- Hard Waxes
- Product Type:
- Car wax (for metallic finishes)
- Product Code:
The Auto Finesse® Spirit car wax has been developed to enhance metallic and pearlescent paint finishes, while offering protection for up to 6 months.
Blended with natural waxes and oils, including 50% T1 Grade Brazilian Carnauba Wax, Spirit’s visual clarity, crispness, and gloss makes pearl and metallic paints truly sparkle.
Before waxing, make sure that the vehicle is clean and cool to the touch. If bonded contamination is present, use a clay bar to prep the surface for best results. If the paintwork is lightly marred, or the vehicle has not been polished in the last 6-12 months, it is also advisable to use a pre-wax cleanser in order to create the maximum shine. Place a foam applicator inside the pot of wax, and rotate it a quarter turn to prime the pad with product. This is typically enough wax to protect a single moderately-sized panel, though this may vary depending upon the condition of the paintwork. Apply the wax to the panel with small, overlapping circular strokes, light pressure, and in a consistent pattern to obtain full coverage of the paint. If the applicator feels like it is starting to run dry across the surface, or coverage becomes uneven, return the applicator to the container using another quarter-turn of the pad to re-prime the foam. The goal when waxing is to apply the product as thinly and evenly as possible, since a little bit goes a very long way to protecting and enhancing the shine of your vehicle.
Once you have completed one normal-sized panel, or half of a large one, move on to another section of equal size. When you are done waxing the second section, you will be ready to buff off the wax from the first using a plush microfibre towel. Continue until all panels are complete. If the wax has been allowed to dry, or ‘secondary hazing’ of the wax occurs (a phenomenon which can sometimes happen in hot or humid climates, especially if the product was over-applied.), you can use a water-based quick detailer to help ease removal of the residue. When applying multiple layers of wax for extra depth, wetness and protection, make sure to wait at least 3 hours in between coats.
For best results, do not wax the vehicle if the ambient temperature is below 6 degrees Celsius, or above 25 degrees Celsius. Waxing in direct sunlight, or conditions of high humidity can respectively lead to over, or under-curing of the product before removal.
- Developed to enhance metallic and pearlescent paint finishes.
- 4-6 month durability.
- Blended with 50% T1 grade Brazilian carnauba wax.
- Apple fragranced.
Before waxing, make sure that the vehicle is clean, and cool to the touch. If bonded contamination is present, use a Clay Bar to prep the surface for best results. If the paintwork is lightly marred, or the vehicle has not been polished in the last 6-12 months, it is also advisable to use one of our signature Pre-Wax Cleansers in order to create the maximum shine. Place an Auto Finesse Waxmate foam applicator inside the pot of wax, and rotate it half a turn to prime the pad with product. This is typically enough wax to protect a single moderately-sized panel, though this may vary depending upon the condition of the paintwork. Apply the wax to the panel with small, overlapping circular strokes, light pressure, and in a consistent pattern to obtain full coverage of the paint. If the applicator feels like it is starting to run dry across the surface, or coverage becomes uneven, return the applicator to the container using another quarter-turn of the pad to re-prime the foam. The goal when waxing is to apply the product as thinly and evenly as possible, since a little bit goes a very long way to protecting and enhancing the shine of your vehicle.
Once you have completed one normal-sized panel, or half of a large one, move on to another section of equal size. When you are done waxing the second section, you will be ready to buff off the wax from the first using a plush Microfiber Towel. Alternating in between buffing and waxing panels until the vehicle is fully protected allows you to maintain the ideal curing times for the wax, and makes for very easy removal of the remaining residue. Auto Finesse Spirit only takes a few minutes to cure, so take care not to let the product dry onto the surface. If the wax has been allowed to dry, or ‘secondary hazing’ of the wax occurs (A phenomenon which can sometimes happen in hot or humid climates, especially if the product was over-applied.), you can use a water-based QD like Auto Finesse Finale to help ease removal of the residue. When applying multiple layers of wax for extra depth, wetness, and protection, make sure to wait at least 3-hours in between coats to allow the organic solvents to fully flash
Do not wax the vehicle if the ambient temperature is below 6-degrees Celsius, or above 25-Degrees Celsius.
Waxing in direct sunlight, or conditions of high humidity can respectively lead to over, or under-curing of the product before removal
Will adding a wax make my car shinier?
Yes. One of the key attributes – aside from adding a physical layer of protection – is that a wax bonds to level the optical finish significantly more than a bare paint layer. By this we simply mean that waxes are capable of making your paintwork appear to be deeper and glossier by smoothing the surface to which they’re applied and modifying how it looks to the eye. On a microscopic level, the top layer of your gloss plastics and paintwork - whether that’s the topcoat on older vehicles or the lacquer in more modern 2-stage paintwork – isn’t completely flat, even when it’s been polished. It will contain tiny ruts and recesses that may be essentially undetectable on their own, but will diffract the light bouncing off if it on different directions. Unlike swirl marks and scratches the effect is only slight, but it does change the way the surfaces is perceived in terms of depth and gloss. When a wax is applied over the top it fills any minuscule ruts and recesses to leave a layer that can be buffed to be smoother than the paint surface itself, in a way you can liken this to plastering a wall, only with a clear plaster. What this does is create a layer that enables light to bounce back to the eye more uniformly and this is what tricks the eye (and the brain) into thinking the paintwork is significantly deeper and shinier than the relatively thin layer of wax that’s applied on top.
What’s the difference between a wax and a ceramic coating?
The main difference comes in the way these protection layers bond to surfaces. A wax (like those in our Signature Wax Collection, along with Radiance Carnauba Creme and Mint Rims Wheel Wax), will physically hold on to the top layer, creating a strong bond and leaving a layer of wax protection that’s separate to the paintwork. Waxes can be durable from a few months, right up to 8-months or so, depending to the content of hard wax and other ingredients in the blend. A ceramic coating however, will chemically bond to the surface, essentially becoming an integral part of the top layer, and this is the reason why coatings tend to have more durability – because these molecular bonds are more resilient to chemicals and abrasion, making them more difficult to remove. The Si02-based coating in our Paintwork Protection Kit for example has a durability of up to 12-months for exactly this reason. It’s also explains why a ceramic coating cannot be applied over the top of a wax layer, because the wax will block the chemical bonding process, but a wax can be applied over a (fully cured) ceramic coating, because it will happily bond to almost any surface. Both types of protection layer are impermeable to moisture, make your paintwork appear deeper and shiner, and ensure that the vehicle is easier to clean the next time around – simply because the grime won’t stick. When it comes to choosing between the two, Waxes tend to be slightly easier to apply, and ceramic coatings tend to offer more hardy protection for daily drivers, but the truth is that, for the most part, it’s all down to personal preference… especially when it comes to looks. Ceramic coatings are man-made and engineered to be perfectly clear, allowing light to pass through and back to the eye completely uniformly. Hard waxes have a certain amount of natural impurities that bend and soften the light as it comes back to your eye – this is what gives them their trademark warm glow.
How are hard waxes and liquid waxes different?
The main differences between hard waxes and liquid waxes, aside from the obvious, comes with finding a balance between the durability of the protection layer and the ease of application. A liquid wax – a category that includes spray-on products like Glisten Spray Wax, as well as more viscous cream-like liquids such as Radiance Carnauba Crème – will be developed to be extremely quick to apply to surfaces and easy to buff away any residue, but will always be a little less durable than a hard wax. This is because, the thinner the liquid has to be for ease of application, the less solids can be contained in the solute. These solids – essentially the natural wax content used to form the protection layer - are dispersed and suspended throughout the solution, which will contain a solvent base designed to evaporate off, leaving behind the protection layer. The more solid material you can cram into the solution, the more viscous the liquid, until eventually it’s mostly solids, giving you a hard wax. Along with being easy-to-use, liquid waxes can still offer great durability though, Glisten gives around a month of protection, while Radiance will last for up to 3-months. But our hard waxes, while they may take a little more effort to apply, can give protection for anything between 4-8 months depending on the specific blend.
Is there any benefit to applying a second layer of wax?
In terms of extra gloss and added protection, yes, adding a second coat is always beneficial. What this will do is build up more of a physical barrier to the elements and further level the optical finish to make paintwork appear even deeper and glossier. A wax layer that’s double the thickness will proportionally increase these characteristics making it a great way of getting your paintwork to look its absolute best - essentially adding more warmth and depth - which is a great pro-tip for show cars and other pampered vehicles. So, why not just add a single thick layer in the first place? Well, it’s because the wax has to bond to the surface, and only the thin layer that makes contact with your paintwork can successfully bond. Laying on a thick application simply means that you’ll be buffing off most of the wax - all the wax that hasn’t bonded - wasting your car wax, and your cash. Conversely, once that first layer has cured, another thin layer can easily bond on top of the original wax layer, building up the protection and shine. With our Signature Hard Waxes, just half a turn in the tin with a Waxmate XL or Wax Spot Pad is more than enough for a whole large panel, and the goal is always to get your wax on there as thinly and evenly as possible, while ensuring complete coverage. We recommend leaving the vehicle for 3-4 hours for a hard wax to cure (or 2 hours when using Radiance Carnauba Crème, which is classed as a liquid wax) before adding your second coat. For more on wax application, and some top tips for the most effective surface preparation, see our full guide – Getting The Most From A Hard Wax.
Do I need to polish and prepare my paintwork before applying a wax?
Aside from making sure surfaces are clean and free of contaminants, this always depends on the circumstances. Are you topping up wax protection from a previous full detail or adding wax protection for the first time? This is important because, first and foremost, polishing will remove any protection layer – the reason why we don’t use abrasives during routine maintenance, and only polish paintwork when it’s absolutely necessary. In this case of maintenance, we’d assume that any paint correction needed had been carried out before adding the first round of wax protection. When it comes to adding wax protection for the first time, we’d always recommend getting surfaces to the best possible level of refinement first. Although it’s wholly possible to apply a wax to car with swirly paint, and it will still bond, protect from grime and offer extreme water behaviour and beading, what it won’t do is hide any major defects, so essentially, you’ll be locking these in. Pure waxes are non-abrasives, so they’re not designed to correct or obscure defects in the surface underneath, they are purely for protection and to add extra gloss. So, for the best results, we’d always recommend correcting or enhancing any paintwork you’re not completely happy with the condition of, and fully preparing the surface, before applying any protection layer. The advantage with waxes over ceramic coating in this instance though, is that you don’t have to consider the chemical bonded needed for an SiO2 coating to adhere, so you can utilise any of our correction products and cleansers depending on the finish you require regardless of if they already contain waxes and paint glazes. This includes our Revitalise V2 System Compounds, One Step All-in-One Compound, Tripple All-in-One Polish and Rejuvenate Paintwork Cleanser. For more information, and some top tips on preparing your vehicle for a hard wax, see our full guide - Getting The Most From A Hard Wax.
How do I look after my wax when I wash my car?
It’s important to look after any previously-applied wax layers as much as possible during routine maintenance, and the same rules apply as for looking after paint, lacquer and other sensitive exterior surfaces on any other detail. Wax protection is simply a top layer that’s impermeable to water molecules and it protects paintwork by installing a physical barrier, and by stopping grime (and water) from sticking, this in turn always makes maintenance washing easier. However, it doesn’t mean that the wax (and the paintwork underneath) can’t be damaged through improper wash techniques. Carrying out safe maintenance, including a thorough pre-wash, is crucial to stop heavy grit and grime from being rubbed in and abrading the wax or the paintwork, essentially stripping your wax and inflicting defects in the paint. Using wax, sealant and coating-friendly pre-wash products, such as Citrus Power Bug and Grime Remover and Avalanche Snow Foam will also help to prevent damage to coatings because they don’t contain harsh acidic or alkaline cleaning agents that may strip protection. As for the shampoo you use in your two-bucket wash? Well, that’s crucial, too. Our pH neutral Lather Car Shampoo is the ideal choice here, as it will never damage any previously-applied coatings, regardless of if they’re waxes, sealants or ceramic coatings. At this point of course, you can simply leave the vehicle, or choose to top up your protection for extra durability and shine. You can use your original hard wax or, for the ultimate in speedy details, utilise Radiance Carnauba Crème, or Glisten Spray Wax. Do not use abrasive products during maintenance, though, as these will remove the entire protection layer, requiring reapplication of your wax.
What's the difference between the Micro Tweed and a more traditional microfibre cloth?
The difference is in the specially developed microfibre weave, which offers slightly different physical characteristics to make the Micro Tweed Buffing Towel the ultimate cloth for use with car waxes, such as the premium protection products you’ll find in our Signature Hard Wax Collection. This tweed construction not only gives the Micro Tweed a significantly higher surface area for increased garb on residues, but it also leaves special air pockets in the material that are ideal for catching and locking away excess wax deep within the cloth. The idea here is to prevent wax clogging, which is especially common when too much product is applied to the vehicle. Keeping these wax residues in the cloth, and ultimately away from surfaces, makes it quicker and easier to safely buff your paintwork, along with other sensitive areas, without marring the wax layer underneath.