…is a paint sealant. No, really, it is. You see, the idea behind polishing is that, by use of abrasives, you can revive your car’s beaten paint back to pristine condition. While this is true and achievable, there is a major cost here: your clear coat. As I’ve mentioned before, overpolishing has become a major problem in the detailing world. What you really need to focus on is protection and therefore prevention. Keep reading to learn why and how these practices work together to lengthen the life of your clear coat and save you loads of valuable time, all while keeping your finish looking great.
“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
Those famous words, once uttered by Ben Franklin (allegedly), really ring true when it comes to paint care. Think about it… every time you touch a buffer to your paintwork, whether with a leveling compound or a good ol’ gritty polish, you’re removing microns of clear coat to smooth out the surface. Funny thing is, you’re buffing (for the most part) to fix things that were caused by a machine: swirls, holograms, etc. It’s a relentless cycle that cannot be tamed. Unless…
You guessed it, protect the paint. I don’t care if you’ve got a brand new Scion, a ’74 Beetle, or an SLR, protecting your paint on a regular basis is the single best way to keep it looking great for a long period of time. Protection is the key to high-mileage paintwork and can save you thousands in the long run on detailing costs or, worse, repainting. Contaminants aren’t as easily embedded in protected paintwork, and when they are, the contaminants are much easier to remove; this means much safer car washes, less claying, and less need for polishing. If you’re thinking it’s already too late, you’re wrong: now is the perfect time to adopt the practice if you haven’t already. Too often we get an email or a call inquiring about a polishing procedure only to later find out that the customer’s car hasn’t been protected since the car was purchased (you can’t see it, but my head is shaking). I understand you may not think you have time, but that’s no excuse given how easy modern polymer sealants are getting to apply.
With that I’ll leave you with a thought: if you could effectively protect your paint (in less than 30 minutes) two or three times a year and therefore limit your polishing to once or twice a year, why wouldn’t you? Consider what all that machine work is doing to your paint and think how much better you’d feel if you weren’t removing (and removing, and removing, and removing) the valuable UV protection that is your car’s clear coat.
The choice is yours (I feel like we’ve heard this for the last 8 months… was there an election?). Let us know in the comments what your favorite method of prevention/protection is!