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Paint Correction

Swirling and minor paint defects are not always immediately obvious to the naked eye; a quick glance at a car and you may be forgiven for assuming the paint is flawless, or what you perceive to be flawless ­ some defects are so common that many just assume this is normal and something you have to live with. Some owners religiously wash and wax their vehicle and are generally happy with the appearance.

We invite you to take a closer look. Sunlight or other critical lighting can reveal a different finish than you expected.

Car Logos

Fig 1 shows a car panel with no harsh lighting shone upon it ­ it looks quite ‘normal’ Fig 2 shows the same un-corrected panel with a strong light source introduced; revealing the true state of the paintwork. Note how the defects become immediately obvious. This is exactly how the car will look in bright sunlight.


Paint correction is a term widely used for a complex process that can remove these unsightly defects from the paintwork, plastic lenses and coloured surfaces found on a vehicle. It is a process that can yield dramatic results ­ done by the right person who has the skill, patience, and desire to create the perfect finish. Unfortunately this process is being adopted by people with little or no experience who provide a finish that at best ‘improves’ the surface. Sadly in some cases that we have witnessed there have been examples of work completed by others that have made the finish worse than it was in the first place and left in a severely compromised state.

Would you let just anybody work on your vehicle?

Neither would we.

We make defective, compromised
paintwork like this:

Into beautiful flawless
paintwork like this:

Car Car

Examples of paint defects and associated causes

Paint swirling

This is present on most cars in varying degrees ­ Influenced mainly by vehicle age, paint colour, paint type and the care (or lack of) routines used. Even new vehicles can be handed over in a compromised state. Swirls are usually fine circular scratches that are most visible in direct sunlight or critical lighting such as a petrol station forecourt. They are more readily visible on darker coloured vehicles however even light cars like silver and white will be graced with swirling. Apart from the obvious noticeable appearance swirling has other effects that you many not realise.

When light is introduced to the vehicle surfaces; swirling affects the way in which the light is reflected. It is dispersed in a random fashion and gives the paint a dulled finish as the true depth and colour of the paint is lost. Reflections become blurred rather than crisp and the overall depth of gloss is severely compromised.

The pictures below show two photographs of a Porsche 996 bonnet. Fig 3 is an uncorrected paint surface. Notice how the reflections of the lighting appear blurred and the colour appears grey rather than the supposed ‘Basalt Black’ colour. Fig 4 shows the exact same panel following paint correction ­ the lighting reflections are crisp and the true colour is revealed as Porsche intended.



The following sequence will dramatically demonstrate the difference that paint correction can make when done correctly. Fig. 5 opposite is the panel graced with swirl marks ­ it looks grey rather than the black colour it should be.


In this next shot it shows the same panel. We have taped off half of the panel in Fig. 6 to create a dividing line.


In the next picture; Fig. 7 we have carried the early stages of our paint correction on the left hand side of the door panel and then peeled away the tape to show the stark contrast. The corrected half is the true paint colour and is dramatically different. We must add that there is no trickery involved in the photographs whatsoever.


Here in Fig. 8 is a close up of the same panel ­ it really is like black and white isn’t it?

Its worth noting that the appearance will improve further as we go on to refine the clarity with a finessing stage and then enhance the finish with our protective paint sealants and waxes.

Swirling is caused by numerous factors such as poor washing techniques plus the choice and use or inappropriate materials and products. We will discuss this with you and provide you with a new routine to follow to avoid re introduction as part of our detailing services.

Buffer Trails and Holograms

Maybe your car has had some remedial paintwork and the painted area has buffer trails and holograms that stand out in the light - no amount of waxing will get rid of them and they will be a permanent reminder of the imperfection of your paintwork.

When a body shop has painted a panel, the next stage they follow is to use a rotary polisher or buffer and a harsh compound to take away and imperfections or inclusions from the painting stage. The problem is that most (even the best) tend to follow this pattern. As they are limited with time and not necessarily knowledgeable on how to avoid damage; the painted surface will have buffer trails and holograms inflicted onto the painted surface. They will then use products that contain optical fillers designed to mask to inflicted damage. Unfortunately these products are a temporary fix and after a few washes they will become readily visible again. You will then decide to live with them or enter a continuous cycle of regular waxing and polishing to try to hide them.

Buffer trails are literally scouring patterns in the surface created by the poor use of the machine and incorrect working of the products and polishing compounds. Some of the marks appear to stand out from the surface like a hologram would do. Direct sunlight can make a car with buffer trails and holograms look exceptionally awful!

This sequence shows examples of buffer trails. The car in question had been bought brand new. The owner had noticed light swirling and took the car back to the dealership. Unfortunately he was talked into letting their ‘approved body shop’ attempt to rectify to paint. Sadly the car was returned in a far worse state.


Upon arrival at Off Your Marks it was immediately obvious that the paint was in a severely compromised state due to poor use of a rotary machine polisher. Fig. 9 illustrates the extent of the marring ­ note the trails left by the poor machine polishing ­ this is exactly what was revealed every time the owner looked at the car in daylight. Enough to completely ruin his ownership experience.


In Fig. 10, again to illustrate the dramatic effect of our paint correction, we corrected only half of the panel initially to show the contrast as originally shown in Fig. 8


We went on to complete the full vehicle and finished and protected it as we would normally do using our range of Exclusive products. Figs 11 opposite, 12 and 13 below are of the finished vehicle.

Car Car

Unfortunately most things that are applied to a car or used on a car will cause marring. Some are worse than others; everybody knows the effects that an automatic car wash has on their paintwork, but what about those who never use them and always pay for a hand wash or do it themselves? Even the honest sponge and chamois play a large part in marking and degrading your paint - that's why even new cars can be less than perfect. Once corrected and fully detailed we will present you with a certificate and care procedure to help you avoid inflicting further damage. We can restore your vehicle to an incredible condition.

Airborne Damage

This is a collective term that encompasses the more obvious elements of damage. Stone chips, bird lime etching, water spotting from mineral leaden water or acidic rain and even insect / bug etching. All these forms of damage will prematurely age your car, reduce its value and often result in re spray work if left unattended. It can spoil the pride of ownership and quickly diminish that new car appearance.

How can you reverse the damage and prevent it from happening again? That is where OFF YOUR MARKS detailing will end this cycle and restore your paintwork to the finish it left the factory with - not the showroom or driveway you collected it from!

Using the very latest machine tools and specialised products, combined with a cast iron approach to safe defect removal we will completely remove those unsightly swirls, buffer marks, holograms and oxidation from your vehicles paintwork, not just mask them with products containing fillers and gloss enhancers like others may choose to do.

When we have finished, your car will look gorgeous - we guarantee it!


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