What Are The 4 Stages Of Paint Correction?

What Are The 4 Stages Of Paint Correction?

Paint correction is a process that is used to restore the appearance of a vehicle’s paint job. It involves removing defects such as scratches, swirl marks, and oxidation from the paint surface. The process can be broken down into three stages: washing, compounding, and polishing. Each stage has its own set of techniques and products that are used to achieve the desired results. Let’s take a closer look at each stage.

Stage 1: Washing

The first stage of paint correction is washing the vehicle. This step is important because it removes any dirt or debris that has accumulated on the surface of the paint. It also helps to remove any wax or sealant that may have been applied previously. A good quality car wash soap should be used to ensure that all dirt and grime are removed without damaging the paint surface. A soft wash mitt should also be used to avoid scratching or marring the finish while washing.

Stage 2: Decontamination

The second stage is decontamination using clay barring. This is a process used to clean and restore the paint on a vehicle. Many car owners don’t realize the importance of this process in keeping their vehicle looking its best. Clay barring is not only an important step in the detailing process, but it can help improve the longevity of your vehicle’s finish. After the vehicle is clean, clay is applied to the surface of the car and moved in small circles. The movement of the clay will break down any contaminants such as bug splatter, tar, industrial fallout, and more that may be present on the surface. After the clay is removed, the vehicle can be buffed and polished. This will help to restore the shine and luster of the paint and will also protect it from future damage for years to come.

Stage 3: Compounding

The third stage of paint correction is compounding. This step involves using an abrasive compound to remove deeper scratches and swirl marks from the paint surface. The compound works by breaking down these imperfections so they can be buffed out with a machine polisher or by hand with a microfiber cloth and some elbow grease. Compounding can also help to restore faded or oxidized paint back to its original color and shine. It’s important to use a quality compound for this step as some compounds can cause more damage than good if not used properly.

Stage 4: Polishing

The third stage of paint correction is polishing. This step involves using a finer abrasive polish to refine the finish after compounding has been done. The polish works by removing any remaining imperfections from the surface while also creating a high-gloss shine on the paintwork. It’s important to use a quality polish for this step as some polishes can leave behind residue if not used properly or if left on too long during application.


Paint correction is an important process for restoring your vehicle’s appearance back to its original condition or even better than before! The process involves three stages: washing, compounding, and polishing which all work together in order to achieve optimal results when done correctly with quality products and techniques. If you want your vehicle looking its best, then make sure you follow these steps!