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Paint Correction 101: Understanding the Process of Ceramic Coating

Routine Paint Care for Your Car

Maintaining a car's paintwork is as ongoing as protecting your skin. It requires regular washing, protection from the sun, and specialized products to keep it glowing and slow down the evitable effects of time. If neglected, the natural effects of time and environment can turn a flawless shine into an oxidizing, flaking mess. That's why cleaning a vehicle's paint is vital to its preservation.

Products like ceramic coating offer a unique and premium paint production benefit. DIY products marketed as having ceramic coating properties can offer some protection. However, a professional detailer can help ensure the best performance by first treating the vehicle with a paint correction process.

What are the 3 Stages of Paint Correction?

Paint correction is an industry term used by professional detailers. It's a process of restoring or rejuvenating through polishing away surface imperfections. These imperfections include swirl marks, sun damage, light scratches, clear coat haze or etching caused by acid rain, bugs, and bird droppings.

The goal of paint correcting is to create an even layer, or clean canvas, on which ceramic coating can be applied for maximum results. Without paint correction, blemishes and scratches are sealed under the coating and highlighted after the fact. There are three stages of paint correction depending on necessity.

Stage 1 is reserved for vehicles with no visible blemishes or light damage. It involves a machine polish using one type of finishing polish and one finishing pad to create a clean surface to begin the ceramic coating application.

Stage 2 is recommended for vehicles with visible swirl marks and light scratch marks. This service uses two different polish and pad combinations. The first step uses a more abrasive polishing compound and pad to remove the imperfections. Afterward, a finishing polish refines the paint and removes any marring or holograms left over by the first step.

Stage 3 helps vehicles with heavy swirl marks, visible scratches, and other surface paint defects. This process involves three different polish and pad combinations. It starts with a cutting compound using a heavy cutting pad to remove deep-set swirl marks and may include spot wet sanding for more severe scratches. Cutting polish is used in the second step to remove swirls marks while refining the paintwork. Last step is applying the ceramic coating.

Its important to note that modern advances in paint correcting products like chemical compounds have streamlined the common 3 stage rule. For example, an XPEL certified installer will typically asses a vehicle's paint quality on an individual bases and provide the customer with a detailed proposal.

Why Paint Correction is Necessary for Ceramic Coating

If you take your vehicle to a professional detailer for ceramic coating, it will likely need paint correction. But why? Whether a car is a few years old or just left the dealership, paint imperfections can occur anytime. Sometimes these imperfections, like overspray or bubbles, can happen at the factory or during transportation.

Because ceramic coating involves applying the liquid-based product and covering every square inch of a vehicle's painted surface, a professionally installed ceramic coating means peace of mind that no spot is left untreated. But to ensure an even layer of ceramic coating, the paint itself needs to be free of contamination and restored to a flawless finish as much as possible.

Paint correction before applying the ceramic coating is the best way to ensure the product's best results.

A high-quality ceramic coating like XPELFUSION PLUS protects the paint with hydrophobic properties. As a result, it helps make maintaining a clean vehicle easier and lasts much longer than conventional store-bought waxing products. It's a low-maintenance solution to keeping your car's paint looking its best for longer. In addition to wide range of specialty ceramic coating variants to protect a vehicle’s wheels, brake calipers, glass, plastic trim, and certain interior components.

A professional detailer may recommend using a quality Ceramic Boost detailing spray to help rejuvenate the coating's hydrophobic properties and prolong its longevity with a slick finish. XPEL Ceramic Boost is specially formulated to work with FUSION PLUS Ceramic Coating, new FUSION PLUS SATIN, and other XPEL branded paint protection products.

Get a Free Quote on Ceramic Coating at an XPEL Dealer Near You

Check out XPEL's extensive line of ceramic coating products designed to protect your car, truck, or SUV against the wear and tear of everyday life. The Installer Locator Tool will help you find an XPEL installer in your area to get a free quote on any of our products.