Machine Polishing In torbay & South Devon

Machine polishing and Paint correction

What is paint correction?

Your car is constantly exposed to many things which can deteriorate and damage it's paint. This can be from environmental factors: rain, sun, heat and cold, but also from how the paint is handled, washed and cared for.

Paint correction therefore, falls in to two main areas, firstly fixing the various types of paint defects and secondly - once the paint has been corrected, protecting and maintaining the car in a way which helps to prevent and minimise the chances of these defects returning, which keeps your car looking in the best possible condition.

Paint correction is the process of removing defects such as scratches, scuffs, swirls and holograms from a cars paint - or, more specifically the clear coat (lacquer) through machine polishing, while refining and deepening the gloss and clarity of the paint. It can completely transform the way a car looks. When we have finished machine polishing a car it can look like its been given a respray, the paint looking as good as new, often better.

paint defects explained

Swirl marks

Swirls are fine scratches that you see when the sun or bright light is on the paint and look almost like cobwebs, particularly as they appear to be circular. In truth, they aren't circular, swirls are lots of individual scratches which appear circular because of the way the light shows them. Swirls are most often caused by dirt and fine grit being rubbed across the paint during washing or drying.

Deep scratches

An easy way to spot this kind of scratch is to run your fingernail across it. If you can feel it with your nail, then it is through the clear coat and can't be polished out. To completely remove this kind of scratch, the area will need painting - though these scratches can often be reduced with machine polishing even if they can't be removed completely.

Water spots

Water spots form when the liquid from a droplet of water evaporates. When this happens, particularly if on a sunny day, the minerals in the water droplet remain behind, leaving a lasting spot on the paint. Sometimes, these spots can bake onto the paint and caneven etch into the clear coat.

Dull paint

Many things can make paint go dull, it can happen from chemicals affecting the paint, UV rays, scuffs, a build up of swirls or heavy concentration of scratches. Whatever the cause, dull paint can make your cars paint look really tired.

Bird poo etching

Bird poo can be very caustic. When it lands on your car, it has the possibility to etch into the clear coat and corrupt the paint, leaving a nasty stain behind. depending on the length of time it has been on the paint will determine whether it can be completely removed.

Holograms and buffer trails

When a car gets polished with a rotary machine polisher or too harsh a compound, holograms can get caused if either the user is inexperienced or if they don't finish down correctly. Either way, holograms usually look like curving or looping lines and look terrible. Rotary polishers, when used correctly are excellent tools which can deliver exceptional results, but in untrained hands can cause damage.

does my car need polishing

The unfortunate truth is most cars will have at least one of the listed defects above and this isnt limited to second hand cars either, more often than not brand new cars from the showroom will have defects in the paintwork, commonly from poor valeting or inflicted during transportation, with even panels being repainted. These are defects are often filled in with a glaze rather than removed and leave it looking flawless to the untrained eye. Paint correction will remove or minimise these defects completely, delivering a that "like new" look.
The video above shows the kind of results you can expect with our paint correction services. This prime example was from a BMW and this was after the initial cutting phase to remove defects, the paintwork was covered in all manner of defects with swirl marks and holograms being the main culprits. The inital cutting stage saw around 80% correction in the paintwork, with yet a refining phase to go which would truly make the paintwork pop and leave around 95% complete correction.

what results can i expect after paint correction

The answer to this question is solely based on the level of paint correction a car is booked in for, however you can expect a greatly improved finish to the paint. Silky smooth, depth of colour, clarity will be drastically improved with defects and damage being removed when possible.

Alot of companies that offer machine polishing claim this can be done in a matter of hours, this is not the case. Proper machine polishing is a time consuming process and can take anywhere between 1 - 5 days to reach the desired result, depending on the level of polishing that is carried out. The level of gloss enhanced and defects removed will depend on a number of factors, such as paint thickness, the paintwork condition and budget available to work with. Sometimes full paint correction may not be possible.

Our selection of paint correction services can be found below

what level of paint correction do i need?

Deciding what level of machine polishing your car needs can be a daunting aspect. We offer a free, no obligation paint inspection to assess the the vehicles condition and to discuss the best options and costs.

We offer four primary levels of machine polishing, these are...

Gloss Enhancement

Perfect for purely enhancing gloss or a preparation to apply a ceramic coating. This isnt designed to remove defects or damage. This service is suited to those vehicles with near flawless paint, new vehicles or those who are just interested in having a shiny car. This usually takes around 5 hours to complete.


This is a thorough machine polish using one pad/polish combination. This process can make a big improvement to your cars paint and will remove light to moderate swirls (typically at least 50%+) while enhancing the gloss and clarity of the paint. This usually takes 1-2 days to complete.


This involves two stages of machine polishing. During the first stage a cutting compound and cutting pad are used to remove more scratches and swirls (usually 70%+) Then with the second stage a softer pad with a finishing polish refines the finish, deepening the gloss and clarity of the paint. This is a very popular service for customers who want a really good level of paint correction and the "wet look" glossy finish. This usually takes 2-3 days.


Aimed at those who want a flawless finish to their paintwork or for those vehicles that are in need of more than a minor correction. This may need thr addition of wet sanding, followed by mutiple stages of machine polishing to deliver near perfect paintwork. This can take anywhere from 3-5+ days to complete.
Once your car has been machine polished, it is essential to care for your vehicles paintwork to reduce the chances of inflicting defects during the wash process. We would highly recommend having a ceramic coating applied to your vehicles paintwork. Ceramic coatings are our most popular option in paint protection. Using nano technology these coatings form an invisible but tough and durable protective layer on your cars paint, effectively becoming the paints new surface. If correctly cared for, these coatings last years and offer much more protection than traditional waxes which normally last just a few months.
  • Four Cross Units
    Paignton Road
    TQ9 6QB
  • Open 10AM - 6PM Mon - Fri
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© 2023 Bay Detailing. All Rights Reserved.
  • Four Cross Units
    Paignton Road
    TQ9 6QB
  • Open 10AM - 6PM Mon - Fri
Follow us
© 2023 Bay Detailing. All Rights Reserved.