2003 BMW E46 M3

Ceramic CoatingDecontamination WashPaint CorrectionPaint Protection
This beautifully preserved BMW E46 M3 in the stunning Laguna Seca Blue color underwent a thorough paint restoration and ceramic coating at our Canadian Studio. Our client's primary objective was to revive the paint's glory without breaking the bank, as he recently purchased the car and intends to prepare it for sale.
2003 BMW E46 M3
2003 BMW E46 M3


Initially, we anticipated a straightforward 2-Step paint correction based on the paint's condition during the inspection meeting. However, things took a different turn after we subjected the car to our comprehensive multi-point decontamination wash.

The BMW pre-sale detail project began with our meticulous decontamination process, which involved degreasing all exterior surfaces, trims, and door jambs, as well as a thorough tire and wheel well scrubbing. We continued with iron and tar treatments to remove bonded particles, followed by a mechanical clay bar treatment to further tackle contaminants. The car was then carefully hand washed using the two-bucket method and dried with top-quality microfiber towels. We also detailed the engine bay before addressing the tires.

Paint Correction

Upon closer paint inspection, it became evident that the restoration required more extensive work due to oxidation-induced fading, swirls from improper washing techniques, varying depths of scratches, and paint stains. While the car had been enjoyed by previous owners, we believe collector's cars should be enjoyed and cherished.

We conducted several test spots, confirming that a three-step paint correction was the best solution. This process involved using wool, microfiber, and foam pads in combination with rotary and DA machines to safely eliminate or improve defects and achieve the desired outcome for our customer.

The first step involved a twisted wool pad with a rotary machine and a cutting compound, which effectively removed all swirls, fading, and numerous moderate to deep scratches found across the panels. Next, we used a microfiber cutting pad with a DA machine and a light cutting compound to further improve or eliminate stubborn defects and refine the finish. Some areas received the same compound used in the first step.

2003 BMW E46 M3 Paint Correction
2003 BMW E46 M3 Paint Correction
2003 BMW E46 M3 Paint Correction
The paint correction process culminated with a refining set, utilizing a DA machine, a foam finishing pad (Lake Country Orange SDO pad), and a fine German abrasive (Scholl Concepts S30) to polish out cutting marks and achieve a deep, reflective, glossy surface worthy of a BMW E46 M3.
2003 BMW E46 M3 Paint Correction
To maintain a consistent correction theme, we revised the paintwork correction process for the headlights, tail lights, fog lights, and other areas. The faded plastic and rubber trims were also given ceramic protection.
2003 BMW E46 M3 Paint Correction
2003 BMW E46 M3 Paint Correction

Finally, we applied a durable multi-year ceramic coating to safeguard the restored paintwork, making maintenance washing effortless for our customer, allowing him to enjoy his stunning M3 without worrying about upkeep.

At Gabriel Details, we take pride in restoring iconic vehicles like this M3. Our emphasis on process and dedication to maintaining high-quality standards ensure that we prioritize quality over quantity. If you're interested in bringing back the lost shine of your vehicle, book an inspection appointment to discuss the options for your project.

2003 BMW E46 M3 Paint enhancement


  1. Comprehensive Decontamination Hand Wash:
    1. Degreaser Treatment
    2. Foam Bath
    3. Iron and Tar Treatment
    4. Clay Bar Treatment
    5. Proper Two Bucket Hand Wash
  2. IPA Panel Wipe
  3. Multi-Point Inspection
  4. Full Interior Detailing:
    1. Vacuuming
    2. Carpet Shampooing
    3. Detailed Leather Cleaning
    4. Steam Cleaning of All Surfaces
    5. Ozone Treatment for Odor Removal
  5. Multi-Stage Paint Correction:
    1. 3-Step Paint Correction to Eliminate 100% of Swirls
    2. Removal of the Majority of Scratches and Fading
    3. Achieving a Spectacular Glossy Surface
  6. Application of a Durable ceramic coating
  7. Glass cleaning (inside and out)
  8. Tire Cleaning
  9. Cleaning of the Engine Bay Area
  1. Additional Processes (not specified): head and tail light polishing

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