What is the Difference Between a One-Step & Two-Step Paint Correction?


Paint correct and polishing of your vehicle can be confusing when it comes to finding what kind of treatment for your car would be ideal and give you the results you seek. At Robust Auto Detailing, though we understand and accommodate cars on a subjective level, having a base understanding of what a ‘two step‘ or ‘one step‘ paint correction look like. If you’d like an in-depth technical overview of paint correct, you can check out this detailed write up.


What is a One Step Correction?

A one step correction, at least how we do it at Robust Auto Detailing, means a thorough polishing of your vehicle which gets rid of about 50-80% of the scratches and swirls on your car depending on the condition of your vehicle. This process is usually moderately aggressive and leaves a very glossy finish that can be waxed and coated. Note that all our coating processes come with a one-step correction process. This is because a properly done polishing jobs also prepares the surface for proper adherence of coating to your vehicle.


Here’s an example of an new black IONIQ that was given a proper one-step paint correction. Note that even though the car is one week or so old, there are still some imperfections, albeit less than an older car, that are drastically removed:


What Cars Need a One-Step Correction?

  • New cars(Less than one year old) that need to be coated

  • Cars that need a rejuvenation after 2-5 years

  • Cars that are in good condition

What is a Two Step Correction?

A two step correction, at least how we do it at Robust Auto Detailing, means a thorough compounding and polishing of your vehicle which gets rid of about 80-95% of the scratches and swirls on your car depending on the condition of your vehicle. This process is usually very aggressive and leaves a very glossy finish that can be waxed and coated. The first step involves compounding the vehicle which cuts through deeper scratches and swirls. Since this process is so aggressive, this process itself can leave swirl marks of its own! Hence, compounding is followed up by polishing the vehicle which gives the car a full overhaul. This process also primes the surface for applying a coating. It’s important to note that this process will not get rid of scratches and swirls that you can feel with your fingernails. Many such deep scratches will get diminished though.


Here’s an example of a 7 year old metallic blue Nissan Infiniti that was given a two-step paint correction. Notice how many more swirls and scratches there are but after the two-step paint correction, the vehicle looks absolutely stellar.




What Cars Need a One-Step Correction?

  • New cars that may be swirled up at the dealership lot

  • New cars that may need to be taken to a beyond show-car finish!

  • Cars that need a full makeover after 5+ years

  • Cars that are in poor or moderate condition

Now that you have an idea of what paint correction looks like, you can get your car booked or e-mail us at info@robustd.com or give us a call at 707-681-5944.

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