash this will bond to the paint and add 10/10 gloss, hydrophobicity and add 6 months protection
Applied wet to the vehicle this will bond to the paint add next level gloss, hydrophobicity and give up to 1-month protection
Fireball Ultimate Nano Coat
A petroleum-based product applied to the paintwork to give insane hydrophobicity and stability to the paint. This product will add 12 months of protection.
Fireball Easy Coat
Applied wet to the vehicle this will bond to the paint give next level gloss, hydrophobicity and give 3 months protection.
The visible difference to a car that has been through a paint correction and sealant treatment is astonishing. I’ll just leave these here…
Sort it out with Fully Slick Mobile Detailing Brisbane today, get in touch with us today via a phone call or our website.
We design tailored packages specific to our customer’s needs and preferences without breaking the bank.