Paint 101.

Understanding the Basics

This part of our website was created to give the average consumer some base knowledge about paint correction, buffing and polishing, and automotive paint in general.

The Lingo

Understanding key trade words will help you make a better decision on paint correction services.

Identify Your Defects

This information should help you identify your paint issues, as well as the limitation of your paint.




Buffing  refers to the process of removal of thin layers of paint (or clear coat) from an (automotive) finish. Buffing is synonymous with  compounding, cutting, and leveling. It is the first step of correction  in our 3-Stage Cut & Polish service. Buffing differs from polishing,  in the way that buffing is used to fix more heavy paint defects such as  scratches, heavy swirl marks, etching, oxidization, and much more. 



Polishing  is used to address milder paint issues such as swirl marks, buffer  swirls, or light scratches.  In addition to correcting paint,  polishing  can be used to refine the gloss and enhance the look of an automotive  paint. This step in paint correction is where experience shows, as it is  the difference between a vehicle's paint being 90 percent corrected vs  99 percent corrected. Being able to deliver the last 10 percent of  perfection is what separates our skilled paint correction services from  others. 


Paint Correction

Paint correction is the entirety of the process of removing defects from automotive paint. Paint correction can employ any variation or buffing, polishing, and scratch repair. Claybar is a part of the prep in a paint correction process, but does not correct paint on it's own. Applying sealant is usually the final step in the paint correction procedure, but does not do anything to remove defects. 


Sealants and Ceramic Coatings

Sealants  essentially seal in an automotive finish, usually after the paint  correction process. They range from short term paste wax to  permanent, ceramic and nano coatings. Sealants protect your finish from  the environment, and prevent defects such as oxidization, UV damage,  bird etchings, hard water spots. Ceramic Coatings protect against all these factors, as well as scratches (to an extent). In addition to the  paint protection benefits, sealants can enhance the look or appearance  of an automotive finish. 



Wax is an old school method of adding protection and gloss to an automobile. It is a common misconception that “waxing” is the same as buffing, polishing, and paint correction in general. Waxing does nothing to treat actual defects. Waxing a vehicle simply fills in scratches on a temporary basis , and provides a slick finish. Paint correction is permanent removal of defects, waxing is not. 

This is not to say that waxing doesn't have some advantages!


Scratch Repair

The process of removing automotive paint scratches through abrasion. Some scratches  may be repaired with less aggressive polishing, while certain scratches  will require heavy buffing, and wet sanding. Unfortunately, certain  scratches are out of the scope of our services. For instances, if your  scratch has a dent, or a large portion of paint missing, we may not be  able to repair it. However, we offer touch up services for moderate  scratches. 



A claybar is used to remove surface contamination from automotive paint. It is done by gliding a soft man made putty across the surface. With each motion, it removes embedded particles that are not removed during car washes.

Contrary to popular belief, claybar does not remove scratches. It is a preparation step in the paint correction process.



Watersanding is the most agressive method of paint correction. It involves rapid removal of clear coat (or paint) via abrasive papers, lubricated with water. Watersanding is used to remove deep defects where buffing would prove ineffective. Watersanding can be used to remove paint texture, as well as remove ceramic coatings. Watersanding is always a last resort to remove defects. It is important to remove the minimum amount of material to achieve desired results.