Car Wax and Paint Sealant Application

Tips and tricks for achieving the perfect shine!

After you’ve chosen a car wax, you’ve got a couple of application options. You can apply it by hand or with a polisher. Even paste car waxes can be applied with a polisher. Here are some tips to give you the best results from your wax.


Hand Application


Apply car wax or paint sealant in the shade on a cool vehicle. Heat can cause the product to dry too quickly and you won’t be able to spread a thin, even coat.



Always apply car wax or paint sealant to a dry vehicle. Droplets of water on the paint will cause the product to streak and it will be difficult to buff.



Apply a very thin coat of wax or sealant. Buff one coat off before applying a second extremely thin coat. A single thick coat won’t give you the shine enhancement of multiple, thin coats. Check the label to see how long one coat has to cure before applying another. Most paint sealants need 12 hours before they can be topped. A soft foam pad is a great option for even application of waxes and sealants. Be sure your applicator is clean – dirty applicators are a big source of swirl marks.



Hand buff with a microfiber towel. Microfiber is softer and more durable than terry cloth, and it doesn’t leave lint. The static-charged, woven fibers grab wax residue and the dust left by chalky waxes. (To avoid this chalk altogether, use Pinnacle Souverän Wax.) Rotate your towel frequently as you buff.


Machine Application

Because no cutting is necessary, a dual action polisher is all you need to apply waxes and sealants. Choose a soft finishing foam pad.

Some waxes and sealants have solvents in them that wills stain plastic and rubber trim. You can tape off these areas with painter’s tape, or you can avoid them and apply wax by hand to the surrounding paint.


If you are using a paste wax, spread it onto the pad like you’re buttering a piece of bread. You can turn the jar of wax upside down and slide the wax out into a plastic sandwich bag to rub it onto the pad, or you can use a clean putty knife. If you’re using a liquid wax or sealant, dispense a bead of sealant around the edge of the pad.



Spread the wax or sealant over a panel with the polisher turned off. This will prevent splatter when you do turn the machine on.



Set your dual action polisher to a maximum speed of 3. Spread the wax or sealant over the panel in a back and forth motion. Check the product’s directions to see if you need to apply it to the entire vehicle before buffing or just to one panel at a time.



Your dual action polisher can be used to remove wax, too. Remove the foam pad from the backing plate and replace it with a lambswool leveling pad. Don’t panic – you’re not using this on the paint! The lambswool pad is just for cushioning. Slip a microfiber bonnet over the lambswool pad. Buff off the wax in the same motion you used to apply it. Move slowly and go over the paint as many times as necessary to remove all the haze.



Some people like to give their vehicle a final hand buffing to remove any remaining wax that the polisher may have missed. Use a quick detail spray to remove wax from seams and emblems.


Go The Extra Mile

If you’ve applied a paint sealant, but you want a little more pop, top it with a carnauba wax. Wait about 12 hours for the sealant to cure before applying wax on top of it. Make sure your wax has no cleaners. The cleaners will remove the sealant. Use a pure wax with no cleaning properties, like P21s Concours Wax.