Paint Correction is the correct term as cut and polish may be a small part of the paint correction required for that particular vehicle.
So what are we talking about, what are we trying to correct and why does it become incorrect, and what are the methods techniques that detailers employ.
Of course we are talking about shine or the lack there of. Shine disappears for a whole of reasons and that’s why there are a whole lot of different ways to fix it.
The main reason why shine disappears is due to scratches, oxidation and dirt. When we say dirt it refers to anything and everything that shouldn’t be on the paint. That sounds obvious but there are many different types of dirt including road grime, concrete, sap , other paints, sand fragments(tram tracks) bird droppings etc.
Call the experts
Each one of these has a different method for removal. Inexperience in this area will have dire consequences. If you have any of these problems don’t try to fix yourself as you could do thousands of dollars worth of damage ring the experts. If its concrete ring us, no one else knows the techniques to safely remove concrete from your car.
So as we have discussed removal of the dirt or foreign matter from the paint is the first and most important step. Dirt on your car leads to oxidation or fading of the paint, that’s the main reason we wash our cars, to keep the shine.
Why is shine so important?
Because it looks good? Well yes but no. We instinctively like shine because it tells us that its dirt free and we like dirt free because its wont makes us sick. Shine makes us feel good so we like it. Shine also tell us that the surface of the vehicle is healthy and not oxidising. Shine is also good because it will stay cleaner easier. It doesn’t have the foothold for more dirt to adhere to.
Ok we have removed the dirt from the vehicle but still no shine. This could be for a lot of reasons but let’s say it’s one of the two most common reasons. Fine abrasive scratches very common with machine or brushed washed cars or dead paint.
To cut, or not, to cut
With the oxidised paint the answer yes, if you don’t it keeps oxidising. In this case we are removing paint that has died, it’s chalky and flaky. It has to be removed to prevent the rest of the paint from dying. Sometimes the dead zone has gone right through to the metal and touch-ups may be required after the cut and polish.
With fine abrasions you can either cut and polishing or glaze the paint. Cut polishing will fix it but it does so at the expense of good paint, paint that is not oxidised. The car only has so much paint and you don’t want to waste if you can avoid it. Glazing is a much better option for most of the car leaving good paint in tack to protect another day.