If you are a car owner, you must be familiar with the terror and worry that follows after you see notice your car as scratched or chipped. Especially if you are an automobile fanatic, even a few tiny scratches can be a nightmare. Probably that is the reason paint correction has become so popular in the auto industry. Paint job correction serves as an easy process and a reliable solution for fixing the minute imperfections of your car and making it look as good as new. Here is everything you need to know about paint job correction to help you increase the resale value of your car:
What Does a Paint Correction Do?
Many people wonder “What does a paint correction do?”, or “Does full coverage insurance cover paint jobs?” Paint correction is a fairly common process used to make the tiny scratches and swirls disappear from your car, by different techniques. The process involves the rectification, removal, or leveling of the car paint to make the coat even and smooth.
Getting scratches on your car is nearly inevitable because your car can get scratched from something as regular as polishing and washing of the vehicle. Similar is the case with the swirl marks on the cars, which can appear when the light bounces on the flaked or uneven paint and leaves those extremely thin scratches.
Paint Correction Tools to Get the Job Done
Different paint correction tools are used by auto experts to carry out the simple steps of the whole procedure. Typically, it is done using a microfiber buffing pad, a plug-in polisher, and various cutting compounds which remove the irregularities of the paint coat of a car and make it smooth and leveled.
The process takes a different amount of time for each vehicle, for instance, cars that have just a few swirl marks on them require as low as 4 hours per step. Whereas, some cars can take up to 70 hours for a complete correction and leveling of the clear coat.
What is Included in Paint Correction?
You should know that paint job correction doesn’t mean the mere concealment or cover-up of the scratches instead it includes removing the imperfections in the car coating from their core. So, what is included in paint correction?
The process is all about removing the clear coating using chemicals and then using electrical polishing machines to level out the layer of paint. Unlike the simple polishing of the car which is used to temporarily cover up the scratches and swirls, paint job correction includes an entire procedure to permanently remove the flaws and your vehicle perfect.
The process needs sufficient automobile knowledge and mechanical experience because it is a task demanding great precision and skillsets. The overall process is slightly different depending on the nature of the deficiency of the vehicle and the type of paint job it requires. For instance, the thickness, depth, time period, sturdiness, and the curves of the defects of your vehicle’s coating determine how much time it will take and the type of paint job.
Three Paint Correction Steps
Depending on the condition of your car, these are three major paint correction steps
Not every car needs all three of these stages, extremely minute scratches can be removed by even one or two of these steps.
Here are the basic three stages and their uses:
Leveling or Correction
This stage of the paint job correction is considered the most aggressive one and it is done only when the condition of the vehicle is really bad. The correction or leveling removes huge scratches from the car using wet and color sanding, but this stage requires a trained auto professional as amateurs can ruin your car with sanding.
The wet sanding is done using moist sandpaper specially intended for automobiles. Water is an important element in wet sanding as it gives the sandpaper enough lubrication to move along the surface smoothly.
It is also vital to absorb the paint that has been scratched from the clear coat using sandpaper. The correction stage removes the clear coating of the paint to get rid of the scratches and marks on the surface.
Cutting or Compounding
Sometimes when the scratches are too deep and stubborn enough that wet sanding is not fully able to remove them, compounding is used, but it can also be used independently of the sanding process. Compounding is done using an electrical polisher and with the help of cutting compounds, hence also called the cutting process. Most experts use polishing machines to perform this step of the paint job correction.
The polish contains abrasive compounds that work like sandpaper to eliminate all kinds of defects from the clear coating. The compounding done by machines uses woolen and microfiber pads along with chemicals to produce enough friction to remove all imperfections efficiently. Thanks to advanced technology, there are dual-action electric polishers and heavy-duty abrasives available that make the job way easier.
There is not much difference between the polishing and cutting process of the paint job correction, except for the polishing is a bit gentler than compounding. It is quite the opposite of what is done in the compounding phase; here the polishing machines with pads and chemicals are used to restore the clear coating instead of removing it.
The new look of the vehicle that has just received the paint job correction comes from the polishing phase. The gentle pads of the polisher are used to give the finishing touch to the car and make it look glossy. After the compounding process, the defects are not there anymore, but the shine is the smooth paint is missing too, which is why the polishing is used. The resale value of your vehicle is likely to be increased even after a bad condition if all three steps of correction have been applied to it.
How Much Is A Full Paint Correction?
When you have made up your mind correcting the paint of your car, the next thought that comes to your mind “How much is a full paint correction?”. The cost of it depends greatly on how many steps/stages of correction the car needs, and that is determined by the condition of your car.
Cost of Paint Correction Near Me
Generally, the more flawed a vehicle is, the more it is going to cost you for the correction as all three stages are used for deep imperfections. Another important determinant for the charges of correction is the time taken for the job. Some professionals like to charge by hours, for instance, an average rate per hour is nearly around $100 to $300, although it can vary from where you are in the country because of different charges in most states.
The amount you pay for the paint job correction of your car reflects the quality of the job done, because the more you pay for this, the better professional you will get. Typically, you can expect to pay somewhere between $300 to $2500 for the full paint job correction, depending on the paint job your car needs.
For the simple removal of the swirl marks, one step is enough and it will cost you nearly $300-$600. The one-stage correction process can remove more than 25% of the swirl marks from your car. The vehicles that cannot be treated with just one stage of correction, can cost you somewhere between $700- $1000, but more than 70% of the scratches are removed by that.
As for the 100% removal of the paint flaws and making your car good as new, you should be ready to pay as much as $1000-$2500. It may seem a bit too much but the three-stage process makes your car look highly presentable and increases its resale value. So before you go around searching for paint correction near me, make sure that you know the condition of your car so that you can have a clear idea of how much it will cost you.
Paint Correction Kit and Tools: Why Is Paint Correction So Expensive?
One of the most understandable reasons for it being so expensive is the number of steps involved in the full aesthetic repair. The paint correction kit and the tools they use for making your car shiny are also expensive, which is why they charge a lot to cover up those expenses as well.
When your car needs to get minute defects fixed, the process does not seem so expensive because there are fewer correction tools used. Apart from that when you leave your car at an automobile repair center, sometimes they not only charge you for the specific steps involved but also for preparing your car for the processes by washing it and for the finishing work on your car’s surface.
The full correction process involves a lot of technical and expert knowledge, because of the complex and fragile steps involved, such as cutting. In compounding and wet sanding, the technician has been professionally trained because these processes demand high precision and reliability.
Such jobs make the correction process labor-intensive, hence people find it so expensive. Some auto centers are offering the full package for your car for less than $500. As tempting as it may sound for your car, it is best to keep away from such offers, because the steps involve professional skills and knowledge, so beware of who you hand over your car to.
There are other factors too that contribute to the cost of paint job correction for your car, such as:
- Old and New Vehicles
It is quite normal for the auto experts to charge a bit higher for the older and much-used vehicle as compared to a new vehicle. That’s because the old cars take a lot more time and need way more work than the new cars which is why it is considered so expensive.
- Expectations Vs Needs
You might think that your vehicle needs only one stage treatment but when you take your car to an expert, they might tell you otherwise. The clash between the expected correction and its cost compared to the actual need and the cost of the process also makes people think it’s expensive.
- Vehicle Body and Size
Is it not a surprise to think that a car with a broader body and larger size will cost more for anything, be it simple polishing or a complete correction package. So the bigger the car is, the more expensive it will be for you to get the job done.
How Long Does Paint Correction Last?
Soon after hearing how expensive these correction jobs are, people get curious about the reliability of the process and wonder how long it lasts. It is natural to think about the reliability of something before you decide to spend hundreds of dollars on it.
Unlike the polish or waxing process that conceals the imperfections of your car temporarily, the correction work is fairly durable in this regard, as it removes the scratches instead of just covering them up.
A normal life span of a full paint job correction can last up to 5 years, but many factors can change that period for people. So, to best answer the question about how long the paint correction lasts, we must consider three major factors that contribute to the endurance of a scratch-less vehicle.
The three factors are:
Your Definition of ‘Long-Lasting’
When you decide to get the whole package, you have some kind of expectation from how your car might look after the job is done. Those expectations mainly decide how you define the durability of the paint job.
For example, if you are a person who thinks that your car should be glossy and neat for the rest of your life after the paint job, then the job will not last longer for you. But if you think that you cannot keep your car glossy and scratch less all the time because of the usage then you might consider paint jobs to last a long time.
How long your paint job will last is determined by how you understand this question in the first place.
Your Relation with Your Car
The common rule that the better you treat and keep something, the longer it lasts, applies to your vehicle as well. A good paint job can easily last five years and sometimes more if you use your car carefully.
Treating your car properly means being aware of where you park it, what agents are you using for washing it, and how you drive it. Because all three of these things lead to chipped paint and scratches if you are not careful.
For a person who keeps his/her car properly, and drives carefully, the paint job will last many years. Whereas, for someone with an opposite personality to this, a new paint job would be required after a year or two, or even sooner.
Protection After the Paint Job
The auto professional typically gives some instructions for how to protect your car from harmful agents after the paint job. How keenly you follow those instructions regarding your car also determines how long the paint job will last.
The most frequently followed protective steps for a newly corrected car include a paint protective sheet for the car or getting a ceramic coating. Both of these processes increase the durability of the paint job and make it last for many years.
There are other options too like the polymer seals and different kinds of waxes but they are not as effective for protection from scratches as these two are.
Is Paint Correction Permanent?
It is undoubtedly true that the paint job removes the scratches from the surface of a car and gives it a new and sleek look. But is paint correction permanent? Well, you cannot expect a vehicle that you drive every day to stay in that condition forever, meaning the paint job is not permanent.
The paint job of your vehicle can last as long as five to six years and more for the garage exhibition cars but you will eventually need another treatment for your car after that time. So, it is concluded that the paint job you get for your car is not permanent; it will not last forever.
Is Painting Correction Worth It?
Having a paint job correction for your car coating indeed is one of the best things you can do for your car, but one thing that comes to everyone’s mind is that, Is it worth it? Whether or not you choose to get a paint job for your defective car depends on several factors. One such factor is the worth of the whole procedure for your car.
The best way to find out if something is worth it is by weighing its pros and cons. Here we have listed the top pros and cons of the paint job correction process to sort out whether that process is worth it or not.
The Smoothness of The Car Coating
The full paint job correction process includes cutting the clear coat of the paint of your car to remove the imperfections. The whole purpose of the compounding stage is to remove the ups and downs of the clear coating of the vehicle, making it sleek and smooth after the final polish. The smooth surface of the car after the full paint rectification makes it less vulnerable to the swirl marks, that occur due to the irregularities in the paint coating.
Makes the Car Look New and Vibrant
When you get a paint job correction for your car from a highly professional auto center, they make your car look new and better than ever. After a quality paint job, your car becomes vibrant and appears fresh and young.
These qualities are greatly appreciated by the car buyers therefore the resale value of your car also increases slightly after the process is done. The visible wear and tears on the car surface disappear due to the finishing polish. The correction services also restore the vinyl finishing of your car paint.
Provides Protection from the Scratches
The main purpose of the paint adjustment or correction is to remove the scratches and blemishes from your car coating. The experts at the auto centers are specialized to protect your car and remove all kinds of scratches and marks from the paint. They have distinct procedures to deal with mild to stubborn marks and scratches.
Apart from the removal of the scratches, a paint job also protects your car from dust, chemical, and dirt stains. Having a paint job correction for your car every few years provides an extra layer of protection for your car.
Long List of Car Washing Instructions
Once you get a paint job correction for your car, your car becomes somewhat special because the auto expert will list several care instructions that you need to follow during the car wash. That is because the paint coating after the correction becomes extremely smooth and shiny and needs extra care to keep it that way for a longer period.
You will be advised to adapt to modified washing techniques and the auto expert might restrict you from using the products you always used for the car wash.
It is Costly
We cannot deny the fact that the correction procedure is kind of a luxury for your car and not everyone can spare that much money on a car correction. Apart from the original paint job correction charges, there are several other costs that you have to pay to keep the paint job secure for a longer period.
There are cheaper options available too in the auto markets but taking your car to such places is no less than a catastrophe.
It Makes Your Car Vulnerable
The correction process involves removing the original coating of your car paint to get rid of the scratches and marks, which makes the car vulnerable if the technician lacks skills. A full paint job is a highly elaborate process that cannot be done by every other person. Many people do not realize this and end up with a new car coating filled with polishing swirls.
Looking at the pros and cons we can say that the car paint job correction is worth it only if you know the experts, otherwise, there is a great chance you will ruin your car paint.
Paint Correction DIY: Can You Do Paint Correction Yourself?
The answer to this question is yes since professional paint job correction costs so much you should benefit greatly by learning some basic paint correction DIY techniques. The paint job correction for the minute flaws of your car coating can be dealt with at home. It can be done without any machines, using just a microfiber cloth and some cutting compound.
Here is everything you need to know about paint job correction DIY:
For doing paint job correction at home, you need foam, clay lube, woolen pads, microfiber wads, compound, towel, finishing polish, and a backing plate. All of these tools and products are available at any local auto store for less than $1000.
Procedure to Ensure Maximum Paint Correction Before and After Results
- Step 1: Before starting the correction process for your car, you should always clean your car thoroughly. Use the foam to gently rub off the dirt and dust from your vehicle and then wash it off with a large bucket of water. You would also want to remove all kinds of contaminations from the paint surface by slowly rubbing the microfiber on the surface. The contaminations can include acid rain stains, watermarks, and bird droppings, etc.
- Step 2: After you have washed and removed all the contaminants from the surface of your car, it’s time for the scrubbing part. You can use a clay bar or any clay lubricant with a bar towel and get to scrubbing. Once the whole surface has been scrubbed enough, dry the coating with a microfiber cloth or pad.
- Step 3: This next step is a lot technical and it can potentially damage your vehicle coating if you are not careful. For this process, you need to apply some high-quality cutting compound, to the microfiber pad for leveling. This step can be done by hand but for the best results, you should get an electric polisher, where the microfiber pad is attached. After some round of the microfiber pad on the surface, always replace it to avoid smearing the coating with more scratches. Complete the leveling process for all the places where you see scratches and marks.
- Step 4: This is the final step to the DIY paint job, for you need a good polishing compound, pad, and a backing plate. Pour some polishing chemicals on the polishing disk or the pad and apply it to the surface of your car where the leveling has been done. After two or three rounds of polishing, you will get a perfectly shining and smooth paint coating of your car, all of which has been done by you. At the end of the whole process, you would clearly see a paint correction before and after difference.
Does Paint Correction Fix Deep Scratches?
By now we all know that the car correction process is for fixing and removing the scratches from the surface of the car coating. Many people still wonder does paint correction fix deep scratches? For instance, if you parked your car in your apartment parking lot and some kid from the neighborhood made a deep scratch on your car using his key.
Verdict: Does Paint Correction Fix Scratches?
So, does paint correction fix scratches? Yes!
You can always take your car to the paint job correction professionals because they can fix all kinds of scratches and marks no matter how deep they are. The deeper the scratches are, the more detailed process for the correction of paint will be used.
Although normally there are three major stages to a full paint job, the much intensive marks and cuts on the paint coatings can take up to ten different steps. Those steps involve other techniques too that are independent of the correction procedures but that happens only when the in-depth and deep correction of the coating is needed. Even though the paint job correction is reliable for fixing scratches, you should not always rely on just this process for the scratches and dents.
Does Toothpaste Ruin Car Paint?
Many people use toothpaste as a polishing compound when doing minor corrections to their car paint at home. The answer to the question “does Toothpaste ruin car paint?” is both yes and no because while the toothpaste may not entirely affect the car paint badly, but the course of applying and rubbing it on the coating most likely does.
According to the experts, there is nothing chemically wrong with the toothpaste that can damage the car’s surface and ultimately ruin its paint. Instead, they say that toothpaste is a great alternative to the finishing polish. It is the way of applying that toothpaste that is problematic and makes people search for questions like this one.
Toothpaste has water contents, fluoride, and abrasive elements that remove the dirt from the surface whether it’s in your mouth or on the car. The chemical composition of all kinds of toothpaste makes them fairly antiseptic which helps remove the contaminations from the car surface. The abrasive properties of the toothpaste are not as vigorous as the sandpaper that is used for the leveling process.
As long you correctly apply the toothpaste on the car surface, the answer to this question will remain a big no. But it changes into a yes when people rub the toothpaste on the car paint in such a way that it leaves marks and tiny lines. Some people use the cloth and the pad with the toothpaste, so vigorously on the car surface that it is bound to leave traces on the paint such as tiny streaks. If consumed in the right way, toothpaste can actually be used to remove nearly 25% of the scratches from your car paint without having to pay for the stage-one paint job correction. So, the next time you see a minor streak on your car from a bird dropping or a stone, take out your toothpaste and fix it yourself.