Probably everyone has had at least once this beautiful feeling when a car is presented to you after an accident repair. Shiny, freshly painted and clean (if your body shop cares enough). We all wish it would stay like that forever. Well, here is when a body shop professional could offer another service- clear coat protection!
Before going in depth on this service though, I feel important to say that waxing or sealing freshly painted car is not appropriate, so this service must be scheduled in about month time. Why? Simply because fresh clearcoat is still not fully cured, and solvents within its film need the “way out”. If we seal the clearcoat it may affect the transparency of the coating. So, just to be on a safe side, explain to the customer why you would suggest scheduling this service for later on.
Two types of clear coat protection
In general, there are two types of clearcoat protection products: waxes and sealants. Both types are widely used in car detailing and refinishing industries, and have its pros and cons.
Under term “waxes” we understand materials, which leave protective film on the surface, which lasts depending on its type and external conditions. In the market there is a bug number of various kinds of waxes based on natural ingredients (like Caranauba wax, beeswax etc), silicones (regular and non-volatile) and other chemical base. Some waxes also include some mild abrasives inside for removing light oxidation and swirl marks.
– Possibility to remove minor scratches if contains abrasive components
– Good water repellence (water
– Good UV protection
– Powerful gloss enhancer
– Waxes with silicone are not safe for application within body shop. Risk of paint defects due to silicon volatility.
– Relatively short protection time depending on weather conditions and the number of car washing cycles
– Some waxes are difficult to apply
Sealants are primarily man designed chemicals with polymer base. Due to polymer’s very small molecular structure, sealants penetrate between clear coat’s particles and bond better to the surface pores. Sometimes these kinds of materials are characterized as nano materials. Their structure is of very low viscosity, liquid-like type.
– Superior protection, which lasts for very long time and washing cycles
– Collision repair shop safe
– Excellent UV protection
– Good gloss enhancer
– Some of sealants are difficult to wipe off
– Relatively higher price than synthetic waxes
– Doesn’t “hide” small paint imperfections
Overall advantages of applying protection to car clear coat are:
1. Much easier to wash the vehicle since water stains and dust do not have good adhesion to the surface.
2. Water bidding effect (when water drops turn to perfect sphere shape) produces “self-cleaning” effect as car moves
3. UV filters protect the paint from fading out, especially on weak pigmented red and yellow shades
4. Expensive repair procedures are avoided in case of tar or bird… contamination
5. Overall appearance and reselling value of the vehicle significantly improve
Important points to keep in mind:
– Time span of the wax or sealant protection depends a lot on the weather conditions (sun, hot temperatures, and heavy rains).
– Frequent washing cycles (especially with aggressive chemicals and machine washing) decrease the quality and life time of the protective coating.
– Re-apply wax or sealant after abrasive polishing or compounding
Tips for car painter:
– Before the application of the wax or sealant make sure that car is clean. Rub the surface with polishing clay bar to remove small tar particles or dirt
– Consider putting a display with detailing products in your shop. It is a good source for extra money
– Wax can be applied over paint sealant for better gloss, but never vice versa. Nevertheless, either one method is good enough to give good protective result