How To Correct Paint

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Correcting paint can be a tedious and dangerous task. We are aware that each car will react differently based on factors such as:

  • Age
  • Colour
  • Lifestyle (how the car has been maintained/housed)
  • Previous touch ups or resprayed panels
  • Quality assurance from factory

The two most unknown factors are lifestyle and resprayed panels – though sometimes it can be quite obvious!

Nevertheless, over our years of slaying paint, we have identified these simple steps to help you achieve great results.

Tip 1: PREP!

This might seem like an obvious step, but one that is too often shortened for convenience or to save time. If done poorly, it will actually ADD time to your process.

It is critical to strip the paint of any sealants, wax, iron or tar build up prior to beginning your correction. 

This involves multiple steps including an iron fallout, tar fallout, clay bar and re-wash. Doing it right will prevent your pad from clogging up or catching embedded contaminants that will cause pig-tails when correcting (read: game-over!).

Browse the decontamination range here


We see a lot of retailers making assumptions that all paint/clear coats are uniformly thick and safe to work on. This is not the case and we know what happens when we assume.

As such, we highly recommend investing in a quality Paint Thickness Gauge (PTG). Whilst they can range greatly in price, it will still be cheaper than having to coordinate a panel to be resprayed for the client, not to mention the damage it can do to your brand.

Measure each panel in multiple places to gather the average thickness, then note it down on a worksheet.

It is equally important to remeasure when working through which pad/compound combination you will progress with.


We know how expensive pads can be – different brands and sizes, they all start adding up. It makes sense to look after the equipment for longevity, but also for safety.

When working out which pad/compound combination to progress with, it is important to test with a clean or fresh pad.

Results will be significantly altered if an old pad is used for testing, but a new pad is used when beginning the correction.

Also, we don’t recommend mixing multiple compounds on the same pad when working out which combination to use, without cleaning the pad thoroughly first.

This might seem like an obvious step, but one that is often not considered.

Once you have landed on the ideal combination, ensure that you clean your pad out after each panel (more frequently if working on large panels such as the bonnet/roof/hard lid).

This will prevent dried out compound building up deep in the pad and potentially causing damage to the paint and saving you money on pads!


Correction can be a tedious task. If you find yourself feeling fatigued or frustrated from the results, take a moment to rest and return refreshed.

We hope you find these tips useful. Happy slaying!

The Detail Masters


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