Nothing beats the look of a brand-new car. The flawless paint, the shine – no scratches, swirl marks, or bird droppings in sight. But over time, imperfections in your paint are inevitable. Even with the most meticulous hand wash, it’s hard to recreate that beauty once you start driving it around.

When you want to recreate that flawless look that made you fall in love with your vehicle, paint correction is the way to go. Sometimes, a good detailer can make your paint look even better than it did the first time you saw it.

In this article, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about paint correction and how detailers like AODetail can help revitalize the look of your car. 

What is Paint Correction? 

Paint correction is the process of permanently removing imperfections in your vehicle’s paint job.  

Perhaps you haven’t been able to maintain your car the way you’d have liked. Maybe you bought a used car with noticeable swirl marks or holograms. All of these defects can be corrected by using cutting compounds, a collection of machine polishers, and a high-end detailer with the training and expertise to make sure it’s done right.  

Paint correction is a labor-intensive process that requires precise work and dedication to make you paint look crisp and clear. Trust us when we say that when it comes to paint correction, you get what you pay for. You’ll be much happier coming to AODetail first, knowing that you won’t end up paying for two paint corrections after the first shop gave you second-rate results.

Common Paint Imperfections 

Paint correction services fix a wide variety of imperfections, some of which are very obvious while others are more inconspicuous. Here are the most common types of paint imperfections we see and correct in our shop:.

Swirl Marks 

Swirl marks or holograms can look neat on a binder or a tumbler, but not when it’s unintentional and evident on the body of your car. Swirl marks are the result of tiny scratches that occur from abrasive materials gliding over the paint. Most of the time, this happens because you’ve been washing and drying your car improperly. Even if a dry towel feels soft to you, it’s still abrasive enough to create swirl marks. Luckily, paint correction can remove swirl marks for a sleek, mirrored exterior. 


This is an obvious one – no one likes to see scratches on their vehicle. Aside from looking unpleasant, scratches in the paint can expose the metal to oxygen, causing rust. If left untreated, rust from deep scratches can corrode your car, damaging it permanently. That’s why it’s worth bringing your vehicle in for a paint correction if you have light or deep scratches. 


Sometimes everything looks fine, but when you glide your hand across the surface of your car, you can feel imperfections. If that describes your vehicle, your paintwork has some contamination. Usually, contamination is from a vehicle’s environment. Trees may drop berries or sap, rail dust and other airborne contaminants will find a way to bond with untreated surfaces. Fall out and paint contamination is largely unavoidable on vehicles that spend their lives outdoors. 


Watermarks or water spots on your car are like those you get from your dishwasher. Rain, water, and cleaning products leave behind minerals or a residue that collects on the surface of your car. If untreated, these marks can permanently stain or etch your paintwork.

Acid Etching 

Acid etching is the meaner version of watermarks. When acidic materials are left on the surface, it will eat into the clear coat and become very difficult to remove. If you leave watermarks on your car for too long, you can get etching. The uric acid in bird poop is also a huge culprit, so you should always wipe away droppings as soon as possible.

Stages of Paint Correction 

Like we’ve mentioned before, paint correction is an intensive process, especially if there is a lot of damage. AODetail’s paint correction process includes the following:

  1. We start with thorough decontamination to wash away surface dirt and remove any bonded debris, such as tar spots and industrial fallout.
  2. Paint thickness is measured using special gauges to identify uneven surfaces, then careful examination of the paint under halogen and LED lamps reveals all imperfections. 
  3. Sensitive areas are masked off to prevent staining or damage from machinery and products. The utmost care is taken during these necessary masking steps.
  4. Once fully prepped, a fine amount of paint is removed using non/diminishing abrasives via paint-safe machinery to level the surface and remove heavier defects.
  5. A range of silicone-free polishes and compounds are applied to refine the surface and restore depth and clarity. Paint thickness is continually measured to ensure that the finish is even. If scratches are too deep to safely remove without risking further damage, the imperfections are rounded off at the edges to make them less visible in direct light.
  6. The panels are wiped down with a body shop strength panel wipe to remove any oils from the polishing process, revealing the true finish. The surface is now free of defects and ready to be protected.
  7. At this point, you may choose your method of protection: Synthetic Sealant or Paint Coating (Ceramic or Graphene).

Protecting Your Vehicle’s Paint After Paint Correction

After investing in high-quality paint correction, you owe it to yourself to make the results last as long as possible. While the results of automotive paintwork correction won’t last forever if left unprotected, proper maintenance and additional protective measures like ceramic coatings and paint protection films can make the beautiful paintwork last much longer.

AODetail: Your Professional Paint Correctors

The team at AODetail are car experts with years of experience correcting paintwork on exotics, luxury vehicles, and your everyday drivers. We live for the look on a driver’s face when they see how we’ve transformed their car. From convertibles to SUVs to beaters, we transform cars with visible paint and exterior defects into the beautiful road-worthy machines they’re meant to be. 

Notice the difference that flawless auto paintwork can make on your vehicle by scheduling an appointment with AODetail. Contact us today.

Nick Mercado

Author Nick Mercado

AODetail was formed in 2006 by Nicholas Mercado III, certified paint correction specialist, car fanatic with an obsession for the details. Nick has always cared for his own cars meticulously and came to the conclusion more people could use a service that offers an unmatched skill set, an eye for perfection as well as a level of customer service very seldom seen in the detailing industry. Combining those talents, AODetail was born.

More posts by Nick Mercado

Leave a Reply