Paint correction is a process in the automotive detailing industry that involves restoring and enhancing the finish of a vehicle's paintwork. Over time, a vehicle's paint can accumulate imperfections, such as swirl marks, scratches, oxidation, water spots, and other types of damage. Paint correction aims to address these issues, resulting in a smooth, glossy, and flawless appearance.
Here are the key steps involved in paint correction:
Assessment: The first step is to thoroughly assess the condition of the vehicle's paintwork. This involves identifying swirl marks, scratches, oxidation, and other imperfections.
Washing and Decontamination: Before any correction work begins, the vehicle is usually washed to remove dirt and debris. Decontamination processes, such as claying, may also be employed to eliminate embedded contaminants on the paint surface.
Paint Thickness Measurement: Professionals often use paint thickness gauges to measure the thickness of the paint layers. This helps them determine how much material can be safely removed during the correction process.
Compounding: Compounding involves using abrasive compounds or polishes to remove a thin layer of the clear coat, leveling imperfections and restoring gloss. The level of abrasiveness depends on the severity of the defects.
Polishing: After compounding, a finer polish is applied to refine the finish further and remove any remaining marks from the compounding stage. This step enhances the clarity and depth of the paint.
Finishing: The final step involves applying a high-quality wax or sealant to protect the newly corrected paint and provide a durable, glossy finish. Some detailers may also use ceramic coatings for extended protection.
Quality Inspection: A thorough inspection is conducted to ensure that all imperfections have been addressed and the desired level of correction has been achieved.