Cut and Polish

Measuring Paint Thickness for Paint Correction Cut and Polish

Our Brisbane cut and polish service has been fine tuned over the last 15 years and it’s a service we highly recommend doing your research.

Cutting away car paint is a one way process and due care and attention needs to be taken to ensure you get the best results while taking the least amount of paint off in the process.

Our Brisbane-based paint correction specialists, prepare, test, inspect and measure your paint thickness all part of our comprehensive cut and polish packages. Find out more about our paint correction services;

  1. What is cut and polish?
  2. What cut and polish can fix?
  3. What cut and polish can’t fix?
  4. Our cut and polish process
  5. Our cut and polish packages

What is a Cut and Polish?

A Cut and Polish refers to machine polishing automotive paint. It is also referred to as Paint Correction as it permanently corrects and resorts gloss to car paint. The process of resurfacing the top layer of the paint cuts away the paint defects such as swirls marks, light scratches and dull and chalky paint. 

It is called a cut and polish due to the two or more stages of polishing, the first more abrasive polishing stages are known as the Cutting stages due to more abrasive compounds needed to resurface the paint.  The final stage is with finer grade polish compounds where gloss is restored to a mirror finish. 

Paint correction or Cut and polishing is a permanent solution to resurface the top layer of paint. A Professional cut and polish is long term, and the gloss won’t wash away like filler polishes found in automotive stores. Good car cleaning techniques will keep the newly polishing paint looking great for years. 

detailing studio cut and polish

What polishing can fix?

A shiny car exterior paint swirl after a cut and polish

Swirl Marks

Swirl marks are microscopic scratches in the paint surface  that show up like cobwebs in bright light. These are caused by washing or drying your car incorrectly, where dirt particles in the or wash mitt or drying towel leave microscopic scratches in the clear coat. These swirls marks can vary in severity but we can achieve great results correcting these

Light Swirls in new or near new cars can be corrected with single stage paint correction.

The dual stage offers the beginning a true paint correction and is where you start to see real results

Triple stage for heavy swirls and darker paint types see the best results, similar the the image shown.

Entry Marks

Finger nails, rings and car keys scratch the paint around the door handle and leave unsightly marks.

Entry marks will be corrected in both our Dual stage and triple stage packages. 

You can also opt for spot polishing on a per panel basis in our half day detailing package.

An image of a car exterior showing the colour depth you can get from having a cut and polish

Lack of Colour Depth

Lack of Colour depth is where the colour has faded dull appearance but isn’t classed as oxidised, typical on one stage paints that don’t have a clear coat.

Depending on paint types, and the condition both the dual and triple stage paint correction packages would offer a great finish.  

Oxidised or Chalky Paint

Oxidised paint leaves the paint looking chalky and dull. This is due to the paint breaking down from exposure to the sun, water and oxygen. This is most common on single stage paints in white, red and black cars. As long as there is enough paint thickness on the car we can correct these issues

With one stage paints we recommend the dual stage as it offers the best value. Triple stage correction is only necessary in some cases.

A vehicle covered in trail mark scratches requiring a cut and polish

Trail Marks

Trail marks are caused by plants and branches rubbing against the sides of your vehicle to leave visible scuff marks. These scratches can range from shallow to quite deep. Also called pinstripes, we have had great success over the years correcting these types of paint defects

Its a minimum of triple stage polishing of the sides of the 4×4. We can create custom package to single or dual stage the rest of car.  Sometimes even combining wet sanding the deeper scratches with north south techniques.  Allow us to round the edges and achieve great results. Our PPF options allow us to protect the paint from this happening in future. 

sticker removal


Ghosting refers to the outline or visible stencil left on the paint after stickers/decals are removed. It is the contrast between the fresh paint that was protected under the vinyl sticker and the exposed paint that has faded and appears dull in comparison.

When stickers or decals are removed, there is often an outline or visible stencil left on the paint. This is the contrast between the fresh paint under the sticker and the exposed paint around it, which appears faded and dull in comparison. Our car sticker decal removal packages include this removal as standard. It depends a lot on each vehicle but we usually dual stage polish the more prominent areas and use our experience to achieve the best result for the customers budget and requirements.

Paint Transfer

When a car panel comes into contact with another painted object with force, a layer of paint is left behind onto the vehicle. This is commonly yellow paint marks from bollards or garage doors. The transfer can be polished off successfully, however there are often deeper scratches left behind. Our polishing will reduce the appearance of these scratches. 

Please get in contact with us so we can advise what is possible in your case.  

bird droppings on car paint

Bird Droppings

These are very acidic and will start to eat into your paint almost immediately, with heat and dry weather amplifying the impact. It’s important to remove these as soon as possible. When you only have light etching from a bird dropping that has been removed quickly enough, machine polishing can correct this. If the etching isn’t too deep we can correct these types of bird dropping in any of our paint correction packages. If we can’t get it out completely we can generally make it much less visible. 

Depending on the depth of the bird dropping etching will depend if removal is possible, we really need to inspect. 



What Polishing Can't Fix

A close up of a vehicle with paint missing

Paint Missing

If there is paint missing and the scratches show the undercoat or even the base metal then cut polishing wont help. You need touch up painting or proper respraying.

We offer paint touch ups, and colour match brush touch ups. Get in contact to see if we can help 

Egg damage on a vehicle

Egg Damage

Throwing eggs may seem harmless but cause irreversible damage to car paintwork. The small hard shell fragments cut into the paint at the point of impact and can only be fixed properly from repainting. Brush touching can make it less visible but not much.


We recommend trip to panel shops for re-painting.

A photography of a car that has been keyed and has key marks

Key Marks

It makes my blood boil when I see senseless vandalism. If your car is keyed unfortunately respraying those panels is your only solution. Brush touching has been attempted by the best detailers and doesn’t hold up. 

Get quotes from your local panels shops, the affected panel needs filling and respraying. 

A close up of a vehicle with damage caused by bird droppings

Aged Bird Droppings

Bird droppings that have been left too long can eat all the way through the clear coat. If the mark is crazed, or cracking as shown in the picture above this is unfortunately clear coat failure and can only be fully repaired by repainting. The clear coat has been penetrated and no amount of polishing will remove all traces of the defect.

If its only minor your option is to live with it, or get the panel painted. 

A close up of a vehicle with water spots

Water Spots

There are actually three types of water spots but we will only focus on two of the most popular. The first is mineral deposits that sit on top of your paint and is usually a combination of minerals which we can remove. These minerals are soluble in your town water and when the water evaporates from the surface the minerals are left behind causing unsightly water spotting. The other type of water spotting is where the same minerals have been left on the paint for some time and has started to eat into the paint. This causes deep etching and is not viable to polish all out as too much clear coat would to be polished off.

Our mineral removal will fix water spots that are fresh and still on surface.  

Deep water spot etching can be reduced with our triple stage but depending on factors may never be fully removed.

A close up of a vehicle with deep scratches

Deep Scratches

Random deeper scratches are very common and depending on the depth will determine if they can be polished out. The general rule of thumb gives you an instant idea if the scratch is correctable. Run your thumb nail over the scratch and if a indentation is felt then generally the scratch is too deep to successfully remove completely by may be reduced . Normal wear and tear will see your car pick up a few deeper scratches over time.  Where deeper scratches have not penetrated all the way through the clear coat you have more options. 

A popular choice is to get the car cut and polished with a dual or triple to reduce the appearance of the marks first and then determine if you can live with the result.

Alternately you are chasing 100% perfection then respraying is your option.

Note that respraying just one panel is $500-1000. Dual or even triple stage paint correction package may give you a great outcome and permanently reduce appearance of those scratches without the expense of repainting your car.

A close up of a car that needs a cut and polish

Clearcoat Failure

Clear coat failure is caused by long term exposure to the elements. This comes in the form of bubbling, blistering and peeling. Nothing can be done to fix this apart from repainting. See your local bodyshop for a quote.

Nothing can be done to fix this apart from repainting. See your local bodyshop for a quote.

It's all in the prep.

Our Cut and Polish services are a masterclass in paint correction.  

1. Wash

Thorough wash, using chemicals that strip iron fallout, bug guts, tree sap and and waxes and sealants.

cut and polish prep

2. Clay

A good and comprehensive clay of the paint to remove all the contaminates. 

claying a car before paint correction

3. Inspect and measure

Under good lighting, we inspect and take paint measurements to see if we are dealing with factory paint or if paint is too thin. 

Measuring Paint Thickness for Paint Correction Cut and Polish

5. Tape up

We prep the car for paint correction, taping up any area’s that need protection. 

taping up car for a machine polish

4. Cut and Test

We perform our test cutting of the the worst area, to see the best way to achieve the results and avoid over cutting.

brisbane cut and polish

5. Polish to mirror

After the deeper paint correction is complete we finish the polishing with our special compounds to leave mirror finish.

detailing studio cut and polish

5. Rinse

We clean, and rinse all polish compounds off to ensure no contamination with our protection.

rinsing car after paint correction

5. Protect

Depending your desired protection level, we can seal and protect with ceramic sprays or ceramic coatings.

protecting and sealing paint after polish

Our Cut & Polish Packages

Single Stage Polish

From $300


  • Light polishing package for new or near new cars
  • Has no cutting stage, so aimed for light swirls
  • Offers a good improvement at price point.
  • Limited correction possibilities


Perfect for newer cars that want to bring back the new car shine

Dual Stage Cut and Polish

From $400


  • The beginning true paint correction
  • Best bang for buck
  • Removes swirls and light scratches
  • Restores gloss & increases value


Restore your car paint with Brisbane’s Cut and Polish experts

Triple stage Cut and Polish

From $700

1+ days

  • Best results possible
  • Suited for darker paint colours
  • Restores average or fair condition paint
  • Allows enough time for great result


Submit your quote with the add on’s that interest you for a unique quote with discount options.

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