Carnauba Wax & Paint Sealants

There's nothing more impressive than a freshly waxed car.

Car wax and paint sealants have come a long way. Did you know the first Meguiars wax was a wood varnish? Cars had wooden bodies at the time. Today, the types of paint protection are as diverse as the types of paint! But there are a few universal truths that will help you pick the right paint protection for your vehicle.

  • All auto paint needs wax.

Some manufacturers have started coating their vehicles with hard, scratch resistant, ceramic clear coats but these vehicles are not maintenance-free. There’s nothing manmade that doesn’t eventually fall victim to the environment. Ward off oxidation with a good wax or paint sealant, no matter what kind of paint finish is on your vehicle.

  • No wax is 100% carnauba.

Carnauba wax is rock hard in its natural form. It would be literally impossible to spread pure carnauba wax. Manufacturers have to add a mineral spirit or other softening agent to make the wax workable. Generally speaking, carnauba makes up about 1/3 of any car wax, at most. When you see “pure carnauba” or “100% carnauba”, the manufacturer is referring to the absence of any other wax, like beeswax. Natural carnauba wax, though important, isn’t the ultimate determiner of shine. A lot of carnauba doesn’t necessarily mean the best finish. Every wax is different and what will look the best on your car is really personal preference.

  • No paint protection is permanent.

Auto dealerships offer a lifetime paint coating that’s supposed to protect the paint forever. It doesn’t exist. Even the most durable paint sealant will eventually wear off because of environmental exposure, period. If you’re looking for a long-lasting wax, choose a synthetic paint sealant.  Many last 6-12 months and they couldn’t be easier to apply.

    There are two primary categories of paint protection: Natural Waxes or Paint Sealants.


Carnauba Waxes

Carnauba waxes are mostly carnauba. They’ll have some polymers and some softening agents, but the primary ingredient is carnauba wax. Carnauba wax is a natural wax, harvested from the Brazilian Tree Of Life (Copernicia prunifera). It has the highest melting point of all natural waxes and is water-resistant. The natural wax is available in different grades. The most prized is the No.1 yellow carnauba, which is the purest. Once the carnauba wax is imported from Brazil, wax manufacturers blend it with any number of ingredients to adapt the wax for auto use.


Carnauba wax is unmatched in its ability to produce a deep, wet-looking shine. A lot of manufacturers add oils to the wax to “wet” the paint and the look is really stunning. It’s no wonder why carnauba wax is the preferred show car wax.


Carnauba wax is the ideal choice for perfectionists who wax their vehicles at least every two months. Because the primary ingredient is a natural wax, carnauba car waxes don’t last quite as long as a completely synthetic paint sealant. That said, carnauba wax is still the standard of beauty by which all paint protectants are judged.


Paint Sealants

Paint sealants, or synthetic waxes as they are sometimes called, are completely engineered. They consist of polymers and resins that shield the paint from water, UV rays, and all sorts of contamination. Paint sealants have real staying power and they look great!


Today’s paint sealants produce a finish that is surprisingly close to carnauba. Science replicates the finer qualities of the wax with long-lasting, reflective polymers. Plus, paint sealants are all liquids. Easy on, easy off.


Longevity is the biggest asset of paint sealants. Some paint sealants last 4-6 months, some last up to a year. Klasse High Gloss Sealant Glaze, for example, has an acrylic base that allows this sealant to last for a year on average. It’s a little tricky to apply for the first time, but you won’t have to do it again for a year! If you want longevity and easy application, go for a polymer formula like Wolfgang Deep Gloss Paint Sealant. Wipe it on, wait 30 minutes, and wipe it off.


Some detailers describe paint sealants as glassy and cold compared to the warm, wet-looking shine of carnauba. It really depends on what wax and what paint sealant you’re comparing. However, if you must have carnauba wax, you can top your paint sealant with a carnauba wax after the sealant has cured (some take up to 12 hours). It turns out you can have everything!