Before we dive into this topic, we need to address the big elephant in the room first - why are we talking about how someone can protect the paint on their vehicle? Well, the answer is actually quite simple...
We are here to educate and to teach you how to use Ceramic Coating, what it is, what the advantages of Ceramic Coating are, and generally, answer the question - Should you even use Ceramic Coating on your car in the first place?
To answer those questions truthfully, we must first tackle other ways of protecting your car's paint or its competition.
That way, you can decide for yourself to see whether Ceramic Coating is even something that might interest you, or should you buy Ceramic Coating over some of the alternatives on the market?
There are many questions and not many answers yet, so let us fix that!
Here we will give you all the commercial methods you can use to protect your car's paint and list all the features and faults of those in an old-fashioned deathmatch type of fight.
So all the ways to how can I protect the paint on my car:
Car Wax / Carnauba Wax
Car Sealant / Polymer Sealant
Paint Protection Film / PPF
Let's tackle each one in a separate article and list their properties, advantages, and disadvantages.
What is Car Wax?
Car Wax, or Carnauba Wax, is probably the oldest way to protect the paint on your car out of the bunch. You may find it under other names, such as Brazillian Wax and Palm Wax, and it has crept itself into a range of industries, from the Food Industry to the Beauty Industry.
Today you can also find many forms of Synthetic Car Waxes out there.
In the automotive industry or car detailing business, it is called 'Car Wax' or 'Automotive Car Wax', the most common and cheapest way to protect car paint.
You use wax on your car to spread the way onto the surface of your vehicle with an applicator. You wait about 10 minutes, or whatever the manufacturer instructs you, and then buff it off with a microfiber towel. You usually know it is ready to be buffed off by running your finger on it. You are good to go if it leaves no greasy residue on the 'clean' surface. Otherwise, wait a bit more.
It might seem a little bit like half-dried wax if it is ready. Once you buff it off your car, it gives the car a magnificent shine and saturates the car's color, enhancing it even more. It does this by forming a layer on top of your car's clear coat, filling small gaps or scratches, and leaving a flat and smooth surface behind.
It will not 'hide' or fill deep scratches, so be aware. It will, however, protect the surface from rain, moisture, and water, in general, to prevent rust or mold from forming, so it might not be a bad idea to cover such parts of your car with a car paint protection product until you get them properly corrected.
Car Wax, if properly treated, will last you about six to eight weeks and during that time will, with its hydrophobic properties, protect your car's paint from water, will protect your car's paint from UV radiation damage coming from sunlight and will give some protection from extreme temperatures.
But be aware that in high heat, especially on black cars, the wax might vaporize from the car's paint.
It will also be removed by most car shampoos, especially those that are not pH balanced. Car washes will probably remove them as well, and if you are using any degreaser, even isopropyl alcohol, to remove a stain or tree pollen, or bird droppings, keep in mind that the wax is most likely non-existent in the treated area.
The do-it-yourself application process is straightforward and extremely simple for the average Joe. Wax is not expensive, at least it isn't supposed to be, so have your raised eyebrow prepared if you come across an extremely expensive one. Just browse a few to get a general idea of what it might cost.
When working with Carnauba Wax, have a hand applicator to apply the wax onto your car's paint and a microfiber towel to buff it off the paint. If you do not have an applicator, use two different microfiber towels for proper results.
Be sure to use microfiber towels and not some cloth you've got lying around the house or paper towels, as they both likely have a hard surface texture and will likely scratch the clearcoat of your car. Microfiber towels are designed to deal with such situations, and they, if clean, they will never scratch the paint on your car. If you drop it on the floor (which happens to everybody), clean it before working on your car again.
For all products, we will give a short and clear summary listing all their features and grading them from F ( bad ) to A ( great ) compared to their competition.
So to summarize, here are some notes about Carnauba Wax:
will last you about 6-8 weeks ... E
minor resistance to the elements ... D
no resistance to damage ... F
cheap cost ... A
very simple to apply yourself ... A
almost no resistance to chemicals & degreasers ... F
Average grade: D
Now that grade may seem low, but let's be realistic. If you aren't protecting your car's paint, go to the nearest store, buy yourself some car wax, and treat your car to some shine and protection. It is not easy, but it is simple. You'll get a good workout out of it unless you use a mechanical buffer. But it is not costly; in a way, you are protecting not only your car's paint but also your investment.
If you decide to sell your car one day, the future buyer will appreciate a car that has been taken care of, and you'll probably get a better deal because of it. It might even be fun. You never know until you try.
When you are passionate about something, preparation means very little, and words flow out of you like crazy!
Since this came out to be much longer than we initially expected, we will cut it here and continue the list in Part 2, where we will cover Polymer Sealants, Ceramic Coatings, and Paint Protection Films and our final thoughts on the matter of 'How to protect your cars paint?';