Paint Correction & Enhancement

Paint Perfection

Alfa Romeo 4C Polished, Detailed & Ceramic Coated – 2017

Paint Correction is the detailing industry term for Polishing / Buffing, which is to remove or improve scratches and swirls and to increase gloss, wetness and reflectivity in paint.

With the latest advancement in polishing technology we can remove up to 90-95% of polish-able defects like scratches and swirls from paint sometimes with as little as one polish!

If polishing pad and technique is spot on then most of the time only one application is required! The use of an extra polish, like in our Level 4 Multi Stage polishing package would then go towards increased correction and creating extra gloss, wetness and reflectivity in your paint.

The choice of polishing or buffing machine’s is a big influence in how much “detail” you can get in polishing. We have all the polishing movements available, rotary, forced rotation dual action and random orbital dual action as well as many size diameters of polishing pads to ensure you get the best polishing detail and results.

All our correction packages includes a Standard Detail process  but differs in the level of polishing done.

Paint protection is included with every package. Level 1 is a paint sealant and from Level 2 to 4 a Ceramic based sealant, GTECHNIQ’s C2V3 Liquid Crystal is included. Level 2 to 4 can be upgraded to a full Ceramic Coating

We can tailor any of packages to suit your needs, expectations or budgets just let us know!

If you are not familiar about polishing and detailing or want to brush up with the definition, terms and concepts, please visit the Frequently Asked Questions section on this page. It will defenitely help your understanding and assist you in making an informed choice.


Inspection & Quoting

I recommend booking an inspection to help you decide what will be the best in terms of polishing for your car.

There is so many variables such as how deep your scratches are, whether your paint is hard or soft etc that makes looking at a photo of your paint in order to estimate impossible. Generalisations can be made but it would be not be exact.

There is NO i.e. ZERO cost to an inspection!

In a physical inspection we inspect your vehicle and do a test polish on a small area to show you what polishing would look like on your own paint so you can make a better decision in terms of what suits your expectation / eye / budget.

NOTES: 

  • If you require a “written quote”, I charge R200 which is deductible from the job when we do it.
  • I offer digital paint measurement & reporting which can measure your paint thickness if your paint is suspect or you want a deeper insight. Please read more below
  • If you arent able to make it for an inspection before booking, I would suggest we schedule a call.

Surcharges:

  1. Prices quoted includes small cars up to standard sedan sized vehicles e.g. Corolla.
    • Larger vehicles e.g. Long sports cars, Rang Rovers, Bakkies with canopies, SUV’s, MPV’s minibus etc is priced on physical inspection
  2. Vehicles with mud is extra
  3. We allocate 15 minutes to a courtesy vacuum and interior wipedown. Interiors that requires more cleaning time, if you require it, will be extra.
  4. Pricing is dependant on how much polishing or cleaning detail / time you require.
  5. Classic, Super / Hyper Cars and Custom cars are quoted on request.

Level 1: Paint Enhancement

From R1500

A Paint Enhancement polish is entry level but highly effective correction polishing.

We use a single polish that provides correction, gloss as well as built in paint protection in one step.

It’s for cars that doesn’t require intensive correction / polishing / buffing or where you only want to improve and protect your paint.

It will remove or improve scratches, swirls and other defects as well as raise the gloss or shine of your paint. This polishing combination’s performance is determined by the condition, how much scratches and swirls you have and how hard or soft it is.

It’s always good ethic to start with the least aggressive method. It benefits you in terms of lower cost and your vehicle’s paintwork in terms of preserving paint thickness and thereby originality of the paint or simply preventing the costly and unnecessary respray of you paintwork.

TIME:

From 3hrs with 2 staff = 6 man hours+-


Level 2: Single Stage Polishing

From R2000

In this level we use a separate polish and protectant compared to the All-In-One used in Paint Enhancement.

This results in the following benefits:

  1. More intensive correction i.e. scratch and swirl removal
    • Before beginning the job , I like to personally test the best combination of single polish / pad / technique to give you optimum results
    • This is relayed to my team to action.
    • If we have time left in the scope of the package I take the opportunity to go over areas that would benefit.
  2. Higher gloss.
  3. Better paint protectant: GTECHNIQ C2v3 Liquid Crystal ceramic sealant for water repellency, UV resistance, extra slickness, gloss with longevity at 6 months

TIME:

From 4hrs normal time / Half Day with 2 staff = 8 man hours+-


Level 3: Single Stage Polishing PLUS

From R3000

This package is if you are wanting better polishing detail & precision particularly where you have a complex vehicle body shape where there is multiple body lines / folds / swages, transitions

We use a single polish for correcting your paintwork and we follow that with a Ceramic Sealant. We first test what will work optimally in terms of polish / pad / technique combination to give you optimum results.

Level 3 differs from Level 2 in that we use a different type of polishing machine / buffer. Two Random Orbital Dual Action, aka “DA”, type buffing machines is used; #1: a 5″ for larger areas of the paintwork and #2: a mini 3″ size for in between curves, edges, pillars, bumpers and other small areas. BTW: In Level 1: Paint Enhancement & Level 2, we use a single 5″ buffer, (using forced rotation movement), to do all the polishing. I have a section in my Frequently Asked Questions explaining polishing machines.

The advantage of using DA buffers is better detail in polishing, i.e. we able to precision polishing to get more scratches and swirls out in difficult areas and complex body shapes.

TIME:

From 6hrs / Approx a day with 2 staff = 12 man hours+-


Level 4: Multi Stage Polishing

From R4000

In this level we use two or more specialised polishes with different diameter size Random Orbital Dual Action buffers for the ultimate detail in polishing and the highest possible level of gloss, wetness and reflectivity.

In the other levels we use a single polish for both cut (i.e. scratches and swirl removal ability) and gloss. By testing which polish and pad will remove scratches and swirls and give the highest gloss we ensure you have the best possible results from polishing.

We apply your choice of paint protectant, read more below.

TIME:

Turnaround time and pricing is dependant on staff availability, when you schedule, your cars condition and body shape.

  1. Full day with 3 staff or 1.5 days with 2 staff = 21 man hours+-
  2. Up to 2 days with 2 staff = 32+ man hours
  3. 2 days with 3 staff = 58 man hours

Ceramic Coatings

A ceramic sealant is applied as standard to Level 2 to 4 correction packages. A ceramic sealant is a hybrid of ceramic (glass / crystal) technology and polymer sealant technology.

I can upgrade you to a proper Ceramic Coating. A ceramic coating will last you year(s) , yield better performance in terms of preservation, protection and improves the hardness of your paint making it less prone to swirls.

Speak to me on your expectation and budget and I can quote you!


Standard Detail

Standard detail is the included detailing steps for all our Paint Correction services.

It’s important to me that you know what you are getting and there is no grey areas in terms of expectations.

If you want more detail or a service that either is not mentioned here, or it might not be enough for your vehicle or expectation, we can discuss your needs and quote accordingly

Standard Detail List – click to expand
  • Exterior washing
    • As with everything in life a “strong foundation” is important. Cleaning is a car care’s foundation.
    • We do several cycles of washing :
      1. First wash
        • We pretreat for bugs and if there is a light of tar before washing
        • Presoak – to remove maximum dirt
        • Wheel clean
        • High Pressure rinse
        • Foam up and hand wash
        • Clean with a detail brush through of rubbers, channels, emblems and grill
          • We allocate 10 minutes around the car. Complex front grills may require more time and possible polishing after cleaning
      2. Post Paint Decontamination / Final wash
        • Please Note: This is done after claying and if optioned iron remover. This is necessary to properly remove contaminants that has been lifted through claying.
        • high pressure rinse
        • hand wash
        • towel dry
      3. Pre coating wash – This is only done if we are ceramic coating to remove and polish residue.
        • high pressure rinse
        • soak with a co-polymer remover (removes the polish)
        • rinse
        • hand wash
        • towel dry
  • Paint Decontamination
    • Clay bar / pad/ cloth treatment to remove bonded dirt.
      • We allocate 30 min of normal time to do this with 2 staff. This equals 1 man hour and is sufficient for most cars.
    • Iron remover between joints, badges, seams and wherever clay wont get to.
      • If your car has a high level of iron / rust deposits we can apply to the entire car at an extra cost.
  • Polishing
    • We use only the best quality brands of polish on the market namely:
      • Premium production brands e.g. Meguiars, Autoglym, Menzerna, 3D etc
      • High End brands e.g. Koch Chemie, RUPES or SONAX is available*
    • All our polishing machines is from RUPES and includes all polishing movements namely: Rotary, Forced Rotation and Dual Action movements.
      • We also have polishing diameters from 8″ down to 1″ for maximum efficiency.
    • Each package includes an optimal combination of polish, machine and pad size for the best results in the allocated time.
  • Paint Protection
    • We have a wide selection of Glaze, Wax, Sealants and Ceramic Coatings that can further enhance your vehicles looks and protection.
    • Our standard options include premium Ceramic Sealant technology amongst others
  • Interior
    • We spend 15 minutes on your interior and focus on the following:
      • Interior blowout, brush up and vac
      • Wipe down with Autoglym’s car specific disinfectant and cleaner of your vehicle interior’s high touch points, i.e. dash, steering, gear shift, door handles
      • Glass steam cleaned inside and out
    • PS: We offer full valet / deep cleaning the interiors
  • Details
    • Tyre cleaned during washing cycle and tyre dressing applied.
    • Exterior plastic trim cleaned during wash cycle & dressed
    • Exterior rubber trim cleaned during wash cycle & dressed
    • Standard exhaust polish to clean and improve shine (5min)
  • Disinfection
    • As part of our COVID19 protocol, during our wipe down we use a multi surface disinfectant from Autoglym purpose designed to sanitize.
    • Before hand over, we go over your steering and other controls, inside and outside door handles to ensure the highest level of safety.
    • Keys is disinfected before hand over

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

“What Is Detailing, Paint Correction & Polishing?”

What makes ProTouch different to other Detailers?

“How Does Polishing Work?”

About Polishes & Machines

I see another detailer offers a 101(+) Step detail. Whats that all about?

What is a 3 Stage polish / buff?”

“How Thick Is My Paint?”

“What Is Wet Sanding?”


“What Is Detailing, Paint Correction & Polishing?”

Detailing is the thorough and precision cleaning, polishing and restoration of a vehicle.

This section is a duplicate from the Polishing & Detail page. Its repeated here in case you haven’t read the Polishing & Detailing page so that you at least informed about the differences on these three concepts.

In my opinion detail is a state of mind. Detailing is how thorough and attentive the person(s) that’s doing the cleaning or polishing is and how much time you as the client want to spend that determines the amount of detail.

Polishing is a part of detailing and not detailing in itself. As with the definition of detailing I gave, polishing can be done superficially and it can be done with detail.

I include a standard level of detail that occurs in the cleaning process before polishing and then when finishing your car. I’m happy to quote anything outside this scope.

Polishing & Buffing refers to the “same thing” in the auto industry today. Paint Correction is just the detailing industry’s term for polishing or buffing.

There is two major ways to polish, to Correct paint, where defects is permanently removed by polishing or Glazing, where defects is filled / masked for a period of time by polishing.


“What makes ProTouch different to other Detailers?”

Our approach and passion.

I recognize that each vehicle and its owner is different. I offer different Levels of Paint Correction to suit the different conditions of paint, customer expectation and budget. We can personalize any of these services even further to ensure the best result.

I spend a lot of our profits on new products, pads and machines in order to keep ahead and ensure we are using the most effective solutions.

My process is to always start from the least aggressive and work up as necessary. This is important in preserving paint thickness and therefore its originality, avoiding unnecessary respray of your paintwork and helps controls your budget.

Each Level can also be tailored to suit your needs especially in regards to detail.

I invite clients to arrange a no cost inspection with us where we can polish out a test area and show you what works and what to expect for yourself. I can work with your perception and expectations and don’t impose mine.

2019 Range Rover Autobiography test spots
We check every angle to ensure our workmanship is top notch.
I keep a range of different polishes, pads and machines to give my clients the best possible results.
Ferrari F355 F1 GTS: Detailed for Viglietti Motors in 2008, then sole importer of Ferrari and Maserati in South Africa.

“How does Polishing Work?”

Scratches and swirls is damage that penetrates into your paint. It has “depth”. In order to remove scratches and swirls, we need to polish them out.

Polishing is the microscopic “cutting” of the top layer of your paint in order to remove the relevant defect. The deeper the scratch, swirl or defect, the deeper we must cut the paint thereby thinning it.

Its important to realise that the paint on your car has a limited thickness. The average is 120 microns for the total film of paint.

To put this in perspective:

  • The average human hair thickness is 70 microns with 90 microns considered thick
  • A sticky post it note is 108 microns
  • The average human fingernail is over 400 microns thick!
    • FYI: fingernails is hard enough to scratch paint.
Illustration by Todd Helme

Rule Of Thumb: If you can feel a scratch with your fingernail its too deep to remove! It may be improved though.


I’m about to get a little technical in the next section. I discuss Polish, buffers / polishing machines and how that will determine the outcome of polishing on your car.

If you are interested to know more, by all means please continue or use the handy “SKIP OVER” button to jump over this section. I wont know so my feelings wont be hurt 😉


About Polishes & Machines

Its critical that all aspects in polishing given proper consideration for the proper processing of your paintwork.

Firstly its important to understand polishes, as in the liquid used. All polishes does not “cut” the same. A few years ago and still in common use today, is different grades of polish. These are fixed cut characteristics typically graded as stage 1 / heavy / coarse / cutting / rubbing compound, stage 2 medium polish and stage 3 a fine / finishing polish. This type of polishes is completely outdated.

The latest polishes can accomplish all three stages in one single bottle. It reduces time, increases efficiency and far safer for you paint in that it doesn’t unnecessarily thin the paint or over heat it. (heat is bad for paint!) It does need some patient understanding of how polishes work, but once mastered it will yield a mind blowing finish.

We find the use of one or two polish systems enough to give you the results you want.

Another important input into polishing is the buffer or polishing machine type. Yes you get multiple types of polishing machines!

Rotary

A rotary polisher spins a polishing pad from the center axis. Technique is critical to getting the right result.

It is predominantly used in the panel beating and spray painting industry due to its durability and high speed “results”.

Due to lack of technique and attitude by the operators, we see a lot of damage caused with this polisher. From holograms, a type of swirl that moves as you eyes does, to burn or strike through of paint is common.

Holograms &swirls on a new Audi RS4 Avant
After correction
Burn or strike through on fender edge from bad polishing

Forced Rotation

A forced rotation polisher has both rotation and an orbit but in constrained pattern.

It achieves this by a gearbox between the driving motor and spindle / backing plate / pad assembly. It is this combination of assembly that has made machines using this movement heavy, hot and prone to vibration.

The latest machines have become more advanced ironing out these issues.

The result is a machine capable of cutting like a rotary but safe with more “detail” around small areas and curves.

Dual Action / Random Orbital

A Dual Action or Random Orbital machine rotates and freely / randomly orbits.

These polishers don’t create swirl marks and probability of damaging paint is low but not impossible.

They come in various sized orbits, most commonly 21mm, 15mm, 12mm, 8mm as well as smaller orbits more for sanding applications. The higher the orbit in millimeters the longer the orbit its and vice versa.

If the correct orbit size and pad/compound is used it can deliver awesome results in as little as one step.

It does however require different tool sizes in terms of pad diameter to cover every vehicle perfectly, especially on edges and in tight spaces.

I have all DA orbits and diameter machine sizes!

“As a Professional, I believe every detailer needs to be equipped with, be an expert on, of all the types and sizes of buffers / polishers so that we can provide the best level of detail and efficiency for our customers! Calling one polishing system “the best” is limiting and your results will be limited too!”


I see another detailer offers a 101(+) Step detail. Whats that all about?

A stage or step is used to describe the different things done to a car in an overall detail or polishing specific process.

Every detailer uses these terms differently. Sadly a lot of the time, its used to wow people by numbers.

Some people count the various types of polishing done with or without the paint protection step. Some count everything from putting water into their bucket to saying goodbyes.

I’m not kidding, I’ve seen detailers offer a 100+ step detail.

In my services, I refer to steps or stages of polishing only and don’t include paint protection or other details like washing or pickup a bucket as part of it.

Bottom line: Be thorough in assessing what you are getting from who!


“What is a 3 Stage polish / buff?”

To me, the most important use of the terms “steps and stages” is in describing the amount of polishing done as it has serious implications in terms of thinning and over stressing paint by over polishing.

Just a few years ago there used to be the concept of a 3 stage polish job. This used to be a heavy / coarse cut, then a medium cut and a finishing fine polish to process your paint. At this time, it was necessary to go through all steps without skipping in order to have a proper result. Where 2 stages were offered, it would start with a medium cut and then finishing polish.

With the cutting edge polishing technology we have available today, its possible to do all polishing using a single polish (with different pads and or technique) to do these multiple steps and most often in just one step with even less passes than ever before! This is tremendously significant in that its more efficient and does not over polish your car and thin it out like older polishes and methods. If thinning paint isn’t a concern, polishing causes heat by the buffing or rubbing friction. Over polishing can therefore pass so much heat, that it can swell the paint causing paint to fail.

I have different machines, namely rotary, forced rotation, dual action and in different diameters, from 7″ down to 1″ to give you the most optimal and efficient results.


“Which package is best for my car?”

No two cars paint is the same as well as each persons eye.

How bad or good a car looks is a very subjective opinion. How it looks doesn’t necessarily determine how much or little polishing would be required. Paint can be hard or soft. A “not bad” looking with “little swirls and scratches” with hard paint can be more difficult to polish a than a car that looks trashed out but the paint is soft.

It’s best to arrange with me an inspection, which is at NO cost. Where we can assess you paint, identify issues like repainted areas etc. At the same time we can polish out a test area so you can see what looks best to your eye for yourself and make an informed decision.

That said there is some generalizations that can help you contextualize the packages namely:

  1. Good:
    1. Paint Enhancement
    2. Level 1 Paint Correction
  2. Better: Level 2 Paint Correction
  3. Best: Level 3 Paint Correction

OR

Paint Enhancement and Level 1 Paint Correction will suit 80% of cars in terms of scratch and swirl removal with Level 2 for the most severe.

If your car has:

  • Swirls and light scratches
    • It doesn’t matter the colour but it the level of hardness of the paint does
  • White or silver colour cars
    • Swirls & scratches are less pronounced on these colours
    • Staining or a “dirty look” is a more common complaint
  • Resale purposes

For the Highest Gloss / Best / Wet / better than showroom finish etc

To achieve this kind of objective then Level 2 & 3 is the appropriate packages.

I’ve designed my paint correction packages around the latest advances in polish and paint protection technology to meet the different expectations clients may have.

I refer to these packages as “Full” Paint Correction polishing because I use a seperate polish and paint protectant compared to Paint Enhancement, which uses an All In One polish.

Level 1 is intended to offer very good correction at a fair price and turnaround time. It best suits relatively flat / uncomplicated vehicle body shapes where there a single buffer can easily handle.

Level 2 is where you want or need a better finish, more detail & precision in polishing if you have a complex vehicle body shape.

On complex body shapes, which is pretty much car the latest cars for example VW GTI 7’s , Ford Mustangs etc, there is multiple body lines on the car that creates curves and small areas. These can be handled fairly well with a forced rotation buffer as a single machine choice but the best finish is undoubtedly with a DA polishing system.

Level 3 takes what we do in Level 2 and adds and extra level of polishing to refine your cars paint for the best level of gloss / wetness / reflectivity in paint


“How thick is my Paint?”

A Paint Report is an optional service where I identify defects and measure the paint thickness from the beginning till after the paint has been corrected.

Our gauge measures the total paint thickness from the metal to the top clear coat.

It does not give individual readings. ( A gauge like that is well over R60000! which not a lot of detailers in the world owns! )

While we don’t have a precise read of how much clear coat, we can determine an average thickness, compare body paint thickness to door sills as well as comparing to general thickness by manufacturer.

It benefits any intensive polishing by reducing the risk of damage like burn through of the clear.

As this service takes additional time, I do charge for it.

This is also a great service if you are buying a vehicle and want to be sure of the condition of paint on a potential car purchase.

We use NEXDIAG’s Advanced PTG which is linked to a Smartphone App
Progress is captured as the detail progresses

“What is Wet Sanding?”

Wet sanding, aka flatting, is a method of removing or improving deep scratches and leveling paint texture, known as orange peel, ( because it resembles the skin texture of an orange) It is an alternative method of leveling or cutting the top portion of your paint system compared to polishing.

Like polishing, It removes the top most part of the paint which on modern cars is a clear coat layer and older paint systems, which is known as single stage, the colour. In fact, pre 90s it was also called colour sanding.

I regularly use this method for spot scratches but for a whole car I would prefer it done by a spray painter. My main reason for this is risk and a secondary is that spray painters are more efficient at it as well as if things goes bad, which the risk is high, the car is right there to be touched up / done over.

The only time you would want to do a whole car is if its severely scratched all over or the orange peel is bad.

Here is a recent example of deep scratch removal using the wet sanding method. While I don’t have photos detailing the process, the area was cleaned and decontaminated with clay, sensitive areas ( folds and edges in metal ) was taped up and then we proceeded to start sanding. For consistency, we count our strokes i.e. back forward draws. We constantly check by cleaning and drying our progress. This area required 60 strokes. After sanding we cut with a rotary polisher followed by a Dual Action machine to refine and leave the surface hologram free.

Before

After

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