Paint Correction Stages
A lot of people ask what the difference is between a Stage 1, Stage 2 and Stage 3 Paint Correction (Machine Polishing). And if you are a detailer or enthusiast, you probably already know that this refers to how many pad/polish combinations that we use to complete a job.
We also get a lot of calls from people who are against machine polishing because they have been stung by detailers that have done a poor job and left their paint work looking worse then when they started by leaving buffer trails and burning through the paint. This is caused by the so called detailer using a polish and pad combination that is too aggressive and burning through the paint work (you can not remove swirl marks and scratches and finish the paint down pefect in one step).
There is no reason why a flawless defect free finish cannot be achieved by machine polishing, all it takes is a highly skilled detailer to know what they are doing. No two paint jobs are the same and require different polishes and pad combinations to achieve a perfect finish, a perfect finish cannot be achieved by hand polishing as this will not remove swirl marks or heavier paint defects.
Stage 1 Paint Correction is just that, polishing the paint work in one stage or one step with only one type of polish and pad combination. This is suited to paint work in good condition already that have no real visible swirls and only very minor marring – the Stage 1 involves refining the paint work with a finishing polish and a finishing pad only and is generally not abrasive enough to remove swirl marks and scratches, it is then followed by a wax or paint sealant to protect the paint work. (2.5 Hours +)
Stage 2 Paint Correction is suited to cars that have moderate swirl marks and light scratches and involves using 2 different polish and pad combinations; the first step is generally a cutting (abrasive) polish, to remove imperfections such as swirl marks, light scratches and other moderate paint defects. This is followed by a finishing polish and finishing pad to refine the paint work even further by removing any marring or holograms left by the previous step, it is then followed by a wax or paint sealant to protect the paint work. (4 Hours +)
Stage 3 Paint Correction is suited to cars that have heavy swirl marks, scratches and other paint defects, it involves using 3 different polish and pad combinations, and this can also include spot wet sanding for heavier scratches. The first step is a heavy cutting compound with a heavy cutting pad to remove those deeper swirl marks and scratches, the second step is a cutting polish and polishing pad to remove further swirls marks followed by the finishing polish and finishing pad to further refine the paint work to a swirl, mar and hologram free finish, it is then followed by a wax or paint sealant to protect the paint work. (6 Hours +)