Car Paint Sealant Explained
A can of paint sealant sits beside a garaged vehicle, ready for application. Photo Credit: /Facebook
If youre familiar with car wax and polish, then you may have met its younger, and longer-lasting cousin: Car paint sealant.
Commonly concocted from a blend of synthetic ingredients, polymers, and waxes, paint sealants come in paste, liquid, and spray-on form, and are engineered with UV ray exposure and surface shine in mind.
One of the primary reasons behind their rise in popularity, is that most paint sealants provide lengthier lifespans, and superior protection levels than traditional car waxes and polishes combined. Heres a quick rundown of a few of the additional perks that are associated with paint sealants.
Car Paint Sealant Buying Guide
if youre determined to keep your car in top condition for as long as possible, along with a top-rated pressure washer for car, wax, and engine degreaser, you should consider getting a car paint sealant that you can use at home. Doing your own maintenance and detailing, or even having it professionally done with your own products are both good ideas because that way you control what goes onto your vehicle. You want only the best products on your car paint, especially if you care about how your car looks and feels, but you dont want to pay for expensive repaints. In order to get the paint sealant that best suits your needs, you should consider a couple of factors. Lets dive right in.
Applying With A Buffing Machine
- Choose a soft finishing pad, and attach it to your buffer machine. Apply a few drops of sealant onto the pad. With gentle dabbing motion, apply the sealant across the panel with the machine off.
- Turn the machine on to its lowest speed setting. Then, spread the product across the panel. Work it in across the panel in a thin, even layer. Make sure youre not pressing the machine too much.
- Turn up the speed setting to medium speed. Work the product in, making sure its spread evenly across the panel. Work panel by panel, dont try to apply the product everywhere at the same time.
- Leave the sealant to settle. This typically takes around 15 minutes, but you should check your bottle for the exact waiting time.
- Buff your vehicle and remove excess paint with a clean, soft microfiber towel. We recommend getting a microfiber orbital bonnet, so you can use your buffing machine for this task as well. If your sealant says it requires no excess removal, skip this step.
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Polymer Based Waxes And Polishes Outperform Natural Waxes In Durability
Polymer based waxes actually form a crystalline structure that loosely bonds to the clear coat, which qualifies them as a weak sealant. Both natural waxes and polymer waxes can reduce the visibility of fine scratches and swirl marks, but the polymer waxes bond better and last longer. Both natural and polymer wax products actually remove oxidation and contaminants, IF they are removed via a dry polishing process with a clean microfiber cloth. Some polymer waxes and polishes can be used to prepare the clear coat for a semi-permanent paint sealant. Natural waxes should be removed before any polymer sealant is applied, but they can be applied over a paint sealant.
How To Apply Car Paint Sealant
The application of a car paint sealant should be done deliberately, and away from direct sunlight. Photo Credit: Canadian Gear Head
Since paint sealant products are similar in construction to liquid car waxes and polishes, they are usually applied in a similar fashion. Here are two of the most common ways of applying car paint sealant products to a freshly cleaned clear coated surface.
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What Is The Main Advantage Of Using A Sealant Product Over A Wax
The main advantage of using a paint sealant over car wax is the longevity. Most car waxes when applied will last about 2-3 months, whereas paint sealants can protect your paint and maintain that squeaky shine for up to six months or longer. The bottom line is that both products can work together to both protect and enhance your paint job so it always looks show-ready!
Ceramic Coating Vs Wax: Which Is Better
The question gets asked a lot: whats the difference between a ceramic coating and a wax ? It makes sense that theres confusion around the topic terms like these are often used interchangeably and most people were taught to understand that a wax IS A sealant and both of them are a form of coating. In a lot of ways thats true, but as detailing technology continues to evolve, paint protection materials have become more advanced and distinct differences between these terms have begun to emerge.
Waxes, sealants & ceramic coatings have distinct advantages and are specifically suited for different applications. In this write-up well go over some of the common misconceptions, the definitions of each and hopefully help establish an understanding of how these terms are different and when its best to use each of them.
What is a wax?
Wax can be a diverse blend of materials that are referred to as “malleable solids” basically a substance that can change form from a solid to a liquid at ambient or slightly elevated temperatures. Wax serves as a protective, sacrificial barrier between your cars paint and the environment. In the automotive world carnauba, montan and paraffin waxes are most commonly used, but there are synthetic variants as well.
What is a sealant?
Often times, when it comes to paint protection, both wax & ceramics are referred to as a sealant.
What is a ceramic coating?
How should you apply wax?
How should you apply ceramic-based paint protection?
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What Goes First: Wax Or Sealant
When its time to get your vehicle ready for your date, whether thats a car show, cruise night, or just showing off around town, where do you start with the primping routine? You always want to begin with a paint sealant as it is usually more durable, longer lasting, and should be thought of as the foundation for your protection. A foundation always has the more durable products as a base and then you add layers of other products for increased longevity. Since car wax is less durable and softer it would go over your sealant as a topper. Car wax is great on its own, but putting a paint sealant first is what really creates that stand-out shine, while adding extra protection.
It’s So Much Easier To Use Too
Rubbing wax onto your paint, waiting for it to haze over, then buffing it off is about as tedious as mowing your lawn. Even if you pay someone to do it for you, that cost adds up if you have it done fortnightly… which again, you’ll have to. Sealant, on the other hand, is easier to apply, and many orders of magnitude easier to remove.
As a bonus, if you’ve clayed and polished your paint beforehand, it really will look like someone poured liquid glass on your car. If you have no idea what I mean when I say things like claying your paint, don’t worry about it. Just use a sealant and you’ll be very happy with the results.
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Best Paint Sealant For Cars
When it comes to looking for the best car sealant products, you should definitely check out some of the reviews to get an idea of what is best for you. There are many auto detail brands on the market today that offer the best car paint sealant products.
Now, why should you invest in car sealants?
Well, for a start, car sealants can provide your paint a layer of long-lasting protection and keep your vehicles from ugly scratches.
What you need to take into consideration is how good the product performs. Price should be a secondary issue. Of course, the longest lasting paint sealant thats also affordable is definitely a good bargain!
Here are a few recommended products that are near to perfect 5 stars rating and review that you can find on Amazon and try out:
1. Wolfgang WG 5500 Deep Gloss
While traditional waxes are more popular for giving the best shine, this excellent sealant can definitely compete with even the best of them!
Wolfgang provides your auto with a deep, clear gloss that can enhance its look easily. The type of paint and color doesnt even matter!
Its a world-class product thats a result of global camaraderie. The co-owner of the well-renowned Pinnacle Souveran paste wax knew how much you want the deep shine that lasts long and provides efficient protection.
So he decided to team up with expert German chemists and they created this wonderful product through modern Japanese technology.
You know youre getting your moneys worth with this one.
Car Sealant Vs Ceramic Coating
Ceramic coatings are essentially just an advanced car sealant. Ceramic coatings provide even better durability and paint protection from ultraviolet sun damage and harsh environmental elements.
Ceramic coatings are more expensive and more difficult to apply. A trained professional detailer should only apply advanced ceramic coatings, but many consumer-grade coatings are easy enough for DIY detailers to install themselves.
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The Truth About Car Paint Sealant
Outside of politics, erectile dysfunction pills, capital punishment, tequila shots, and a few other touchy subjects, most situations in life provide us with some form of middle ground.
The automotive arena is no different. Whether youre buying the latest and greatest turbo-diesel vehicle, looking to upgrade to a set of forged alloy wheels, or in search of paint protection products, the automobile industry is brimming with options.
When it comes to protecting a cars clear coat, one of the more popular options to emerge in the past couple of decades has been paint sealant. Manufactured and sold by many of the same companies that produce the car waxes and polishes we all recognize, these razor-thin protectants offer respite from the open roads ruthless onslaught.
But like any other paint protection or car care product, there are just as many crappy paint sealants on the market as there are solid offerings. This leaves car owners with a slurry of puzzling questions, and a massive amount of muddled answers.
Will a high-dollar car paint sealant weather the storm , when Hurricane Dicksmasher makes landfall next week? What in the hell is paint sealant made from anyways? Exactly what does this stuff do that a wax or ceramic coating cant? Does it go on easy like Sunday morning? Is the spray-on stuff better than the paste or liquid?
When And How Often Should I Apply A Car Wax
Its all come down what condition you are driving your car in and how much punishment your cars paint endures.
Usually, you should roughly do a wax every 6 8 weeks for general-use cars that are parked in a garage or covered.
However, if youre frequently diving in a harsh condition where dust and rain present a lot and always parked under the sun, then you might want to do a wax every 3 4 week.
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Car Wax Vs Paint Sealants
If car wax and paint sealants both protect your vehicle, whats the difference between waxes and sealants? For one thing, paint sealants last for a long time, much longer than a traditional wax. These polymers are specially formulated to withstand lots of abuse to prevent damage to your vehicle. On the other hand, a good carnauba wax offers much more limited protection, but creates a more intense, high-gloss shine. Many auto enthusiasts prefer car wax to paint sealants because they want that visual wow factor more than they want lasting protection. But because car wax wears away in 1-3 months, they need to apply it often to keep up that gloss and protection.
Thats the beauty of a hybrid wax, one that combines your natural wax with silicon dioxide polymers. This type of formula gives you all the protection of a paint sealant, and the cloud-reflecting finish of traditional car wax. Hybrid Solutions Ceramic Wet Waxand Hybrid Solutions Ceramic Spray Coating are both examples of a synthetic car wax.
How Do You Apply Sealants And Waxes
The car paint sealant application process is different from that of wax. However, it does not just differ based on car paint sealant vs wax, but also from product to product. You can apply car paint sealant and wax with the use of a microfiber applicator. You can also use a random-orbit polishing machine.
However, there are a few things to note. These are:
- You require extra care when you use paste products. You have to spread it over the surface to keep to an even and thin layer.
- When using liquid products, you must be fast to get a good layer over your car paint.
- It is easiest and most efficient to apply spray products.
It is always best to visit a professional car paint sealant application in Vaughan for your sealant or wax applications. A poor application of the products above can lead to an ineffective job or a waste of time.
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So What Exactly Is Car Wax
The Carnauba wax used in most automobile waxes is extracted from the leaves of a palm tree native to the northern regions of Brazil. Its purpose is to act as a protective layer for the palm leaves against the sun and rain.
Because villagers have relied on it for hundreds of years to provide food and medicine, it is also known as the Tree of life. Wax will protect our cars paint for a long time and make it shine like new.
Wax is extracted as raw material, either in the form of hard flakes or as a powder. A variety of different petroleum by-products are combined with it to form a user-friendly product for the automobile.
Applying wax to your car will have the same effect as its natural state: it will reflect UV rays, repel water, and prevent dirt and debris from adhering to the paint.
Although it protects your car for a while, car wax eventually wears off. Having natural components makes it more prone to wear and degradation. It will last anywhere from a few weeks to a couple of months, depending on the temperature and how often you use it.
The wonderful finish it gives to paint is the main reason for its widespread acclaim. This finish is a deep, warm shine that blends into the paint as if it had always been there, bringing out the true colors underneath.
Whats The Difference Between Paint Sealant And Wax
The exterior of your car comes into contact with the elements as well as all sorts of contaminants on a regular basis. These factors can easily result in the deterioration of the paintwork and this can affect the overall value of your vehicle. All the more reason to invest in regular professional detailing. That said, with so many different services to choose from, how can you tell which one is right for you? One of the most common questions is whether the vehicle owner should opt for wax or sealant. Each of which has a role to play and they each offer their own unique benefits.
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What Are The Benefits Of A Paint Sealant
So youve got your Gloss Sauce wax base, and now you want to crank up the wow-factor with a ceramic paint sealant. Ceramic paint sealant like Seal and Squeal, literally seal in the paint job, while polishing it so bright youll get a squeal out of anyone who rubs up against its glossy finish. This light ceramic polish will bring back dead or dull-looking paint and then add a layer of ceramic sealant to help keep that shine glowing for up to 6 months. Its like giving your vehicles paint job a facial and a little Botox to turn back the clock a bit and revisit that new car feeling.
Coating Vs Sealant Vs Wax
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The table above aims to highlight most of the key features some people look for when choosing a paint protection product.
Sacrificial Layer Paint Protection Concept
Our recommendation is that you consider building sacrificial layers of protection on your car, given the products youve chosen are able to be layered. If you decided a coating is right for you, ideally youd want the paint coating to form the strong foundation and bond to your paint the most. Next you would apply the sealant, increasing the amount of protection, and lastly apply a high gloss carnauba wax. The wax acts as the first layer to be sacrificed, taking most of the hits during everyday use and weekly washing.
NOTE: Some coating manufacturers market their product by stating that you never have to wax your car again. Wed advise that you confirm this claim with the manufacturer or approved applicator whether this is a marketing spin or that their product is sensitive to waxes and unable to have layers built upon them.
The major benefit of developing sacrificial layers is that it gives you time before any underlying layer becomes affected. If youre looking to just apply a coating and be done with it, you are asking a lot for one layer of protection to deal with no matter how durable the product claims to be, especially on a daily driver.
The table below serves as a very basic guide and overview on how you might incorporate paint protection layering into your routine.
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