Car Paint Correction
What exactly is Paint Correction?
You’ve done your research. You know what ceramic coating is. You know you want to protect your paint and that adding ceramic coat to your vehicles finish is a perfect way to lock in your “new car” shine. Now…what is paint correction?
We actually get this question quite a lot. We know there is a lot of confusing information out there and we’re here to help you sort through the process.
Paint Correction Defined
This is essentially the where we repair or correct existing imperfections in your clear-coat or paint. Since ceramic coating is such a long lasting top coat and it is such a hardened product, we cannot apply it until the existing paint looks exactly the way we our clients need it to look.
Does A New Car Need Paint Correcting?
The simple fact is, every car we see has some clear coat or paint damage – even brand new vehicles! Sometimes this damage looks like water-spotting, sometimes its micro-scratches or swirls in the paint, sometimes its heavier scratches.
Why would a new vehicle have some any damage that needs correcting? Just think of how many people have handled a vehicle from the time it was manufactured to the time it was delivered to you. Its been stamped and shipped and hauled and wrapped up and unwrapped and even washed (improperly in most cases). For a ceramic coat to look as amazing as it feels it is essential to properly clean the surface and correct this damage now – before its locked in with ceramic.
What Do Different Stages Of Paint Correction Mean?
This process of cleaning, correcting, and perfecting is called paint correction. This is mostly labor and makes up the most costly and technical portion of a ceramic coating install. Paint correction is generally broken down into single stage, two stage, three stage, and wet-sanding (+ multi stage). The stages denote now much correcting is actually needed.
Think of paint correction and ceramic coating like putting a glass top on a wooden table. Even though the glass top will make it easy to clean and offer protection to the wood; any stains, scratches, damage, or crayola drawings that exist on the wood will still show through the glass unless it’s properly addressed first.
These paint correction stages essentially represent how many different times a technician will need to buff the surface of the car in order to both remove any existing damage as well as bring out the most shine in your finish. When multiple stages are needed, it represents the need for more aggressive compounds and pads to begin with, which progressively lighter and softer in the subsequent stages of correction.
Again, think of the wooden table example. Light damage may only need a light sanding or less to correct, where deeper scratches in wood would require multiple sanding steps, each getting progressively more finesse.
How Long Does It Take To Paint Correct A Vehicle?
As a general rule, each stage of paint correction represents a full day of polishing/buffing on your vehicle. So a single stage takes around 6-10 hours, a two stage takes normally between 12-16 hours, and a 3+ stage generally takes 3-4 days to properly correct.
Most brand new vehicles are able to be fully corrected with a single stage paint correction although some may have more extensive damage and need more correction. Vehicles with more severe damage will require additional levels of compound and polish in order to remove the damage and bring out the shine. A ceramic coating technician can go over your exact level of damage with you and prescribe the best path forward.
Can A Vehicle Be Paint Corrected If It’s Not Going To Be Ceramic Coated?
Absolutely, but it’s not recommended. As we stated above and talk about on our pricing page, paint correcting is the most labor intensive part of the a ceramic coating. If you get you vehicles finish looking perfect but neglect to protect it, you will find yourself needing correction much sooner than you think. Clear coat and paint on modern vehicles is incredibly soft and damages easily. The act of paint correcting makes the car look amazing but offers no protection from future damage.
Ceramic Coating not only offers an incredibly hard top coat to protect your paint; it also makes the finish look amazing, it helps keep the vehicle cleaner longer, and makes it easier to wash when its needed.
Again, think of the example of the wooden table with a glass top. It’s protected, it’s “slicker”, and it’s easier to clean when spills happen.
Have more questions about the Paint Correction and Ceramic coating process on your vehicle? We’re here to help.