Car Paint Care:
Paint care and protection made simple

Car paint care has long been at the top of anyone's list when it comes to the cosmetics of their car! Unfortunately there is an over-abundance of bad information being repeated by the many so-called experts with hidden agenda's so easily found on this thing called the Internet.

Countless websites and blogs written by people who have very little experience at best, and absolutely no experience at worst, but who are so willing to educate you on topics that they have no business even talking about!

Car Paint Care made Simple

As an auto detailing professional I have to be able to know what works and what doesn't! It is as simple and basic as the ability to produce results. And the only way to produce acceptable results is by using products and techniques that actually perform, and can do so in the real world of auto detailing.

car paint care

Any frequent reader of my detailing sites knows I like to keep things simple. The forums are filled with so called "experts" who regurgitate glorified and exaggerated terminology, all with the attempt to self-inflate their position into something they are not! ( not that I have an opinion on the subject ).

This is not only self-serving, but adds additional confusion to an already confused group of consumers. On top of this, we have an industry driven by an insatiable need to sell more and more product all in the name of profits.

As consumers, we are bombarded with misleading and confusing marketing which is further compounded with inconsistent terminology; is it any wonder people are left chasing their tails looking for solutions.

Car paint Care:
What Would Darren Do (WWDD)

So many people who know I am in the auto detailing business present me with a very simple and straightforward question that is repeated more times than I can count:

car wash kit for car paint care

"Darren, I don't want to learn everything. Just tell me what you would do!"

So for that reason I am going to tell you exactly what I do with my own cars, but what I recommend to anyone who owns a car and wants to know the basic requirements of car paint care, as well as some added pointers if you are one of those dedicated individuals who likes to take things to that next level of perfection and performance.

Car Paint Care:
washing your car

washing your car is step one and arguably the most important thing you can do on a regular basis to not only keep your car looking pretty, but preserve the health of your car paint.

After all, sun and dirt are your cars worst enemy. You may not have to many options regarding the sun, but you have much control over the dirt that gets onto your car paint.

Chemical Guy's Car Wash Kit

Chemical Guys HOL148 16-Piece Arsenal Builder Wash Kit with TORQ Blaster Foam Gun, Bucket and (6) 16 oz Care Products (Gift for Car & Truck Lovers, Dads and DIYers)

  • I love car wash kits or car wash bundles!
  • Kits designed to make your life simpler and easier
  • products bundled together that allow you to complete necessary tasks of car care in a neat and tight bundle of essential products and "tools"
  • This kit not only contains many of the actual car washing products I have used for years, but includes additional products and tools that are required for a thorough car washing, as well as tools that will take your efforts into the world of professional results
  • This kit contains tools like a wheel brush, a wash bucket, and a foam gun
  • Also contains my favorite wash mitt, a tire dressing applicator, and micro-fiber cloths for drying and waxing

Car Paint Care:
Decontaminating car paint

This topic is likely a new one to many of you. Decontaminating sounds scary to most people when I tell them about this necessary step.

clay bar for car paint care

You might know of this step in the form of detailing clay or the clay bar. Simply put; the clay bar is a tool used to decontaminate your car from the air borne pollutants that bond to the surface of your car paint.

Hopefully you are already ahead of me in coming to the conclusion that you would prefer not to have pollutants sticking to your car paint!

These pollutants that will literally bond to the surface of your car paint, will need to be removed through a specific c process that requires a specific "tool" called the clay bar or detailing clay.

Adam's Fine Grade Clay Bar Combo 200g - Premium Car Detailing Clay Fallout Remover of Light Contamination Tree Sap & Grime | Use W/Detail Spray Car Wash Kit Car Wax Buffer Polisher Ceramic Coating <.p>

  • Not just a clay bar, but an actual kit to decontaminate your car paint
  • Use this on a freshly washed car (you can use this on a dry car, or on a wet car that has been washed and rinsed)
  • Removes the air borne pollutants that have become attached to your cars paint surface
  • This IS a critical step to proper car paint care! (many people underestimate the value of taking the time and effort to fully decontaminate your car paint)
  • Comes with (2) clay bars and detail spray to use as a clay lubricant (because detailing clay by nature will "grab" your paint surface, you need a lubricant to allow you to rub the clay bar back and forth as the clay bar grabs the pollutants and shears them away)
  • One of my favorite clay bars!

Car Paint Care:
Waxing your car paint

best car wax for car paint care

Most people accept that car wax on their car is a good thing. The problem is the endless choices you are forced to pick and choose from in your quest for the best car wax.

Since I am so often asked what is the best car wax, I always reply with this basic answer:
"The best car wax is the car wax that will make it onto your car more often, not less often!"

While this seems obvious, many people go away and ponder the greater significance of this response by me. And this has to do with the user experience.

meaning this: if you are willing to spend hours, days, or weeks researching and reading one car wax review after another, are willing to spend a ridiculous amount of money on what you have determined to be the best car wax in the world, but find that the car wax of your choice ends up spending all its time sitting in the container in which it came rather than making onto the surface of your car, then how good is that car wax at the end of the day!

so I want a car wax that makes it onto my car very often! A car wax that has what I call the winning balance of features and benefits. And more importantly; doesn't just end up collecting dust on my garage shelf next to the other 10 best car waxes you have likely purchased over the years!

Why Wax a Car

Wax serves 2 essential purposes:

  1. Protection
  2. Visual enhancement

Think of car wax as an invisible layer of protection. In addition, car wax fills in micro scratches and blemishes while creating a uniformed reflective layer to create gloss and depth to the paint. Consistent application of a quality car wax also remains as a critical requirement of proper car paint care. There are many choices when it comes to car wax products, and you could spend a lifetime researching them all. For the sake of keeping things simple, I am going to lay out my specific favorites.

CSI Q-7 Wax Spray car Wax 16oz - Non-staining, Carnauba Spray Wax That can be Used in Direct Sunlight, on hot Paint

  • What I consider the best car wax due to its winning balance of features and benefits
  • Non-staining wax formulation (won't stain black trim, will never dry to a chalky haze, will not leave chalky residue in seams and crevices)
  • True water borne technology (water is the "carrier" of the active ingredients. This allow the water molecule to also act as an insulator that allows this car wax to be used in direct sunlight on hot paint)
  • My professional choice for over 15 years (it has only been recently made available to the consumer/retail level as this product was designed for use in the body shop world and is body shop safe)
  • Use with real carnauba wax (many car waxes simply suggest they use real carnauba when in reality they use "carnauba like" silicones. I have been able to personally verify the formulation of this product)
  • A product so versatile, I can use this as a quick detailer, I can use it as a car leather conditioner, I can use it to maintain the black plastic trim on the exterior of my car, I can also use it on the interior plastic components of my cars interior since it is a non-staining formulation (car leather is coated with a clear protective coating so you are actually dealing with a synthetic coating, not natural leather)

Maintenance Car paint Care

It is said that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure! The same holds true with car paint care. I promise if you were to follow the essential steps of car paint care outlined on this page, your car will not only outlast your interest in your car, but will look better than 98% of any other car out on the road.

car wax on car leather

The problem is people all too often allow their car paint to become oxidized, dingy, and dull due to long-term neglect.

If you value the beauty of your car, if you value its resale value, as well as the information on are communicating to the world around you by the condition you keep your car, then you most definitely want to follow these car paint care guidelines.

Doing so will pay immediate results and long-term dividends to you and your world!

The CSi Q-7 Wax is also my "go-to" wax for car paint care maintenance a it is not just a great car wax, but has the versatility and ease of use that will help you maintain your ride before it gets out of hand and you feel too overwhelmed by its dilapidated condition to do anything about it.

Car Paint Care Summary

car paint care tips

I hope you have noticed the fact that there are very few items required when it comes to proper car paint care. With these specific examples of quality products, combined with a little consistent effort on your part, you can have car paint that not only shines above the crowds, but will endure in beauty and value long past what you might expect! Let me end with my summary list of steps you need to take for years and years of enduring beauty with your car paint:

  • Wash car weekly.
  • Save yourself time and energy by outsourcing to quality local car wash.
  • Use detailing clay prior to waxing to remove any form of embedded pollutants.
  • Apply the Meguiar's Ultimate Paste Wax as base coat for protection and beauty.
  • Use Meguiar's Ultimate Spray Wax to extend life of base coat, or whenever you want that just waxed look with an ultra easy to use product.

I hope these tips has not only shown just how simple car paint care can be, but also help to renew that love affair you used to have with your car when it was brand new!


Darren Priest

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