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When a car is first painted the top coat is relatively smooth and reflects maximum light. Over time abrasion and environmental conditions transform the once smooth, level surface into a proverbial mountain range of varying textures that reduce the ultimate reflectivity of the paint. These changes in the surface are known as Paint Defects, this occurs because changes in the angle of the paint, whether large or microscopic deflect light instead of reflecting it evenly. Paint Defects are characterised by the by both the depth which they penetrate the surface, as well as the frequency and pattern which they occur.


Marring is often a term often used to describe frequently occurring, shallow paint defects.

Swirl Marks

Swirl Mark is likely the most common type of defect. It is extremely shallow in depth and is very frequent in occurrence. Most swirl marks is wash-induced and caused by incorrect washing and drying techniques. Because these paint defects are so easy to get and thus occur so frequently, they forum a circle pattern of scratches that reflect outwards from a central light source giving this marring it's named sake: Swirl Marks or Spider Webbing.

Random Deep Marring 

is often wash-induced but with a greater degree of force implicating more damage to the paint’s surface. A piece of grit stuck in a wash mitt or drying towel can cause isolated spots of deep marring; Washing a car with a shop brush or using an automated car wash can cause frequent spots of deep marring. Incorrect sanding of the vehicle’s paint can cause very deep marring also known as sanding tracers. Random Deep Marring occurs in different patterns and frequency but is characterized by the depth of damage: Deep enough to see, but not deep enough to feel. In frequent deep marring is often referred to as Random Isolated Deeper Scratching or RIDS.  


Scratches are paint defects where a significant amount of paint has been removed and the defect is not only visible but can be felt to the touch. In general scratching/deep scratching penetrates too deeply into the paint’s surface to be completely removed, although the appearance may be lessened. 


An etching is a type of paint defect that can very in depth and but creates a unique pattern dependent on how it is created. Etching is caused by chemical reaction on that paint’s surface that eats or dissolves the surface at a fairly consistent rate of a relatively large area, creating depressions on the surface that appear like empty swimming pools. The most common forms of etching are from acid rain, acidic insect remains, and bird bombs, and from the residual minerals found in water.

Machine Created Polish Marks
Holograms are extremely consistent, extremely shallow frequently occurring paint defects created by the machine polishing of paint. These defects are so frequent and shallow that they reflect light in their own unique pattern, creating a three-dimensional
appearance in the paint, hence the name

Paint Defect Removal

To remove a paint defect means that all of the surrounding paint above the deepest part of the defect needs to be removed in order to create a more level surface. This new surface will be smooth and reflect maximum light. Because new cars are frequently damaged at the dealership, often this new fresh, smooth surface will improve the appearance of new vehicles dramatically as well.

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