Best Car Paint Sealants for a Vibrant, Well-Protected Exterior
Keep your paint looking fresh for years to come by using one of the top car paint sealants.
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While wax is a good way to protect your car or truck from scratches and swirls, a car paint sealant is arguably a better option. It lasts longer, and the formula is more durable than wax. It can be used to ward off damage caused by acid rain, UV rays, road grime, and debris. Made of synthetic polymers, car sealants are designed to keep contaminants from harming and sticking to a vehicle's paint and clear coat.
They provide a sort of shield that can tolerate more abrasion than wax products. In addition, the highest-quality paint sealants can be effective for a long time, while waxes need to be reapplied more often (i.e., every one to three months). High-quality waxes produce a higher gloss shine than sealants, so it's a good idea to decide what you want before investing in one of these products. If a sealant is your preferred method of paint protection, we have some excellent options below.
Chemical Guys JetSeal Paint Sealant and Paint Protectant
This car paint sealant is made with a blend of nano-polymers so it can deliver long-lasting protection against all kinds of outdoor and road elements.
- Lasts up to one year
- Can protect against UV rays, rain, bird droppings, and typical dirt
- Enhances paint’s appearance with a bit of gloss
- Doesn’t deliver a deep gloss
- Doesn’t repel rain
Meguiar's Mirror Glaze Synthetic Sealant 2.0
Affordable and easy to use, this value-rich car paint sealant offers great coverage in the face of common outdoor obstacles and keeps paint looking like new.
- Delivers a deeply reflective, glossy finish
- Applies smoothly with little resistance
- Makes paint appear deeper and darker
- Beads but doesn’t repel water
- Only lasts 1-3 months
Wolfgang Concours Series Deep Gloss Paint Sealant 3.0
A glossy, deep finish car paint sealant that looks as good as the protection it offers against dirt, grime, pollution, and water.
- Protects in addition to making paint of all colors pop
- Adds depth as well as gloss
- Anti-static polymer formula repels water, dirt, and oil
- Included microfiber towel tends to leave behind dust and debris
- Only lasts a month
In order to pick the best car paint sealants out of the many available products, we took a look at the different sealants available from brands both well-known and new. We considered and compared their ingredients and formulation, looking for both pure sealants and more versatile all-in-one sealants. Factors such as the application method, the finish once applied, and the durability or longevity of each sealant played a role in our decision-making process. We also took users’ real-life experiences working with these sealants, in the form of users’ reviews, into account to assess how long they could last in real-world use cases and if any problems might arise.
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Best Car Paint Sealant Reviews & Recommendations
- Size: 16 ounces
- Lasts For: Up to 12 months
- Formula: Nano-polymer blend
- Offers all-around protection against the elements as well as water spots, dirt, and different kinds of debris
- Includes anti-corrosion protection
- Enhances paint finish for increased vibrancy
- Bonds with vehicle exterior, including paint, plastics, and polished metals
- Doesn’t deliver a deep gloss finish
- Doesn’t repel rain, and rain can shorten its durability
When it comes to a durable, highly protective car paint sealant, the Chemical Guys JetSeal Paint Sealant and Paint Protectant delivers all-around results that are tough to top. Applying this product to your car’s exterior can provide protection from all of the harshest environmental elements, from sunlight to pollution to road grime. Made with a blend of synthetic wax and nano-polymers, this sealant lasts up to a full year and helps limit damage caused by weather, the road, and more. You can easily apply it by hand or with a dual-action polishing machine, and it applies a nice shine once it’s layered over your clean paint. As an added bonus, you can even use this sealant without worry on clear plastics, polished metals, and other auto surfaces.
However, if you’re looking for an extra-glossy finish, this sealant doesn’t deliver a deep gloss. For added depth, you’ll want to look elsewhere. Additionally, you may not see the full potential of its protection if you live in a rainy region; rain can shorten the lifespan of each application.
- Size: 16 ounces
- Lasts For: 1 to 3 months
- Formula: Synthetic polymer blend
- Deeper, more reflective finish
- Multidimensional appearance
- Can eliminate fine scratches and swirls
- Wipes on easily
- Beads water
- Not long-lasting formula
If you’re looking for a car paint sealant that won’t break the bank and yet still delivers top-tier results, you’ll want to try a bottle of Meguiar’s Mirror Glaze Synthetic Sealant 2.0. Formulated with synthetic polymers and hydrophobic technology, this liquid sealant is meant to offer advanced paint care and all-around protection. And with a smooth, glide-on application method, it’s easy to wipe right onto your vehicle. This sealant is especially great for those looking for a lot of bang for their buck. The product delivers a noticeably deeper, darker, and more reflective finish to make paint look more exquisite at a low price. It can also improve the paint’s appearance by visually hiding fine scratches and swirls.
When it comes to its hydrophobic claims, however, this car paint sealant doesn’t fully live up to its promise. It’ll cause water to bead on your car’s surfaces, but it doesn’t actually repel water. Additionally, it isn’t the most long lasting. It’ll need to be reapplied anywhere from every one to three months.
- Size: 16 ounces
- Lasts For: About 1 month
- Formula: Polymer and water based
- Zero-dusting formula
- Deep glossy finish
- A little goes a long way for protection
- Towel prone to leaving behind fibers
- Not long-lasting
If gloss is your goal—along with paint protection—then Wolfgang Concours Series Deep Gloss Paint Sealant 3.0 is a formula that can suit your needs. Blended with polymers and water to create a deeply glossy final result, this car paint sealant both protects and beautifies your vehicle’s exterior. Clear coat safe and stain-free for moldings, this non-abrasive sealant can deliver a new-car finish while offering solid protection. Its zero-dusting formula is meant to withstand the outdoor elements, from UV rays to pollution to salt and water to dirt. Plus, the special polymer blend of this formula helps eliminate static and repel common problems such as road grime, oil, dust, and water.
The biggest potential drawback of this car paint sealant is actually the included microfiber towel. You’ll want to skip it when applying the sealant, as the towel tends to leave behind fibers and dust; it even creates some static. To get a truly flawless finish, use a different towel or applicator.
- Size: 1 liter
- Lasts For: 2 to 3 months
- Formula: Silica-based
- For UV protection
- Safe for use on trim
- Sheds water effortlessly
- Delivers a high level of gloss
- Application has learning curve
If you live in an area that sees a lot of sunlight, you’re going to want to go with Carpro Reload Spray Sealant as your car paint sealant. This product isn’t just formulated for your basic paint protection; it was first created to offer UV protection and limit the damaging impact of the sun on your car’s exterior. As a result, it’s excellent for sunny regions and a great all-around sealant. Safe for all surfaces including rubber and plastic, this silica-based formula is able to impart a layer of water-repelling protection. Water slides right off your exterior, and it even repels dirt and dust just as well. All that’s left behind is a nice, vibrant shine.
It can take some time to master the learning curve of applying this car paint sealant. It’s recommended that you apply using two towels: Use one towel for application, and the second to remove spots and gently buff to a glossier finish. Using just one towel may not result in such an optimal final result.
Best Spray-On SealantTurtle Wax Ice Seal N Shine Hybrid Sealant Spray WaxCheck Latest Price
- Size: 16 ounces
- Lasts For: 1 to 2 months
- Formula: Synthetic sealant blend infused with carnauba wax
- Easy applicator
- Helps water bead
- Can reduce drying time
- Wax not necessary
- Not long lasting
- Not much shine or gloss
If you want a no-fuss application process that can seal your paint without a lot of effort, Turtle Wax Ice Seal N Shine Hybrid Sealant Spray Wax is a winner. It’s designed to go on quickly, letting you add in an extra layer of protection for your car’s exterior without specialized care or detailing. With an easy-to-use spray nozzle and a synthetic blend of sealants plus carnauba wax, it’s an all-in-one solution that keeps dirt and water at bay. It creates a super hydrophobic surface, which allows water to bead up and slide right off your car. It can even reduce the amount of drying time needed when you wash your vehicle, and it’ll keep paint looking shiny.
This car paint sealant doesn’t last very long and only provides about a month to two months of durability. It also doesn’t create deep gloss or shine; you’ll see some thanks to the included wax, but it won’t really deliver a showroom finish.
- Size: 16 ounces
- Lasts For: 4 to 6 months
- Formula: Wax-based blend
- Easy application
- Long lasting
- Safe for all paint colors
- Bottle hard to squeeze
If it’s gloss and shine you’re going for, you’re going to want to consider 3D Poxy Montan High-Gloss Car Sealant. This is perhaps the glossiest, shiniest product you can apply and still achieve a solid level of traditional sealant protection. Users love the beautiful shine it creates without requiring an additional wax application. It’s made with montan wax, which delivers both a buttery, silky soft feel and showroom-level shine on all paint colors. Thanks to the inclusion of the wax, this car paint sealant also offers higher heat resistance so it can better withstand sunlight and overall protection against everything from dirt to debris to rain. As an added bonus, this sealant is made in the United States.
While application of this paint sealant is easy, the bottle itself can be a little difficult to squeeze and get product out of. Otherwise, it’s an all-around straightforward product that goes on with little difficulty.
- Size: 16 ounces
- Lasts For: Up to 12 months
- Formula: Synthetic sealant blend
- Easy application
- Vivid, deep color
- Revitalize faded paint
- Lasts a few months
When it comes to paint that’s already seen quite a few years of dirt, sunlight, and harsh weather outdoors, Griot’s Garage One-Step Sealant can help revitalize the color and shine while adding a protective fresh layer of sealant. Featuring a blend of synthetic polymers, this car paint sealant can polish and protect in one application. It’s nicely durable, delivering up to one full year of paint protection that keeps dirt, debris, and oxidation or fading at bay. With this product, you can restore vividness and your original paint color. And thanks to the polish included in the mix, this sealant also creates depth and a nice shine in every application.
Just keep in mind that this car paint sealant may not last a full year. You may find that the water beading capability begins to fade after a few months. In that case, you’ll want to reapply a few times a year.
When it comes to a sealant that’ll protect your paint, offer good longevity, and makes for easy application, it’s hard to beat all of the benefits rolled into a bottle of Chemical Guys JetSeal Paint Sealant and Paint Protectant. However, if you’re also looking for an affordable price and great results for all-around value, Meguiar's Mirror Glaze Synthetic Sealant 2.0 can deliver too.
What to Consider When Buying Car Paint Sealant
Sealants may seem simple, but small differences between products can make for a noticeable difference when they’re applied. Here are our best tips for picking out a quality paint sealant.
Types of Car Paint Sealant
A pure car paint sealant is formulated to do one job: seal your exterior paint. These products are simple and straightforward, and they can be made with polymer or acrylic in their formulas. Acrylic tends to offer the best level of durability, while polymer-based sealants can include other ingredients (such as wax) that deliver more gloss and shine. When you apply a pure sealant, you’ll solely get sealed and protected paint.
Cleaning or All-in-One Sealants
Cleaning sealants, which are also called all-in-one sealants, offer more than a pure sealant. These are multipurpose products, and they typically include cleaning agents, such as solvents and abrasives, that work to both clean your paint and keep it protected. An all-in-one sealant can essentially prep your exterior for you, cleaning and removing mild oxidation (and even very fine scratches, in some products’ cases) as they’re applied. However, they don’t offer the same longevity as pure sealants.
Car Paint Sealant Key Features
Color Specific or Universal Finish
Not all sealants are made for every paint color. While you can definitely find a universal formula that’ll work regardless of your exterior color, you’ll also find that different products are often tailored to specific colors. Black cars in particular may need a color-specific sealant finish, as it may be tricky to match the right level of glossiness and shine. Depending on your paint color, you may want to opt for a color-specific product to achieve more vibrancy. You can choose one that’s universal for any color if you just want protection above all else.
Versatile Paint Protection
Sure, sealant is supposed to seal your paint and make it more durable. But some sealants offer more protection than others, and you’ll want to choose one that targets your biggest concerns. While your basic sealant typically repels debris, dust, and dirt, a more advanced sealant can offer heavier-duty protection against rain and UV rays. There are even premium products that may remove swirls and small surface scratches. Look for one that offers a blend of protection benefits and can be versatile enough for the climate you live in. For example, you’ll want dirt and sunlight protection if you live somewhere warm and dry.
While sealant is first and foremost designed to protect your paint, a good sealant can actually improve the appearance of your exterior too. Each sealant can offer some level of visual enhancement because they tend to have a flatter appearance than a clear coat alone, which is rougher. When you apply sealant, it’ll typically look slicker and glossier, almost like you’ve applied a coat of wax. It’s a great idea to pick a sealant that has a finish that’ll visually enhance your car’s exterior. You can look for extra gloss, a sheen, or even dual-use products that include extra ingredients to help achieve a glossier finish.
Car Paint Sealant Pricing
On average, you’ll spend between $30 and $40 for a bottle of car paint sealant. If you’re looking for a larger bottle with more sealant included or a specialized product (such as one with a spray nozzle applicator), then you’ll spend a bit more. The prices of these sealants can run from $40 to $70.
You’ve got questions. The Drive has answers.
Q: How long do car paint sealants last?
A: Your sealant typically lasts a few months, and the maximum lifespan is six months. Check the specs on the sealant you’re buying, as the label should tell you the expected lifespan and how frequently you’ll need to reapply.
Q: Should I apply wax before or after sealant?
A: You’ll want to apply your car paint sealant first, let it cure fully, and then apply a coat of wax. If you’re unsure, you can always double-check the instructions on your sealant to verify.
Q: Do I apply paint and polish before or after sealant?
A: If you’re doing any kind of paint touch-ups or correction, make sure to apply your paint before you add any sealant. Sealant is meant to adhere to paint, so you can follow up with polish (or wax) after you’ve applied paint, then sealant.
Q. How much do car paint sealants cost?
A: It can cost several hundred dollars to have paint sealant applied on your vehicle at the dealership. To save a few bucks, you can do it yourself. You can purchase some products for less than $15; however, they may not last as long as some higher-end products and need to be reapplied regularly. Many paint sealants are available between $20 and $40, and pricier options typically do a better job of repelling water and protecting surfaces from damaging UV rays.