Make your paint Pop!

“How?” You might ask. With Paint Correction, of course!


What is Paint Correction?

Paint correction is the process of leveling the clear coat on your vehicle in order to remove swirl marks, scratches, and scuffs. This is accomplished through a complex and nuanced process that usually involves a two-steps - compounding (also know as buffing) and polishing (also known as jeweling). Paint correction involves a great deal of concentration, experience, and knowledge. We use a variation of compounds, polishes, pads, machines, and coatings to ensure your vehicle is show car ready.

What is compounding/buffing? - Compounding or buffing is using an abrasive compound with a foam, wool, or microfiber buffing pad with the purpose of targeting and removing medium or severe defects in the paint.

What is polishing? - Polishing is the softer version of compounding. Polishing is done in order to remove light scratches and bring more clarity and depth to the paint. Generally people will compound their car to remove medium and deep scratches then polish it to give it an amazing finish.

Do I need both? - Possibly. If your car’s paint is in good condition and only contains light scratching and you want to give it that extra gloss - then polishing is all you need. If you have visible scratches on your car and you really want it to look perfect - then a two-step compound and polish is what you need.


Why do I need a Paint Correction?

If you are tired of seeing scratches on your car, if your car’s paint looks dull and lifeless, or if you want to take your car’s shine to the next level you need a paint correction. If you are planning to go to a car show having perfectly finished paint is an absolute necessity. The only way to achieve perfect paint is through buffing an polishing. This is not only for older cars, but also new cars. It may seem unnecessary to correct brand new paint, but even a new paint job is not perfectly smooth, so it still needs care and attention to have the best possible shine.

Types of scratches

Scratches on your car can see to come from nowhere, but none the less they are still unsightly and frustrating. Regardless of the type of scratch, scratches will degrade the finish of your vehicle. With that being said, many people do not no the difference between various types of scratches and how to remove them. Below is more information.

Swirl Marks - These are the most superficial scratches and the most easy to remove. A one-step polish will remove all swirl marks since they have not yet gone deeper into the clear coat.

Isolated Scratches - These scratches are more difficult to remove, but can still be removed by first compounding or buffing the affected area, then finish with a one-step polish.

Deep Scratches - Deep scratches are more difficult to remove. If the scratch has gone through the base coat and into the primer or substrate you will first need to touch-up the area with color paint before a paint correction. If the scratch has not gone through the base coat then you will be able to wet sand the scratch and then complete with a two-step compound and polish.


Water Spot Etching - These are much like swirl marks in the fact they are not very deep into the clear coat and thus can be removed in the same way - with a one-step polish.

Holograms - These are left behind after the first stage of compounding or buffing a vehicle. Polish the vehicle with a DA polisher to remove holograms.

When is Paint correction not enough?

The results from a paint correction can be amazing, but it is not a miracle. Rarely, but occasionally, it is easier for the surface to be repainted. If the paint is severely oxidized, it will appear chalky. At this point buffing will help, but it will be better to respray the paint. Cars have been being painted using a layer of clear coat over the base color for approximately 25 years. If your car is older than that, a paint correction may not be able to produce the same results since the paint is not thick enough to have a large enough margin to remove deep scratches.

How Much does paint correction cost?

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It is impossible to quote you an accurate price without seeing the condition of the car first. It all depends on the current condition of your vehicle, the size of your vehicle, and the level of service you desire. I do not want to mislead anyone, so if you want an accurate quote please contact me to discus details.

Why don’t I just go to a body Shop?

Unfortunately, the number of people who know what they are doing in Winston-Salem, with regards to paint correction, is far and few. If you go to an average body shop you will see an inexperienced and average detailer using an over-sized rotary machine buffer on your car. Are you serious? Do you really want to trust your multi-thousand dollar investment to a below average body shop - I thought so. If you are more concerned with price as opposed to value then a body shop is for you. But if you chose a body shop expect to have a lot of haze marks on your paint.

Body shops use what is called “production line detailing.” This means they are only concerned with getting as many cars done as possible and do not care about the end result. In my area Winston-Salem most use products (Polish) with fillers, they do rotary work, very quick turn around. Detailing as quick as possible mostly hand wash or wax jobs, cheap products, cheap tools cheap labor, just to make rent and put a few dollars in pocket. Most shops you pull up and they immediately start hand washing, some may use a pressure washer to knock off some debris, no foam cannon, no vehicle walk around, they grab towels and start washing then rinse and start drying,then start waxing no claying some do not even know what claying is....sorry for my ranting.

If you are going to pay the price to have your car detailed, make sure to use someone who knows what they are doing, like us. Drive by Detail has years of practice and experience in professional auto detailing. We know what we are doing.

How long does paint correction take

The length of time paint correction takes is dependent on the size of the vehicle, the type of paint, its current condition, and what condition you want it to be in. Paint hardness is on a spectrum, but most of the time you will have either hard or soft paint. Hard paint means it will take more time, more product, and more work. Though, if your paint is soft it will generally be finished faster. The exact time for paint correction must be quoted on a car by car basis due to the numerous variables involved. We would be happy to provide an estimate and discuss the process with you to bring your car back to like-new condition.

Where can I have my car buffed, compounded, or polished?

If you are interested in having your car’s paint transformed, contact the experts at Drive by Detail. We are a mobile detailing service that specializes in quality detailing, so we can tell you exactly what can be done to restore your car and give you an idea of what it will look like and what it will cost. We know how to give your car the best finish and shine.

Our Detailing Process

We start with a thorough wash to remove surface level dirt from the car. Next, we use a clay bar and iron remover to eliminate embedded contaminants. Next, we will tape off areas that do not need to be polished (such as plastics or glass). The following steps will rely on what level of treatment you want. Typically, we will begin with an inspection of the paint then we complete a test-spot to see what process will bring the best results. Next, if you we will compound the paint to remove medium to deep swirl marks. Then we will polish the paint to ensure a clear and deep finish. Next, we will apply a long-lasting sealant or ceramic coating. After we are done your car’s paint will shine like nothing you have seen before. The paint will be clear, deep, and glossy.

Before Paint Correction

After Paint Correction

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If you want to have your car’s paint corrected please contact us - this way, we can talk and form a plan on how we can best help you and your vehicle.