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  1. #1
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Miscible and Immiscible - Wax and Paint Sealant Bonding

    Miscible and Immiscible - Wax and Paint Sealant Bonding


    Sheldon explaining Quantum Physics to Penny on the Big Bang Theory



    Wax and Paint Sealant Bonding
    The topic of bonding as it relates to a wax or a paint sealant bonding to paint comes up on most detailing discussion forums from time to time, and there's a lot of confusion and probably miss-information about this topic.

    The idea presented is that in order for a wax or paint sealant to properly bond to an automotive paint finish, the paint finish must be chemically stripped so that the paint is surgically clean and free from any residual polishing oils or any other substances.

    The goal is to insure there's nothing on the surface that could potentially interfere with the bonding action between the protection ingredients in a wax or paint sealant and the paint.


    Follow the Manufacturer's Recommendations
    The first and primary consideration goes to the manufactures recommendations. If the manufacturer of a wax or paint sealant officially recommends that the surface of the paint must be stripped clean before their product can properly bond to the paint, then you should follow the recommendations of the manufacturer as they know their products best.

    If the manufacturer does not specifically recommend that a painted surface needs to be stripped clean, then whatever recommendations they do provide should be followed as they know their products best.

    To my knowledge, there are only a few manufacturers in the wax and paint sealant business that recommend that the surface of automotive paint be surgically clean and bare before their products can be applied. Besides these few companies, most manufacturers either recommend to apply their wax and/or paint sealant to the paint after first using their surface prep products which can include, compounds, polishes, paint cleaners and pre-wax cleaners. And of course, sometimes there are no specific recommendations.


    Back in February of 2005, this topic came up when I worked for Meguiar's as it related to applying NXT Tech Wax over a surface previously polished using Meguiar's M80 Speed Glaze.

    Here's the specific thread,

    Do Glazes/Fillers affect the bonding of NXT?


    I contacted R&D, communicated with one of the Chemists, and then posted a statement provided to me on this topic.


    A wax, (natural or synthetic), is a substance that when applied to a surface will not adhere properly on its own. Thus, it is necessary to add specialized miscible oils to allow the waxy material to spread and adhere evenly to the surface. These oils along with polymers are responsible for improving the functionality of the wax protection, appearance, adherence and the overall application.

    This means the addition of any Meguiar's polishes prior to the wax application will not only enhance the paint finish, but also aid in the appearance, adherence and overall lasting ability of the wax which is applied over the top of it.

    Since leaving Meguiar's and joining the Autogeek Team in 2009, the topic of bonding has come up from time to time. I knew I had written on this topic, but could not remember the keyword or words to help me locate the above thread. Then I remembered the word, did a search and found the thread.

    Here are the key words, and note the portions I've formatted to be bold, red and italic...
    Taken from TheFreeDictionary.com

    Miscible
    Relating to two or more substances, such as water and alcohol, that can be mixed together or can dissolve into one another in any proportion without separating.


    Immiscible
    Incapable of being mixed or blended together. Immiscible liquids that are shaken together eventually separate into layers. Oil and water are immiscible.
    I'm not a chemist and don't ever claim to be one and do everything I can to avoid talking or typing over my head. That said, it is my opinion that while the above information is supplied by a chemist at Meguiar's, it's probably true for most quality waxes and paint sealants manufactured by reputable companies, unless they state otherwise, i.e., unless they state that the surface must be stripped clean before applying their wax or paint sealant.


    So unless a manufacturer specifically states or recommends that an automotive paint finish must be stripped clean for their wax or paint sealant to properly bond or adhere, then I think it's safe to say that the chemist behind the brand has created their wax and paint sealant formulas to use the same miscible oils, (or other miscible substances), in their surface prep products to aid in the bonding or adhering of the protection ingredients used in their waxes and/or paint sealants to paint.

    This would be called, Synergistic Chemical Compatibility.


    It's entirely possible that a lot of popular waxes and paint sealants on the market will bond or adhere to paint correctly after the paint has been prepped using compounds, polishes and paint cleaners outside the brand of the waxes or paint sealants being applied. There's no easy way of knowing or testing, but in my opinion, I would think the chances for this type of chemical compatibility to be more likely than less likely as there is probably some common chemistry involved in surface prep products and protection products that overlaps among different polish and wax companies.

    That's just my opinion or guesstimate, you can make up your own mind.

    My good friend, Tom aka Mosca as he's known on detailing discussion forums, once posted,

    Quote Originally Posted by Mosca
    I've never walked out into a garage only to find out that overnight the wax or paint sealant I applied slipped off the car's paint and piled-up on the floor surrounding the car because it didn't bond or stick to the paint.

    I would have to agree with Tom.


    To strip or not to strip?
    Do you need to chemically strip your car's paint with some type of solvent before applying a wax or paint sealant to enable the protection ingredients to better bond or adhere to the paint?
    Manufacturer's Specific Recommendation
    Only if the wax or paint sealant manufacturer specifically recommends this procedure.
    Or
    Personal Preference
    If after researching this topic you personally want and feel the need to chemically strip the paint.
    Or
    Forum Member's Recommendation
    See what I wrote above under Personal Preference
    If you use good quality products and follow the manufacturer's directions, plus work clean and use good technique, then you should be able to apply your choice of wax or paint sealant directly to your car's paint after wiping off the residue left by the last surface prep product used on the paint. This, by the way, is my normal practice, and below is my personal recommendation on this topic as taken from here.


    How to Mix IPA for Inspecting Correction Results


    Excerpt

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Phillips
    Personal Recommendation For Removing Waxes and Paint Sealants
    To remove any previously applied wax or paint sealant, I recommend using a light paint cleaner or a light polish applied by hand or machine. A light paint cleaner or abrasive polish will effectively remove any previously applied wax or paint sealant AND leave the paint looking clear and glossy. I call this working forward in the process because the goal is to create beauty.

    Chemically stripping the paint will tend to dull the paint; it certainly doesn't increase gloss and clarity. You don't see the dulling effect unless you're working on black paint and repeat the process multiple times. Since not everyone works on black paint, and you're not going to make stripping your car's paint a daily routine, it could be you won't see the dulling effect on your car's paint but it does take place.

    Wiping a clear coated black finish over and over and over again with any type of solvent isn't going to make the top clear layer of paint more and more clear, it's going to do the opposite, that is dull it down.

    So chemically stripping paint is what I call working backwards in the process. I, personally, prefer to work forwards in all my detailing projects but do understand the reasons why some people want to chemically strip their car's paint, or their customer's car's paint, and each person can decide what the best approach is for their needs.

    And again, since you're not chemically stripping the paint as a "practice" but only during a detailing session, the dulling effect is not an issue, but I wanted to point it out just for the most detail oriented detailing enthusiasts or Pro Detailers reading this article.


    Mike Phillips
    Director of Training Autogeek & Marine 31
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  2. #2
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Re: Miscible and Immiscible - Wax and Paint Sealant Bonding

    ***Thread Now Open For Discussion***

    This was a somewhat tricky article to write and the goal is to simply help people to make the best decision for themselves as whether or not to chemically strip their car's paint before applying a wax or paint sealant.

    PM me by clicking on my name above my Avatar or send me an e-mail here,

    Mike.Phillips@Autogeek.net



    Thanks!


    Mike Phillips
    Director of Training Autogeek & Marine 31
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  3. #3
    Senior Member RaskyR1's Avatar
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    Re: Miscible and Immiscible - Wax and Paint Sealant Bonding

    I couldn't agree more Mike! I actually have that Meguiar's link bookmarked for when discussions come up on the forums that relate to it.

    I typically just give the car a good wash with a regular car soap after polishing. No IPA wipe downs for me. I actually feel like IPA and other similar solvents dry the paint out...just look what it does to your hands.


    The only time I have been wiping cars down to prep the surface is for paint coatings like Opti-Coat and CQuartz, which is actually recommended by those manufacturers.



    Cheers,
    Rasky
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    Wait! I know! Mirror, mirror against the grass, tell me who has kicked swirls' ass?
    http://Raskysautodetailing.com/

  4. #4
    Senior Member Rob T's Avatar
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    Re: Miscible and Immiscible - Wax and Paint Sealant Bonding

    I've moved away from doing an IPA wipedown after polishing, and use a paint cleaner of some sort instead.

  5. #5
    Senior Member SATracker's Avatar
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    Re: Miscible and Immiscible - Wax and Paint Sealant Bonding

    Another great post, Mike. What a concept, follow the manufacturer's directions.

  6. #6
    Junior Member neuralfraud's Avatar
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    Re: Miscible and Immiscible - Wax and Paint Sealant Bonding



    It would seem to me the reason that these questions arise is from the result of peculiar marketing tactics. I cannot claim to know any more than the next guy about chemistry, however if someone charged with creating a myriad of detailing products states that miscible oils are necessary for the proper adhesion, then that product is going to obviously contain its own oils to accomplish this. Mixing with surface oils then makes little difference especially since 99.9% of products are designed this way.

    This draws parallels similar to the audiophile world, where in all seriousness, people spend thousands of dollars on specialized equipment that makes their sound system work better. Things like wooden volume knobs, cable trees to keep your speaker cables off of the floor (because harmonic resonance can be affected). One manufacturer even marketed a product so absurd that it has since become infamous - that would be the DENON ETHERNET CABLE.

    Allow me to quote:

    Get the purest digital audio you've ever experienced from multi-channel DVD and CD playback through your Denon home theater receiver with the AK-DL1 dedicated cable. Made of high-purity copper wire, it's designed to thoroughly eliminate adverse effects from vibration and helps stabilize the digital transmission from occurrences of jitter and ripple. A tin-bearing copper alloy is used for the cable's shield while the insulation is made of a fluoropolymer material with superior heat resistance, weather resistance, and anti-aging properties. The connector features a rounded plug lever to prevent bending or breaking and direction marks to indicate correct direction for connecting cable.
    Now reading that, if you didn't know any better, you would think that - gee if my system were connected with THAT cable, I could have less "jitter" in my digital binary data transfer of audio information, which would translate to my digital audio sounding *better*.

    Going back OT... it is very easy to see how the same issue can and apparently has also affected the detailing community/industry and all it does is create confusion!

    That being said...

    It takes passion to go research and put together a clear, detailed and informative article on something that may only be seen by a few people. In a society where 99% of people simply do not care, we're the 1% who take pride in our work, and a good deal of us are hobbyists who are just trying to find out the best way of working with something and doing so within our means. We don't always know everything and that is why we need guys like yourself who figure this crap out and in-turn distribute that knowledge so that we can make informed decisions.

    In other words, Thanks!

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  8. #7
    Member indianaryan's Avatar
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    Re: Miscible and Immiscible - Wax and Paint Sealant Bonding

    neuralfraud, you make a very good point. I think that sometimes we as consumers can fall prey to these "gimmicks" that might help somewhat, but aren't exactly necessary.

    Really it comes down to actually experimenting with different methods to see what works for you. I plan on doing that myself to see if there are any benefits in chemically stripping the paint before applying a sealant. I may find out that there is, and I may not. But I'd rather find out for myself than blindly doing something.

    Another great article Mike!

  9. #8
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    Re: Miscible and Immiscible - Wax and Paint Sealant Bonding

    Hi Mike,

    Would you give any info about bonding Syn or none Syn Wax on top of Syn Sealant.
    I don't know how to clean or prepare applied sealant for a wax.
    In my case I prepared by IPA about 30% after polishing and applied Griot's sealant by Orange pad - for a car (Lexus es330) it took about 1/3 bottle (may be I over use it?) wait 10-30 min to wipe out let cure for 20h, then wipe out with Griot's Speed Shine and buff a little to make sure it's clean and dry. Then applied AutoGlym HD Wax by LC crimson pad.

    Thanks for guidance.

  10. #9
    Senior Member Shawn T.'s Avatar
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    Re: Miscible and Immiscible - Wax and Paint Sealant Bonding

    Never used an IPA wipedown and probably never will. If the paint is where I want it after my finishing polish then I apply my LSP. I have never used an LSP that required an IPA wipedown before.

  11. #10
    Senior Member Kaleb G.'s Avatar
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    Re: Miscible and Immiscible - Wax and Paint Sealant Bonding

    Hey Mike,

    In theory, is this another reason why letting a miscible wax or sealant 'cure' is important? Because *in theory* if you mix two miscible products together, wouldn't each product become diluted of its original formula as they mix?

    For example, if you put a sealant down that can last a month or so and then a wax that last just a few weeks, wouldn't you be weakening the lifespan of the sealant? I guess another way to look at it would be that you were improving the performance of the wax, though.

    Just a thought.

    Kaleb

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