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How many have wasted money on paint correction before PPF install?

HotIce

Member
Dec 18, 2020
166
74
MD
I know the detailing business thrives off of training you to find imperfections the average joe will never see.

I don't block people very often. But it's time to say good bye.

The detailing business doesn't thrive off of training you to find imperfections people can't see. The detailing business trains you to make the paint on a vehicle look like what it should. The difference between a car that's been corrected and one that hasn't is noticeable.

I'm only here to share and educate(and learn from) people and stop ignorant people like yourself from spreading false information, especially since I have *some* experience in the field. This isn't an airport, no need to announce that you're leaving.

Goodbye is one word, not two. Hooked on Phonics goes a long way.
 

2020

Member
Jun 6, 2020
153
-2
atlanta
My two bits worth after going thru all of these scenarios on high end cars:

-Paint correction: depends on the condition of the paint. Most colors you probably do not need it. Black is one that you may need. I had a brand new black Mercedes that no matter what polish I put on myself, I could not get rid of the swirls. Paint correction made a huge difference, the paint looked like a mirror. Now the next question is your maintenance. As long as you are super super careful you will get swirls again whether you have ceramic coating or PPF.

-Ceramic coating: applied by a shop and charging you a lot of money- not worth it. You can easily do it yourself for one tenth the price. Is it all the hype the marketing makes out to be- no. In normal world situations you will still get swirls and water marks. Think of it as a really good and longer lasting wax.

-PPF: Good for protecting the paint in most situations. After a while you will see permanent divits in the PPF from rocks or debris hitting it. Cosmetically I think it is the same as looking at paint damage from rocks hitting the bumper without PPF. So the appearance of rocks or debris hitting a car with PPF vs a car without is about the same. Don't believe the hype about self correction with heat or sunlight. You have to be super careful about touching your car. Just wiping your car after a wash with a somewhat dirty towel will get you swirls. Most of these do not come off. My current Tesla has only the front bumper hood with PPF. The swirls look exactly the same whether looking on the PPF section vs the rest of the car (just to be transparent I go thru an automatic car wash once or twice a week. The swirls also occurred previously when I used to hand wash my cars). Is it worth the cost? Probably not. If you sell to a private party maybe. I have always traded in my cars and never once has a dealer commented that he would reduce the trade in price due to rock damage in the front.

-My current washing routine is automatic car wash and then back home do a quick wipe down with a Quick detailer spray.
 

DoctaM3

Member
Dec 8, 2020
59
53
Pittsburgh
Don't you clean a wound before applying a band-aid to it? Same concept here. You want to clean it up and make sure the paint is in the best condition that it could possibly be in before you put on any kind of protection. It's Detailing 101.

As someone with former detailing experience, I would never go to that guy's shop for any kind of work if he told me that I don't need to correct any defects before protecting. The issue is that the barrier to entry into the industry is so low, that anyone and their mother can enter it and become an 'expert'.

I know this shop well. They did my MYP. I think you are not hearing what he is saying. Lots of people don't necessarily need paint correction but lots of shops insist to increase the cost to the client. As a doctor myself, I think your analogy is incorrect. If you are hanging new drapes, you don't necessarily have to repaint the walls. You can if you want but it is no an absolute. that is what BlackOut Tinting and Josh is saying. FYI, here is my MYP being done with full body PPF and yes, I did get paint correction.

 
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E_R_N

Member
Jun 16, 2020
155
137
Vancouver
My buddy picked up a black 3 on Thursday. It looked awesome. We were about to ceramic coat it and noticed some scuffs on the bumpers. . Polished them out and the bumpers looked better than the rest of the car. Put a light on it and the whole car is swirled. 5 hours later and now the car looks beyond awesome. On goes the ceramic coat.
Point being, it looks good enough as is for most people but why is it a waste of money if someone appreciates the outcome?
My wife painting a picture is good enough for me so I don’t understand why people waste money buying expensive art but its none of my business to call them out for wasting money because they see things differently and can enjoy what they want to enjoy.
 

mswlogo

Well-Known Member
Aug 27, 2018
6,123
4,736
MA, NH
My two bits worth after going thru all of these scenarios on high end cars:

-Paint correction: depends on the condition of the paint. Most colors you probably do not need it. Black is one that you may need. I had a brand new black Mercedes that no matter what polish I put on myself, I could not get rid of the swirls. Paint correction made a huge difference, the paint looked like a mirror. Now the next question is your maintenance. As long as you are super super careful you will get swirls again whether you have ceramic coating or PPF.

-Ceramic coating: applied by a shop and charging you a lot of money- not worth it. You can easily do it yourself for one tenth the price. Is it all the hype the marketing makes out to be- no. In normal world situations you will still get swirls and water marks. Think of it as a really good and longer lasting wax.

-PPF: Good for protecting the paint in most situations. After a while you will see permanent divits in the PPF from rocks or debris hitting it. Cosmetically I think it is the same as looking at paint damage from rocks hitting the bumper without PPF. So the appearance of rocks or debris hitting a car with PPF vs a car without is about the same. Don't believe the hype about self correction with heat or sunlight. You have to be super careful about touching your car. Just wiping your car after a wash with a somewhat dirty towel will get you swirls. Most of these do not come off. My current Tesla has only the front bumper hood with PPF. The swirls look exactly the same whether looking on the PPF section vs the rest of the car (just to be transparent I go thru an automatic car wash once or twice a week. The swirls also occurred previously when I used to hand wash my cars). Is it worth the cost? Probably not. If you sell to a private party maybe. I have always traded in my cars and never once has a dealer commented that he would reduce the trade in price due to rock damage in the front.

-My current washing routine is automatic car wash and then back home do a quick wipe down with a Quick detailer spray.

Good post. I agree black is the worst, particularly solid black. I’ll never own another black car, I’ve owned two. I bought midnight silver for a reason :)

Also a huge population uses automatic car washes. If it’s touch-less it’s never 100% clean. If it touches it will cause harm.

I always hand wash. And I live in a cold climate. I wait for breaks in weather. I’ll do it, if it’s just above freezing. And blow out all the hoses so I can do it again.

like I said I’m way fussier than average and I don’t know anyone crazy enough to wash their car in their driveway in winter around here. It will be dirty within one hour of driving as well. On a good day.

I did ceramic so it stays clean just a bit longer in the summer and just a bit easier to clean.

Supposedly DIY ceramic is not as tough as the commercial grade stuff. But they still need an expensive boost every year.
 

Needsdecaf

Active Member
Dec 16, 2018
1,277
1,826
The Woodlands, TX
I didn't watch the video but the title is nonsensical. You're never "wasting money" with a paint correction unless you just did one and don't have many swirls. And even then....

There is a lot of mis-information out there about what ceramic coatings do, what PPF does and what paint correction is for. You don't NEED paint correction before coating. I didn't do it on my Model 3 as I found that the light amount of scratches that are there are not enough to bother me. Honestly, you need to put a light on the car to see most of them and as the car gets driven 100 miles a day, I wanted to get it coated ASAP. I also PPF'd the front end over it (the horror!) again as I wanted it protected as soon as possible. All the light scratches are mostly hidden under the PPF. Mostly. PPF is not designed to make scratches go away, and it won't.
 
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vtplm

Member
May 9, 2018
107
116
Irvine, CA
So I've actually had first hand experience for this. Initially my paint was horrendous straight from the factory. Did a 1 step paint correction myself (first time ever) and saw significantly improved results but still some light scratches. I got full ppf on the front and the ppf really does hide most of the remaining imperfections. Essentially the ppf "fills" in the scratches so you don't see uneven reflection which shows up as scratches.

The problem now is that the front looks great but I still have small scratches over the rest of the paint which I will eventually get to two step paint correction in a few months.

First pic is delivery day far away not in direct sunlight. Second pic is after I moved it into the sun under direct sunlight. Last pic in my garage with intentially directed light .
20201228_120816.jpg
20201228_122419.jpg
20201228_210520.jpg
Pretty obvious difference what lighting can make, no?
 

2101Guy

Active Member
Jan 6, 2020
2,052
2,552
USA
I didn't watch the video but the title is nonsensical. You're never "wasting money" with a paint correction unless you just did one and don't have many swirls. And even then....

There is a lot of mis-information out there about what ceramic coatings do, what PPF does and what paint correction is for. You don't NEED paint correction before coating. I didn't do it on my Model 3 as I found that the light amount of scratches that are there are not enough to bother me. Honestly, you need to put a light on the car to see most of them and as the car gets driven 100 miles a day, I wanted to get it coated ASAP. I also PPF'd the front end over it (the horror!) again as I wanted it protected as soon as possible. All the light scratches are mostly hidden under the PPF. Mostly. PPF is not designed to make scratches go away, and it won't.
guess it depends on each owner.

What I obtained from the video:
- Clearcoat layer is thinner than a sheet of paper
-Paint correction removes come clearcoat each time correction is done
-PPF literally completely masked microswirls/light paint imperfections and provided identical gloss/look as the corrected panel that had microns of clearcoat removed

From other videos I've learned that when PPF is removed, its common to have some light amounts of adhesive left on the paint in some areas, and removal of that usually involves a light amount of paint correction to restore paint to like-new condition.

So based on above, and if my goal is max gloss with no swirls being visible, and if the video shows that can be achieved with no paint correction before installing PPF, why would I need to pay for paint correction twice vs just once after PPF removal, especially if PPF visually hides the swirls/microscratches?

I get that they are still there, but if they cant be seen until the PPF is removed, why not wait until then to have paint correction done once?

If a tree falls in the woods..
 
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mswlogo

Well-Known Member
Aug 27, 2018
6,123
4,736
MA, NH
So I've actually had first hand experience for this. Initially my paint was horrendous straight from the factory. Did a 1 step paint correction myself (first time ever) and saw significantly improved results but still some light scratches. I got full ppf on the front and the ppf really does hide most of the remaining imperfections. Essentially the ppf "fills" in the scratches so you don't see uneven reflection which shows up as scratches.

The problem now is that the front looks great but I still have small scratches over the rest of the paint which I will eventually get to two step paint correction in a few months.

First pic is delivery day far away not in direct sunlight. Second pic is after I moved it into the sun under direct sunlight. Last pic in my garage with intentially directed light . View attachment 638886 View attachment 638887 View attachment 638888 Pretty obvious difference what lighting can make, no?

I think you are saying the video is correct. You couldn’t remove some imperfections with your paint correction but PPF covered most of what you didn’t get out. That says to me, that the finer imperfections you did manage to remove would have likely all been covered by PPF and you’d have the same end result if you did no paint correction.

Curious to see the level of imperfection that was not covered by PPF.
 

vtplm

Member
May 9, 2018
107
116
Irvine, CA
Indeed I'm staying they're right to a certain extent. Again the problem is that whatever you cover may look pristine but then now you have the rest of the car that has micro scratches. All that being said ymmv depending on the condition of your paint on delivery. My model 3 paint was near pristine and I still haven't felt the need to really paint correct it. I've attached some pics. First is rear deck lid now and second is my passenger fender where I have ppf. Lighting plays a huge role in seeing the imperfections but you get a general idea.
20210222_103347.jpg
20210222_103443.jpg
 
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mswlogo

Well-Known Member
Aug 27, 2018
6,123
4,736
MA, NH
My buddy picked up a black 3 on Thursday. It looked awesome. We were about to ceramic coat it and noticed some scuffs on the bumpers. . Polished them out and the bumpers looked better than the rest of the car. Put a light on it and the whole car is swirled. 5 hours later and now the car looks beyond awesome. On goes the ceramic coat.
Point being, it looks good enough as is for most people but why is it a waste of money if someone appreciates the outcome?
My wife painting a picture is good enough for me so I don’t understand why people waste money buying expensive art but its none of my business to call them out for wasting money because they see things differently and can enjoy what they want to enjoy.

And how did the other “control” car fair with clear coat put on without the extra 5 hours of paint correction. For the record I spent more than 5 hours prepping my car for ceramic (without paint correction). Answer is, you have no idea, because you had no control. Which is what the Video did. I’m sure it looked great after paint correction and ceramic coat. You proved nothing as to how much paint correction was needed. Other than you know the car is now wearing clean underwear under a new pair of jeans (which will be broken in soon enough ;) ).
 

TravelFree

Member
Mar 23, 2020
788
705
Jacksonville, Florida
I did my MS about 6 months after purchase. It had those tiny scratches and two quarter sized dull spots. The company I went to for PPF and 5 layers of Ceramic. said I didn't need to correct the pain first that it was unnecessary because the layers I will get will hide the scratches 100%. So, I went with his recommendation. After done, I saw there were no more scratches and the two soft spots were gone.

I am amazed at how clean the car stays and how slippery the paint surface is. It's expensive but since I plan to keep the car many years, it was worth the cost.
 
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E_R_N

Member
Jun 16, 2020
155
137
Vancouver
And how did the other “control” car fair with clear coat put on without the extra 5 hours of paint correction. For the record I spent more than 5 hours prepping my car for ceramic (without paint correction). Answer is, you have no idea, because you had no control. Which is what the Video did. I’m sure it looked great after paint correction and ceramic coat. You proved nothing as to how much paint correction was needed. Other than you know the car is now wearing clean underwear under a new pair of jeans (which will be broken in soon enough ;) ).
I guess the control car would be my black y where I missed a section of the hood and it looks bad enough to me that in the summer I am going to strip it and redo it. Or the fact that the bumpers were deeper black than the rest of the car before we ceramic coated. My whole point is though that it’s is not a waste of time or money if you personally can appreciate the difference. If you are a person who doesn’t notice or care, then have at it. I just didn’t have the heart to ceramic over the scuffs and micro scratches when they were right there asking to be removed and I appreciate the end result.
 

vtplm

Member
May 9, 2018
107
116
Irvine, CA
@mswlogo just curious what your prep included short of paint correction. Ceramic is different from ppf because unlike ppf which is a full overlay and is meant to create a smooth layer, ceramic just bonds to existing clear coat so it really shouldn't hide any imperfections but instead seals the imperfections making it harder to correct once it's on.
 

mswlogo

Well-Known Member
Aug 27, 2018
6,123
4,736
MA, NH
@mswlogo just curious what your prep included short of paint correction. Ceramic is different from ppf because unlike ppf which is a full overlay and is meant to create a smooth layer, ceramic just bonds to existing clear coat so it really shouldn't hide any imperfections but instead seals the imperfections making it harder to correct once it's on.

Really good cleaning, spent a lot of time removing bugs and tar. And I missed a couple, all sealed in now ;). Then I washed those chemicals off. Then went over it in alcohol. I also polished and sealed the glass (did that first). I did not put ceramic on plastics, chrome, headlights or wheels. Just painted surfaces. I did not tape off anything. Ceramic coat didn’t take all that long. Maybe an hour per coat.

BTW Paint correction (I.e. polishing) is another way of getting bugs and tar off.

I know what you mean. I bet clear coat would cover very fine swirl marks. I didn’t notice swirl marks before or after. And I’m not about to go find them with a magnifying glass. Midnight Silver is hard to see them with.

I’m not saying everyone needs to do what I did. I’m just saying what I did and I’m happy with it.

So tired of hearing Tesla has soft paint. I think their paint jobs do have QA issues. And design issues that boast some parts of the cars. I put mud flaps on, day 2. There is one nick on front bumper and it might have been there at delivery. I had 12K miles on it, when I did ceramic.
 
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LionelHutz

Member
Jan 12, 2019
236
229
CA

Yes. The 3 and Y have the worst paint I have seen on any modern car. Dust nibs, drips, uneven orange peel, poor panel matching. The paint glosses up pretty well but the quality is terrible. It’s just corner/cost cutting and not inability, as the OG Model S has decent paint.

Is a car going to roll off the line every now and then with good paint quality? Sure. But the stuff Tesla turns out would get an entire department fired at Lexus or Audi.
 

mswlogo

Well-Known Member
Aug 27, 2018
6,123
4,736
MA, NH
I guess the control car would be my black y where I missed a section of the hood and it looks bad enough to me that in the summer I am going to strip it and redo it. Or the fact that the bumpers were deeper black than the rest of the car before we ceramic coated. My whole point is though that it’s is not a waste of time or money if you personally can appreciate the difference. If you are a person who doesn’t notice or care, then have at it. I just didn’t have the heart to ceramic over the scuffs and micro scratches when they were right there asking to be removed and I appreciate the end result.

My car had no “scuffs”. Just bugs and tar. I also had no issues with paint from Tesla on a my Midnight Silver 3 or my X.

Let’s just stop saying I don’t care right now.
I’m tired of that F’n comment. You have no idea how much I care, or what the condition the car was in or what it looks like now in first person. And I didn’t need to do anything over. It came out great. I cared enough to not let myself get sucked into a black car that always looks great at show time. But most of the time, around here, black cars look the worst on average. Because they show every spec of dirt. I had two of them. Both times it was because the dealer couldn’t move them and I got great deal.

Personally I’d never own another black car because they look filthy most of the time, in NewEngland any way. A Friend has a solid black model 3. Every time he sees my car he asks me if I just washed it. And I hadn’t in over a week. I love the Red, Blue and Black when they are cleaned up. They just don’t look good very long. On average, my boring silver looks better because it doesn’t look so dirty so often. I hate the white, partly because I see so many with bumpers that don’t match the body. My wife’s car is white. Always looks dirty, especially the back. Fantastic paint job though. Chevy Volt.
 
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E_R_N

Member
Jun 16, 2020
155
137
Vancouver
My car had no “scuffs”. Just bugs and tar. I also had no issues with paint from Tesla on a my Midnight Silver 3 or my X.

Let’s just stop saying I don’t care right now.
I’m tired of that F’n comment. You have no idea how much I care, or what the condition the car was in or what it looks like now in first person. And I didn’t need to do anything over. It came out great. I cared enough to not let myself get sucked into a black car that always looks great at show time. But most of the time, around here, black cars look the worst on average. Because they show every spec of dirt. I had two of them. Both times it was because the dealer couldn’t move them and I got great deal.

Personally I’d never own another black car because they look filthy most of the time, in NewEngland any way. A Friend has a solid black model 3. Every time he sees my car he asks me if I just washed it. And I hadn’t in over a week. I love the Red, Blue and Black when they are cleaned up. They just don’t look good very long. On average, my boring silver looks better because it doesn’t look so dirty so often. I hate the white, partly because I see so many with bumpers that don’t match the body. My wife’s car is white. Always looks dirty, especially the back. Fantastic paint job though. Chevy Volt.

Title of the thread is knocking people for wasting money on paint correction. I’m just saying it’s not a waste to do it if you can appreciate it. Your car looks great, glad you are happy with it. I personally wouldn’t have been happy without doing the correction on mine or my buddies . I also don’t share your opinion that the silver is boring (it was my second choice) but I love the pure, simple black. It’s a lot of work and I foam cannon/wash/vacuum/air dry it once, sometimes twice a week to keep it flawless but I enjoy it as a hobby so it doesn’t count.
 

mswlogo

Well-Known Member
Aug 27, 2018
6,123
4,736
MA, NH
Title of the thread is knocking people for wasting money on paint correction. I’m just saying it’s not a waste to do it if you can appreciate it. Your car looks great, glad you are happy with it. I personally wouldn’t have been happy without doing the correction on mine or my buddies . I also don’t share your opinion that the silver is boring (it was my second choice) but I love the pure, simple black. It’s a lot of work and I foam cannon/wash/vacuum/air dry it once, sometimes twice a week to keep it flawless but I enjoy it as a hobby so it doesn’t count.

It has nothing to do with “appreciating” anything.

I appreciate nicely built cars and I got rid of my Model 3 because I felt like it was going to fall apart. Model Y is just a slightly bigger tin can.

You are obviously happy with your Model Y, good for you. I’m sure it looks great twice a week. I personally couldn’t continue owning the Model 3 because it was so poorly built. Water leaks, bumpers falling off, cracked glass, suspension issues, noisy as hell, harsh ride. And a whole new list of things for Y.

Obviously you have no appreciation for quality.

So how does that make you feel?
 

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