As the trusted experts at Eye Candy Coatings & Care, we are all about ensuring your vehicle doesn’t just shine, but also maintains its look over time. Our clients often come to us with questions about the differences between various car detailing processes, mainly paint correction, car waxing, and polishing. Each plays a distinct role in auto detailing and it’s essential to understand how they contribute to the overall look and longevity of your vehicle.

Differences between Paint Correction, Car Waxing, and Polishing

What is Paint Correction?

Paint correction is essentially an umbrella term used to describe the process of restoring and rejuvenating the paintwork of a vehicle, mostly through the elimination of surface imperfections, that dull, oxidize, or haze the surface. These imperfections include things like swirl marks, fine scratches, bird dropping etching, acid rain etching, hologramming, and random isolated deep scratches (RIDS).

The paint correction process involves multiple stages of machine polishing (not to be confused with ‘polishing’ as a separate process, which we’ll cover later), using varying grades of polish and pad until the desired level of perfection is achieved. The amount of paint removed or corrected on a vehicle during the paint correction process is usually measured in microns (1/1000th of a millimetre).

The goal of paint correction is to level out the surface to make it perfectly smooth, which in turn allows light to bounce straight off it, creating a high gloss and reflective finish.

Car Waxing vs Polishing


Polishing, on the other hand, serves as a critical pre-waxing step that prepares the vehicle for wax by removing any surface impurities and bringing out the natural shine of the paint. Polishing a car can remove a small layer of paint and expose the freshest layer of paint. As a result, the vehicle will have a fresh new look.

It’s important to remember that while polishing will help remove defects and enhance the shine of your vehicle, it’s not a fix-all solution. It won’t remove deep scratches and stone chips. However, it plays a critical role in the overall paint correction process.

Car Waxing

Waxing is the final stage of the detailing process. It is designed to protect the paint and enhance the shine that was revealed during the polishing process. Wax creates a protective barrier over the paint, shielding it from UV rays, dirt, and debris.

Car wax comes in various forms, such as paste, liquid, or spray. No matter the form, it contains a blend of carnauba/palm wax, beeswax, natural oils, and petroleum distillates. It works by filling in micro-scratches and making the paint surface smooth, which gives it that glossy shine we all love.

In Summary: The Trio Working Together

In summary, paint correction, car waxing, and polishing are all different processes that play specific roles in vehicle detailing. The paint correction process eliminates imperfections and deep cleans the paint. Polishing enhances the paint’s shine and prepares it for waxing, and waxing seals the deal by providing a protective barrier over the paint and adding an extra layer of shine.

When done correctly, these processes can rejuvenate your vehicle’s appearance and prolong the life of its paint. As auto detailing specialists, Eye Candy Coatings & Care ensures these processes are carried out with precision and care to deliver the best results for your vehicle. Reach out to us today to learn more about how we can help keep your car looking its best.

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