Friday, 3 April 2015

Hand Application of Wax

[Applying wax with the bare hands is not a new technique, it was used in the 60's, and I suspect that it had been used by people at some time or another over the last 100 years. It just produces the best possible look and protection. Wax is at its very best when the wax from the original jar or tin is in those same concentrations. The hands are non-porous and no carrier so solvents will be absorbed. What is in the jar or tin is now in the proper concentrations on the finish.

Bare hand waxing will benefit any wax-based product by any manufacture. In the right hands it could make the difference between a good job and an excellent job. If you are like me, waxing the finish is the final step and the most rewarding. One coat of wax is not enough and ten coats seem reasonable. We are all guilty of over using wax

Applicators to the point that we have to wring out the liquid solvent collected every once in a while to continue getting a good mix. And most of us seal the moist wax applicator back in the jar or tin to be ready for the next round of waxing. I am not saying that any one particular technique is for everyone, I just know what I like and find rewarding. If you wish to use a wax applicator, keep a few extra on hand so the wax is applied full strength and not diluted with the carrier solvent.

Too much carrier solvent in an applicator pad could easily remove some of the wax as well. Messaging in and spreading thinly by the bare hands has its benefits too. You could do a test right now; you must have a high-end wax in your collection of car
Just use the finger tips first to apply a small amount to the driver's front top fender. Work it in and message it around, let it stand. Slowly you will see a large amount of wax attaching to the surface. 1000s of small specks of carnauba and other waxes depending on the manufacture's formula. Buff with a clean towel and repeat in a few minutes. A major bonus

To many of the waxes coming to market in the last few year is the use of extremely low (VOC) volatile organic content solvents, many of these solvents are used in the skin care industry and have been adapted with a multitude of different high boiling points and KB ratings. In other words don't bare hand a wax that is stinky] David Wyllie

Layering Wax

Any product applied on top of the clear coat needs to be optically clear (transparent) otherwise both the paint colour and its depth of shine will be muted. One of the problems with ‘layering’ some waxes and polymers is that they tend to occlude (become less opaque) as the thickness increases
The viscosity of the previous layer requires more solvent to significantly melt away than the next applied wax layer can contain The carrier system allows the product to fill and level the paint film surface to produce a flat surface (this flat level surface is more pronounced with polymers due to their Covalent (molecular) alignment characteristics).

This level surface optimises the paint film surface's desired optical properties (i.e. surface reflectance, clarity, gloss, and depth of shine)           
I think a better description of this process is ‘increasing the density’ as oppose to multi-layers. Layering a wax marginally increases its thickness, but it also increases its density, which may cause a lack of clarity, the base coat (that contains the vehicle’s colour) is covered / protected by a clear coat of urethane paint, which as well as providing protection is clear to enable the paint colour to show through and provide the colour with depth.

As for increased durability in my experience it does very little if anything to improve it. I think most proponents of this process are looking for aesthetics as opposed to increasing the durability of a wax.
Usually, a wax with a high solvent content will remove the previous layer, so use a Carnauba that is not formulated with a high solvent content

A solvent will have the potential to strip subsequent layers, but remember that you are not applying neat solvent to the last layer - but a wax and solvent blend. So it is only a fraction of its original strength and won't strip the wax layer like neat solvent. One of the very important nuances of layering is to use very little applied pressure and friction when applying subsequent layers as they will have a negative impact on wax thickness

What you are doing is neutralizing the solvent so that it doesn't remove the previous layer. One of the very important nuances of layering is to use very little applied pressure and friction when applying subsequent layers as they will have a negative impact on wax thickness Usually a spit shined surface is slicker, smoother, and has different beading characteristics; with even smaller tighter water beads. 

The durability is about the same (or slightly better) and although spit shining is very time consuming, the improved depth of shine and glossy appearance is worth it
I would suggest you apply on top of one that has already set-up (i.e. the solvents have evaporated) you can increase its density (up to a point) two to three applications are usually considered optimum Spit shining is used for ‘layering’ Organic wax (although in this case the 'spit' used is cold distilled water) to produce a ‘depth of shine’ providing you take the necessary precautions to prevent the solvents both re-liquefying and removing the previous wax layers.

Another ‘layering’ technique- apply a liquid Carnauba wax (liquid wax usually contains polymer and solvents) and allow to set-up (usually 1-2 hours, do a smear test to endure that its dry.
Then a apply to a paste Carnauba wax; allow the solvents to evaporate for 2-4 hours, and finally buff surface with a 100% cotton towel to produce jetting (a ‘wet-look’ shine) Swisswax
     Pinnacle Signature Series II - will highlight the flakes in metallic paint and is more durable than Souveran, due to its polymer content
·         Pinnacle Souverän™ Carnauba Paste Wax - has a 'warm gloss', but will tend to darken paint (black, yellow, and reds) this is more of a show car wax.        
·         Victoria Wax Pre-Wax Cleaner - for optimum results, this product must be used before applying this paste waxes for the first time. A unique non-abrasive formulation for regular and clear-coated paint finishes. Use as a foundation paint preparation, it gently cleans the paintwork and helps to create a perfect bond between the finish and the wax and create depth of shine.
·         Victoria Concours Wax -  apply a thin coat, gently work it in and let it sit until tacky, then using a 100% cotton micro fibre towel gently remove everything to expose a finish ready for the wax. If needed, repeat cleaning action until all contaminates, grime and foreign products are removed. Remember, the cleansing and prepping process should only be done before the wax is applied for the first time and there after only when needed.
·         Concours wax - especially designed for black and red to add extra warmest wettest finish
·         Chaos - designed for extra gloss and suitable for all colours especially metallic colours
·         Mayhem - gives natural look - prepped look suitable for all colours.
·         Collectors - yellow wax is to similar mayhem but contains fewer polymers.


Using a damp applicator and cold (almost ice) distilled water in a fine mist spray bottle neutralizes any solvents in the newly applied layer; the water should be cold, using ice cold water after applying a wax will harden the wax quicker making the shine deeper and help the new wax adhere to the finish, working until the water/ wax solution disappears. The reason for using a damp applicator is to neutralize the solvents as much as possible, and to avoid the thin coats of wax sticking to the applicator, this enables the wax to build thin, fine coats. Spray fine mists of cold (almost ice) distilled water to a single panel and then apply a light Carnauba wax to the paint surface.

 Always apply extremely thin layers using a very light pressure when spit shining, Wipe it onto a small work area and continue wiping until most of the wax disappears. Mist lightly as needed, keeping a few water droplets on the surface. Move to the next work area and repeat. After you do the final area you’ll have a surface with many spots of hazed wax. Lightly mist an area with the very cold distilled water - 1/2 hood or door - and lightly buff with a 100% cotton towel. Turn the towel frequently, when the towel becomes too damp switch to a new towel.

When you spray very cold water on a Carnauba wax layer that has been allowed to outgas (i.e. the solvents that make up its carrier system have evaporated) it reduces the wax surface temperature to the point that the next applied waxes carrier solvents do not dilute the previously applied wax and it forms a semi-hard coat.

Allow each subsequent Carnauba waxes solvents to outgas before applying more layers. Spit shining allows definitive layers, as opposed to a thick coat of wax that would result if the solvents dissolve the wax layer that they are applied to.

After 24 hours you can repeat the procedure, using cold (almost ice) distilled water and Pinnacle Crystal Mist (a low solvent quick detail (QD) each coat applied will increase the surface depth of shine with five or six coats being optimal

Allow the radiation heat to ‘sweat’ the wax and then buff with a 100% cotton micro fibre towel.
Also be aware that the both the product and the foam pad may be non-abrasive, but application pressure if not kept to an absolute minimum and using use a very light and even pressure, may re-introduce surface marring and/or removal of the previously applied product by friction. (See also Spit Shining, Wax (Hand applied) Solvents)

Victoria Wax
Victoria Wax is a cottage industry company that develops and markets an ever growing line of high-end products to the not-so-average owners of fine automobiles. Their business is built around premium paste wax formulas that are hand crafted in small quantities. Victoria Wax enjoys the genuineness of good old fashion products and ideas that are out performing the ever growing hi-tech competition.

I hope the above article was informative. By having some understanding of the ‘What’ and ‘Why’ as well as the ‘How’ along with a little science to help you understand how the chemicals we use react, you can achieve the results you desire.

Questions and/ or constructive comments are always appreciated Have you tried

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