- Car paint sealant benefits
- Paint sealant at a glance
- Car wax vs. Sealant
- Polymer technology
- Car paint sealant types
- Car paint sealant protection features
- Take your pick...
- ...and decide
- How to apply car paint sealant
- Our answer
- Trivia time!
Hello everyone! We've had a lot of folks ask us if car paint sealants are important and worth it. Well, the short answer is - YES!
Read on to know about the many reasons why applying a car paint sealant to your vehicle is worth it.
Car paint sealant benefits
Why buy a car paint sealant? Can any paint sealant do? What are the best car paint sealants in the market today?
These are just among the many questions that we will try our best to answer the "hows" and "whys" of car paint sealants.
Car paint sealants have many benefits. One of them is to give car owners still the showroom finish they fell in love with. Aside from making your car still look pretty, car paint sealants provide a protective coating that shields your car against the elements like harmful UV rays from the sun, acid rain, and various flying debris from the road.
They can also correct minor imperfections such as swirl marks and angel hair scratches.
So how do paint sealants do their job? Let's take a deeper look into the world of car paint sealants for us to understand this marvelous invention better.
Paint sealant at a glance
Depending on who you ask, pain sealant can mean plenty of things. In the most basic definitions, paint sealant is a synthetic product designed to protect a vehicle's surface while giving it a mirror-like shine.
Oftentimes the term 'car paint sealant is interchangeably used with 'car wax.' However, when properly defined, wax is made from or partly derived from natural wax - the popular carnauba wax made from plant leaves.
As mentioned earlier, both car wax and car paint sealants work by adding a layer of protection to a vehicle. The differences are how both are produced - one is naturally derived while the other is made from synthetic ingredients - and the finish it gives. Car paint sealants are famous for their mirror-like shine, but some people tend to find this finish a bit "cold." To soften it, a layer of traditional wax or natural wax is applied after a layer of sealant for a softer, deeper finish.
In essence, both car paint sealants and car waxes leave a layer of lasting protection on your vehicle.
Car wax vs. Sealant
Both car wax and car paint sealant can protect your vehicle - the difference is for how long. Paint sealants last much longer than traditional car waxes. This is because the specially formulated polymers provide a longer-lasting layer of protection.
On the other hand, like good carnauba wax, Wax offers limited paint protection but gives a more intense high gloss shine. If you opt to use carnauba wax or other kinds of car waxes, remember that the paint protection it provides lasts only about 1-3 months - you would need to reapply every so often to maintain that protection and shine.
A modern car paint sealant is made out of synthetic polymer (an artificial compound), which, when linked together, form a protective bond that forms protection over your car. Paint sealants prevent dirt and other contaminants from degrading and even bonding with your clear coat and your car's paint.
Car paint sealant types
Paint sealants come in different types like in paste, liquid, and spray form. A lot of these sealants are made from synthetic ingredients or compounds. Some of these are:
- Synthetic polymer
- Water-based polymers
- Binding polymer monomer
- Cross-linking acrylic polymer
- Ceramic coating spray
- 303 polymer protectant
Car paint sealant protection features
Paint sealants offer a range of protective features for your car's paint which can amp up your car care.
The best car paint sealants in the market right now can give your ride cured UV protection and repel water, oil, dust, and road grime to give your car's paint unsurpassed protection. They also prevent water spots which can dull your car's paint.
Likewise, a car paint sealant with water beading action gives your vehicle more protection from various water sources (water beading happens because of surface tension that allows objects denser than water to float to the surface) and other external elements.
All these can give your vehicle a high gloss shine - a source of pride and joy for every vehicle owner out there.
Take your pick...
Now that we've (hopefully) got car sealant basics down, how do you choose the best car paint sealant to use? Well, it depends again on what you want.
Let's go back for a quick refresher - car paint protection comes in 2 kinds: your wax and paint sealant. Under these two types are two sub-categories: cleaners and finishing.
Cleaner waxes are our natural waxes that have protective ingredients like our favorite carnauba wax. These wax clean, polish, and protect in one step.
Cleaner sealants use all synthetic protection ingredients and clean, polish, and protect.
Cleaners are known in the detailing space as a One-step product or an All-In-One (AIO). AIO products do multiple processes in a single step - clean the surface, polish the pain to a high gloss, and leave a protective layer behind.
Finishing waxes focus on maximizing beauty but offer no cleaning ability. A finishing wax is also known or called a show car wax.
Likewise, a finishing sealant (which is a synthetic sealant) offers no cleaning ability and maximizes beauty with the help of its synthetic ingredients.
And then we have the hybrid. A hybrid is a car paint sealant that is made from a combination of natural and synthetic ingredients.
We really can't box a hybrid into one category as this type of product can do both, or just one - clean or provide a long-lasting finish.
Choose a car wax or car paint sealant depending on your vehicle's finish condition and the amount of time you wish to invest (especially if you opt to do it yourself).
If your car is brand new, you can do it with a finishing sealant or wax for great results. However, go for the cleaner types if you want to do a quick wash and wax.
If you are eyeing a specific brand or product line, be sure to check out the reviews before making any purchase.
Applying a car paint sealant can be done professionally at the dealer's or your local trusted car wash (always check the reviews or ratings on their service). Having the paint sealer applied professionally has its perks, such as having more free time, but it can also cost you a pretty penny.
Thanks to the many products to choose from and a little bit of elbow grease, you can apply a car paint sealant yourself.
How to apply car paint sealant
Once you've chosen which is the best car paint sealant for you (consider your vehicle's condition, your goals, and the amount of time you want to invest), not it's time to get down and dirty.
A car sealant is easy to apply, and even if you don't have an orbital or dual action polisher, hand application also works great.
First, an important thing to remember is that you can only apply a sealant to a brand new vehicle - rolled off the factory and you are just peeling off the wrapping or to a fully decontaminated car. We cannot stress the last part enough, and the reason is that we don't want to seal in any of those contaminants. Just think of what sealed in contaminants can do to your car's paint finish!
Thoroughly wash and dry your vehicle, giving it a proper wipe as we want to avoid any water spots. Unfortunately, water spots can also do some serious damage to your paint.
Now that we're starting with a fully cleaned vehicle make sure that your car is dry and in a cool place. The reason for this is we also don't want the car paint sealant to dry too quickly, and it will go on properly.
If your ride is a daily driver, consider using a clay bar. A clay bar removes any contaminant on the paint surface and helps avoid swirl marks from applying the sealant.
Apply the sealant to an applicator pad (if you don't have one, that's okay) or a clean piece of cloth like a microfiber towel or a microfiber sponge.
Work in sections in applying the car paint sealant in overlapping patterns. Aim to wipe it on it as thinly as possible so it can cure evenly and quickly. When it comes to a paint sealer, you really don't need that much product.
When applying the car paint sealant, make sure to avoid unpainted plastics, windows, and rubber moldings. Also, be careful when you wipe!
Now you have to wait. It usually takes a car paint sealant around 30 minutes to dry, but it also doesn't hurt to wait a little longer, like an hour or so, to make it easier for the product to be removed.
To test if the paint sealant has fully dried, wipe your finger across the vehicle, and if it comes off like fine dust, you're good to go! Then, with a clean cloth (microfiber works best), buff off any excess sealant. If the cloth gets saturated, do the 8-sided method to get a clean side of the towel, and you can go on and continue to wipe again.
You can choose to give your car another coat an hour after drying and buffing. This extra coat is ideal if you live in harsh conditions such as extreme heat or cold. This step will ensure the long-lasting protection your car needs.
Congratulations! You're now good to go! You were able to protect your car's paint finish from UV rays and other harmful elements. You've also removed any of those minor imperfections that could ruin your paint surface.
But remember, no matter what product you choose, proper car care and maintenance are key. It's always important to continue your ride's upkeep to protect the paint and make that sealant last. Without the proper maintenance and when dirt and stains are allowed to dwell on your paint sealant, all that incredible protection will wear away far more quickly and easily, causing all your hard work to go to waste; always take good care of your car like you are taking care of your body.
With all that said, purchasing and applying a paint sealant to your car is really worth it. Whether you will go for waxes or a fully synthetic product - whatever you pick will enable you to protect your ride's paint surface and add to its general longevity.
Now that you know the value of a paint sealant, check out our car care product line here at Suma Performance. We carry high-quality car shampoos, professional-grade ceramic coating, wax and sealant remover, ceramic detailer, to microfiber quick-drying towels at a price that can't be beaten.
Don't forget to visit our site or give us a call if you have any questions or need tips when it comes to picking out the best car paint sealant for your ride.
Automobile paint sealants have been around for some time now. Here's a glance into the past and to know its humble beginnings.
A fatty start
The first car wax was made from animal fats in 1800 in a German town named Bischofsheim. It was applied to the lacquer of their horse carriages, marking the first time people provided paint protection to their ride, signaling the start of car care.
In 1908, Henry Ford thought that the black paint on the Model T was the only acceptable car paint to use. While not really an automotive paint, it did its job. The paint had natural linseed oil resin as a binder and was applied to this traditional car by hand. Unfortunately, because it was painted by hand in multiple coats and took several days to dry, it caused a backlog in production.
Thank you, George
In 1910, our favorite carnauba wax was introduced to the world, and we have a certain George Simons to thank. The wax protected the paint from scratches, brought an instant gloss and smooth paint finish.
Backlog leads to breakthrough
Learning from the past with Ford's experience with his classic black paint led to a breakthrough - DuPont's Duco paint. The chemical guys working at DuPont who had used nitrocellulose chemistry figured that by modifying the molar ration of the nitrogen dioxide groups in the cellulose backbone, they'd be able to come up with an applicable product.
We saw the result come out in 1970 - a low viscosity resin that can be easily sprayed as a coating. This is now known as the first-ever polymer sealant for metallic-based paints.
The fun thing with development is that DuPont could give us automotive paint in a variety of colors! In addition, unlike the first paints used, the paint finish was better. Because of this, applying car paint was now also easier as it was a spray action versus hand application.
The 80s, 90s, and 2000s
As more and more chemical guys made more advances in technology (like polymer technology), the auto detailing scene boomed.
In the 1980s, detailing clay was introduced in the land of the rising sun - Japan! The clay helped enhance the cleaning process as it was able to effectively but gently pick up dirt and grime on the paint surface. The clay eventually made its way to the US in the 1990s.
In the 2000s, PPG Industries invented Ceramiclear. Ceramiclear is a clear coat that eliminates paint degradation caused by UV rays, acid rain, and salts. 2007 heralded the arrival of nanotechnology with clear paint sealants. This type of paint sealant is a kind of nanotechnology polymer coating.
Blast from the past
PTFE - polytetrafluoroethylene -a synthetic fluoropolymer has found its way into the auto detailing world. First discovered by the DuPont company back in 1938, all by accident, PTFE reduces friction, wear and tear, and energy consumption of machinery. But, of course, the most knowledgeable company for this is Teflon (yes, that same Teflon you find in your kitchen).
Initially, PTFE was used to coat "high-end cars," but Teflon coatings have become more common.
The Teflon coating is 0.2 microns thick, forms a protective layer on the car's surface, and gives a protection that can last from 6-8 months.
Teflon coating was then overtaken by ceramic coating.
Ceramic vs. Teflon
Released in 2010 by the Nano Shield Ltd company, ceramic coating shook the world of auto detailing. The company released a series of products developed with nanotechnology allowing the coating to bond to a surface at a molecular level.
This technology is amazing as it fills in any nano-pores (really itty, bitty, tiny pores) to create a hydrophobic surface that is impervious to contamination.
Compared to PTFE or Teflon coating, ceramic coating is much easier to clean and protect your vehicle for a longer time.
Taking advantage of this trait, a company named Ceramic Pro introduced its 9H Coating product. The name is taken clearly from the 9H that refers to the level of hardness test of the ceramic coating once it cures on the surface. This test on the pencil scale of hardness, used by professional artists, graphic designers, and more, to pick a pencil “lead” strength that helps them with writing or drawing projects.
This clear product provides a deep shine and high gloss that's easy to apply to make for effortless detailing.
Ceramic coating is also very versatile in that it can protect the surface of anything (except for human skin). This is why ceramic coating is used in several industries such as in-home care (check your pots and pans) and heavy industries like aviation, where things are always subject to extreme conditions.
The future is calling.
Of course, with a 9H, a 10H can't be too far behind. Released in 2017, the 10H lasts longer than the 9H and is scratch-resistant, is hydrophobic, and gives you the deep shine and high gloss you want.
And then there's the Self-healing Paint Protection Films or PPFs. It's an advanced paint protection technique that offers a flawless finish - like your car just rolled out of the showroom. The original deep gloss and wet look that made you fall in love with your car are preserved by a multi-layer shield.
You technically can throw anything at PPFs as they can easily handle environmental pollutants like dust, dirt, and grime and withstands damages caused by stone chips, acid rain, and UV rays at daily wear and tear.
We're not going to lie; it can cost slightly more than your usual detailing as the application of PPFs demands the highest level of precision and expertise. This is something that we don't recommend to DIY, especially for the first time.