There’s nothing quite like a good shine on a car. The protection from a great surface coat is yet another plus. Car paint protection products, just as the name suggests, give cars protection from wear and tear, making the paint job stay as smooth and vibrant despite being exposed to the elements. Two of the main products used for last step coating in cars are natural carnauba wax and synthetic polymer sealants. There has been some debate among car enthusiasts about which is better to use, but it all comes down what works for your vehicle. There are a number of options to choose from for that protective coat, and deciding on which kind of paint protection to use depends on several factors, including the car paint color, the mileage that you have, and whether you put your car in the garage, even. The following tips are based mainly on car colors, taking into account how different products affect and enhance a car’s overall look depending on the reflectivity of a particular shade and quality of paint. Whether it’s wax, sealant, or products that are a combination of both, here are a few tips to help you find just the right kind of paint protection for your car:
- For solid white and light metallic/pearlescent colors: The thing about white and other light metallic/pearlescent colors is that they aren’t particularly reflective, so getting that extra shine would be trickier than with other colors. But it’s better to use a sealant for such cars instead of carnauba wax, because sealants are able to reflect light better on light-colored surfaces with its highly dense coating. This also allows light reflections that have greater clarity and depth, making the metallic/pearlescent particles stand out more.
- For solid midtone colors: It’s much easier to achieve a nice glossy finish on midtone colors, such as red and yellow, because of the way the paint for such tones are made to have intense color. Using sealant would be okay, but the added reflectivity from the product may lessen the color intensity and gloss. Carnauba wax works better for these colors, because it emphasizes color and adds shine.
- For midtone metallic/pearlescent colors: Unlike light-colored metallic/pearlescent shades, midtone metallic/pearlescent paint actually has good reflectivity, making it very easy to achieve a gorgeous glossy finish. It is much more ideal to use sealant instead of wax for these colors, because sealant gives a smooth look, and helps the metallic/pearlescent flecks stand out, compared to wax that could dull the paint instead.
- For solid dark colors: Solid dark shades have a color intensity that responds well to either sealant or wax, since both products emphasize shine and color vibrance. The choice of surface coating, therefore, depends on the look you’d like to achieve — sealant produces a sharper, cooler finish, while wax gives a softer, glossier effect.
- For dark metallic/pearlescent colors: If solid dark colors work well with either wax or sealant, dark metallic/pearlescent tones does even more so. Taking the best of solid colors (color intensity) and metallic/pearlescent ones (reflectivity), dark metallic/pearlescent colors may work wonderfully with either product, but the combined use of wax over sealant is even more excellent. Having both wax and sealant means both color intensity and reflectivity is enhanced, producing an amazingly glorious finish.
May Flores is a freelance writer and blogger who occasionally engages in advertising projects for Kings County Auto Body Inc., an auto body repair company based in Brooklyn, NY.