Waxing

Instructions by Gregg Couture


As previously mentioned, wax or paste wax was something your father and grandfather used to use on the old 57 Chevy. It would take 1/2 a day to apply it, and 1/2 a day to take it off. Who wants to do that? And who has the time? Today, if you go into any automotive supply store, you will see nothing but a row of squeeze bottles labeled either "polish", "cleaner wax" or "Carnauba wax". These polishes and waxes contain a very very fine grit which make it easy to remove light scratches, swirl marks and particles which have settled onto the paint. Paste waxes are still around, and do give a nice glossy finish. But today's modern polishes do almost the same thing, with a longer protection, and are better for your car's finish.

Most polishes and waxes require application on a cool surface - out of the sun. Ideally, if a garage is available, use it! Once these waxes are applied, it doesn't take long for them to start to dry, or haze. If they start to haze in extreme sunlight, it can literally "bake" onto the paint, and will be very hard to take off. I have seen a number of cars with hazed finishes, which are very difficult to remove, so STAY OUT OF THE SUN!

Here are the basic steps involved in polishing your car:

1)   Once your car is clean, you are ready to begin polishing your car you want to be sure that the surface is cool and dry. This allows for better hazing of the wax.

2)   When applying wax by hand, you want some sort of pad or cloth. You may want to moisten it a little - NOT dripping wet - just enough to allow the polish to flow a bit easier.

3)   Make sure you apply a little polish from the bottle onto the pad NOT the car's surface. Start with random circles, and apply a medium to firm pressure. You don't have to scrub very hard, just enough to loosen up the particles and dirt settled onto the paint. They will loosen up with just a little pressure. MAKE SURE YOU DON'T GET ANY POLISH ON ANY BLACK RUBBER, VINYL, OR TRIM! It is very hard to polish get off trim - once it stains, you're basically stuck with it.

4)   Once the entire car is polished - you must now wait for the polish to dry or haze. Before taking it off - you must be sure it is completely dry. You can tell if it is because it will have a dull-white chalky appearance and will be very easy to wipe off. You can use a shop towel - or any other CLEAN type of cloth to remove it.*

*Don't be afraid to use 2 or 3 towels when removing the wax. You can actually cause micro-scratches in the paint by buffing with a towel that's been used for a large amount of the car, due to the hard hazed wax still trapped in the towel. Shake often to avoid this.