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An Exterior detail - Polishing and Paint Correction

You might think the cost of an exterior detail is due to expensive materials being used. The polish and polishing pads are relatively inexpensive but having the right tools for the job is expensive and using cheap tools will hardly ever achieve the results you are looking for.

The real thing you are paying for is a professional's expertise and extensive collection of tools and products, as a high-quality polish or paint correction requires money, skill, and time. Many owners decide to attempt to do paint correction at home in their garage. If the car owner uses the wrong polishing pad/polish and a cheap machine polisher, the result can be hundreds of dollars in damage and hours you can never get back!

Remember when your vehicle was new and just gleamed in the sun? The paint felt smooth like butter and just screamed look at me! As time goes by, the luster and glossy look of your paint fades and becomes contaminated. Now your vehicle lacks luster and is a paint job full of imperfections, minor scratches, and sometimes deep scratches. Having your vehicle polished is the best way to restore the factory look. The polishing process uses pads made of wool, foam, or microfiber in conjunction with polish and the correct machine polisher removing paint defects and dullness and make you fall in love with your vehicle all over again!

The surface of your paint explained

The Exterior detail service at APC Auto Spa includes a full decontamination wash and then a single stage polish from a professional detailer. Typically, a single stage polish will remove 70-80% of swirls, haze, minor defects, and light scratches. Most vehicles with normal damage from the elements and surface scratches from the car washes fall into the single stage polish.

Levels of Paint Correction

The paint correction process is when we use two or three polishing stages in the polishing to go after the deep scratching, water etching, swirl marks, or buffer marks. A stage two polish would be one for cutting the paint and another to finish it to a shine. A stage three would be two runs to cut the paint and one finishing polish to bring it to a gloss. Is this process professional detailers use different pad combinations to achieve the best results. What your vehicle will need depends on how soft or hard your paint is and how much damage has been done. Deeper scratches or water spots may require a more abrasive polish or even wet sanding.

Finishing Stage

Now that your vehicle is looking great, we need to top it off with a paint sealant, ceramic coating, or paint protection film depending on your budget and love for your vehicle. These either fill in or cover the small pores in your clear coat and help dirt and debris to bounce off the vehicle so that it is not only easier to clean but stays shiny longer too! You will not only improve the looks of your vehicle, but also will be improving the longevity of its clear coat and providing protection against the elements.


Hand washes or touchless car washes are recommended after an exterior detail service, paint correction, or a ceramic coating. The brushes in automatic car washes are the easiest way to get all the scratches and swirls you just paid to have removed right back on your vehicle!

A decontamination wash is recommended once a year after you have polishing, or paint correction done to remove any small dirt particles that have stuck to the clear coat. The areas most affected are the lower half of the doors and behind the rear wheels where water, oil, and road debris hit every time you drive. Remember to add a paint sealant, ceramic coating, or paint protection film after this process! This adds a protective layer on the exterior surfaces and protects your factory paint.

Ceramic coating surface explained

With proper care and maintenance your vehicle can always look and feel new! We are here to help you protect your investment and help bring a smile to our face every time you look at your vehicle. The flash from all the cameras taking pictures will not cause any damage and the attention will make you feel like a movie star!

We can set you up with the right products in our retail store as we suggest a different cutting polish, finishing polish, and pad based on the condition of your vehicle. Or we can set you an appointment for us to do the work for you. Either way we are here to help!

Have a great day and we hope to see you soon.


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