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Thread: How long should I wait after re-clear-coating to wax/polish?

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    FleeceLINER's Avatar
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    How long should I wait after re-clear-coating to wax/polish?

    I hear that you're supposed to wait 30-ish days after applying a new clear coat to wax/polish.


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    A new clear coat?!? I hope you don't mean paint clear coat that is applied after a car is painted. If you mean wax and etc well it's best not to over polish your car as you will be hurting the clear coat.
    So I guess that's the whole wait 30 day might apply.
    And you can wax right on top of wax, and some use a all in one to kind of remove the existing wax and apply new one as they are not too harsh. Some go to the extreme and use dawn to strip all wax before putting more, buy it's too much for regular use. I will do it once every year around the time I am clay baring the car
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    FleeceLINER's Avatar
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    Nono, sorry about the wierd phrasing. What I meant is:

    1. I paint a car
    2. I clear-coat it
    3. How long should I wait after clear-coating to wax?
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    Zuhaib's Avatar
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    ooooooh makes more sense, well as I am not a painter but have had a few cars painted due to repairs I can chime in.

    Long time ago when my father had his car repainted I remember they told him to wait a few months before waxing but that was a while back. As for my cars, every time I ask the shops they say is ready to wax the day I pick it up because of how they heat treat everything. But you dont want to polish it much because their is not much to polish as it should be clear and free from any problems. They say the same about new cars as well but almost every car minus for the Merc i have gotten new they all needed a good clay bar and polish once new.
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    FleeceLINER's Avatar
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    Hmmm, yeah. No heat treating here - I guess I'll wait a month or so before waxing. I might as well put off claying until then also. Damn, and I had planned on totally reworking my car over during this 3-day weekend.
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    30-45 days in average temperatures, if you're in the desert in 90+ weather all the time 20 days would be fine. It takes a few weeks for the clearcoat to really cure fully. While you could and people do wax before it fully cures, it will still be soft and if you do any aggressive rubbing or polishing you can just scratch it or warp the finish and then you'll have to do a lot more work to fix that. Just wait the time, don't do anything but wash it with water and a bit of soap, and no rubbing to scrub something off.
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    you can wax by hand within a few weeks of getting a car painted. As a former owner of a detailing shop with some experience in the area, I would avoid using any polishing compounds, hand applied or otherwise, for at least 6 months to avoid premature swirling.

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    Zuhaib's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FleeceLINER View Post
    Hmmm, yeah. No heat treating here - I guess I'll wait a month or so before waxing. I might as well put off claying until then also. Damn, and I had planned on totally reworking my car over during this 3-day weekend.
    Why not heat treating? Did you just pain this in the backyard or had a shop do it, because even the most basic shops I have seen have a hot room to let the paint cure.

    Also if you did it right and sanded correctly should not be much junk in the paint, minus for some over spray and etc. You could clay your car to repair defects but just to make it smooth it should be like glass now.
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    The main problem with waxing on a new paint job is that you will seal the paint. As it cures, it out gases and releases this into the atmosphere. If it is sealed, the gas has no place to go and small bubbles can appear in the paint. As far as how long to wait, get the information for the paint you used and read it. All are different but they are usually 45 to 180 days. There is no reason to get in a hurry to wax your new paint job except that you will just fell better about it, you are better off just waiting awhile and keep it clean with just plain water or water and a very mild soap. Waxing it is just going to make you feel better, it is not going to help anything else but that.

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    Depends how it was baked. If it's a factory paint job, you could wax it as soon as you receive it. If it's a paint-job by a local spray shop, more like 60 days because it's baked at lower temps. From the sounds of it this is a home job? I can only guess it would be more, since the other detailers i've spoken to say 30-60 days for a spray-shop job.

    To protect it in the mean-time, i'd just wash it very gently (good car shampoo, soft-water) often to keep road salt and dirt off of it. That will be good enough preventative measures to see you to the 60+ days until you can wax it.
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