paint sealant vs wax

Paint Sealant vs Wax: Which One Is Better for Your Car?

If you are just a regular car owner and not really into cars and its components, terms like wax, polish, coating, and sealant would be extremely confusing to you.

In fact, for the majority of car owners, all these products provide the same thing.

Are you looking to level up your game, though? If you are, you can start by knowing how paint sealant vs wax differs from each other.

To help you out, we talk about sealants and wax in detail below, including their benefits and the disadvantages of using one over the other.

What Is Wax?

Wax can be found in nature. It comes from a specific type of palm tree that can produce different kinds of wax.

If you check some of the car wax products online, you will notice that they include “carnauba wax” on the descriptions, which comes from the palm tree Copernica prunifera.

Wax comes in different grades and purities, and you can mix it with oil and other waxes.

There are also manufacturers that would add polymers to their car wax products.

What Is Sealant?

Sealants are completely different from wax in the sense that they are not found in nature.

Unlike wax, sealants are made from the lab. They are composed of different chemical compounds that can be re-engineered and altered to meet the varying needs of vehicle owners.

Manufacturers would make significant changes to the synthetic products to create a different result.

The Main Purpose of Wax and Paint Sealants

Although wax and paint sealants are from different sources, they both share the same purpose, which is to provide protection to your car and give it a deep, wet-look shine.

These two products can provide two different benefits, but they excel in specific areas.

For those who are looking for a paint sealant vs wax comparison, here is the simplest and the most basic explanation.

Wax is made to provide a deep and shiny look to your car. Paint sealant is created to give it the ultimate protection against different weather conditions.

Paint Sealant vs Wax

If you are still unsure of what to use on your car, here are where each of them should be used for.

1. Protection

When it comes to protection, paint sealants are the real deal. This product is made specifically to provide the protection that your car needs against almost all weather conditions.

If you are living in a place where it is constantly raining, you might want to consider using a paint sealant rather than a car wax.

Paint sealants can also protect against minor damage.

When driving outside, you won’t even notice that small debris is hitting your car. You won’t see it unless you check your car carefully.

Sealants can provide protection against these minor damages. They also offer resistance to heat, UV rays, and the detergents that you use when cleaning your car.

Although car wax can provide minimal protection, it is not as good and as effective as sealants.

2. Durability

Sealants are more durable than wax. This is something that every car enthusiast knows.

A sealant can last for about two to three months on average, which is longer than what any brand of car wax can provide.

As for car wax, they can only last for about four to six weeks. These are the best and most expensive car wax brands already.

If you buy a cheap brand, it may only last for about three to four washes at most.

3. Glossy Finish

Sealants are the real deal when it comes to protection and durability. Still, they are not even close to car wax when it comes to providing a glossy, wet-look finish.

Wax is completely different from sealant, as it provides a deeper finish, especially on darker cars.

When you apply wax to cars with darker shades, it will provide an additional depth and dimension to it, making it look extremely glossy and shiny.

If your cars have bright colors, you can also benefit from using wax because it can make the colors brighter, especially during the day.

paint sealant vs wax

How to Use Paint Sealant

If you prefer to use a paint sealant for your car, you should know how to properly apply it.

Here is a step-by-step guide to doing it.

Step 1: Wash your Car

Before you apply a paint sealant, you have to make sure that the car is properly cleaned.

You won’t get a good result if you just applied it while the dirt is still there. You have to clean your car thoroughly.

You should use a pressure washer and foam cannon if possible, but they are not really necessary. They would just make cleaning easier.

If you don’t have them, you just have to scrub the car thoroughly to remove the dirt and grime.

If you have soaps or cleaners that can strip the paint, you should use them now. You have to remove the wax or sealant that is still on the paint, so this is a very important step.

Step 2: Dry the Car Thoroughly

You should make sure that the car is completely dry before you apply the paint sealant because even a drop of water would mess up everything.

We suggest that you use a blow dryer to dry your car completely.

Step 3: Decontamination

Using a clay bar or something similar is a great way to make sure that your paint sealant will last for a long time.

Any remaining contaminants from the paint would affect the durability of your paint sealant, so you have to do this first before you apply it.

Step 4: Applying the Paint Sealant

Once you’ve properly prepared the surface, the final step is to apply the paint sealant. This is very simple because you just have to apply the sealant then wipe it off.

However, there are important things that you should remember when doing so.

First, it has to be applied in a thin layer; adding more will not provide more protection. By putting more sealant, you will just make it harder to buff, and it would leave a bland-looking finish.

After applying, make sure that it is dry before you wipe it off. Use the finger test and check if it is ready.

If you wiped it off with your finger and the sealant is still there, it is not ready yet. If you wiped it off and the area is bare paint, then it’s good to go.

How to Use Car Wax

Using a car wax is pretty much the same as using a paint sealant.

As such, we won’t be detailing the cleaning process as you can just follow the steps we've mentioned above.

  • After cleaning the car thoroughly, the next step is to apply the car wax.

Make sure that the car is completely dry before you apply it because droplets of water might cause the product to streak. When it does, it will be very hard to buff off.

For this, you can also use a blow dryer to get rid of any moisture.

  • Place your car in a cool and shaded area.

Car wax would work best when you apply it at a cool temperature.

If you have a garage, make sure that you park your car inside and apply the wax on it there.

If you don't, you can find a shaded area where you can work.

  • Once you've applied the wax, make sure that it is completely dry before you wipe it off.

Again, similar to applying sealant, you can also use the finger method to check if it is ready or not.

  • Use a microfiber towel to buff the haze.

We recommend that you use a good-quality microfiber towel for this.

The quality of the microfiber towel you use would determine how long you would need to buff the haze before your car becomes shiny and glossy.

Rotate the towel and make sure to use both sides to make sure that you don’t leave any white swirls on the surface of your car.

Even if you haven't waxed a car before, you can easily learn and master how it's done by simply following the tips we've shared above.


The pain sealant vs wax debate is not really a big issue; some people prefer using a sealant, and others love to use wax. It is just a matter of preference.

Both products have pros and cons, and your decision would depend on where and how you plan to use them.

There are people who care about the look of their cars more than anything else, and there are collectors who are not really using their cars.

Under these circumstances, the use of car wax is the most ideal since you only want the car to look good, and you don’t care much about protection.

If you want to keep your car protected at all times, the best choice is using a paint sealant. It provides a bit of a glossy finish to your car, but it is much lesser compared with car wax.

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