If the most important step in caring for your paint is keeping it clean, a proper coat of wax or sealant to protect your paint is a close second. But with five different options from Griot’s Garage for paint protection, which is right for you and your vehicle? It’s a question we’re asked every day, so let’s lay out the facts and make your decision easy.
First Stop: Wax vs. Sealant
The goal of any wax or sealant is to provide a protective coating while enhancing the surface to provide maximum color, depth, and clarity. Waxes and sealants will perform differently in terms of longevity, surface enhancement, and ease of application. I’ll work to explain those differences and set your expectations appropriately. But, in the end, finding the wax or sealant best suited to your vehicle will likely come down to experimentation and personal preference.
Carnauba wax is organic and naturally water-resistant. It’s mixed with other materials to make application possible and to maximize the appearance of the surface it protects. Sealants are non-organic, polymer-based products designed to mimic wax and improve upon it in some ways. Typically, sealants last longer than waxes and waxes look better than sealants. To choose, you’ll need to weigh the variables. How often do you want to detail, how much time will you spend, and what are your goals?
Waxes: Which one?
Best of Show Wax® – The Concours Wax
As the name (more than) hints, Best of Show Wax® was designed with show cars in mind. It is a liquid carnauba wax that gives superior color, depth, and clarity. It also has excellent filling capability to hide swirls or scratches that may not have been fully removed during the polishing step. Best of Show is amazing for black, red, and other bold, dark colors. It lasts 2-3 months before needing to be reapplied, so it is better for cars that aren’t driven in harsh weather often (or if you don’t mind detailing every few months). Also, it can be easy to over-apply, which can make buffing difficult, so make sure you follow the proper application steps and burnish it in with a nice thin coat.
Carnauba Wax Stick – Easy On, Easy Off
The Carnauba Wax Stick is awesome for the enthusiast’s daily driver. It is easy to apply onto any size pad (for hand or machine application), easy to work with, provides 4-5 months of protection, and has a bright shine. I love the performance of this wax! Best with lighter colors and metallic paint as the shine compliments those colors very well.
Premium Carnauba Paste Wax – It’s Hydrophobic!
Premium Carnauba Paste Wax boasts many of the same characteristics as the wax stick. Both are carnauba paste waxes that are easy to work with and have a bright shine, but Premium Carnauba Paste Wax has hydrophobic technology, which really boosts protection. Not only does it last an extra month or so, the tighter water-beading and reduced surface tension is very impressive. In a nutshell, the hydrophobic nature reduces water contact with the paint decreasing the likelihood of water-spotting and causing the water to “jump” off your paint more quickly.
Sealants: Which one?
Paint Sealant – Long-Lasting Protection
Sometimes the reality of life (or the sheer size of your truck or SUV) might make it difficult to detail each of your vehicles a few times a year. With easy application, long-lasting protection, and still an excellent gloss, Paint Sealant is the ideal solution. Typically you’ll experience at least 6 months of protection, but if you’re using our Spray-On Wax regularly with your washes you’ll see up to a year of life without needing to reapply it. If your vehicle is parked outside, sees harsh weather, or is taken through the occasional drive-thru car wash, Paint Sealant is a great option to keep your paint looking good through it all.
If everything about Paint Sealant sounds like what you’re looking for, but you’d also like to remove a few swirls at the same time, go for One-Step Sealant. It’s the only one of our paint protection products recommended to be applied with the Orange Foam Polish Pad because it has a slight polishing property (a hair more mild that Machine Polish 3), so as you’re applying your sealant you’re also getting a bit of paint correction. A great product that’ll make your car look awesome without a whole lot of effort.
I hope this information helps you find the right wax or sealant for your car. If you’ve already tried a few and would like to share your experience, or if you still have questions, the comments are open! And, to ensure you always get the best results, check out our article, 5 Gotta-Know Wax Application Tips.
Have fun in your garage!