Dull Paint..Oh my!

Updated: Aug 24, 2019

One of the many aspects of detailing is paint correction. Paint correction involves the study of clear coat, and the art of making it clear again. To get right down to it--dull lifeless paint is paint that has the top-level of clear coat that's "cloudy". To correct this problem, a detailer needs to clear up the clear to aid it in revealing the paint underneath. The art in this process comes down to knowing how much clear to remove.


Your paints clear coat is around the thickness of a playing card. It's not a lot. The danger in this game is taking off to much clear and exposing the paint underneath. Once this happens, game over. Nothing can correct this but a re-spray of the vehicle. There are several ways (tools) in the detailing industry that will remove the top levels of clear coat in order to get rid of the cloudiness dulling causes. The most drastic measures would be wet-sanding the clear. This should not be taking lightly--In the wrong hands, your asking for trouble.


Some less aggressive methods would be to use a buffing tool like the Rotary type buffer I used on this Hyundai. Yes, it is still considered very aggressive and will easily rip a dime size hole in your car's clear in a second. I've done it so long, its like an extension of my hand. So you can say, I know when to hold and when to fold. The Hyundai I did recently needed some buffing love. The paint was full of white spots that had to be removed. The paint had seen better day so I hand washed, decontaminated the paint to remove the white dots, and finally buffed/waxed it. It did turn out great. The paint was full of white spots that had to be removed. Took me around 5 hours total with the interior work.


Clay bar on deck. After a hand wash--clay glides across the body pulling above surface tar off the paint.

Don't know what this is, but it was all over the body.

Paint was tired.


Things are starting to come along. 80% improvement already on this door.



Using 3M's One Step Correction Polish allows me to correct the clear coat and polish at the same time.






Added water to see if we're getting the beading protection we need.



16 views