top of page
photo 24-05-2022, 08 55 16.jpg
Machine polishing



Your car is constantly exposed to many things which can deteriorate and damage it's paint. This can be from environmental factors: rain, sun, heat and cold, but also from how the paint is handled, washed and cared for.

Paint correction therefore, falls in to two main areas, firstly fixing the various types of paint defects and secondly - once the paint has been corrected, protecting and maintaining the car in a way which helps to prevent and minimise the chances of these defects returning, which keeps your car looking in the best possible condition.


Paint correction is the process of removing defects such as scratches, scuffs, swirls and holograms from a cars paint - or, more specifically the clear coat (lacquer) through machine polishing, while refining and deepening the gloss and clarity of the paint. It can completely transform the way a car looks. When we have finished machine polishing a car it can look like its been given a respray, the paint looking as good as new, often better.

photo 16-02-2019, 06 33 33.jpg


The two images above show the various types of paint defects that cars are typically exposed to. The defect chart shows how different types of damage impact the paint and how deep into the clear coat these flaws cut. The second image is from the bootlid of a Mercedes SL500 we had in for machine polishing. The photo gives a perfect example of what you may see when looking at your own cars paint under a bright light source like the LED floodlights which we use in our studio.


1: SWIRLS. These are probably the most common kind of defect. Swirls are fine scratches which you see whne the sun or bright light is on the paint and look almost like cobwebs, particularly as they appear to be circular. In truth, they aren't circular, swirls are lots of individual scratches which appear circular because of the way the light shows them. Swirls are most often caused by dirt and fine grit being rubbed across the paint during washing or drying.

2: DEEP SCRATCHES. An easy way to spot this kind of scratch is to run your fingernail across it. If you can feel it with your nail, then it is through the clear coat and can't be polished out. To completely remove this kind of scratch, the area will need painting - though these scratches can often be reduced with machine polishing even if they can't be removed completely.

3: WATER SPOTS. Water spots form when the liquid from a droplet of water evaporates. When this happens, particularly if on a sunny day, the minerals in the water droplet remain behind, leaving a lasting spot on the paint. Sometimes, these spots can bake onto the paint and caneven etch into the clear coat.

4: DULLNESS. Many things can make paint go dull, it can happen from chemicals affecting the paint, UV rays, scuffs, a build up of swirls or heavy concentration of scratches. Whatever the cause, dull paint can make your cars paint look really tired.

5: BIRD POO ETCHING. Bird poo can be very caustic. When it lands on your car, it has the possibility to etch into the clear coat and corrupt the paint, leaving a nasty stain behind.

6: HOLOGRAMS. When a car gets polished with a rotary machine polisher, holograms can get caused if either the user is inexperienced or if they don't finish down correctly. Either way, holograms usually look like curving or looping lines and look terrible. *Rotary polishers, when used correctly are excellent tools which can deliver exceptional results, but in untrained hands can cause damage.


Almost any car, new or old, is likely have some level of defects in the paint. Does your cars paint have any of the defects shown above? If it does, then your car could benefit from being machine polished. If you would like an honest assessment of your cars paint, get in touch to arrange an inspection.


The photo above shows just how much of a dramatic improvement can be achieved with machine polishing. This photo shows a Land Rover Discovery part way through being machine polished. The right hand door has so many scratches and swirls that the paint looks completely flat and dull, you can barely tell that the paint has a metallic flake. The left door has been machine polished and over 90% of the scratches and swirls have been removed. As the scratches are removed and the paint flattened, this process restores the gloss, colour and clarity of the paint.


Well, it depends on the condition of the paint to begin with and which level of polishing your car is booked in for, but you can expext silky smooth paint, gloss clarity and defects to be removed/reduced where possible.

Machine polishing can be a time consuming process, typically taking between 1-5 days depending on the vehicle and finish required. The amount of defects removed will depend on several factors; the thickness of the paint to begin with, the condition of the paint, your budget, finish desired etc. Sometimes full correction is neither possible or appropriate.

Which level of machine polishing should I choose?

It can be confusing trying to work out what level of machine polishing your car requires. We offer a free, no obligation inspection and quote to assess the condition of your cars paint and to discuss options and costs.

We offer four levels of machine polishing, click on the links for more details;

1) Light machine polish. Perfect for enhancing the paints gloss and preparing paint for ceramic coating but this won't remove any scratches or swirls. This service is best suited for new cars with near flawless paint, or if you just want your car to be shiny without any paint correction. This takes 3-5 hours usually.

2) Enhancement detail This is a thorough machine polish using one pad/polish combination. This process can make a big improvement to your cars paint and will remove light to moderate swirls (typically at least 60%+) while enhancing the gloss and clarity of the paint. This usually takes 1-2 days.


3) Minor Correction This involves two stages of machine polishing. During the first stage a cutting compound and cutting pad are used to remove more scratches and swirls (usually 70%+) than with the single stage polish. Then with the second stage a softer pad with a finishing polish refines the finish, deepening the gloss and clarity of the paint. This is a very popular service for customers who want a really good level of paint correction and the "wet look" glossy finish. This usually takes 2-3 days.

4) Correction Detail This service is perfect for customers who want the most flawless finish we can achieve. With cars which already have good paint, this may be achieved with just one stage of polishing, while a car with lots of scratches and swirls may need multiple stages of machine polishing or wet sanding to get the same results. With this service you can expect 90%+ of defects removed and the deepest gloss possible. This can take anywhere from 1-10 days.


Once polished, it is important to correctly care for your cars paint to reduce the risk of scratching or marring the paint during the wash process. I would highly recommend a sealant, ceramic coating or paint protection film after machine polishing. Ceramic coatings are our most popular option in paint protection. Using nano technology these coatings form an invisible but tough and durable protective layer on your cars paint, effectively becoming the paints new surface. If correctly cared for, these coatings last years and offer much more protection than traditional waxes which normally last just a few months.

Click to learn more about the ceramic coatings we use.

bottom of page