Do you know why detailing experts are fans of car sealants? For starters, while they are as easy to apply as wax, the best paint car sealants let you achieve that glossy finish that you can see your face in. This way, they make sure that your vehicle stands out among others of its creed on the road.
Secondly, as you’d see by going through our car paint sealant reviews, these products don’t just enhance your paint’s appearance. Most of them have synthetic polymers in their formula that empower the sealants to protect your paint as well.
On top of everything else, they don’t consume much time. Whether you’re going to apply them by hand or with a machine, the entire process will take less than a few hours. That includes everything from washing your car, removing any contaminants from its surface, and applying (and removing) the sealant.
Best Car Paint Sealant Reviews
1. Meguiar’s M2116 Mirror Glaze Synthetic Sealant 2.0
Similar to the other top-rated models on the market, the M2116 won’t just stop at giving your car the ultimate shine. Its advanced polymer composition and synthetic formula equips this model with the ability to protect your paintwork as well.
Its advanced polymer technology is the reason behind this product’s 2-in-1 functionality. Upon application, it creates a glossy finish on which water rolls right off. That’s the main reason why this product offers resistance-free wipe-off, thereby making it a cinch to use.
One more area where this product really shines is car removal. Its thick texture and synthetic composition empower it to fill cracks, hide scratches and remove water spots. You can use it both on top of clear coats as well as on glossy paint finishes. Just make sure that the temperature out there is moderate (with less humidity) when you’re about to apply this sealant.
2. Wolfgang Concours Series WG-5500 Deep Gloss Paint Sealant 3.0
Hoping to get your hands on a sealant that could withstand whatever elements the road life can throw at it? Then you might want to give the Wolfgang paint sealant a go. Its powerful formula means that only a few drops of this sealant will give your paint an outstanding and long-lasting gloss surface.
Furthermore, while most sealants on the market can resist dirt and debris, this product goes one step ahead. The presence of anti-static polymers in its formula means that it can stand tall in the face of UV rays, saltwater, and most environmental pollutants.
On top of everything else, it has a crystal-like structure which ensures that the shine stays for longer. Its non-abrasive formulation means that you can trust it not to stain your moldings. Also, even when you apply it in hot and humid conditions, its effectiveness will stay the same.
3. Chemical Guys WAC_118_16 JetSeal Paint Sealant
What is it that sets this product apart from the other sealants in this review? Its non-hydrophobic formulation is a great differentiator. Most sealants you see in this review, and on the market, require the paint surface to be utterly blemish-free before application.
The Chemical Guys paint sealant doesn’t set this requirement to stay effective. You can apply it on swirl- and scratch-ridden surfaces, and it would still work its magic. That’s a pretty handy benefit as it saves you hours which you’d have otherwise spent in preparing the paint.
Lastly, since it is available in a 16 ounce bottle, you won’t have to buy a replacement soon. You might find it useful to know that it delivers a wet, shiny finish – the one which will give your car fresh-from-the-factory-floor vibes. Also, its anti-corrosive properties allow this sealant to last a whole season.
4. TriNova Paint Sealant Car Wax
Are you wary of trusting products that are manufactured overseas? Then the America-based manufacturing of this product gives you one more reason to believe its claims. It uses state-of-the-art technology to come up with a formula that is both long-lasting as well as shine-inducing.
Moreover, it’s a cinch to put on, and you can apply it both by hand and with an orbital polisher. The non-abrasiveness of this product would help you wipe it off in seconds. The shine that it will leave behind will be one in which you can see your face in.
While this product looks good, the results that it delivers are better. The UV rays which are notorious for playing havoc with new and old painted surfaces alike won’t be able to go through it. Similar resistance will be on offer to the extremely-acidic and difficult-to-remove bird poop.
5. Griot’s Garage 11075 16 Ounce One-Step Sealant
Have you ever come across a sealant that doubled as a polisher? One which didn’t only protect the paint but also helped it retain its shininess for a whole year? All this and much more is on offer with the Griot’s Garage 11075 one-step sealant.
This product is designed for those of you who want to polish their car every time they apply the sealant but don’t always have the time for it. It’s made for those vehicles which are either left neglected under the sun for long periods or have been exposed to an exorbitant amount of environmental pollutants.
Since it is capable of bonding with the paint, this sealant is capable of removing light swirl marks. It also equips your paintwork with a wet and glossy shine that will last a whole year. And as the design of its easy-to-use bottle shows, you won’t have any problem applying this sealant or wiping it off.
6. CarGuys Hybrid Wax Sealant
Three features of this car sealants make it worthy of your attention. First, it contains special additives that enhance the sealant’s effectiveness as well as increase its durability. That means that it’s a product that won’t only produce luxurious shine but would also retain it for long.
Secondly, while this product does last long, the time for its application is extremely short. That’s mainly because of the presence of Nano polymer additives in its formula. They have increased this product’s binding power with paint. So you’d be able to apply it in a few minutes.
Thirdly, this wax sealant is safe to use on multiple surfaces. You can use it on wipers, windshield, plastic surfaces and even rubber. Also, it won’t produce any swirl on dark-colored vehicles. The company further sweetens its package by throwing in a 100-percent, risk-free return policy.
Car Sealant Buying Guide
Assuming that you are going to settle at nothing but the best, you must have to be savvier than the average buyer. The sealant which you’d ultimately pay your money for should a) give a vibrant finish b) be easy to apply, and c) take as less time as possible for its application.
Does that mean that you should over-spend? You shouldn’t commit this mistake because the market is inundated with car sealants. While most cheap products are no doubt ordinary, little effort from your side would be enough to unearth a competitively-priced gem.
3 Important Considerations When Buying a Car Sealant
Here are questions you need to ask yourself before purchasing a car sealant:
Type of Sealant
As some of you might already know, car sealants do not come in one-size-fits-all category. While some of them are marketed as ‘pure sealants’, others are branded as ‘cleaning sealants’. Depending on what you want your product to do, one of them will be better for you than the other.
Since they have abrasives and solvents in their formula, cleaning sealants are the masters of all trades. You can count on them to remove scratches, give your paintwork a glossy finish, and seal the paint.
On the flip side of things, cleaning sealants cannot do any good on recently-polished paints. Also, they tend to be pricey.
Like all simple things in our life, pure sealants perform only one job and stick to it. Their only reason for being is to give your car the glossy finish which you see in car sealant commercials.
Their limited utility means that pure sealants are best for brand new cars. Such vehicles have little to no scratches on their paintwork and only require minor retouching to retain that fresh-from-the-factory look.
Method of Application
Yet another way we can categorize car sealants is by their method of application. Some of them are wipe-on-walk-away (WOWA) sealants, whereas others are wipe-on-wipe-off (WOWO) sealants. Both have their pros and cons.
Wipe-on-wipe-off sealants are just like the best detail sprays that evaporate without leaving any residue. Once you have applied them to your paintwork, you just have to leave them there for a specific period.
Once that period is over (its duration varies from sealant to sealant), the product will evaporate. This way, there’s little chance of any excess sealant dripping on other car surfaces such as wheels.
The application (and removal) process of wipe-on-wipe-off sealants is similar to that of wax. Once you’ve prepared the paint, you apply the sealant, give it enough time to settle in, and then wipe it off using a microfiber cloth.
When compared with their WOWA counterparts, they’re much easier to apply. Since you’d be removing them at the end, you won’t have to spend much time trying to rub them in. Also, they are more affordable.
Temporary Vs. Semi-Permanent
Of the myriad ways one can categorize car sealants, one is the duration of their protection period.
Inexpensive of the two, temporary sealants can be applied by hand or by machine. They are easier to use and require you to wash them off at the end. You might have to apply them on a bi-annual basis to achieve better results.
These sealants last much longer because they form a hard protective shell on top of the paintwork. You can apply them using a special applicator (mostly a syringe) which is given in their package.
5 Features and Specs to Look for in the Car Sealant
Following are the features and specs which are a must-have for the top-rated car sealants.
Seals and protects:
Even if you have too much free time on your hands on the weekends, you can do it on more productive things than applying the sealant to your vehicle. Therefore, look for a sealant that will protect the paintwork for at least a year.
Most car sealants that you see in this review aren’t just for your paintwork. Their non-abrasive formula makes them equally useful for plastics, fiberglass, and glass. Some of them can even be used on metal.
Protection against environmental pollutants:
Road dirt, grime, and debris are some of the environmental pollutants we can think on top of your head against which car sealants should protect your paintwork against.
Easy to apply:
Want to know whether the sealant you’re looking at will be easy to apply or not? Then check whether you can apply the product both by hand and using a machine. If it does, then you won’t have to expend too much effort to coat the paintwork with it.
The reason why we’ve described this feature as optional is that sealants which have this property do not come cheap. Though they justify the extra price that they charge by protecting the car paint for a longer period.
Differences Between Car Paint Sealant & Others
Acrylic Vs. Polymer Car Paint Sealant
Generally speaking, two types of paint sealants are most popular: polymer and acrylic. While some experts argue in favor of polymers, others vouch in support of acrylic sealants. That means that it is ultimately your choice which of the two is better for you.
Acrylic Paint Sealants
There are three reasons why some users prefer acrylic paint sealants. First, since they have a thick composition, acrylic paint sealants last longer than polymer ones. So you won’t feel the need to reapply them on a regular basis.
Secondly, and this benefit is partially responsible for the first one, these products have fewer fillers. Also, they are easier to apply, both by hand and machine. However, the shine produced by acrylics cannot compete with that of polymer-based products.
– Last longer
– Easier to apply
– Produce relatively less shine
Polymer Paint Sealants
As their name implies, the formula of polymer sealants is a mixture of different substances. Among them is wax, which helps these products produce better shine than their acrylic counterparts. Wax also empowers these sealants to remove scratches.
Not all is hunky-dory about polymer sealants, though. They require more frequent reapplication, thereby costing you both time and money. Also, they are costlier than polymer-based substances and are more difficult to apply as well.
– Produce luxurious, deep shine
– Protects the paintwork
– Not easy to apply
Wax Vs. Sealant
While both have their plus and negative points, deciding whether you need a wax or sealant comes down to only one factor. The way you use your vehicle influences whether you’d be better off with wax or would a sealant meet your requirements better.
That doesn’t mean, however, that there are no differences between both. Or that both of them will give the same results on application. Instead, it’s just what you want (better shine or better protection) which will force you to choose one or the other.
Prepare to be disappointed as all those labels which led you to believe that you were looking at 100% natural wax in your hypermarket were most likely fake. Wax, which is harvested from the Carnauba tree, exists in nature in hard form. Some form of blending is inevitable to make it usable.
Having busted this myth, let’s look at the benefits of wax. The biggest draw of waxes is the enhancement they give to painted surfaces. Waxes, provided you rub them in the paintwork with dedication, will fill minor cracks to produce deep, vibrant finishes.
Furthermore, keen-eyed observers among you might have noticed that the same wax, when applied on two different colored vehicles, produces different finishes. That isn’t magic as Carnauba gives a wetter look on darker colors, whereas the shine that it imparts to brighter colors is more vibrant.
Unfortunately, waxes do suffer from some major shortcomings. If you’re going to apply them in summer conditions, the temperature of the paint will cause carnauba wax to melt. With time, then, the wax will evaporate, leaving the paintwork at the mercy of environmental pollutants.
– Fills minor imperfections
– Easy to work with
– Produces a beautiful finish
– Evaporates at high temperatures
While wax has natural origins, sealants are totally synthetic. They are the by-products of chemical formulations which provide us the best possible protectants for our paintwork. Since they are prepared in the lab, sealants can withstand extremely high temperatures.
Furthermore, expensive sealants have other properties besides giving your car a vibrant finish. Such products can resist general wear, UV rays, and even harsh detergents. Waxes, on the contrary, don’t stand in the face of harsh soaps.
That means that if your vehicle is more likely to encounter severe weather conditions on a regular basis, sealants might be a better choice. Also, while waxes require reapplication after every 4-6 weeks, proper quality sealants last between 2 and 3 months.
Having said that, sealants cannot compete with waxes when it comes to car shine. Whether your vehicle has a darker shade or sports a brighter color, the depth and dimension of shine that will come after the application of wax are unrivaled.
– Last longer
– Can withstand higher temperatures
– Resist UV rays and harsh detergents
– Produce less vibrant shine than waxes
3 Benefits of Applying Paint Sealant
Are paint sealants worth your hard-earned money? Here’s why they are:
- Protects the Paint
You cannot shield your car paint from the environmental pollutants it will face head-on on the road. Nor can you keep it shielded from UV rays, debris, bird poop, and all sort of things.
Paint sealants do all that and more. They form a protective layer which improves the resilience of the underlying paintwork. As a result, the paint remains in good condition for long.
- Improves Your Car’s Appearance
As the products recommended in our car leather conditioner buying guide improve your vehicle’s inner condition, the car sealants you saw above improve your car’s looks from the outside.
And it is the same appearance which sealants enhance. They give the paint that deep, luxurious shine which makes it look more vibrant and glossier than it actually is.
- Makes it Easy to Clean
Whether you end up choosing a ceramic coating for car or any other one, make sure you apply sealant immediately after you’ve washed (and dried) the paint.
That’s because sealants don’t allow contaminants to register themselves in the car’s paintwork. By doing this, they don’t only make the car easier to clean but also make the paintwork more receptive to other protectants.
How to Apply Car Paint Sealant in 5 Easy Steps
Follow these steps to apply car paint sealant:
Step 1: Wash the car
You can use your garden hose to rinse away any impurities from the car’s paint. Or you can simply use a pressure washer and foam cannon if you’re in a hurry. If there’s any wax or some other protectant on the paint, now is the time to remove it.
Step 2: Dry the car
Never use any form of compressed air to dry your vehicle. It will lead to the formation of dry spots on the exterior which look ugly and don’t go away. Simply use a dry microfiber cloth to dry the paintwork.
Step 3: Decontaminate the paint
Although most experts treat this step as optional, we recommend it to our readers for the simple reason that decontaminating the paint with a clay bar before you apply the sealant would allow the latter to last quite a long time. That’s because impurities don’t allow the sealant to bond well with the paint. Their absence, therefore, would increase the effectiveness of the sealant.
Step 4: Apply Sealant
These are the two ways you can apply sealant:
– Hand application: Simply squirt a small amount of sealant on a microfiber applicator pad and then rub it onto the paint’s surface. You can use vertical or forward motion to apply it. Avoid circular motions as they’d cause swirl marks.
– Machine application: Since you’d be most likely using a polisher, apply a few drops of the sealant on its finishing pad. The rest of the procedure is the same, though using a machine, especially if you haven’t used it before, increases the likelihood of swirl marks.
Step 5: Finish with a buff
This step is crucial as it will determine how much shine the sealant will bring to the paint. Use a clean towel to rub any excess sealant onto the paint. Keep on repeating this step by changing the sides of the towel so that you always have a fresh side to work with. You might have to use multiple towels if you have a bigger car.
How Long Do Car Paint Sealants Last?
There is no single answer to this question. While some sealants might last as long as six months, others might require reapplication after two to three months. The reason why that’s the case is that several external factors determine the longevity of the sealant.
Some of those factors include:
- Type of weather conditions you expose your vehicle to
- The location where you usually park your car (under a roof or in the open)
- How brilliantly (or otherwise) you prepared your paint before applying the sealant
- The number of times you wash your vehicle
These factors make it clear that if you look after your car, clean it regularly and avoid driving it in inclement weather conditions, the sealant will last longer. Conversely, the exact opposite will happen.
FAQs and Answers
- Q: Is it worth purchasing a car paint sealant?
A: There are two main reasons why paint sealants are ‘worth it.’ First, by adding shine to your car’s paint, they help it stand out in the crowd. Second, by preventing environmental pollutants, bird poop and UV rays from damaging it, sealants prevent the paint from fading.
- Q: Should you apply sealant by hand or with a machine?
A: Although it’s a matter of your preference, we recommend applying sealant with a machine if you want to achieve better results. That’s mainly because random or orbital buffers apply the pressure regularly, thereby producing a uniform distribution of the sealant.
- Q: Can you apply wax over a paint sealant?
A: Of course. In fact, applying the wax after the sealant gives your paint an added layer of protection against environmental pollutants and other harmful elements that exist in nature.
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Do you like hearing compliments about the looks of your vehicle? Don’t have enough time every weekend to give it a good scrub? Looking for a protectant that won’t require reapplication within weeks? If your answer to all these questions is in the affirmative, then give the best car paint sealants a go.
In case you’ve doubts about this claim, scroll back to our car paint sealant reviews. These products don’t limit their utility to giving your paint a deep and rich shine. Instead, they make sure that the paint remain protected from environmental pollutants in the post-application period as well.
Lastly, even though they last longer, sealants are a cinch to apply. Regardless of whether you’re going to apply them by hand or with a machine, it would take less than three hours to fully coat the paint with the sealant. And these three hours will enhance your car’s appearance for months to come.