ATD Blog

Is Paint Correction Worth It?

Even though the dings and damage to your paint job may be subtle, paint correction can make a dramatic difference in the way your vehicle shines. 

Whether you’re maintaining that “new car” look with your daily driver or hoping to restore a project car to its original luster, paint correction delivers the wow-factor that car enthusiasts look for. 

If you’re curious about how paint correction works and whether it is worth investing in professional paint correcting services, here is the information you need to help your vehicle look its very best. 

paint correction shiny red carWhat is paint correction and how does it work?

Paint correction addresses minor scuffs, scratches, and imperfections in your car’s paint job by buffing out the clear coat that sits on top of the paint. 

Unlike deeper damage caused by highway gravel and runaway shopping carts, the scratches that paint correction repairs are surface-level and tend to occur in a swirl or spider web pattern that worsens over time. This damage to the clear coat causes very slight elevation changes that diffuse light to give your car’s exterior a dull and hazy appearance. 

Paint correction uses mechanical tools to meticulously buff your vehicle’s clear coat so that the surface is uniform and level. This prevents light from being unevenly reflected off of the valleys of any scratches or swirl marks, giving your paint a brilliant shine. This process is superior to products that temporarily fill in scratches with glazes and oils. 

What causes swirl marks in your car’s paint?

Many drivers assume that damage to their car’s paint job is always caused by a traumatic event. While this certainly can be true, even passive exposure to the elements takes a toll over time.

Swirl marks happen when fine particles of grit strike the surface of your car. Highway dirt and grime can attack your paint job when you are traveling at high speeds. This is particularly true for drivers in parts of the country that contend with heavy winter snows and road salt. 

In addition to the hazards you encounter on the road, one of the biggest causes of unsightly swirl marks is improper washing techniques. Using abrasive materials to wash your vehicle or scrubbing particles of grit into the surface with a dirty rag will damage your paint. 

Unlike deep scratches and chips that leave your car vulnerable to rust, these slight scuffs are usually imperceptible at first. As they build up over time, however, they will noticeably dampen your vehicle’s shine. 

What are the benefits of paint correction?

Some level of paint damage is an inevitable part of car ownership. Paint correction can turn back the clock to help protect your vehicle’s finish and give it a like-new luster.

Even brand new vehicles can benefit from paint correction. Minor top coat imperfections are extremely common on vehicles shipped directly from the factory. 

During transport, vehicles are often exposed to harmful elements like plastic temporary wrapping or rough handling. These vehicles may have spent time in a shipping container, on a car hauler, or out in an open parking lot for storage while they awaited transport. They also may have been subjected to poor cleaning techniques or an automated wash process in preparation for delivery. 

While dealerships specialize in selling vehicles, and they don’t specialize in protecting or detailing them. For this reason, connecting with a service professional in the automotive paint protection industry is an important part of purchasing a new vehicle.

Paint correction restores your car’s shine.paint correction wiping car

The most obvious benefit of paint correction is aesthetic. As automotive prices continue to rise, more and more drivers are looking for ways to fall in love with their cars all over again. 

Professional paint correction can turn back the clock and revitalize the shine your car had when it was brand new.

Paint correction improves resale value.

Showcasing your vehicle in the best possible light can help you get top-dollar when it comes time to sell. A clean, shiny car will fetch the highest trade-in value, so consider paint correction alongside other detailing before you take your car to market. 

Paint correction provides a foundation for protective coating.

Paint correction provides a smooth surface that can serve as an ideal foundation for PPF or ceramic coatings that further protect your vehicle’s paint. Because paint protection works by removing a thin layer of your car’s clear coat to create a perfectly smooth surface, it’s important to replace the protective coating that gets removed. A professional automotive detailer can install paint protection film so your car keeps looking brilliant.

Can I do my own paint correction?

Paint correction takes a great deal of skill and attention to detail. While it is possible to pull off paint correction in your home garage, the tools and equipment you need to do the job correctly are expensive. This, in combination with the risk of costly mistakes, makes an attempt at DIY paint correction cost-prohibitive for most car owners. 

Professional automotive detailers have the skills and tools they need to create a perfectly smooth, light-catching surface that will give you the show-stopping results you’re looking for. Find a reputable detailer to do the job right, and prepare to be amazed by how your vehicle shines.


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