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    Articles

    Maintaining a Ceramic Coating

    You decided to use  a ceramic coating, now you want to keep the best shine, and get the longest life possible.  Ceramic coatings offer a unique protection, and are a great choice when protecting your surfaces.  You can extend the life of your ceramic coating with the following steps.  If you are unsure about application please first visit:  Applying a ceramic coating

    1.  Apply a Carnauba Wax

    After the coating has cured you are able to apply a carnauba wax over the paint.  Be sure that the wax is strictly a wax, and does not contain any "cleaners"  This will add some gloss, enhancing the "wet look" of the vehicle.  It will also give protection to the paint, and paint protection.  Carnauba waxes generally need to be applied every 3 to 4 months.

    Some Pure Carnauba Waxes are listed below:

    2. Use Reload or a complimentary Quick Detailer.

    There are several detailer's designed specifically to extend and enhance the effectiveness of a coating.  These can be used on a clean, dry surface.  They are generally sprayed on, and buffed off using a soft, plush, clean microfibre towel.*

    Examples of Quick Detailer's

     

    3. Use a Booster Wash

    Just like the Quick Detailer's, there is also a line of washes available to extend and enhance the effectiveness of a coating.  They can be used with the two bucket method, or also with a Foam Cannon.

    Coating Enhancing Washes

     

    4. Wash and Dry your car Properly.

    When washing and drying your car be sure to follow safe washing techniques that will not deteriorate the paint, of the finishes in your car.  Do not use dish soap, All Purpose Cleaners, or harsh chemicals.  For more information on how to wash and dry your car please visit these blogs:

    Two Bucket Washing

    Proper Drying


    5.  No polisher or cleaner waxes.

    When maintaining your paint be sure not to polish or use waxes that contain abrasives, or "cleaners."   These products will break down your finish and remove the coating. 

    *for more information on Microfiber Towels Click Here



    Applying a Ceramic Coating

    What is a Ceramic Coating?

    A ceramic coating is a newer technology that creates a semi-permanent coating.  They are very thin, and only a small amount is needed.  Most ceramic coatings will last from 1-3 years, depending on maintenance and weather conditions.

    Ceramic Coatings

     

    How do you Apply?

    Before you apply a sealant the paint needs to be fully prepped.  The surface should be free of scratches, swirls and oils.  The coating will not fix swirls or scratches, it is primarily a protectant.  I recommend using a paint prep, or paint cleaner to ensure the paint is clean.  Some paint prep products are:

    Paint Prep

     

    Thin!

    Ideal conditions to apply the coating is 15 - 30 degrees Celsius.  Once the paint is prepped and dry you can apply the coating.  Apply to one small section at a time,   using e a soft, non absorbent application pad or suede towel.  Let the coating sit for 10-20 minutes. 

    Gently buff off the coating with a soft, clean microfiber towel.  Most manufactures recommend disposing if the towels after use, to avoid micro scratches with the hardening glass or ceramic found in the coating.

    Let the car sit and dry out of the elements for 3-5 hours. The coating will be fully cured 48 hours after application.

    If you desire to apply a second layer for longer durability, apply with 2-4 hours after the initial application.

     

    For more information, Read

    MAINTAINING A CERAMIC COATING

     

     

    Is silicone bad? What is silicone?

    The Role Silicone Plays in Car Care Products

              By Mike Phillips (Autogeek.net)

    One of the most frequent comments I hear when I go to car club meetings and events is that silicone is bad for your car. It's a common myth, from years gone by, that the mere presence of silicone near a car will cause the paint to shrivel up and fall off or prevent it from ever being repainted. These myths are false, but the latter is based on factual problems painters once experienced. The fact is that all modern automotive paints contain silicone as an ingredient to help the paint to spray and flow smoothly.

    Most of the concerns people have about silicones and products that contain silicones stem from the days when lacquers were used as the primary car finish. Back then, if the surface wasn't properly prepared, residual silicones on the bodywork or in the shop environment would cause paint defects. The most common silicone induced problem is a small defect referred to as "Fish Eyes".

    Fish eyes are small craters that form in the paint finish. Fish eye defects form where the paint piles up in a circle surrounding a point on the surface that contains a contaminant. The reason freshly sprayed paint does this is because contaminants like wax and silicone tend to create high surface tension and do not allow the paint to properly flow and self-level.

    Instead of laying down flat, paint moves away from these ingredients, forming a ring around them that has the visual appearance of what is historically described as a fish eye. In severe cases, where the painter does not properly prepare the bodywork for painting, contamination from wax, oils and silicones can cause paint adhesion problems.

    Knowledge of paint and other automotive finishes have evolved and grown substantially since the 1950's. The problems painters encountered 50 years ago are more easily addressed with today's modern paint formulas and prepping chemicals. Likewise, the modern paint facility has evolved into a high-tech environment (primarily due to environmental regulations), and paint additives help overcome common flaws.

    More importantly, modern paint technicians are educated in their craft. Until the 1970's, there were very few formal training programs available for young men and women entering the automotive repair industry. Today there are certified schools that specialize in formal education for the automotive industry. This includes paint manufacturers, who provide in-depth training for anyone who uses their paint systems.

    All professional body shops understand that the cars they repair have been maintained using products that contain waxes, oils and silicone. For this reason, all professional repair facilities perform the necessary preparation work required to insure that the paintwork is free of contaminates before they begin their work. In so doing, the dreaded "fish eyes" will not be a problem.

    The preparation work includes using special degreasers and silicone removers that effectively remove these substances from the surface or chemically alter their molecular structure in such a way to insure they pose no problems. If there is ever any question or doubt about the surface to which new paint is going to be applied, painters will use a paint additive to eliminate fish eyes. Interestingly enough, the paint additive that eliminates fish eyes is typically a special silicone additive.

    SILICONES USED IN CAR CARE PRODUCTS
    There are many kinds of silicones available for use in car care products. They vary in form and functionality. Car care chemists select the best performing silicones to create a desired finish for each kind of car surface.

    Silicones are primarily used to modify or enhance a specific characteristic of another ingredient in a polish, wax or protectant formula. Silicones are not used for any characteristic they offer in and of themselves. There are some functions in a car care formula that only silicone can produce or no other ingredient can perform better.

    One of the most commonly used features of silicone is its ability to lubricate (improve slip). The use of some types of silicone in a formula acts to make the product easier to apply and buff off. In this way, silicone lubrication helps reduce surface marring (scratches and swirl marks) induced from wiping with bad toweling or applicators. That's a benefit to you.

    Chemists also use silicones to create water-in-oil emulsions, reduce emulsion particle size, to stabilize emulsions, and to improve spreading and coverage of wax products. Most modern silicone formulas are water soluble (no oil or petroleum), and are completely inert. The best way to describe most forms of silicone is to think of it as a man-made wax ester. Silicone is created by the reaction generated when you combine fatty acids with polydimethylsiloxane (or other derivatives of the compound).

    The fear and confusion surrounding this single ingredient, silicone, is an ongoing problem. Some small car care chemical manufactures create fear, uncertainty and doubt in people's minds by claiming their products contain no harmful silicones, suggesting that silicone is harmful to the paint. This product hype and misinformation spread from person to person, generation to generation, and now-a-days on the Internet, exaggerates the myth that silicones in car care products are harmful. The fact is that the largest and most respected names in the paint and body shop industry, which include 3M and Meguiar's, use silicones in their car care products to make them better.

    The facts are indisputable. Silicone is part of the protective system in paint and helps the paint look better and last longer. Silicone cannot harm paint, let alone anything else it is formulated into, or sitting on top of, especially in the form of a coating of wax. Without properly blended silicones, waxes would be difficult to apply and would not have the high gloss and radiance we enjoy.
    Original Article

    Car Care Terminology for the Beginner.

    Just starting out in the detailing community?  Do you feel that Canadian Tire and Walmart do not have the selection or expertise that you want/need to protect and maintain your paint?

    Perfect.  You find a great website, watch a few YouTube videos, and now you are more confused than ever. 

    I will list common types of chemicals and their uses below.  Hopefully this will help you to navigate through the process of perfecting and maintaining your paint.  We will start at the beginning of the exterior, and then move on from there.

     

    Fall Out Remover

     A fall out cleaner chemically removes metal particles from the paint.  You will most often notice the tiny brown spots on a white or light colored car.  These spots are often referred to as brake dust, or rail dust.  Fall out cleaners, such as Iron Maiden, break down and liquefy the metal contaminants.  Fall out cleaners are relatively quick to use, and take most metal contaminants out of paint.  Why would you use a clay bar instead?  A claybar will remove all metal contaminants, and will also remove organic contaminants such as overspray and bug particles.

     

    Clay Bars and Clay Bar Substitutes

    Clay bars remove contaminants from your paint.  How do you know if your paint is contaminated?  If the surface feels rough there are usually contaminants in your paint.  Often even brand new cars are full of fallout from transportation.  Clay barring a car can take a lot of time.  You have to lubricate the section, using clay lube.  Next you glide the clay bar over the affected area.  Claybars have a consistency similar to play-dough.  You will feel a slight pull as it removes the contaminants from the paint.  Often one pass is enough, but several may be needed to remove heavily over sprayed or contaminated cars.

     Recently clay mitts and pads have hit the market.  These do the same as a traditional clay bar, yet allow for ease of use.

    Blog: Clay Bar Use

    All Purpose Cleaners

    All-purpose cleaners are often referred to as APC, or degreasers.  An APC is a strong degreaser that removes oils and dirt from surfaces.  Most often you would use an APC before polishing and waxing a car.  It is also often used on wheels and engine bays.  Most all-purpose cleaners are a concentrate.  With a higher dilution they can be often be used on the interior as well.

     

    No Rinse (NR)

    No Rinse (NR) washes were designed for areas with limited water use, such as RV parks, Marina's, Apartment buildings.  They have gained popularity in the recent years as there have been several areas with water bans and restrictions.  The no-rinse wash is a concentrated soap.  You would apply with a sponge or foam cannon.  The wash, as per the name, does not need to be rinsed.  It will dry to leave a streak free surface. 

     

    A no rinse product works well on not so dirty cars.  If there is heavy mud or debris a traditional car wash is more effective.

     

    Car Wash

    A true car or auto wash is safe to use over waxes and sealants.  It will not strip the waxes on the car, and will foam to remove dirt and grease. 

     Blog: Car Washing

    Wash and Wax

    A wash and wax is a car wash, plus it has added gloss enhancers.  Wash and wax shampoos are safe to use on waxed cars, and they leave some additional short term gloss.  This product often has carnauba wax as an ingredient.  If the product freezes it may separate and need to be replaced. 

     

    Compound

    Compounds are designed to be applied by machine.  Compounds are used to remove small scratches and swirls from the finish.  Most compounds require the speed and heat produced by a polisher. 

     

    Polish

    A polish prepares the surface for a wax or sealant.  It removes minor swirls, cleans up the paint and makes it shiny.  A pure polish does not have any protection in the polish, just cleaners and often fillers.  A lot of polishes can be used by hand or machine. 

     

    All In One (AIO)

    An All in One product refers to polishing abilities, plus protection.  These products clean the surface, fill small imperfections, and give some protection to the surface. 

     

    Sealant

    A sealant is synthetic protection that protects your paint. A true sealant does not have any correction properties and is usually very thin.  Most sealants last anywhere from 6 months to 18 months.  Depending on the product, and the environment the vehicle is exposed to.

    Blog: Applying a Sealant

     

    Permanent Coating

    A Permanent coating is a coating that changes the paint.  Often there are ceramic particles in the paint that harden the paint slightly and help it reduce the frequency of swirls and small marks left from drying and everyday care.

     

    Paste Wax

    A wax is mostly a solid that is made from carnauba.  The carnauba is blended with other ingredients to make it soft enough to be applied to your vehicle.  A wax will give an amazing shine, and will last on average about 3 months.  A wax can be applied over a sealant or coating to add to the finish, but is not necessary.

     

    Quick Detailer (QD)

    A quick detailer is a spray wax that is designed to slightly clean the car and add some gloss in between washes.  It is in a spray bottle, and often can be used on plastics and metals as well.

     

    Still have questions?   Visit Ask Anything.  or contact us.

     

    Pad Selection

    Pads matter!!  If you are using the wrong pad, you can damage your paint, or it will prevent you from getting the job done properly.  Using a machine for paint correction can be a daunting task, using the correct combination of pads and product is very important.  for more information on product types, please click here.

    Below is an explanation  of our Lake Country Pads.  These choices apply to both the CCS and Flat pads in 4"5.5", and 6.5".

    The other brands may have a different colour scheme, please pay attention to the cut type, or give us a call if you have any questions.  (1-888-392-8766)

     Yellow Lake Country Compounding Pad, Porter Cable, DA Polisher, Orbital Polisher Yellow Cutting Foam - Use this pad to apply compounds to remove severe oxidation, swirls, and scratches. It is the most aggressive and is generally to   be used on oxidized and damaged finishes. Always follow this pad with an orange or white pad and a fine polish to refine the paint until it is smooth. Yellow pads are often used on gel coat or fiberglass, not usually on automotive paint.
    Orange Light Cutting Pad - Firm, high density foam for scratches and small defect removal. Use this pad with compounds and swirl removers. It’s a light cutting pad that will work on most light to moderate imperfections. Orange pads will need to be followed with a polish.
    White Lake Country Polishing Pad, Porter Cable, DA Polisher, Orbital Polisher White Polishing Pad - Softer foam, for the application of polishes, all in one products, and light compounds. This pad has very light cutting power making it  perfect for pre-wax cleaners. This versatile pad is used often used after the Yellow/Orange Pad to remove the haze
    Green Lake Country All IN One Pad, Porter Cable, DA Polisher, Orbital Polisher Green Polishing/All in One Pad - Use this foam to apply one-step cleaner waxes. It is a balance of polishing and finishing that is perfect for all-in-one product application.  An All in One Product refers to a product that both polishes and protects.
    Black Lake Country Waxing Pad, Porter Cable, DA Polisher, Orbital Polisher, the best wax application Black Finishing Foam - This waxing pad has very little polishing properties. It is recommended to use with a carnauba wax.  The black CCS pad is used to  apply thin, even coats of waxes, sealants, and glazes. 
    Blu Lake Country Paint Sealant Pad, Porter Cable, DA Polisher, Orbital Polisher Blue Finessing Pad - The blue paint sealant  pad has soft composition for applying glaze, finishing polish, sealants, and liquid waxes. The Blue foam is extremely soft and used as the final step in paint correction.

     

    For a glossary of frequently used terms when correcting or polishing please read our blog on Car Care Terminology.  

    Read More About Car Care Products.