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Holograms - An Unwanted Guest

When it comes to achieving the perfect finish on your vehicle's paint job, one thing is certain – you don't want holograms. In the world of paint correction services, holograms are not a sought-after feature; they are, in fact, a frustrating and unsightly defect that can ruin the otherwise flawless appearance of your car's paint. In this blog post, we'll take a closer look at what holograms are and why they are something you definitely want to avoid.

What is a Hologram?

Holograms are a defect that plagues the paint surface and detracts from the overall quality and appearance of your vehicle's finish. They are often also referred to as "buffer trails" and they result from the improper use of polishing equipment or bad techniques used during the paint correction process.

Holograms manifest as very fine, vertical, horizontal and sometimes random lines or patterns that become visible when light reflects off the paint at specific angles. These unsightly marks are the consequence of micro-marring that occurs most often during the cutting stages of the Paint Correction process while using a rotary polisher and a heavy cutting compound. If you are doing an extensive correction service, they will occur no matter HOW experienced you are but, the true sign of a professional is being able to remove the holograms after they've formed and leave behind that ever-elusive mirror shine.

Paint Correction Escanaba

The Formation of Holograms

To better understand how they form, let's briefly explore the paint correction process. When you entrust your car to a professional for a paint correction treatment, they will employ specialized polishing machines equipped with foam, microfiber or wool pads. These machines, coupled with the right polishes and compounds, are used to eliminate defects such as swirl marks, scratches, and other imperfections from the top layer of your car's paint (The clear coat). As the machine spins at high speeds, it applies the abrasive compound across the surface in order to level out the paint and remove imperfections.

Holograms, essentially, are the result of intentional or unintentional micro-marring during the paint correction process. They remain invisible until specific lighting conditions reveal their presence, causing frustration and disappointment for car owners that were seeking a pristine finish. This is why detailers NEED to be able to properly polish the car after any heavy cutting steps if they plan on offering paint correction services.

Preventing and Eliminating Holograms

Thankfully, holograms can be avoided and corrected by skilled paint correction professionals who prioritize the quality of their work. Here's how:

  1. Expert Technique: Experienced technicians know how to apply the right pressure and select appropriate pads and compounds for your vehicle's specific paint type and condition, reducing the risk of hologram formation.

  2. Quality Products: The use of high-quality polishing compounds and pads designed for paint correction ensures a smoother, safer polishing process.

  3. Finishing Polish: Applying a finishing polish after the initial correction can effectively remove holograms, leaving your paint free from blemishes.

  4. Thorough Inspection: An essential step in the process is inspecting the paint surface under various lighting conditions to detect and eliminate any holograms or other imperfections before delivering the vehicle back to the customer.


When seeking professional paint correction, make sure to choose a reputable company who understands the importance of achieving a flawless result without the presence of these unsightly marks. Your car deserves to shine without the unwanted company of holograms, ensuring that you enjoy a pristine and perfect finish.


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