Friday, 15 May 2015

Application of Wax by bare hands

A wax or sealant can only reflect what is underneath it, so a clean, level well-prepared surface is the most important consideration (85% of a surfaces reflectivity is its preparation) along with applied product clarity. If you apply a product over a surface that is dirty or one that has surface imperfections a wax or sealant will not disguise it, only highlight them.

The choice of product can make a subtle yet significant difference to the overall look of a car. This is because waxes, sealant s and nano coatings have very different physical properties (texture, density, opacity, thickness, etc.) and thus reflect and refract light differently. In real terms, natural carnauba waxes do indeed tend to produce a much softer, warmer, glossier finish, while synthetic sealants tend to produce a sharper, cooler, shinier finish. Therefore, it is possible to tailor the final look of your paint depending on what type of product you choose, and some colours are more susceptible to this effect than others.

[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 is that 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

Apply wax thinner than any other waxes you have applied. The surface should not be too cold or too hot. And out of direct sunlight. Work in small sections and don't let the wax completely dry before buffing.

Take your tub of soft wax and gently rub the surface with your finger tips but don't stick your fingers all the way in. Using small overlapping circles apply to one panel at a time. When you’ve done the second panel and remove the wax from the first panel with a 100% cotton towel and move on to the third panel and so on

Once you get used to applying soft waxes with the tips of your fingers, I’ve found I used less product as was able to spread it thinly and evenly. It has a lot to do with personal preference and individual experience really.

My personal favorite organic waxes (in no particular order) - Swissvax Concorso / Best of Show, Zymöl Vintage and Royale Estate Glaze, Pinnacle Souverän™ Paste Carnauba  Wax,  P21S® (R222®) Carnauba Wax and  Victoria Concours Red Wax

There are a few waxes that will supply the same overall look (although this is very subjective) P21S Carnauba Wax and Pinnacle Souveran Carnauba Paste Wax; these are probably the best waxes out there that are way beyond their price bracket in terms of aesthetics.

I would have to say that of all the waxes I've tried Zymöl Vintage Glaze is the most optically clear (exhibits Colour, Depth and Clarity) Carnauba wax I've used, applied with bare hands; its aesthetics have got to be seen first to be believed. 

Waxes suitable for bare hand application

Swissvax Concorso / Best of Show, Zymöl Vintage and Royale Estate Glaze, Pinnacle Souverän™ Paste Carnauba  Wax,  P21S® (R222®) Carnauba Wax and  Victoria Concours Red Wax

Victoria Wax Products:
Concours wax suitable for all colours but is especially designed for black and red to add extra warm and a 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 similar mayhem but mayhem contains more polymers.

I would like to think that these articles become an asset to anyone who is new to detailing and to professionals alike, as well as industry experts who seek to advance their knowledge.
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.

I would appreciate it if you would share this article as it helps other detailers further their knowledge.
Questions and/ or constructive comments are always appreciated.

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