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The Detailed Service
Home Guides Waxing

Waxing

Contaminants

The multilayered finishes on today's vehicles, from primer to clearcoat are between 110 and 140 microns thick (that's .004 to .006 of an inch). Regardless of how fine your paintwork is now, the finish will dull and deteriorate. Your paintwork is continuously subject to contaminants and environmental harm. Providing your paint provides an easily renewable, transparent barrier between your protected finish and the environment. The picture below gives you an idea of what the protection on your vehicle contends with every day.

Quality waxes combine enriched oils that "wet" the surface with protective formulas of Brazilian carnauba or modern synthetic polymers for a high gloss shine. Also known as LSP's (Last Stage Products).

So which wax do you choose?

Synthetic Waxes/Sealants

These waxes are man made, they have been developed to provide long lasting protection for your vehicles paint finish, and another benfiting factor is their ease of application. Quality synthetic waxes can last up to 6 months, the end result from applying a synthetic wax/sealant is a very reflective one and metallic flake is shown off to the highest level.

However, some people feel it lacks depth, richness and the warm glow produced by a carnauba wax. The big manufacturers have taken this on-board and are producing waxes which match these properties of the carnauba waxes.

In 2006 a new type of synthetic protection came along - the introduction of Nano Technology (each molecule = 1,000,000/mm3 = one millionth of a cubed millimetre). In laymans terms this means better adhesion to your paintwork and to itself giving a greater density of acrylic seal, thus creating a molecular blanket of protection. This new technology is highly resistant to detergent, acids and hard minerals. The molecules are much smaller than water or acid molecules, so these harmful elements cannot penetrate this coating.

Synthetic waxes/sealants can be layered to increase protection, reflection and will create brilliance to your finish. An advantage with synthetic waxes is you can add an acceleration additive which will promote cross-linking, reduce drying time, increase gloss factor, extend durability level, and instantly cure to allow multiple immediate coats! No more waiting between coats!

Some of the high quality synthetic waxes/sealants used by KDS.

  • Zaino Z-2 Pro
  • Zaino Z-5 Pro
  • Klasse
  • CarLack68 - Nano Tech
  • Chemical Guys - Jet Seal 109
  • Meguiers - Synthetic Sealant
Too Many Layers

Carnauba Waxes

Carnauba waxes are the traditional automotive paintwork protection. Carnauba wax is secreted by the leaves of a tree in the Brazilian rainforest, it's one of natures most durable waxes. Most carnauba waxes use Grade 1 yellow carnauba in their formulations, Grade 1 is the highest grade of carnauba wax available. Usually the more expensive the wax, the higher the percentage of carnauba (up to 79% if you are willing pay £18,000).

Where the synthetic waxes give a more reflective finish, the carnauba waxes will give your paintwork a warm glow and a greater depth. Because the wax is yellow and not completely transparent the finish will give a slightly muted effect on metallic flake finishes. Manufacturers are now refining the yellow carnauba to white which will help reduce the yellowing effect and increase that sparkle effect, white carnauba is used in the more expensive waxes at the moment (about £100+). Also a carnauba wax will give a much better sheeting/beading property than a synthetic wax.

Carnauba waxes usually have a lower durability than synthetic waxes/sealants, especially on darker cars in the summer months (carnauba wax will evaporate) and will require topping up on a regular basis. Carnauba waxes can be layered to improve durability and appearance, but too many layers will cause a yellowing effect where the opacity builds up. The diagram below shows what happens if too many layers of carnauba wax are applied.

Some of the high quality carnauba waxes used by KDS.

  • Swissvax - Best of Show
  • R222 (P21S)
  • Dodo Juice - Various (depending on colour of vehicle)
  • Colonite - 476S (very durable)
  • Victoria - Concours

Multi Layers Of Wax - Synthetic or Carnauba

If you are going to apply multiple layers of wax/sealant, it is better to allow the product to cure over a 12-24 hour period before applying the next layer. To make sure the wax is ready to wipe off, with a clean finger swipe it across a small area. If the residue comes away easily, it is ready to be buffed off. If on the other hand the residue smears, the wax has not dried properly and will require more time to dry. This is where synthetic wax with an accelerator additive is a quicker option as curing time is not applicable, once you have wiped the wax off it is ready for the next layer.

Some of the high quality accelerator additives used by KDS.

  • Zaino ZFX
  • Polycharger - H20
  • Polycharger - CH2
All in One

All In One

Also known as AIO, these products simplify the task of paintwork maintenance. All In One products contain a cleaner (mild abrasive) to restore dull or oxidised paint, a glaze (fillers) to smooth minor defects like swirl marks and a protectant to leave a high gloss shine and strong protective layer. The below diagram show the effects of All In One products.

These products are generally not used at KDS as we remove all types of paint imperfections, without the aid of hiding them.

But a very good choice of AIO is Zaino's Z-AIO.

The Ultimate Protection

The appearance of synthetic and carnauba waxes are different, but applying both types of wax provides the ultimate protection and finish. The synthetic for reflections and durability, and the carnauba for depth, warmth and beading properties. Always start by applying the synthetic products and finish with a carnauba wax, allowing each coat to cure before applying the next.

A KDS Summary

Regular waxing is necessary to protect your vehicles paintwork from the elements. If you use the correct products, you will be able to layer your choice of waxes to make your vehicles paintwork look deeper and almost wet. The perfect finish is achieved when your vehicles paint finish is in excellent condition, free of contaminants, polished protected and waxed. A service that KDS prides itself on. The points that KDS follow are:

Paint Condition/Free of Contaminants

If you maintain your vehicles paintwork with regular washing and waxing, this will help reduce contamination and oxidisation. If your paintwork feels rough, this is contamination. Contamination cannot be avoided, dirt, dust, brake dust, bug residue, bird droppings are all accumulated through everyday driving. These can be all removed by using a clay bar, this will improve the look and feel of your vehicles paintwork. This process is not required if full paint correction is being carried out on your vehicle. All contaminants must be removed before you start applying any wax/sealant.

Compounds

Polish/Compound

Whether it is by machine or by hand, polishing/compounding is necessary to remove swirl marks, minor scratches and all other minor defects (see common defects section). If using a machine polisher, use the various grades of compounds and polishes for the ultimate base - ready for protection and wax. These products can be applied by hand but will take considerably longer and the results will not be as impressive. When polished your paintwork will feel perfectly smooth, KDS always uses a rotary machine polisher to achieve the very best results everytime.

KDS uses compounds/polishes made by:

  • 3M - Machine only
  • Farecla - Machine only
  • Menzerna
  • Sonus

Protection

Your paintwork is best protected when it is sealed from the elements, synthetic waxes/sealants are the best option as they are far more durable than carnauba waxes. They create a slippery finish and extended protection.

Wax

The final step to the ultimate finish, use a high quality carnauba wax. These waxes do not contain any cleaning properties or synthetic compounds, they will add extra depth and warmth to your vehicle paint finish. The higher quality wax used will produce a better, longer lasting finish. Also not forgetting the water sheeting/beading properties.

Maintaining Your Vehicles Paint Finish

When the perfect shine has been achieved, you will need to keep it looking that way. After each wash use a high quality detailing spray to restore that perfect shine and protection.

After you have washed your vehicle, take note of the rinsing water. Use a constant flow of water to assess the protection on your vehicle, the water should sheet off your paintwork ( a sign of well protected/waxed vehicle). If the water doesn't sheet and just lie in large flat area's, it is time for an extra layer of protection.

Adding an extra layer of LSP will top up your protection. If you finished with a carnauba wax, you will have to continue using a carnauba wax as synthetic products are not designed to bond to carnauba waxes. The same applies to detailing sprays.

Some of the high quality detailing sprays used by KDS.

  • Zaino Z6 (synthetic)
  • Zaino Z8 (synthetic)
  • Zymol - Field Glaze (carnauba)
  • Sonus Acrylic Spritz (synthetic)
  • Sonus Carnauba Spritz (carnauba)
  • All of the above mentioned products are available to purchase through KDS.
  • Below is a Porsche 911 bonnet which has been half detailed by KDS to show what can be achieved, and the level of water beading!