Should I Get Paint Correction Before Ceramic Pro?

Does this situation sound familiar to you? You spent all morning hand cleaning your beloved automobile with the expensive car shampoo and soft Korean microfiber towels before air drying the vehicle. You are exhausted. As you take a step back to admire your car’s gleaming paint finish, you see what appears to be tiny spider webs on the surface of the paint. Instantaneously, a look of frustration emerges on your face as you realize that painting or polishing your vehicle is the only option available for you.

The typical car enthusiast may feel comfortable cleaning their vehicle and perhaps adding a spray-on coating or hand waxing their automobile. However, when it comes to polishing or buffing a car as part of the process of precise paint repair, many of us are hesitant to take the plunge.

So, let’s spend a few minutes dispelling some myths about paint correction. In the following article, we’ll go over some critical information about paint repair, its purpose, when it is required, why it is necessary, and – after it is completed – how do you preserve your vehicle’s paint from more damage in the future.

What is Paint Correction?

If the paint is completed correctly and on schedule, there’s no need to worry. If you rush the process, though, you risk damaging the clear coating too much to be repaired. All things considered, paint correction of a car’s paint job is an essential step if you want to add a nano-ceramic coating or a paint protection film to the vehicle.

Paint repair may be divided into many phases, each determined primarily by the degree of damage to the clear coating.

Paint correction consists of either a single step or a multi-phase polishing process to eliminate swirls or webbing from the paint surface. Before adding a ceramic finish, the detailing specialist will level the paint to the depth of the scratch or swirl that has been created. To get the best results, it is necessary to fix any paint imperfections before applying any paint protection film or ceramic coating. If you choose to omit this phase, any defects in the paint will be multiplied tenfold by the ceramic coating.

Stage 1 Paint Correction

In this case, it should be self-explanatory. Cutting compound (or liquid polish) and an appropriate pad are all that is required to finish this polishing procedure in a single step. Its purpose is to carefully remove marring, swirl marks, as well as other minor imperfections during the single-stage paint restoration procedure.

Stage 2 Paint Correction

Swirls and scratches embedded in the clear coat are considered stage 2 damage when they appear on the car’s paint in an observable manner. It will now require two different polishes and pad combinations to finish the job. Specialists will start with a rougher polish most of the time and work their way down to a more acceptable compound to remove any minor scratches left behind from the coarser polish.

Stage 3 Paint Correction

To avoid getting to this position, do some research and consider consulting with an expert. This three-step process is required if the car’s paintwork is marred or has other flaws. Get to the base of the issue by using a heavy-duty cutting compound, a machine polisher and a polishing pad. A mild polishing compound will smooth out any remaining blemishes after the second phase of gradually reducing the grit size.

How is Paint Correction Completed?

Machine polishing is used to eliminate blemishes from a vehicle’s painted surface.

If a clear coat swirl or scratch is visible on the car’s paint, it is called stage 2 damage. You’ll need to use two different polishes and pad sets to complete the task. Starting with a coarser class and working your way down to a more acceptable compound usually removes any minor scratches left behind by the rougher polish film. Most of the time, type of paint, surface defects, and special customer requests all influence how the procedure is carried out. Detailing specialists will polish cars to eliminate blemishes such as:

  • minor scratches,
  • spider webbing or swirl marks
  • surface rust,
  • stains from animal faeces
  • calcium deposits (from water spots)
  • And damage caused by improper DIY protective solution application

Existing ceramic coatings may be removed with the use of several liquids, chemical agents. However, these solutions have the same danger of damaging the transparent layer of the vehicle’s paint as applying too much force while polishing.

Does Paint Correction Remove the Clear Coat?

A granular material called a cutting compound is used in the polishing process. When you turn on the electric polisher, the polish liquid or paste is uniformly distributed throughout the car’s painted surface, causing friction to cut through the transparent layer. The polishers come in various grit levels, with some meant to fill a scratch and others designed to remove the clear till the blemish is eliminated.

This poses the above-mentioned possible danger. Before removing a scratch that is severely cut into the clear coat, consult with a professional detailer or auto repair shop. Protective coatings will have a hard time adhering to the surface if the clear coat is sliced too thin. Furthermore, the paint will not “pop” or shine as brightly as you would want.

Is It Necessary To Polish The Surface Before Using A Ceramic Coating?

It is entirely dependent on the state of the car’s paint. When applying a ceramic coating, the coating must attach directly to the surface, solidify, and create a protective barrier, independent of the formulation or application technique. When the coating hardens, it becomes translucent, giving it the appearance of glass. The paint below is amplified as a result of this.

As a result, a gloss finish will look more glossy, whilst a matte finish would appear ‘deeper.’ Any minor or difficult-to-see scratches will be accentuated. Any swirl markings will be seen rather than hidden. One of the most common misconceptions regarding DIY ceramic coatings and other paint protection layers is fixing scratches and increasing paint quality.

Regrettably, this can only be accomplished by paint correction. Consequently, having a detailing specialist clean or buff the paint as part of the prep work is strongly recommended if the vehicle’s paint surface has any flaws.

Is It Necessary To Polish Little Scuffs Before Using PPF?

Whether a paint protection film will work depends on the kind of damage and the brand used. If the PPF incorporates self healing technology, such as XPEL Self-Healing Paint Protection Film, minor paint damage may be filled with the adhesive and left undamaged. Significant defects will need either paint correction or body repair.

The top layer of the XPEL Self-Healing Paint Protection Film is designed to heal itself if it is damaged. However, the same technique, combined with unique adhesive components, has been demonstrated to repair mild oxidation on a clear coat, fill tiny swirl marks, and even cover certain scratches.

While it’s usually best to make sure your paint is in good shape before applying a paint protection film, there are times where using the right PPF may help you avoid this problem.

What Should You Use To Prevent Future Damage To Your Car?

Traditional auto wax and synthetic paint sealants have long been the go-to solutions, but current technology has provided many longer-lasting alternatives. For the best protection and to reduce the possibility of swirl marks on your vehicle’s surface, use paint protection film or a professional-grade ceramic nano-coating.

PAD offers professional Ceramic Pro installation to the entire vehicle in three different packages:

  • Bronze Package (2-Year Warranty)
  • Silver Package (5-Year Warranty)
  • Gold Package (Lifetime Warranty)

Our nano-coating cures to a 9H hardness, which is comparable to quartz. Unlike DIY coatings, our compositions are intended to create layers, increase the depth and protect and extend the surface’s life. This technology, paired with regular inspections, explains why we can provide a warranty when others can’t.

In addition, PAD also offers SunTek and XPEL PPF installation. With these packages, you may choose which parts of your automobile need protection against paint imperfections:

  • Package 1 (Partial Hood)— The film is applied to 18” of the hood and fender in this entry-level package. At a minimum, the hood needs to be protected because it is one of the most vulnerable parts of a vehicle and where imperfections are most visible.
  • Package 2 (Full Bumper)- The film is applied to the full front bumper and headlights. This is a popular choice because road debris typically cause damage to the front bumper.
  • Package 2 (Partial Front)- This package combines partial hood and full bumper and also includes side mirrors.
  • Package 4 (Complete Front) – Coverage extends to the entire hood, front bumpers, front fenders, headlights, and side-view mirrors.
  • Package 5 (Entire Car)- All painted surfaces plus headlights will be protected from rock chips, road debris, ice melt, gravel, and blowing sand with the complete vehicle PPF.

Both paint correction and paint protection film (or Ceramic Pro) work hand in hand to restore and protect your beloved vehicle. Doing one without the other means that you won’t get the best results from either one. That’s why our team at PAD highly recommend a combination of both, regardless of whether you are taking your car to a detailing shop or DIY.

Our Recommendation

As a car owner, only you know what is best for your car. If you can afford to get a car detailing, we highly recommend you do. It will make your car look amazing inside and out. Not only that, your car’s surface will continue to be protected from UV rays, dirt and debris over the next few months. If you’re on a budget or just need a quick clean then a car wash is the obvious choice. Just be aware that scratches can potentially occur even with an automatic car wash. We hope this article was helpful for you to make a decision towards how to clean your car. At PAD we offer top of the line car detailing service. If you’re interested in getting your car detailed you can view our services HERE. Check out our other blog articles to get updates and learn more about car detailing.