A surface imperfection is an unwanted difference in depth, height or structure to the surrounding area. For example: a scratch, which is basically a sudden difference in depth with an edge that has an angle that is very different to the one of the surrounding area.
Causes of surface imperfections
There are many different causes to a surface imperfection, many of them refer to the mark that is left behind from either physical contact or chemical interaction. A few examples would be:
- A small stone being thrown up by the car in front of you and hitting your vehicle
- A shopping trolly bumping into your car
- A heavy and hard object touching your vehicle with speed
- Bird droppings
- Chemical etching
- A branch rubbing along the side when you drive to close to a plant
- A cat walking over the vehicle
- A sticky object that is being torn off the surface
- Heavy oxidation
- Chemical reaction with gas
- Polishing wrong, to deep, to rough
- Using the wrong procuts
- Using the wrong tools, or tool in a wrong way
- Wrong painting technique
- Certain processes of polishing
If the cause is physical contact, the mark that is left behind is thanks to the interaction between 2 objects. If one object has energy in a different direction then the other object, the objects that interact will have to absorb that energy by either deforming or transporting that energy to an underlying structure. In the case with vehicle surfaces, most of them deform. This can result in damage in the form of a scratch or the deformation of a structure.
types of surface imperfection
There are several types of surface imperfections, although you could classify them on the type of shape or form they have, it is more common to divide them into the sort of imperfection.
- Dent, can be removed by a bodyshop
- Scratch, can sometimes be removed by polishing and/or wetsanding
- Deep scratch, can sometimes be removed by wetsanding (or made less visible)
- Random Deep Scratch (RDS), can sometimes be removed by polishing or wetsanding
- Waterspots, can often be removed by polishing and sometimes even by claying
- Chemical etching, can be removed by polishing and in rare cases by claying
- Bird dropping etching, can sometimes be removed by polishing or wetsanding (depends on the severity)
- Swirls, can often be removed by polishing
- Paint defects, can sometimes be removed by polishing or wetsanding. Can also need a re-spray
- Holograms, can be removed by polishing with a finer polish or a Dual Action polisher
- Wetsanding, can be removed by following up with several steps of polishing
ng will remove deeper swirls, more oxidation, light chemical etching and can make a deep scratch less visible
The art of detailing/valeting
Detailing revolves for a large part around the knowledge and skill to know how to remove surface imperfection. These are often considered ugly and prevent the surface from looking at its best. Removal of these imperfections is not always easy and can take a lot of experience and practice. If done correctly the results can be stunning.
- Britemax (formerly: Metal Masters) started out in 2004 with a strong focus on metal polishing products. The current range has grown into compounds, glazes, sealants and waxes with several different types of cleaning products. The company originates from the united Kingdom....
- Paintwork can, in some cases, become oxidized. Making it turn matte and slightly fade color. If untreated, it can eventually cause the lacquer and/or paintwork to completely fail. It is most common on red cars, but it can happen with every color....
- Leather itself has to withstand a lot of abuse over the years. Jeans rubbing over it, dirty clothes, UV, high temperatures, low temperatures, dry air, humid air, liquids, chemicals etc. To keep the leather looking fresh and prevent it from drying out, a leather protection can be used....
- The engine bay is an important part of the car, and many detailer want it looking like it is brand new, or even better: custom build. This means cleaning of a lot of dirt, grime and oils that are hard to remove. This basic guide will give you some pointers before you start....
- The snowfoam lance is an attachment for a pressure washer that pushes water and a soap micture through a nozzle with a very fine filter in it. This makes the soap mixture foam as soon as it leaves the nozzle. The foam is sprayed over the surface you want to clean. In turn, the foam will soak the dirt, making it easier to rinse off the dirt before washing....
- A very common and popular practice on social media is the picture of the 50/50 shot. This shows a very clear line that divides a fully polished section and an uncorrected section. This is done to demonstrate the difference you can get from a full correction....