Paint Refinement

Paint Refinement

When your paint has lost its luster, is covered in swirls or just needs to be freshened up to shine like it used to, it’s time for paint refinement. The process of paint correction, often referred to as “buffing and polishing”, or “cutting and buffing” is nothing new and has been practiced by DIY-level enthusiasts to professional in-house factory technicians for decades. Our process takes the refinement of your paint to a whole new level thanks to the technology and factory training from RUPES as well as our in-house paint refinement experts. Don’t leave your expensive and delicate paint in the hands of an untrained technician.

Paint refinement or paint correction is the general term used when referring to the machine polishing and refinement of a vehicle’s paint. Paint correction is meant to enhance the appearance of a vehicle’s paint by removing oxidation, light scratches, contaminants and other imperfections by literally buffing them out of the paint’s clear coat. Paint correction can be done on a small area or an entire vehicle depending on your desired outcome. Paint correction can remove light swirling, minor scuffs, water spots and other imperfections but does have its limitations and is not meant to be an alternative to repainting a panel.

Levels of Paint Refinement

We currently offer our paint correction service on a variety of levels. These levels refer to the severity of imperfection and the resulting amount of work needed in order to address these imperfections. All paint correction services require a thorough consultation with a clean vehicle prior to estimating the cost of a paint correction and determining the level required to remedy the paint’s condition.

Level 1 Paint Refinement

Roughly 50% defect removal, removing light surface scratches and micro marring. Medium and deep scratches will remain. Edge work will not be performed, but paint will be left with a high-gloss finish. A silica sealant is applied leaving your vehicle protected for 3 – 6 months with proper care. A wash and paint decontamination is included in order to prepare for paint refinement.

Level 2 Paint Refinement

Roughly 70% defect removal, removing light scratches and micro marring, with a high focus on removing medium paint defects and swirls. Deep scratches and etchings may be present. Your vehicle’s paint is left with a high-gloss finish while adding depth and clarity. A silica sealant is applied leaving your vehicle protected for 3 – 6 months with proper care. A wash and paint decontamination is included in order to prepare for paint refinement.

*Level 2 correction required prior to installation of Modesta BC-08.

Level 3 Paint Refinement

Roughly 90% defect removal, removing most scratches, etchings and marrings. Some heavy scratches may remain depending on the vehicle’s condition. Level 3 correction creates greater depth and luster and ensures a high-gloss finish and adds exceptional optical clarity. A silica sealant is applied leaving your vehicle protected for 3 – 6 months with proper care. A wash and paint decontamination is included in order to prepare for paint refinement.

*Level 3 correction required prior to installation of Modesta BC-04.

Custom Paint Refinement

A custom correction is any correction process that may require more time than a Level 3 correction. This is typically reserved for vehicles which have extremely delicate paints or vehicles which have very severe defects or contamination. This may include vehicles with severe water spots, heavy swirling, single stage paints and others. Our custom level includes the application of a silica sealant which leaves the vehicle protected for 3-6 months with proper care. Consultation with our paint correction specialist is highly recommended to estimate time properly and set the expectation on which imperfections can be addressed.

Preparing your paint for a Modesta ceramic paint coating

One of the most common questions we get is with regard to the necessity of a paint correction prior to the installation of a Modesta ceramic coating. Whether the vehicle is brand new or 20 years old, refining and perfecting the paint on your vehicle is pertinent before your paint is sealed off for 3 or more years. Even a showroom-new vehicle has imperfections and those imperfections should be addressed prior to the installation of any coating. This process also ensures that the surface of your paint is stripped of any sealants, waxes and contaminants that may weaken the bond between the coating and the painted surface. The use of a coating-specific compound is used as a means of promoting a strong and durable bond that will ensure you get the most out of your Modesta paint coating.

For more information on Modesta protective coatings, click here.

Our Process

Learn how we prepare, refine, and review our work to ensure your vehicle leaves our shop in perfect condition.


The wash process is self explanatory. In order to ensure that we’re not further damaging the paint’s surface, we will thoroughly wash the vehicle to remove dirt and other debris from the surface. We will also wash edges, nooks and crannies in order to ensure that no dirt is knocked loose from these trims and pushed out.

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The decontamination process is the most critical preparation step and much of a paint correction’s results rely on this step. A properly executed decontamination will remove bug acids, bird dropping remnants, iron deposits, road tar, overspray and can assist in the treatment of water spots. This process can be very labor intensive for vehicles with severe contamination but should be treated as a step which is just as important as the correction itself.

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Chip and scratch touch-up

Upon receipt of the vehicle, any chips and scratches should be noted. Paint correction will not replace paint that may have been removed as a result of deep chips or scratches. Prior or during paint correction is the best time to address any touch-up paint needs.

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Paint Metering

Prior to putting a pad on the vehicle, we will measure the amount of clear coat on every panel of the vehicle to measure how much clear coat we have to work with. Knowing whether the clear is thick or thin will ensure that we can be as gentle or aggressive as needed without removing precious microns of clearcoat.

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Test Spot

Doing a test spot on a vehicle prior to starting the entire job is a great way of reassuring the time needed for the project as a whole. Generally speaking a test spot should be done before ever scheduling your project. Doing this test spot may often be a way of accurately estimating the time needed to complete a project as well as setting an expectation for the results you can expect.

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Paint Correction

The paint correction process itself is very labor intensive. A properly done paint correction can take anywhere from 10 to 30+ hours depending on the severity of the paint. While many other shops may use waxes or sealants to mask swirls, we focus on removing these imperfections while remaining cautious and ever cognizant of the surface we’re working on.

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Outdoor Review

The sun is the best “ruler” for measuring and reviewing a well done paint correction. As it is hard to mimic such a large and strong source of light, reviewing a vehicle under the sunlight can often reveal unfinished work or remaining imperfections that could otherwise remain unseen. While we utilize state of the art temperature and luminance-controlled lights, seeing the finished result in its natural environment is always a best practice.

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Paint Refinement & Correction

You’ve got paint refinement questions, let’s get them answered. Click here to find more commonly asked questions about paint refinement.

Paint refinement is the process of buffing your vehicle’s paint in order to remove light scratches and small imperfections that may be present in your vehicle’s paint. This is done by machine polishing the affected areas using a variety of pads and compounds.

Yes. Even exotic and luxury vehicles don’t leave the factory with perfect paint. Even if they do, the vehicle may be damaged or exposed to various elements in the transportation or dealership prep/washing process. We require a paint correction prior to the installation of any Modesta paint coating.

Yes. Prior to scheduling your appointment, we will ask to review the car in person. Please ensure that the vehicle is clean prior to coming by for a consultation to ensure that we can view the bare paint.

Contact Us For a Quote

Phone: 801-739-3844
49 East 3300 South
Salt Lake City, UT 84115
MON-FRI 8:00 AM - 5:30 PM