Many external factors are responsible for damaging car paint. Bird droppings, UV rays and road salt are examples. The car paint protection market offers several solutions, such as waxes, sealants and ceramic coatings. 

Early development of car paint

These products and their history have been closely tied to “the evolution of car paint”. Before the 1990s, automakers used single-layer paints, which featured a single color layered over a colorless layer. 

However, UV radiation and oxidation caused these coatings to fade rapidly. Also, the coating changed colors over time, for example from red to pink. Chemical engineers and chemists improved the coating to make it a two-layer coating.  Paint is coated with a layer of lacquer for protection.

For protection against direct sunlight, a large amount of UV inhibitors was added to the paint coating.  They may help for a while but they don’t last forever. Scientists have proven that clear coats lose 50% of their UV protection after 5 years, and another 25% after 10 years.  This problem is exacerbated by solar radiation in countries with strong sunlight.

Necessity of paint sealants

Because of this, scientists developed products to augment UV inhibitors in the coating. The UV inhibitors in those products can penetrate deeper layers of paint. Carnauba, polymers and UV inhibitors were combined to form such products. Paint sealing products were first created in this manner. UV protection was a short-term solution to a severely problematic problem, but it could not provide any protection against oxidation, bird droppings, or other strong chemicals.

Oxidation

Oxidation is the process in which the top coat is oxidized by oxygen.  UV radiation speeds up the process even more.  A milky top coat of paint that peels off can be a manifestation of this reaction. Oxidation is easy to detect when polishing a relatively new car. Several seconds of polishing bring back the gloss of the paint.  It is not scratches on the car that make the paint look matt, but oxidation and UV radiation that causes that oxidation. 

Bird droppings

Droppings from birds break down the paint with uric acid and digestive enzymes. When droppings remain on paint, they can cause what is known as burn marks. Therefore, companies have designed products that contain coatings of silicon carbide that protect paint 100%. Silicium carbide binds permanently to a clear lacquer paint. This coating, however, is not smooth. Combining several ceramic sealing products will produce a smooth finish.

In addition to ceramic coatings based on SIC, other ceramic coatings also exist, such as SiO2 coatings. As the concentration of SiO2 increases, the product becomes more expensive.  SiO2 does not bond with the paint chemically, so it requires reapplying after the period specified by the manufacturer.

Cleaning and sealing the paint

You expose your car to untold danger every time your car leaves your garage – bird droppings, bugs, microscopic germs, dust, sand, rough weather and heat. Therefore, the paintwork of your car might become rusty, dirty and have a poor finish with these influences. Paint becomes rough and less shiny when dirt and dust stick to it. Even the scorching sun and excess ultraviolet radiation damage the paint of the car.

Cleaning your car is crucial to maintaining its original color. It is best to wash your car right after it has been driven for a while, or at least thoroughly rinse it. To clean your car, use a mild car soap with a pH balance and a new sponge or microfiber cloth.

Clean the car from top to bottom by rinsing only one part at a time. Use long, light strokes over the entire length of the car and do not scrub at the paint. Use blotting paper instead of wiping the car down and dry the car in the shade (not in the sun).

After that, paint needs to be protected from damage. The waxing process requires patience. It not only protects against UV rays and dirt but also enhances the beauty of the car paint. Wax and sealant products range from natural hard wax to quick coats, and from synthetic hybrid sealants to nano ceramic coatings.

You can protect your car paint from chalking and matting by applying a UV protective coating. Another way to protect the car is with a vehicle cover.

Which car care product provides the best protection?

Care for cars has become complicated with frequent washing, waxing, or the use of a permanent nano paint sealant. Yet there is something good about it too: the paintwork is being cared for.

A miracle product that could eliminate car washing forever is something that many people dream of. An expensive nano coating can protect paintwork from weathering and from fading due to sunlight for several years.

Other sealing products such as natural and hybrid sealants need to be applied again after a few months. The final decision on a suitable product involves many factors such as price, longevity, application time, composition, type of sealant, frequency of application, pre and post application stages, natural or synthetic components, etc.

Polished, waxed and protected paintwork achieves a higher gloss and stronger color effects. Most car enthusiasts prefer hard wax for its special shine and because of its cost-effectiveness.