Paint Correction

Meguairs Paint Correction

What is Paint Correction?

Paint Correction is the process of removing imperfections in an automobile’s clear coat. This is achieved by using various techniques, tools and products to massage and/or re level the clear coat back to an almost, if not better-than-new state. Imperfections that may be present in a vehicle’s finish are sometimes referred to as “swirl marks” or “spider webbing”. This is caused by improper washing and drying techniques and can be prevented by taking cautious measures in the cleaning process. Other imperfections may be caused by bird droppings, tree sap, water-spots, or deep scratches that were instilled by the countless variables a vehicle is subject to on a daily basis.

Does My Vehicle Need Paint Correction?

We tell our customers that almost any and every vehicle needs or can benefit from paint correction. How can you tell? Have you ever looked into your vehicles paint in the direct sun and it just doesn’t seem to have the same deep luster that it once possessed? Do you look closely and notice that it looks like a spiderweb is covering the vehicle? These are scratches known as spiderwebs or swirls. As mentioned above, they are caused by improper washing and wiping techniques. After paint correction and with proper washing methods, swirls can be prevented by avoiding the old “wax-on, wax-off” mentality of washing and wiping in a circular motion. The correct method in washing is to imagine the vehicle in a wind tunnel; you want to wash a vehicle from top to bottom, using straight, linear motions in the direction air would flow over the vehicle. Although it is impossible to not place mild scratches from washing your vehicle over time, washing the proper way will drastically reduce or eliminate the chance of placing swirls back into the finish after paint correction.

Step by Step Process

Step 1:  Wash and Clay Bar

The first step in any successful paint correction is a proper hand wash followed by clay bar. Once a vehicle is hand washed and rid of all free-moving dirt and debris, the vehicle most times is still contaminated with dirt and road grime. A vehicle’s paint has pores much like a human’s skin. Over time dirt and debris from the environment and daily driving accumulates in the pores of your vehicle’s clear-coat, giving it a dull appearance and rough to the touch. Clay bar is the process in which these small particles of debris are removed from the pores. This is a vital stage prior to performing paint correction. 

Looking at the clay bar process more in depth, the surface to be clay barred is sprayed down with a lubricated solution, followed by rubbing a soft piece of clay over the surface. Due to the soft, tacky nature of automotive clay bar, dirt, debris and any other contaminants are lifted into the clay bar once rubbed over the surface. Once the clay is dirty, it is plied and kneaded inward on itself to reveal a clean portion of the clay. This process is repeated over each and every panel of the vehicle prior to paint correction.

Step 2: Compounding and Polishing

A lot of factors come in to play when paint correcting: the severity of imperfections, paint type (single-stage or base-coat clear-coat), machine, pads, and products.

Often times it takes several stages of polishing to achieve full correction; the first being the most abrasive, the last being an ultra-fine jeweling polish. 

Step 3: Protecting the Vehicle

Once corrected, it is very important to have a layer of protection applied over the clear-coat to protect against UV damage and other variables in the environment.