Originally Posted by normtrum
George, Picus, or any other detailing experts - I need a little advice here. My e90 is black saph, and I've had it since last Oct, although because I've got a few other cars (including a company car) I only have 800 miles on it, and it's garaged. I did a full new car prep after 6 months (I was wrong thinking I had to wait 6 months because the paint was too soft). I use Griot's products, mainly because their store is 15 minutes away. I keep 2 coats of "Best of Show" wax on the car, applied with a pc. I have never used a sealant, which is the area I need help with. I tend to get a few marks on my car after driving, and even after a wash, something always seems to show up. I know how to wash, following detailed steps learned on this forum (I use 3 different sheepskin gloves, including 1 specifically for the hood, so I'm extremely careful). I want 2 things, to protect my wax with a sealant, and to make the color "pop" more. I plan on stripping my car down to a clean slate, removing all contaminates, removing any light scratches/marks, then applying wax again with a pc. What should I do next? Can I simply apply some Z5 pro with my pc? Or is there something else I should do? I've been through a detailing class at Griots so I'm good up to the sealant stage.
Oh, and should Z8 gloss enhancer be thrown in there somewhere? Thx in advance.
normtrum, great questions. The first thing to point out is that you wouldn't apply the sealant over your Best of Show wax. I too initially thought this was the best thing to do when I first learned about detailing, but here are the reasons you would want to apply the sealant under the wax.
If you were to apply a sealant over the wax, you will typically notice the sealant having a difficult time trying to bond on top of the wax and prevent even coverage. Also, the durability of the sealant would now become the durability of the wax, which is usually the major reason you use a sealant is for its extended durability. Finally, you'd want your best looking end product as the last step to get the most out of it's depth and gloss, which typically is your wax.
So the correct order would be to wash / dry -> clay -> polish -> sealant (Z-5 if that's what you end up with) -> Wax (Best of Show)... if you were to use the Z-8, I think it would be best used between the coat of Z-5 and your Best of Show Wax.
The additional "pop" will come from your prep work stages. Properly removing the contamination (wash & dry -> clay) and removing (or hiding) as many imperfections (compounding, polishing -> glazing) will get you the most out of your paint. The sealant will give you underlying durability for many months, and your wax will give you that added dimension of depth and gloss.
I think this covers most of what you asked, if you'd like me to clarify anything or you have additional questions, please do not hesitate to ask. Let us know how you make out.