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What Is the Best Wax for Restoring Car Paint?

by Richard Rowe

There is great irony in the fact that manufacturers make vehicles out of something as sturdy as metal then cover it with a substance so fragile that everyone frets over the tiniest scratch. Fortunately, there are a number of products on the market engineered to beautify this coating and reduce the appearance of scratches.

Waxes and Restoration

Waxes cannot actually restore a car's paint; only polish can permanently and physically smooth the paint itself. Wax can only fill small imperfections, giving the appearance of a smoother finish.

Natural and Synthetic

Waxes fall into one of two categories: natural and synthetic (polymer) types. These should never be confused with "sealants," which protect the paint but don't impart much shine.

Luster

Because they form such a thick coating, carnauba waxes impart a deeper and much more lustrous shine than liquid polymer types.

Tone Quality

Carnauba wax is preferred for its deep, rich tone on reds and yellows. Synthetic wax is a light blue in color, making the car's pigment appear somewhat cooler than it really is.

Shine Quality

Thicker carnuba waxes will impart a deep gloss and liquid shine to the paint, and are preferred for bodies with more curve and flow. Thin synthetics give a very hard and mirror-like shine, making them best for boxy or faceted body shapes.

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