WHAT IS PAINT CORRECTION?
Paint correction is the term detailers use to describe restoring and rejuvenating the vehicles paint. If your cars paint looks dull, hazed, oxidized, filled with light surface scratches or swirl marks then your car could use more than an exterior detail.
If you do decide you would like to have your car paint corrected ensure that you are going to a reputable and experienced detailer. An inexperienced detailer can do some pretty extensive damage to your cars paint that may or may not be able to be corrected. I will give you a list of questions to ask the detailer before trusting them with such a serious job.
Many people get very confused between an exterior detail and a full paint correction and they are two completely different services. And I am here to teach you the difference.
An exterior detail takes about 2 hours give or take, the car is prepped, decontaminated, 1 stage spot compound, 1 stage polish and a coat of wax. Paint correction is a process that can take anywhere from 6 hours to 20 plus hours of multiple stages of compound and polish. Lets discuss each product and its purpose before moving further into the explanation.
WHAT ARE THE PRODUCTS USED FOR PAINT CORRECTION?
To start a full paint correction the car needs to be fully prepped, the prep alone can take up to an hour and sometimes longer depending on how contaminated the car is. Most contamination that you can find on the exterior of a car is acid rain, iron, road grime, bird droppings, water stains, and scratches. In the prep we are going to focus on the dirt and contaminants.
Step one is washing the car with a PH neutral soap we use gliptone foam blizzard soap. PH neutral soap balances out the iron and sediments in the water so you are not adding any additional contaminants to the paint. Be sure you are using a clean wash mitt to avoid adding additional swirl marks to you paint.
Step two spray down the car with Gliptones Iron Eater. This stuff is amazing, and you can actually see it working. It causes a chemical reaction to iron which actually eats through the iron. You will see it change color from clear to purple once it starts working its process. What is so great about this product is that instead of dragging the iron across your cars paint while claying the car and creating more surface scratches and swirl marks, you are removing the harder elements. Now rinse.
,Step three Clay bar. Clay bar is made up of engineered resin similar to your kids clay but much harder and stickier. You will know if your car requires a clay bar simply by touching the paint after a wash. If your cars paint feels gritty, or sticky then you know that its time for some decontamination. Do not ever clay your car without any lubricant. We use optimum no rinse which is an insane product all on its own. But you will see while using the clay bar the amount of dirt that a simple wash could not remove. These contaminants that are sticking to your cars paint are causing damage in the clear coat the longer they sit on your exterior. So be sure to at minimum get an exterior detail twice a year. Also if you are an enthusiast and doing these steps all on your own be sure to follow steps one through 3 as if you don’t you will be adding more scratches and swirl marks to your car. You are now ready to rinse the car one final time and dry with a clean microfiber rag, and blow out any access water. After we choose to alcohol wipe the car to eliminate any more contaminants, wax and fillers from the paint.
Step four we are now ready to start determining the condition of the clear coat on the car. How many stages of compound and polish we can apply. We use different methods of determining the clear coat on a cars paint, what year is the car, what make is the car, has the car ever been professionally detailed before, was the car ever repainted and or a paint gauge that measures the thickness of the clear coat. This should be one of your determining factors when choosing a detailer, their knowledge of the clear coat that is on the car. Many experienced detailers don’t require a paint gauge as these are relatively new to the industry, they use their eye and knowledge of what the paint looks like. Lets get to work!
Step five is compound. What is compound? Compound is a liquid that allows the detailer to remove moderate to deep defects in the cars paint. Many detailers refer to this step as leveling or cutting. Essentially what this does is cuts lightly through a layer of clear coat to make a smooth leveled surface that will eliminate the swirl marks and light surface scratches. In this stage it is very important to go slow and steady with moderate pressure on the buffer, we use Mcguires Microfiber Cutting pads with Gliptones precision cut but for beginners we would recommend Grios fast correcting cream, it is less finicky and does not create as much dust. Depending on the depth of the scratches will determine how many times they have to do this process. For a full paint correction we are literally focusing on a 2x2 section to ensure the scratches are removed. There is no such thing as perfect but a true detailer will tell you that, paint correction can be done from 50%-90% corrected, this will all be determined on what you want to spend and how close to perfect you want your cars paint. A paint correction can be done in 5 hours all the way to 25 hours plus.
Step six is polish. Polish is the liquid that makes your car shine! We use two different types of this polish. Gliptone and HD Speed. Make sure the detailer you are using does not use products with heavy polymers or fillers. These products simply fill or blend in the scratches and after a few weeks you will notice that your scratches start to reappear. This means the detailer did not correct the scratches simply covered them up. Which is why it is so important that when shopping around for prices you determine the knowledge that is behind those prices and the hours that a professional detailer will be working on your car.
Step seven is locking in the shine and providing protection. There are three different methods a detailer can use on this final step. Choice one a simple coat of carnauba wax, thought not the best product to use after a paint correction job it does offer some form of paint protection but not for long. Please refer to my previous blog on the difference between wax vs sealant. The next option would be a sealant. Great choice for price and protection. And then your final option would be ceramic coating.
Know the right questions to Ask your Detailer
1) How long does a paint correction take? If they tell you less than 5 hours please confirm what they intend to do in those 5 hours. It is likely that they will be using fillers or the extent of the paint damage is not that bad and an exterior detail may be able to take care of this for you without spending a fortune. Be knowledgeable when looking for this service.
2) Do any of your products you use while doing the paint correction use polymers or fillers? It does not matter the brand a detailer uses, there are many different brands in our industry, if the detailer chooses a certain brand its because they are comfortable with that one. But you do not want to be misled by their ability with fillers in their products.
3) How long have you been detailing cars? Paint correction is not something that can be learned over night, it takes an experienced detailer to be able to get your paint close to perfect. Do not choose the guy with the better price for this job, choose the guy with the most experience as if an error does occur it can wind up costing you a lot of money.
4)Do you even need a paint correction? This is a decision that only you can make for yourself, a regular exterior detail will cost a lot less but may not provide you with what you are looking for. Talk it over with your detailer, ask questions, and determine after you have gathered all your information.
I was inspired to create the blog by the amount of times I have been asked the same questions, how did you start? When did you start? Why did you decide on forming your own business? Let me start by saying this, owning and running a small business is a lot of work. The amount of lessons we have learned, the amount of tears that have fallen, the amount of obstacles we have faced is overwhelming. However, I will also say, the amount of laughs we have had, the amount of amazing humans we have met, the amount of triumphs we have shared, and the amount of growth we have had is almost just as breathtaking.
Harry has had a passion for detailing since he was 1 3 years old, he would go outside in the middle of winter with a bucket and rag to clean his moms car and his neighbors cars. His attention to detail and his desire to learn and perfect his trade has been for as long as he can remember.
Harry and I met when he worked at Franks Chevrolet in Tarrytown NY detailing cars, we were dating for about 3 months and decided to move in together and then in 10 months we were married. To say that things happened fast between us is understatement. After about 3 years of marriage we decided it was time to have a baby, we tried for about 3 months and we were not successful, we decided maybe we should just wait. (here is the reason I need to inform you of all that)
A month later Harry comes home from work and tells me that Franks Chevrolet was closing and that he wouldn’t have a job at the end of the month, unbeknown to him I was informing him I was pregnant. As quickly as we laughed we also grew scared after months of Harry trying to find a job with no luck.
We took the good with that bad and I gave birth to a beautiful little boy, we decided Harry would stay home for a little while and I would work and we wouldn’t have to pay for daycare. About 3 months go by and Harry comes home one night with a van. The look of confusion on my face must have been priceless. I said, what are we doing with that? Harry replies I’m going to start a business. I said, with that? How? He asked me to simply trust him and believe in him. Of course I did, of course I was slightly upset and confused but I knew my husband and I knew he would never steer us into harm. Harry took the little assets that he had and sold them to purchase everything necessary for the van to start his mobile detailing business. We started our company as H & S Mobile Auto Detailing and landed a few accounts along with personal customers and from there the word spread quickly.
In 2015 and 2 more kids later we were realizing that we needed to make some necessary changes. We were getting to the point in business that most businesses get into and that was either we needed to go bigger or close the doors. Up until this point I had absolutely no interest in detailing cars or our business, I was busy raising kids and working on my own career choices. I decided at this point I was going to get involved and help my husband reach his dreams and goals. I have said time and time again I know if I give my husband the proper tools he would do incredible things with his business, so I decided to revamp the business a bit.
I formed it into a S-Corp, changed the name and started to search for a location to open up a storefront!
OUR STORE FRONT
I am a born and raised resident of Carmel NY. I knew the building that we are in very well, since 2015 I swore the day I was ready to open up my shop it was going to be at 96 Route 311 Carmel NY. I had no idea how and many times I wanted to approach the owner and ask but never did. One day I drove down route 311 and saw a for rent sign, I swung my car around and called the real estate agent, luckily I knew him and told him I needed him to take the sign off the building that I was going to take it over. Please understand by no means was I ready for this, nor was I ready for the next 7 months, however I was determined to accomplish this huge goal. I was unaware of what was needed to be done or the approvals that I needed but every day I was determined to figure it out, I learned so much through the entire process. It was a roller coaster of emotions and struggles and obstacles but with the right mindset and believing in yourself anything is possible.
We are so grateful for the support we have received from such a great community. Im not sure what we plan on doing after this but I know it will be great. We thank you all for your continued support, reviews , referrals, and relationships we have built thus far.
In order to understand the benefits of both of these products, you need to understand what they are made from, what they are made for, and the difference in application. Luckily, I have the answers for you and will break them down for a full understanding.
WHAT IS CARNAUBA WAX MADE FROM?
Carnauba wax is made from the tree Copernicia Prunifera Palm which are only grown in Brazil. In its raw form it is very hard and thick which would be impossible to apply to your cars paint so it is mixed with different oils that create a lubricant which then changes the natural products scent, color and durability which is why not every manufacturers wax is the same.
WHY SHOULD I USE CARNAUBA WAX?
If you are looking for an amazing shine, high gloss and depth in color, along with a light sacrificial barrier between your cars paint and the outside elements then you may consider wax. It is extremely easy to apply using a simple pad, wax and clean microfiber rag to remove.
If you are a car junkie and enjoy cleaning your car weekly or bi-weekly than this product is for you! Carnauba wax only lasts about 4 weeks so frequent applications are required. We mainly use two different types of wax Gliptone Carnauba Paste Wax or if you are looking for a top notch wax that delivers an insane depth and gloss along with protection we recommend Blackfire, it is carnauba wax mixed with mountain wax and synthetic polymers.
WHY SHOULD I NOT CHOOSE CARNAUBA WAX?
To answer this question it is a very simple response. The car owners preference. If you are a car junkie and love seeing your car shiny, and looking its best at all times you will not mind washing and applying wax every 4 weeks. If you are going to car show to show of your pride and joy carnauba wax is what you are going to choose to show off the shine, gloss and depth. If you are looking for durability and long lasting protection than you are going to want to go with a sealant. Since carnauba wax is made up mostly of natural products it can not withstand heat and UV rays, and more or less evaporates from the cars surface.
WHAT ARE SEALANTS MADE OUT OF?
Sealants are made of synthetic polymers that provide protection. Unlike wax it is not a naturally based product. In the past paint sealants were manufactured to mimic wax, however with the industries needs for a protectant that didn’t cost as much as ceramic coating the manufactures have improved the sealants ability by making most sealants silica based.
WHAT IS SILICA BASED?
Silica is the main compound found in glass, derived from sand quartz. Which when extracted is formed into a liquid that once it meets its intended surface along with air it is hardened to create a ceramic like barrier between the surface it is protecting and elements intended to cause harm.
IS SEALANT LIKE CERAMIC COATING?
Sealants are not ceramic coating. It is diluted with other polymers meant for a quick and easy application. Sealants are much more durable than wax because they actually form a chemical bond with your cars paint.
HOW ARE SEALANTS APPLIED?
Unlike wax, sealants are applied by using a buffer and pad, it is given about 20 minutes to cure and then wiped off using a microfiber rag.
HOW LONG DO SEALANTS LAST?
Sealants can last up to 7 months and offer much more protection than your regular wax. The reason is because the polymers that are used to create the product are meant to withstand extreme heat, UV Rays, acid ran, and any other harsh components. Jescar Power Sealant for example is the product that we use. It was manufactured to protect Jet plains, and air craft through the harshest of climates. We have found that not only does this product have a long lasting durability, but it protects and creates an insane hydrophobic layer that lasts to protect.
CAN WAX BE COMBINED WITH SEALANTS?
Yes. You will find that sealants do create a glossy finish but not compared to the shine and depth that carnauba wax offers. When we apply to sealants to a cars finish we also apply wax for the ultimate protection and shine.
LETS TALK ABOUT THE PROS:
LETS TALK ABOUT THE CONS:
UNDERSTANDING EXTERIOR DETAILS FROM A
When I was introduced to the detailing industry about 14 years ago by my husband I truly had no interest in why or what detailing was. For me all I cared about was that the inside of my car was clean, vacuumed, smelling pretty and looking good. I took my car through car washes and thought that was acceptable for cleaning the exteriors.
Since then I have learned the importance of exterior details, and how exterior details can help me maintain the value of my car.
Fast forward to about a year ago when we were working in the shop and we had gotten really busy, my husband handed me a clay bar, some compound, polish and a buffer and decided it was time for me to learn the importance of exterior detailing. I manage all aspects of our business and it occurred to me how important it was for me to absorb everything I possibly could and learn the industry. So I got to work and completed my first exterior detail with an understanding exactly why all those components were necessary. I left the shop feeling proud of my results and went and got my nails done.
WHAT DOES MY NAILS HAVE TO DO WITH LEARNING ABOUT EXTERIOR DETAILS
Well, as I was getting my nails done I realized that the process they do to fill my acrylics and make my nails shiny and new is very similar to the same process I just did while preforming the exterior detail and suddenly it all made sense to me!
GET READY TO BE AMAZED AND FULLY UNDERSTAND EXTERIOR DETAILING
The first step to prepping a car for detailing is a wash (Not much to relate there) But step 2 is where the magic begins. Clay bar treatment! Claying a car removes all the stuck on the contaminants that the wash mitt couldn’t remove, the impeded particles of debris, rust and road grime that stick to your cars exterior.
Think of wax as just the normal clear coat nail polish they apply. It is the basic package. It offers protection, and shine at an affordable price, that lasts approximately 2 weeks until your nails start to dull and chip. Same as the carnauba wax that is applied with exterior details, it is the basic protection, meant to last approximately 2 months, it is the basic, most affordable protection for the cars exterior.
Now think of Ceramic coating as the Gel application of nail polish it offers a much more hardened layer of top coat that locks in shine and durability for up to 6 weeks ( I know my nails are going on 5 weeks LOL). It is a lot stronger than just clear nail polish, but costs you more initially. Now as opposed to getting your nails done every 2 weeks you are now able to get them done every 4-6 weeks. Similar to the difference of wax and ceramic coating, ceramic coating lasting up to 3 years with maintenance in between. To remove the gel from your nails the nail tech needs to file down the gel, just like removing of ceramic coating, the detailer needs to compound (sand down) the exterior to remove.
WHAT IS CERAMIC COATING?
Ceramic coating is made up of silica. Silica is what glass is made up of. It is a compound found in sand quartz that is extracted and turned into liquid. Once the product is applied to its principal surface and meets the air it hardens to create a glass like barrier. It not only protects your cars exterior from contamination, industrial fall out, light surface scratches, the suns rays, and outside elements. It provides a long lasting durable shine for up to 3 years.
HOW DO YOU CARE FOR CERAMIC COATING?
To ensure you are not waisting your time or your money please ensure to keep up with the maintenance for ceramic coating. Maintaining a ceramic coated car is much more easier than without it and here is why, contamination does not stick to the exterior of the paint as easy as clear coat on the car. This makes washing your car so much easier. As a professional detailer we recommend washing your vehicle at least once a week if not bi-weekly this ensures the elements do not have time to stick or contaminate the ceramic coating on the car. (we will talk about this later). A proper maintenance booster should be applied every 6 months to a year by a professional detailer. (I will list the products Ultimate Auto Detailing uses at the end of this article to make it easier for you to purchase and maintain the washes yourself if you like to wash your vehicle on the weekends. (There will also be a blog about how to properly wash your vehicle)
HOW DO THE ELEMENTS AFFECT MY CERAMIC COATING?
The answer to this question is generalized in a few different parts.
Ultimate Auto detailing uses a variety of products, we have been in the detailing industry for over 20 years and have tried and even tested hundreds of different products. The majority of the products that we use are by Gliptone, trusted, and recommended.