Recently I came under fire for being biased toward paint sealants. My rebuttal… so what? It makes perfect sense. It not only puts your car at an obvious advantage, but it almost replaces the need for carnauba entirely. I understand quality is a major piece of the puzzle when classifying paint protection products, so for the rest of this article/rant, I’ll only speak generally about the two cases – polymer sealants and carnauba waxes. Polymer sealants are a clearly superior choice and here’s why…
1. Durability | Poly sealants shut out carnauba in this category for a number of reasons. First off, lets talk about the formulation. For those of you who don’t know, poly refers to a polymer (plastic) based formula. This is the exact opposite of organic carnauba wax – derived from palm trees, bee’s wax, and other natural substances. What this means in terms of durability is that paint sealants last longer and hold up better in worse weather. You can see why this would put your freshly sealed car a step ahead of a freshly waxed car. Next is the fact that the vast majority of people do not protect their cars. It’s a phenomenon I still haven’t quite wrapped my head around, but an obscene amount of people are just neglecting their paint and thinking that the $2 quick wash attached the gas station is doing the trick. If they took 30 minutes out of the next 6 months of their life and protected their car using a longer lasting poly sealant they could still forget about it for a while, but at least the seal they just put on their car wouldn’t diminish in 1-3 months like carnauba. Protection is unquestionably the #1 way to preserve the appearance of your car’s finish, but try as I may I’m afraid I won’t be able to show everyone the light because too many people don’t care how their car looks in 5 years, they want instant gratification (both of which are solved by a paint sealant mind you).
2. Shine | I hear a lot of people who’ve been detailing for years swear by carnauba because it’s the only way to bring out the best in their “baby.” This kind of traditional mindset is what has a lot of car people using waxes with chemical dyes and solvents that promise a glistening shine, smell terrible, and are actually worse for their car than good. Their argument, however, does stand if we’re talking about layering. Layer is something that I completely agree with, I do myself, and I suggest it to all of our customers… if one detail is followed precisely: make the initial layer a polymer paint sealant. It will add to the depth and clarity of your “unique” paint job and give you some much needed protection for your somewhat naked car. Still want more shine? That’s fine.. just keep caking on the carnauba. It’s like makeup; it fills, fixes, glistens, and beautifies… but let it be known that all of that is enhanced with a foundation layer of paint sealant.
3. Practicality | If you’re reading this blog, chances are you’ve heard of our competitors – specifically some companies who recommend lubing up your hands with their carnauba waxes before directly applying the mucusy substance to your car’s paint. Really? I mean seriously now, really? In what world does that even make the slightest bit of sense? Carnaubas are made out to be this exotic export from Brazil, but I’ve got news for you, paint sealants took a lot more time to develop and perfect than a jar of fluffy wax did. And for the daily driver who has the right, power, and advantage to choose… I ask you this, why would you ever want to purchase a product that is asking you to waste a significant amount of its container on a single application that will last barely 2 months? (You can wax an entire SUV with less than 2 oz. of carnauba wax – although not if you apply it with your hands) It’s simply not practical and I hope you make the right decision next time you’re posed with such a question.
Whether you wanted to hear it or not, there’s a change in the detailing world and it’s name is paint sealant. Although it has been around for quite some time, mark my words, traditional carnaubas are on the out when it comes to base layer protection. When it comes down to brass tacks, daily drivers and vintage classics need protection. Now wouldn’t you want to give them the best you can less frequently and more confidently? It’s positively mind-blowing from my perspective why everyone hasn’t switched over yet, but it’s coming. And keep in mind, I’m not bashing carnaubas… I just think they belong in their place as layering waxes, not superior protection products aimed at preserving an automotive paint finish.