Paint correction is a term that is now widely used by professional car detailers and car cleaning enthusiasts all over the world to describe the process of restoring and rejuvenating a vehicle's paintwork, primarily by removing surface imperfections that dull, oxidize, or haze the surface by reflecting light in various directions, detracting from a true and proper, clean, sharp reflection.
These faults include swirl marks and fine scratches, bird dropping etching and acid rain etching, hologramming and buffer trails, and random isolated deep scratches (or RIDS). The terms "paint correction" or "paint decontamination" should only be used when faults are completely removed rather than simply covered up or camouflaged with filter-based solutions.
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The true corrective procedure comprises removing a little amount of clear coat or paint from the surface with abrasive polishes, which are then applied and worked with professional polishing machines to level the surface.
Before any paint treatment, the car is thoroughly washed and disinfected. After removing any loose dirt and debris from the paintwork, it is clayed with a professional automotive clay bar to safely remove any bonded surface pollutants such as tar stains and industrial fallout.
These contaminants must be removed prior to the paint restoration procedure since they can readily become dislodged and caught in the pad of a polishing machine, causing surface damage very quickly. It also helps to smooth the surface, making it easier for the polishing machine to traverse over the surface and reducing the possibility of hopping or sticking.
Finally, because claying the paintwork allows you to view the true condition of the surface as you work, you can precisely judge the progress of the correction technique.