Machine Polishing and Paint Correction.
What is paint correction?
Paint correction is the process of removing defects such as scratches, scuffs, swirls and holograms from a cars paint through machine polishing, while refining and deepening the gloss and clarity of the paint. It can completely transform the way a car looks. When I have finished machine polishing a car it can look like its been given a respray, the paint looking as good as new, sometimes better.
Does my cars paint need correcting?
Almost any car, new or old, is likely have some level of defects in the paint.
While car paint may seem hard, in actual fact it can be scratched very easily. The majority of cars are washed in a way which causes damage to the paint. If dirt and grit is not carefully removed first, then the wash process itself can be like sandpapering the paint. The dirt and grit cause fine scratches as it is moved across the paint during the wash. After just a few washes the paint can have lots of these scratches (which are known as swirls) Over time, these swirls can build up to the point where the paint becomes dull, loses its shine and in severe cases the lacquer can fail completely and begin to chip or peel off.
This is why I offer a "safe wash" - this is a wash process which minimizes the risk of creating swirls during washing, keeping your car looking better for longer.
What do swirls look like?
This picture is from a car which is less than one year old and shows the kind of marks which I have described above, most of which have been caused by poor washing. When the sun (or other bright source of light) shines on your car, it shows the fine scratches and swirls in the paint, which often look like a spiders web around the light source.
The straighter lines running horizontally are known as holograms or buffer trails. These are caused when someone has machine polished the paint but hasn't finished it down properly which leaves these lines behind in the paint.
Both of these issues can be resolved through correct machine polishing, leaving your paint defect free and glossy, while adding depth and clarity to the paint.
With correct aftercare and protection for the paint, you can greatly reduce the risk of scratching your cars paint each time it is washed.
What will my car look like after its been machine polished?
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.
The video below is from a full correction I did. As you can see, there were a lot of swirls and scratches in the paint, but when finished these had been removed and the gloss and clarity of the metallic black paint were hugely improved
Which level of machine polishing should I choose?
It can be confusing trying to work out what level of machine polishing your car requires. I offer a free, no obligation inspection and quote to assess the condition of your cars paint and to discuss options and costs.
I offer four levels of machine polishing, click on the links for more details;
1) Light machine polish (cleanse detail). This will enhance the gloss, but won't remove any scratches or swirls. This takes 3-5 hours usually.
2) Enhancement detail (single stage polish) This is a machine polish using one pad/polish combination. This process will remove a good portion of the light to moderate swirls (typically at least 50%+) while enhancing the gloss and clarity of the paint. This usually takes 1 day.
3) Minor Correction (two stage polish) During the first stage I use a cutting compound and cutting pad to remove more scratches and swirls (usually 70%+) than with the single stage polish. Then with the second stage I use a softer pad with a finishing polish to refine the finish, deepening the gloss and clarity of the paint. This usually takes from 2-4 days.
4) Correction Detail (three stage polish) This is similar to the two stage polish, though I aim to remove 90%+ of defects in the initial cutting stage and in the third stage I use a finishing glaze which takes the gloss and clarity of the paint to another level. This usually takes from 3-5 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 or ceramic paint coating after the machine polishing. Ceramic coatings are the latest 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. These coatings (if correctly cared for) last years and offer much more protection than traditional waxes which normally last just a few months.