3 Tips to Get the Most Out of Car Paint and Surface Protection
Some people may see a wax, sealant, or coating job as an extra perk for their car to get that extra “shine”. But getting one of these jobs done on your car is actually maintenance work as car paint and surface protection can entail one or more of the following…
- Minimize the deterioration of your car’s paint and surfaces from oxidation, rust, and debris
- Preserve your car’s resale value by extending the life of its paintwork and surfaces
- Make car cleaning easier
- Reduce the hassle of ice-scraping
- Allow water to roll off your windows for increased visibility and safety when driving
TIP 1: Get familiar with the types of car paint and surface protection for a better idea of the quality and maintenance work involved.
Wax – Basic short-term protection and gloss. This natural-waxy type substance smooths out paint surfaces and lasts for a couple washes. It protects your car surfaces from UV rays, color fading, dirt, acid rain, bird drops, bug muck, industrial fallout, and road debris. For proper care, we recommend applying this every 4 weeks to 3 months depending on your car condition.
Sealant – Similar protective benefits to wax but better. This material, typically man-made or synthetic, gives a better gloss to your car’s surface than wax and makes it last longer. For proper care, we recommend applying this every 6-12 months depending on your car condition.
Ceramic Coating – Superior long-term protection that reduces the need for paint/surface restoration work and can be applied to all surfaces. Provides long-term water repellency and superior scratching resistance against environmental fallout. Using nano-coating technology, ceramic coating has a self-cleaning feature to make it much easier to clean your vehicle without the use of waxing and polishing. It also provides anywhere from 6 months to a lifetime’s worth of protection inside out. For proper care, we recommend annual touch-ups to rejuvenate the coating’s water repellency and self-cleaning features. Compared to waxes and sealants, ceramic coating saves you money in the long run due to its superior quality and long-term benefits.
Paint Protection Film (PPF) – Robust long-term protection against rock chips, bug splatters, paint peeling and more. The invisible film is applied to the painted surfaces, headlights, and mirrors of your car (excluding windows, plastic surface, & rims) and is safely removable on factory paint. For proper care, we recommend getting it touched up at least once every 3 months to preserve the high gloss.
For the best protection possible in terms of longevity, water repellency, self-cleanliness, rock-chip protection, and superior scratch resistance, you may want to consider a combination of paint protection film and ceramic coating.
TIP 2: Get your car inspected by a reputable and experienced detailer who’s ‘authorized’ to install paint and surface protection systems.
Whether you are considering a DIY approach or bringing your car to a shop, getting a proper inspection will give you better understanding on what needs to be done in terms of preparing, cleaning, priming, and installing the paint and surface protection system. Swirl marks, rock chips, bird droppings, and many other contaminants can be pain to rid and prevent. Save yourself the time and ask an expert to help you narrow down on choices that address your needs and preferences.
Aside from the installation, restorative prep work can make all the difference in how well a protective layer can be applied or bonded to your vehicle’s paint and surfaces. An authorized detailer will likely recommend to do some paint restorative work on your vehicle to:
- Remove scratches, swirl marks, and other contaminants
- Bring your car back to that “like-new” showroom appearance
- Make your car paint and surfaces blemish free to create the best conditions possible for application
Bottomline, car paint and surface protection effectiveness is highly dependent on the caliber of the installer, the product, and the environment.
TIP 3: Maintain the luster and health of your car’s paintwork and surfaces.
Your car is one of the biggest purchases you’ll ever make. Whether you own or lease it, making a priority on basic car care practices can help preserve the value of your car. To avoid vehicle contaminants and minimize paintwork damages, we recommend you:
- Immediately wipe-down your car if it was contaminated with acid rain, bird droppings, dust, tree sap, or water spots
- Park in covered areas and avoid parking under trees
- Manual hand wash your vehicle for gentle maintenance
- Ensure your vehicle is always protected with a wax or sealant if there is no ceramic coating.