The Art of Paint Correction
‘Paint Correction’ is the technical term for the permanent removal or reduction of imperfections within the top layer of your car’s paintwork to reveal a more refined finish. Defects such as swirl marks, holograms, water marks, fading and oxidation can all be reduced or removed while leaving the paintwork glossy and clear with depth.
You can think of paint correction as ‘buffing’ or ‘cut and polish’. While these are essentially all names for the same thing, a professional paint correction is on an entirely different level. It is a complete transformation of your car’s paintwork and requires a lot of time and expertise, it is for those who are looking for the best possible finish for their car’s paintwork.
The Correction Process
Automotive paintwork can come in various forms, such as single stage (i.e. no clear coat), or the more common two stage (clear over base). At Reflections, we can correct a majority of paint types, however as an example, we shall explain the paint correction process of a two stage paint.
The paint on your car may look ‘thick’ but the reality is far from the case. The paintwork on most cars typically ranges from 80um to 200um. To put this in perspective, a sheet of paper is only 100um thick!
Two stage paint typically comprises of the following layers:
- A primer coat over the metal, plastic or fibreglass panel
- A base coat which gives the car its colour
- A clear coat, which adds gloss and depth to the base coat
Defects such as swirl marks, scratches and etching can be present in one or more layers of paint, as shown in this picture.
- Compounding Stage – Utilising special products, tools and techniques to safely remove scratches and defects without compromising the paint thickness
- Polishing Stage – Finishing the paint with finer polishes to achieve a high gloss appearance
The entire process takes numerous hours or even days to undertake, but once completed professionally, the difference can often be like night and day. The paint correction can last for many years and it is not something that needs to be repeated frequently. Proper washing, protection and maintenance are the keys to keeping the paint in excellent condition following the correction.
A common concern from clients, is that they have seen or heard horror stories of someone getting their car ‘detailed’ or ‘buffed’ only for the car to end up worse than it began. Incorrect ‘cut and polish’ tools and techniques can often lead to further damage such as holograms and buffing marks, or even burn or buff through the paintwork. While many other detailers simply use glazes or products with ‘fillers’ which disguise the defects in the paint, rather than removing them.
When your car is in our studio, you can rest assured that we not only have the correct tools and products for your car, but we also have the proper techniques and experience to achieve a flawless result, and often a ‘better than new’ finish. We also use the least aggressive methods possible to ensure that the longevity of your car’s existing paintwork is not impacted.
We utilise the very best car polishes, abrasives and polishing equipment imported from Germany, Korea and the US to revive your car. These are highly effective on nearly all paint finishes including single stage, clear coat and even the latest ceramic-clear coatings.
At Reflections, we also use a specialist car hoist and lighting to be able to see all of the paint defects, and ensure we focus on every area of your car.
The Initial Inspection
Prior to booking your car in for the paint correction, we prefer to schedule a time for an inspection of your car. The purpose of this inspection is to:
- Identify the desired result
- Evaluate the car and current paint condition
- Identify the thickness of the paint. Correction work can be limited by the paint thickness reading
- With permission, perform a paint correction demonstration on your car to show you what kind of result you can expect
Based on our experience and considering these factors to fully assess your car, we will provide you a package recommendation, with an accurate time and cost for correcting your paintwork.
Our Paint Correction Packages
At Reflections, we offer three paint correction packages, these are:
- Bronze Package – entry level or light coloured cars
- Silver Package – mid-level or dark coloured cars
- Gold Package – the ultimate detail
All of our packages include a full exterior wash and detail, as well as a quality “Last Step Product” (LSP) such as an SiO2 sealant, providing up to 6 months of protection.
Each package can be tailored to suit your needs, car and budget. They can be upgraded to include additional services, such as:
- Interior Detailing
- Leather Treatment
- Engine Bay Detail
- Headlight restoration
- ‘Wheels Off’ Detail
Furthermore, you can choose to upgrade the LSP to either:
- An exclusive Carnauba Wax, applied by hand
- C.Quartz Paint Protection
Bronze PackageOur entry level paint correction service
- It is ideally suited for newer and light coloured cars with minor swirl marks and scratches. Our Bronze Package is designed to reduce, and in most cases remove these fine blemishes utilising our paint correction techniques.
- The package aims for the best balance between compounding & polishing. The paint correction is undertaken as a ‘single stage’, with suitable quality ‘one-step’ polishes may be used in order to get the best result within the service.
- Defects Removed: Anticipated removal of between 60% to 75% of defects such as light marring and swirls, minor water marks and acid etching and minor oxidisation.
- Duration: One Day
- *prices starting from
Silver PackageOur most popular package
- Perfectly suited for dark coloured cars, paintwork with moderate to heavy swirl marks, deeper scratches, holograms, water marks or oxidisation.
- The Silver Package is a more extensive paint correction, normally consisting of 2 to 3 stages of machine polishing. This means much more time will be spent on your car’s paintwork achieve far better results. This multi-stage machine polish will add depth, gloss and leave a glass-like smooth finish to exterior paintwork.
- Defects Removed: Will typically remove 75% to 90% of defects. Medium to heavy swirl marks, marring and scratches, as well as removing heavy oxidation and etching such as water marks.
- Duration: Two Days
- *prices starting from
Gold PackageThe ultimate correction package
- The paintwork will go through a minimum of 3 full stages of paint correction to remove as many defects as possible. This package is the ultimate in paint correction and is guaranteed to leave the paintwork looking deep, rich and glossy.
- In addition to normal machine polishing, this package allows us to look into other options such as wet sanding deeper scratches, texture matching or orange peel removal.
- Defects Removed: It is anticipated that this package will remove up to 95% of defects. Any possible paint defects that can be removed are corrected during this process.
- Duration: One Week