Before we dive into this topic we need to address the big elephant in the room first - why are we talking about all ways someone can protect the paint on their vehicle? Well, the answer is actually quite simple...
We are here to educate, to teach you on how to use Ceramic Coating, what it is, what the advantages of Ceramic Coating are, and generally, should you even use Ceramic Coating on your car in the first place?
Now, to answer those kinds of questions truthfully, we first need to tackle other ways of protecting your car's paint, or its competition if you will. That way you can make the decision 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 that exist on the market?
Lots of questions and not that many answers yet, so let us fix that. Here we will give you all the commercial methods that you can protect your car's paint and list all the features and faults of those in an old-fashioned deathmatch type of fight if you will.
So all the ways to how can I protect the paint on my car:
Paint Protection Film
Let's tackle each one separately and list all of their properties.
What is Car Wax?
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 find many forms of Synthetic Car Waxes out there as well.
In the automotive industry or the car detailing business, it is simply called 'Car Wax' or 'Automotive Car Wax' and is the most common way to protect car paint, and also the cheapest.
The way you use wax on your car is 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 that it is ready to be buffed off by running your finger on it. If it leaves no greasy residue on the 'clean' surface then you are good to go, 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 color of the car enhancing it even more. It does this by forming a layer on top of your car's clear coat, filling small gaps or scratches on it all, leaving a flat and smooth surface behind.
It will not 'hide' or fill deep scratches though, so be aware of that. 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 sort of degreaser, even isopropyl alcohol to remove a stain or tree pollen, bird droppings, just 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 through a few to get a general idea of what it might cost.
When working with Carnauba Wax be sure to 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 then just 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, will never scratch the paint on your car. If you happen to drop it on the floor ( happens to everybody ), make sure to 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 in any way, at least go to the nearest store and 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 and in a way, you are protecting not only your car's paint but your investment as well.
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 then 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?'; you can click here to jump right to it.