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Hey everyone,

I have a few cars that have the original (Old) paint (acrylic) & a couple cars that were repainted in acrylic many years ago (At least 30 years). I was wondering if there is a good wax to use on those surfaces as opposed to the clearcoat of today. Is the "store shelf" waxes fine or is there ones made especially for the old paint. I know it sounds like a dumb question, but just thought I would throw it out there.


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Choice of waxes comes down to price and brand preference in most cases. Waxes are in two basic groups. Carnauba and synthetic.

Carnauba wax is made from Brazilian palm tree leaves. These waxes produce glossy, protective finishes on your vehicle. It’s also hypoallergenic, though typically mixed with other softer waxes like beeswax to make it easier to use since it’s normally quite brittle. Carnauba is considered the premium solution based on its shine, but tends to be more expensive than synthetics.

Synthetic waxes by comparison are produced from man-made chemicals, which has its own set of benefits and drawbacks. For one, they are often easier to work with, often available in a spray-on formula, and thinner, making them more easily worked in. They are also cheaper, since they don’t need to harvest it from the specific tree. They may also have higher melting points, so if you live in very hot areas, it may be better to use synthetic. However, they don’t provide quite the same shine that carnaubas will. Synthetics are often called paint sealants, since they’re not technically waxes.

The last thing to consider between carnauba vs. synthetic is that synthetics will last longer than carnauba. In general though, serious enthusiasts will often swear by carnauba since 1) they get to frequently wax their prized possession and 2) the unbeatable shine. If you just care about having the long-lasting protection, synthetic may be better for you.

I will admit up front that I am bias towards Gold Eagle 303 and Trinova wax, detailer, leather and stain guard products. I also like Meguiar's wax and quick detailer prior to getting into 303. 303 started in the marine industry and then to automotive, so these products really stand up to moisture. Both 303 and Meguiar's are considered premium priced products. So essentially it comes down to preference.

Finally I would avoid any wax or polish that is a "color match" formula or contains silicone. Color match formulas work fine in the begin but they can eventually dull the paint. Silicone is difficult to remove later on, if you have to have any sort of repair done to a body panel.

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I was a Meguiers "mark" for decades until I discovered the full line up of "Surf City Garage" detail products. I'm old school and use their Carnuba wax straight from the can. I apply it in small sections with the applicator pad and then use an orbital buffer letting it dry to a haze. I then pull it off with brand new microfiber towels. I don't like to reuse the towels.


Edited by 360Rocket
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I think I will try Meguiers carnuba wax. It is an old paint job & there are a few scratches & blemishes in the paint. I do like a "shiny" car. On another note, someone left a towel lay on the fender over the winter & the paint faded & slightly "blistered". (You can only see it if you get really close). Is there a way to buff that out or will I have to get it repainted?

Thanks for the tips.

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Hard to say without knowing what was on the rag that was left on the fender all winter. Try washing and waxing it thoroughly. See what happens. If it is still there, then some sort of paint repair is necessary.

Edited by Frosty
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I think it was a clean rag, someone told me that it just got moisture underneath it & caused it.  I will see what happens after a good waxing.


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