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Home > Auto Detailing Guide > Car Wax Application Guide

Car Wax Application Guide
Click to enlargeCar Wax Application

Welcome to the world of automotive waxing. In this comprehensive guide we will discuss the quality products and expert techniques that will turn your paint job into a vivid, metallic reflection of the world around it. Though different products can create a multitude of final results, the principle application methods are by hand or machine. Below, you will find techniques for either method.

Applying a Car Wax by Hand

Working with your hands can be gratifying, especially when dealing with fine automobiles that require and deserve the admiring touch of car enthusiasts. The Pinnacle Foam Wax Applicator is invaluable for its ability to apply wax and sealants in even, neat coats. Another option is the Pinnacle Polishin’ Pal equipped with a red pad.

1. Avoid Evaporation. If you experience the same tropical climate that we do at Superior, you may already be aware of the plague known as product evaporation. The intense Florida sun constantly pelts our vehicles with high temperature heat and results in a premature drying of product. To reduce the chances of your product evaporating before you can apply it, make sure you perform your work inside a garage or another shaded area.

2. Apply Dry. As with any process, it is simply good, concrete advice to ensure that the area to be applied is wiped dry. Applying wax to a wet vehicle will make the wax smear. Cobra Microfiber Towels are perfect for drying your vehicle without leaving behind any lint, and are good investment in general for all auto detailing jobs.

3. Thinner is the Winner. Experts agree that wax jobs utilizing the thinnest coats are often times the ones that capture the greatest color and depth. Instead of applying one heavy coat, lay multiple thin coats on top of each other after the previous one has cured. It is actually possible to create spectacular layers of reflective transparency, furthering your shine to new levels. Pinnacle Foam Wax Applicators are the professional’s choice for creating the thinnest, sharpest coats of wax. Be sure to stock up on your favorite foams and fibers to stay on top of the game.

4. Spot Treatment. Despite your best intentions, you may sometimes notice an uneven difference in your wax job. To err is human, but luckily enough, there are plenty of products that promise to correct inconsistencies without requiring you to re-wax your entire vehicle. Detail sprays are available to remedy common problems like streaks and smears. One of the best sprays for the job is Detailer's Pro Series Final Gloss Quick Detailer, and should work out the kinks when followed up with a quick buffing.

5. Finish the Job. Cobra Microfiber Detailing Cloth remove wax gently without leaving behind lint. Using these towels will buff away waxes and sealants with equally glossy results.

Applying Car Wax With a Polisher

It is easy to say that waxing with an orbital buffer just might be the best way to achieve the proverbial ‘perfect wax job’. The orbital machine’s spinning motion reduces the amount of work needed to get the job done. However, an orbital buffer cannot fit everywhere, so use a foam applicator to apply wax around mirrors and emblems.

1. Careful with the Cords. When dealing with any kind of electrical tool, one must exhibit caution to avoid accidental damage. Power tools are just that: powerful. If used improperly, that power can be unleashed in a dangerous manner. One of the most important things to pay attention to are the power cords themselves. Unorganized cords can become troublesome trip wires if you carelessly hook your foot under them. Always use safe extension cords, preferably slung over your shoulder to prevent the wire from running across the vehicle while you work, potentially marring the paint.

2. Prepare your Pads. Finishing pads are perfect for applying wax to your treasured automobile. Both soft and absorbent, they are excellent at withstanding the pressure of orbital machines and deliver a consistent, even application of wax across your paint without smears. Use a Gray Finishing Pad or a Blue Finessing Pad to apply any kind of natural or synthetic wax. Apply your paste wax to the pad with a putty knife as though you were buttering a piece of bread. For liquid wax, distribute a bead around the pad’s edge.

3. Not so Fast. When using liquid waxes or sealants, it is advised that you gently press the polisher onto the automobile’s body before turning your orbital buffer on. Neglecting this can result in an erratic sling of product that could stain your clothes or soil your windows and trim. Play it safe and start the machine at a low speed, then, tune your tool to a medium setting (4 to 5 for a dual action polisher). This is the highest setting you will need to evenly spread the wax. It should also be made clear that you should turn your orbital buffer off before raising it away from the vehicle. This can prevent slinging as well as the aforementioned dangers.

4. The Cure. Remember that waxes require time to cure. Think of it as allowing a rose to blossom, or a savings bond to mature. Good things will come to those who wait.

5. Handy Tips. There are plenty of relevant tactics mentioned in the ‘applying wax by hand’ section that shouldn’t be overlooked. There are some spots on many vehicles that will require hand work.

6. Wax jobs are like Onions. They have layers. And when you are applying an additional layer you should always make sure you are using a wax that does not contain cleaners. If it does, you might end up cleaning off the previous wax job as you apply the second one. To avoid this, use quality products that do not contain cleaning agents, like P21S Concours Carnauba Wax or the Detailer's Pro Series Max Wax and Wolfgang Deep Gloss Paint Sealant.

7. A Genuine Car Buff. Buffing with a machine is fast and efficient. There are plenty of bonnets to use with your machine, but one that outshines the others is the Cobra Microfiber Bonnet. Providing excellent absorption while leaving behind no residue has become the widely recognized standard of Cobra. Put the bonnet over a lambswool leveling pad for cushioning.

Qty Wolfgang German Polish N’ Wax ApplicatorWolfgang German Polish N’ Wax Applicator - WG-PW
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Qty Use Crystal Mist Spray Wax after washing or anytime to bring back that just-waxed shimmer. Crystal Mist Spray Wax is a blend of super-refined, Brazilian Ivory Carnauba, conditioning oils, and crystalline polymers.Pinnacle Crystal Mist Detail Spray - PIN-370
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Qty Wolfgang Pre-Wax Polish Enhancer is absolutely fabulous for producing that elusive, show-ready wet-shine look. Wolfgang Pre-Wax Polish Enhancer is truly in a class of its own.Wolfgang Paintwork Polish Enhancer - WG-2000
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Qty P21S Carnauba Wax, p21s wax, p21s best wax, pure carnauba paste waxP21S Concours-Look Carnauba Paste Wax - P-12700W
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Qty Detailer's Pro Series Max Wax is made of pure No.1 grade yellow carnauba from Brazil and engineered polymers to create a wet, glossy shine that lasts longer than carnauba alone. Detailer's Pro Series Max Wax contains a purified carnauba with clear, reflective polymers that allow you to layer it as many times as desired to achieve the look you want.Detailer's Max Wax New & Improved - DP-700-N
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Qty XMT 180 High Gloss Carnauba WaxXMT 180 High Gloss Carnauba Wax - XMT-180
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Qty Wolfgang Deep Gloss Paint Sealant delivers a deep, wet, liquid 
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Qty Cobra Microfiber Bonnet (2 Pack)Cobra Microfiber Bonnet (2 Pack) - MB-1010

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