A couple of techniques used by concours d'élégance detailers
1. Jeweling the paint surface
2. Spit shining paint
[Spit shining is the technique that is used to make shoes shine like mirrors - - and some of those tricks can be applied to putting carnauba on your car's paint]
It’s not as lurid as it sounds, I learned how to spit shine boots in the Royal Air Force (RAF), but for those of you who’ve never done it I’ll briefly describe how to spit shine boots to a mirror finish. You’ll need a can of shoe wax (Kiwi Parade Gloss) a bag of cotton balls, and some cold water. Wet the cotton ball and squeeze out most of the water. Get a very small amount of wax on the cotton ball and wipe it onto the boot - continue wiping until there is no more smudging. Add a little more wax and repeat
Remoisten the cotton ball as needed so that it leaves tiny beads of water on the boots. When the cotton ball retains too much wax, then use a new cotton ball, it takes several layers (maybe 6 to 10 or more) to achieve that mirror shine. It’s obvious that the wax builds layers because enough flexing of the leather will cause the wax to flake.
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 ensure 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, 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 cleaning and prepping process should only be done before the wax is applied for the first time and thereafter 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 too 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
Information resource- based the original method used to shine RAF uniform dress shoes