Machine Polishing

What Is Paint Correction?

Paint correction is a term that is now commonly used by both professional car detailers and car cleaning enthusiasts worldwide to describe the process of restoring and rejuvenating the paintwork of a vehicle, mostly through the elimination of surface imperfections, that dull, oxidize, or haze the surface by reflecting light off in various directions, therefore detracting from a true and proper, clean, sharp, reflection. These imperfections include things like swirl marks & fine scratches, bird dropping etching & acid rain etching, hologramming & buffer trails, and random isolated deep scratches (or RIDS).

Paint correction is a term that is now commonly used by both professional car detailers and car cleaning enthusiasts worldwide to describe the process of restoring and rejuvenating the paintwork of a vehicle, mostly through the elimination of surface imperfections, that dull, oxidize, or haze the surface by reflecting light off in various directions, therefore detracting from a true and proper, clean, sharp, reflection. These imperfections include things like swirl marks & fine scratches, bird dropping etching & acid rain etching, hologramming & buffer trails, and random isolated deep scratches (or RIDS).

The term paint correction should only really be used if these imperfections are properly removed and are not just merely covered up or hidden with filler based products. The actual corrective process itself comprises of a small amount of clear coat or paint being removed from the surface with the use of abrasive polishes, which are applied and worked in with appropriate polishing machines, in order to level out the surface.

Before any paint correction is undertaken, a thorough wash and decontamination of the vehicle is performed. Paintwork is properly washed and cleaned to remove any loose dirt and debris, then after the wash process is clayed with a specialist automotive clay bar, which safely removes any bonded surface contaminants such as tar spots and industrial fallout.

It is important these contaminants are removed before the paint correction process because if they were to become dislodged and caught up in the pad of a polishing machine, they could easily inflict damage onto the surface very quickly. It also helps to leave the surface very smooth, which in turn, allows the polishing machine to move freely over the surface, reducing the possibility of hopping or sticking occurring. Lastly, claying the paintwork helps you to properly observe the progress of the correction process because you can see the true condition of the surface as you are working.

The polishing is usually a multistage process as a range of different grades of polish are used, ranging from heavier cutting compounds, which remove the surface material, to finer products which then remove any marks that the heavier products may have inflicted and generally refine the finish. During the paint correction process it is common for a paint depth gauge to be used.

Correcting Paintwork

This measures the thickness of the paint on the metal panel and is used before, during and after the process to monitor how much material is being removed and ensure an excess is not removed which could leave the paint too thin or even cause irreversible damage such as a strike through the paint. Specialist halogen or LED lamps which replicate the effect of direct sunlight on the surface are also used during the process to check the condition of the paintwork and see how successfully the surface scratches and imperfections are being removed.

Some scratches or imperfections may actually be too deep or severe to safely remove without risking removing to much surface paint or clear coat and so are minimized and reduced as best as possible using techniques with the machine polisher and polish products that round off the edges of the scratches and make them far less apparent in direct light.

After correction, the panels are wiped down with an isopropyl alcohol which removes any oils that may have been left over from the polish and reveals the true finish, including any areas that may have been missed or require a little more work. Once complete, fully corrected paintwork will shine brilliantly and produce stunning reflections because there are now no longer any scratches and imperfections to scatter and reflect the light rays off in different directions.

Paint correction is a very labor intensive process and is usually the most time consuming part of the car detailing process. Consequently, it commands high premiums from professional detailers & car cleaners, and amateurs or enthusiasts should only attempt to correct their own paintwork if they are completely confident in doing so or have enough experience to carry it out safely.

Swirl Marks

Polished Paintwork

In conclusion, paint correction is the process of removing surface scratches and imperfections from a vehicles paintwork, which involves the use of machine polishers and a range of different polish products. A fully corrected vehicle when viewed in direct sunlight will show only true reflections and no swirl marks, scratches or blemishes will be visible to the naked eye.

Lastly, it is important to distinguish between paintwork that has been truly corrected and paintwork that has been treated with products that are designed to mask and fill surface imperfections such as an all in one polish for example. This should not be referred to as paint correction even if no scratches or blemishes are apparent, because they have not been genuinely removed and are still present under the products fillers, which in time, will wash away and reveal them once more.





Machine Polishing for your Car


Machine polishing is also called paint correction or cut and polish and is a great treatment for cars where the paint work looks faded because it has been oxidised by the sun. It's also ideal to restore paintwork which may have been damaged over time and looks patchy, has small scratches, swirl marks from polishing in a circular motion or bird droppings and buffer trails.

By using machine polishers and a range of different products the vehicle will look stunning in direct sunlight with only true reflections without any blemishes.

It's a labour intensive and time consuming process but the results are outstanding and your car will be returned to its former glory, just like on the day when you bought it. It is for customers looking for the best possible finish.

To achieve the best result for your car, it will be thoroughly washed so there is no trace of any dirt and grime and a clay bar will be used to ensure any minute contaminants like paint, glass or metal are removed.

We then polish your equipment to an exceptionally high standard where we use different pads and polishes to achieve an optimum finish.

Here are some photographs which illustrate the results which can be achieved through this service.  They are:

1) Black BMW which had gone through a car wash on too many occasions

2) Green Mitsubishi Delica which had prominent brush scratches down one side

3) Red Holden Barina which was overly exposed to the sun resulting in severe paintwork fading.

The cost of doing a machine polish ranges from $200 for a small sedan up to $300 for a large 4WD.

Contact us for more details 0402 148 199

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We recommend the use of Glare Infinity Plus with Glassplexin on all vehicles in the top end bracket such as Porsche, Mercedes, BMW, Jaguar, Lamborghini, Ferrari and Aston Martin.
For Paint Protection we at AABA Detailing can recommend Glare Infinity Plus Professional Polish and Zymol Titanium. Check out our Glare-Plus touch page to see whats involved in the application.
Machine polishing is more commonly known as cut & polish, it is usually done when the paint work as been oxidised by the sun (the paint looks faded) but can also be used to give the paint work an even shine when the car as been either washed with an abrasive or polished unevenly resulting in patchy paint work.