In this article, you will learn:
In our decades of washing, polishing and waxing cars and trucks, we’ve learned plenty about what works best in auto detailing. For paint correction, we have a short list of go-to tools that are absolute must-haves for removing surface scratches, swirl marks and oxidation faster and more effectively. Using these five tools, along with a professional-grade polishing compound, is the best and quickest route to go from a dull and scratched finish to jaw-dropping, showroom sparkle.
Without further ado, these are our favorite paint correction tools and supplies!
We understand some auto enthusiasts prefer to hand polish and wax their cars. For them, it’s more about the labor of love than it is about the time required to do the work. But, by any objective measure, a machine polisher delivers better, faster and more consistent paint correction than hand polishing. That’s why we recommend machine polishing whenever possible. Whether you use a rotary, orbital or dual action polisher, you’ll cut significant time from your polishing process. And, obviously, a machine will always function more consistently than a human will.
In the right hands, rotary, orbital and dual action polishers can all correct your paint to a flawless finish, but, generally speaking, we prefer dual action polishers. They’re the most foolproof of the three, which is important for car owners with less detailing experience. In fact, if you’re just learning to use a mechanical polisher in the corrective process, get an affordable, entry-level model. These less powerful polishers will stall if you apply too much pressure, which is good for beginners who might otherwise misuse the polisher and burn into their clear coat.
Formulated specifically for today’s mechanical polishers, Hybrid Solutions Pro 1 & Done Polishing Compound is the only cutting compound many car owners will ever need. Depending on the cutting or polishing pad you use, it can work hard to correct moderate damage or more gently to remove fine scratches and swirls and finish out your clear coat with an incredible glossy shine. It’s one compound that does it all.
Of course, once you have a dual action polisher, you’ll need cutting pads to apply the polishing or rubbing compound to your car’s finish. The best foam pads use CCS technology to hold and gradually release polish as you need it. It’s a good idea to keep a range of pads on hand to deliver the level of paint correction your car requires. CCS pads are color-coded for convenient identification, yellow (aggressive,) orange (medium) and black (finishing.)
As an alternative to foam pads, a 50-50 microfiber pad can simplify your paint correction supplies. With two different grades of microfibers in one pad, 50-50 pads correct, polish and finish the paint. You’ll want to keep a number of these on hand so you can use a clean one for each step, but some people like to minimize the different types of supplies in their detailing arsenal.
Pro Tip: To correct your paint, use 4 or 5 pads to complete one pass around your car, switching to a clean pad every 2 or 3 sections. If you’re using a single CCS pad, instead of intermittently switching to a clean pad, use an air compressor to blow excess compound from the surface of your pad as you move from section to section of your car. Then, apply fresh compound to your pad before starting on the next panel of your car.
Masking tape is a good safeguard to keep polish neatly away from the non-painted surfaces of your car or truck. Plus, applying tape to trim, badges, mirrors, windows and rubber can help protect these surfaces as you work around them with the polisher at high speeds.
No car care job is complete without a stockpile of high-quality, super soft microfiber towels, the workhorse of car detailers everywhere. You’ll use microfibers to wash, dry and clay bar your car just before paint correction, to wipe away residual polishing compound as you correct the paint and again during wax application. They are everywhere in detail shops, garages and driveways because they’re so multifunctional. Buy a stack, color code them by jobs and store them clean and dry for the next time you detail.
Lastly, once you’ve corrected the paint and brought back an incredible shine, you’ll want to protect not just the finish, but all the work you’ve just done. That’s when it’s time to reach for a paint sealant or high-quality wax and soft microfiber applicator pad. In minutes, you’ll add a warm glow and build a layer of protection on your newly restored paint finish.
Our new Hybrid Solutions Pro To the Max Wax is one of the best waxes available today, combining the prized glow of carnauba wax with the lasting durability of synthetic polymers and the breakthrough paint protection of pure graphene.
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