Different Levels Of Paint Correction Polishing
Updated: May 25, 2021
Some of you may be familiar with the term paint correction or paint buffing, this process involves leveling the clear coat to remove imperfections such as swirls, scratches, oxidation, etching, ect. Results will vary on every vehicle from one onto the next. If you look at a sheet of paper, that is how thin your clear coat is. So it's extremely vital to be able to remove these defects safely without compromising the clear coat too much.
So you may hear terms such as gloss enhancement, single stage correction (buff), or multi-stage correction. We understand that not everyone knows what these terms mean, and/or may not know what their car needs. We're going to cover the basics of what each of these mean to give you a better idea.
Gloss Enhancement Polish: A gloss enhancement polish involves using a ultra fine polish to remove very fine defects to increase shine. The goal is to only focus on enhancing gloss and depth. Perfect for those that one maximum gloss where-as swirls and scratches are not a main concern. Budget friendly option.
Single Stage Correction Polish: This involves using a mild compound polish that'll remove moderate defects as much as possible, while being able to leave behind a high gloss finish in a single step. Heavy defects will remain, but you'll see a major difference overall. Results could vary greatly with this option pending on the vehicle's clear coat type (soft or hard) and condition. Best part is that this option is safe due to not being super aggressive and not removing a ton of clear.
Two Stage Correction Polish: This involves using a heavy cut compound to remove moderate-heavy defects as much as possible (safely of course), while using a finishing polish to restore shine. Most heavy cut compounds will usually leave some type of marring or haziness due to the aggressiveness. This is why a second stage polish is needed to remove these light blemishes to give your paint more shine and depth. This will remove a tad bit of clear coat but nothing to be completely worried about.
Three Stage Correction: If you're wanting to achieve the best results as possible, this is it. For us a three stage correction would be using a heavy cut compound, mild polish compound, and a finishing polish. You could see up to 95% or more of defect removal. We truly only recommend this option for show cars, cars that are not daily driven, and vehicle's with severely neglected paint. Also note that not every vehicle is eligible to this level of surface due to the amount of clear coat that could be removed.
I hope this helps you understand the different levels of paint correction. If your vehicle has minimal defects, there's no reason for a two or three stage correction. It's important to educate our clients so that we're providing the right service based on your needs.