LAST UPDATED: November 5, 2019
Best Car Paint Protection: Prevent Chips and Rust
Clean and protect your vehicle’s paint job with these long-lasting car paint protectors
The Review Team
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PUBLISHED ON November 5, 2019
Taking care of your car is necessary to make sure it works day in and day out. From topping it off with fuel, changing the oil, and protecting the paint, you need to maintain it properly. If you park in the sun or elements for hours at a time, the paint can be damaged and chip away over time. To alleviate this problem, you may want to consider a strong car paint protection system. We put together a list of some of the best.
This automotive paint features UV protectants and hydrophobic properties to protect your vehicle’s surface from harsh weather conditions. It provides a durable high gloss finish that makes your ride look like a new car.
The superior enhanced formula provides a unique anti-corrosion synthetic sealant that gives your car a long-lasting, mirror-like wet finish. It works quickly and is easy to use. It lasts through rain and wind and smells pretty good as well.
The bottle is small, and you may need multiple to get the job done. Also, the spray bottle feels flimsy.
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Benefits of Car Protection Paint
- Protect your car’s original paint. The primary aim of applying a protective skin of paint on your vehicle is to protect its original paintwork from superficial damage. Common destructive elements include acidic tree saps, bird droppings, UV rays, and road tar.
- Boost car’s resale value. When it comes time to upgrade, your car’s exterior appearance will hugely impact the buyer’s perception. Applying a protective layer of paint minimizes the chances of the original color fading. It’s also easy to fix scratches on the protective paint.
- Lower maintenance cost. Once you have applied a film of car paint, you’ll eliminate the need to wax your car on a regular basis. This can save you a significant amount of cash that you can use to upgrade the car.
- Easy to clean. The protective film repels dust and minimizes the buildup of grime on the car’s surface. This makes it easier to wash.
Types of Car Protection Paint
Sealants are synthetic polymers composed of multi-linked molecules that act by binding on your car’s original paint. Sealants provide a high level of gloss, are durable, and easy to scrape off if needed. You can either use specialty machines or your hands to apply the sealants on your vehicle.
Glass coating, unlike paint sealant, has silicon dioxide as the base component. The silicone compound repels off contaminants and gives your vehicle a sleek, wet appearance. The two main variations of glass coating are silica and quartz silane. Basically, glass coating acts by forming a hard, semi-permanent layer that shields the underlying paintwork from scratches, oxidation, and contaminants.
Ceramic coating is an auto detailing product composed of titanium dioxide and silica. Once applied on the surface, the two compounds form a durable nano-ceramic shield that prevents damage to the car’s original paint. Owing to its hydrophobic properties, ceramic coating forces grime, insect acids, snow, bird droppings, and other destructive elements to slide off the surface. It also takes less time to clean a vehicle that has been ceramic-coated.
Clear Paint Protective Layer
This is a plastic film manufactured from thermoplastic urethane. It protects the car’s paint from rock chips, mineral deposits, acid rain, and small scratches. However, it is only used on parts that are susceptible to the damages highlighted above.
Chemical Guys specialize in manufacturing high-quality car care products. The California-based factory was established in 1958. Chemical Guys currently has a presence in more than 50 countries worldwide. The company manufactures sealants, snow foams, pre-wax cleaners, and wax. Some of its leading paint sealant products include the Jetseal Durable Sealant and the HydroCharge Coating Nano Ceramic Spray.
Wolfgang is a premier car care product manufacturer located in Stuart, Florida. The company leverages modern technology to manufacture super polymers with anti-static properties. Wolfgang’s sealant paints are designed to polish and protect the surface. A popular Wolfgang car care product is the Deep Gloss Spritz Sealant.
Adam’s Polishes is an international car care product manufacturer located in Louisville, Colorado. The company is renowned for producing quality car paint sealants, waxes, and polishing kits among others. Adam’s polishes are famed for their lustrous, dark and long-lasting shine they give a vehicle. Some of the popular paints from this company include Adam's Infused Tire Shine and Adam's UV Tracer Ceramic Paint Coating.
Car Protection Paint Pricing
- Under $50:The cost of car protection paint is partly determined by the surface area of the vehicle to be detailed. If you decide to DIY, you can spend about $20 or you can visit an auto detailer shop and spend around $40. Ceramic car paints often cost under $50 and are used to restore areas like the front windows and the front windshield visor. Other processes that fall under this budget range include masking scuffs, dents, headlight restoration, and scratches that only occur on specific places on your vehicle.
- Between $50-$100: Expect to spend in this price range for custom paint jobs on your vehicle. Common areas ideal for this kind of spending include the fender around the hood and mirrors. Common paints under this budget range include fiberglass paints, high gloss clearcoats, and chip guard.
- Over $100: Car paints that cost over $100 are ideal for whole body car painting. Applying a ceramic coat on the whole body can cost you around $920. The budget caters for all prep work on the vehicle and required kits. The cost of applying a full body paint protection film would set you back at least $400.
Different protective car paints will give your vehicle a specific appearance on application. Some will leave a deep gloss shine, others a mirror glaze, and some will leave a deep luster. It helps to think over the pop a given protection paint leaves on your car. A rule of thumb is to choose a protective paint that complements your car’s original paint.
Another consideration before ordering a specific protective car paint is its longevity. A good paint should last a few months before needing a retouch. The longer the lifespan, the more protected your vehicle will be.
Ease of Application
The mode of application and the time a protective paint takes to set in should also be considered. If a given paint takes too long, it may slow or even discourage you from using it. Auto detailing shops may also charge more, considering the time that the project takes.
Ease of Removing the Protective Paint
A good car protective paint shouldn’t only shield the underlying paintwork, but should also be easy to remove when need be. It shouldn’t leave visible marks on the surface upon removal. Beyond this, good protective paint shouldn’t prevent a vehicle owner from using a different brand of protective paint.
- Climate. Some paints are affected by relatively high temperatures. Some paints become sticky on touch when temperatures rise. Ensure you purchase the paint that suits the climate of your location.
- Price. Protective paint for vehicles can cost up to a few hundred dollars, depending on the company, application, and other factors. It’s paramount to choose a paint that’s within your budget range to ensure proper application.
Best Car Protective Paint Reviews & Recommendations 2020
This paint offers car owners a high-quality surface finish that conceals swirl marks, scratches, and minute dents. It’s formulated using science polymers resulting in a fine mix of the hydrophobic paint and wax to give your car a deep, glass-like shine.
The biggest merit of choosing this Chemical Guys product is that it takes less than 15 minutes to set in. This makes it ideal for a quick makeover. It is also easy to apply and wipe off the surface. Additionally, it is anti-corrosive and protects your car’s paint from UV damage. It gives your car a durable and shiny mirror-like look.
One disadvantage of this paint is that it doesn’t work well on parts made of plastic. This means you’ll need to buy a different brand to complete your vehicle’s makeover.
Meguiar’s is known far and wide for its car care products. The company has been manufacturing products for cars since 1901. This polymer sealant attests to the company’s expertise. Auto shops usually charge as much as $300 for a poly sealant. Meguiar’s decided to offer the same sealant the pros use at a fraction of the cost.
The company has designed this polymer sealant to outlast other waxes with its brilliant high-gloss finish. It’s very easy to use and anyone can achieve stunning results without a lot of effort. You can apply it with your hand, a rotary buffer, or a dual action polisher. When applying the sealant, ensure your car is cool and away from direct sunlight. After it dries, buff it to a shine with an orbital polish.
Meguiar’s M20 Mirror-Glaze Polymer Sealant features a gentle cleanser that eliminates contaminants and dirt as it polishes and protects. However, it is quite soft and scuffs easily. It may also leave streaks on car paint.
Shine Armor makes high-end car detailing products that are affordable. If you’ve tried other products on your car but have never been satisfied, your search may just stop here. The hydrophobic spray offers a waterless wash, coat, and shine. It is engineered to provide top performance and does not scratch or leave unsightly streaks and smears on your vehicle’s surface.
The polymer paint sealant is gentle yet effective and eliminates grease and dirt for a luminous finish. Because it comes in a spray can, you can easily treat your entire car in less than 15 minutes. The sealant is safe for all surfaces and can be used on paint, plastic, chrome, and even glass. It gives your car a shield of protection. This car paint protection is 20 times stronger than other poly sealants. It also lasts longer.
However, it is worth noting that it doesn’t leave a glossy finish like most polymer sealants. The spray bottle is also very small in size.
This spray wax from 303 Products contains carnauba wax and can provide you with up to 90 days of protection. It’s quick and easy to use. Your car will have a protective, slick, and glossy shine; it’ll gently remove any water spots; and it gives your paint a protective layer from the sun’s UV rays. It comes in a 16-ounce trigger spray bottle.
You can use this wax protectant on both wet and dry surfaces. It’s also safe for use on clear coats, painted metal, fiberglass, stainless steel, aluminum, plastic, and any other non-porous surface. The high-quality ingredients give it longevity. It’s also easy to apply with a simple wipe-on/wipe-off process.
Unfortunately, this wax feels watered down and doesn’t glide as smoothly as other waxes on the market. You may also find that it doesn’t maintain its full protective qualities for the full 90 days. The bottle isn’t the highest quality, and the trigger can break during use.
This paint sealant will protect your car’s paint with a premium protective shield. It provides long-lasting protection and gives your paint a mirror-like shine. Your paint is protected from grease, grime, road salt, acid rain, bird poop, and the sun’s damaging UV rays. Apply this protectant by hand or with an orbital polisher.
You’ll love how little product you need and how easy it is to apply. The innovative breakthrough surface technology provides superior protection. A unique blend of polymers chemically bond to your paint and can last for up to 12 months.
However, you may struggle with blotchy and streaky results. It can also leave a dusty layer on your car. The product is watered down and runny, which can make working with it very challenging.
This is a hybrid detailing spray that bonds with your car’s paint to give your paint more optical clarity and protection. It keeps the surface free from road grime, dust, debris, and even fingerprints. It uses nano technology to protect your paint and comes in a 16-ounce spray bottle or a one-gallon jug.
You’ll appreciate the advanced polymer formulation of the Hybrid V7. It provides long-lasting protection from harmful UV rays with its transparent high-gloss shine. It’s safe for use on glass, paint, and almost any exterior surface on your car.
One downside is that it may leave a noticeable film on darker paints. It can also look streaky, and it can be frustrating to remove because the streaks disappear when it gets wet. This may also happen if you apply the product in the sun or on a hot vehicle. You may also find that this protectant doesn’t last as long as others on this list.
This paint guard is a water-based formula that protects your paint, glass, and chrome. It prevents water spotting, acid rain damage, road salt, and insects. The protection lasts for up to 12 months. The bottle is 12 ounces and is enough product to coat your full-sized vehicle up to 50 times. There’s also a four-ounce option that’s enough product to coat a full-sized vehicle up to 20 times. The formula is hyper-concentrated to provide the most protection.
You’ll love how easy this protectant is to apply. It takes just 10 minutes to achieve a radiant and slick shine. There’s no buffing required.
Unfortunately, this product may not last as long as it claims. Expect to get a few weeks worth of protection out of it. It can also leave a noticeable residue on your car’s surface. Even more frustrating, the residue is challenging to remove.
This poxy paint sealant creates a high gloss on your car’s paint. It comes in three sizes: 8, 16, and 32 ounces. It gives your paint a wet look, and you can apply this protectant either by hand or with an orbital polisher. Use a circular motion and either a soft cloth or soft foam polisher.
What makes this product unique is that it's crafted from mined fossilized montan wax. It also has carnauba wax that has a higher temperature resistance. This makes it the ideal polish and protectant for hot climates. You’ll also find it really easy to work with and apply.
One issue is that the product tends to separate, and no amount of mixing or shaking will fix it. This renders the product unusable. If you do have a usable bottle, you may find that its sealant qualities aren’t long-lasting. It’ll last about three to four weeks.
This paint protectant is unlike the others on this list; it’s an actual film that you apply to your car’s surface. It’s made of a clear polyurethane and becomes virtually invisible once it’s on your car. It will protect your car’s paint to help it look newer for a longer period of time. The film comes with step-by-step directions for installation. You can apply this film to your car’s paint or the headlights without the risk of damage to either.
What’s nice about this film is that it’s very thin at eight mils thick. It’s also a nice, large sheet at 12 inches wide and 96 inches long. This lets you cut it to the shape and size you need for a custom fit. It also lasts significantly longer than the liquid wax-like protectants on this list.
Unfortunately, this film only works well on straight applications. As soon as it needs to curve or wrap around the shape of your car, it begins to fail. You’ll also find it almost impossible to apply without getting bubbles under the film.
This protective film comes in a long roll that is four inches wide and 17 feet long. It comes in either a gloss white or a textured black. You affix it to your bed rails on your truck to protect them from scratches or chips while you’re loading and unloading your bed. This film is rugged and durable despite being only 13 mils thick.
This film is easy to install, which makes it a doable DIY project. What’s nice is that a single roll is enough to do both of your bed rails. If you already have damage, this film will cover it up and bring new life to your bed rails.
However, the adhesive isn’t as durable as the film itself. In hotter climates or when left in direct sun, the adhesive softens and causes the film to peel up. It does something similar in cold climates. If the temperature drops too much, the adhesive will freeze up, and this lets the film peel up. This film is also not designed to work on curved surfaces.
- Invest in a microfiber towel to wipe the spray onto your paint for better performance. You can also use a soft cloth or T-shirt, but make sure the fabric doesn’t scratch the paint.
- If you have multiple vehicles or motorcycles, consider stocking up on several bottles to protect them all. Some types of paint protectors also require several coats.
- Avoid applying the paint protector when it’s hot if you want to get a nice even coat on the vehicle. Also, avoid applying the solution to a car that is hot or warm. Bring the vehicle into the shade or wait until either the sun has set or clean it earlier in the day before it gets too warm.
Q: How long will a paint protector last?
A: This is a difficult question to answer because each product is designed differently. The majority of paint protectors will keep the paint shiny and glossy for perhaps a week. They will also not last through several downpours or snowstorms. Check with the manufacturer to find out.
Q: How much paint protector should I use?
A: The bottle should come with a chart or guide to show you exactly how much you need to use. if you find that the amount is not enough to wax or protect an area effectively, you may want to use more.
Q: What is the best way to apply the paint protector?
A: Typically, each one will come with a multi-step process. Start by rinsing off the surface with a hose. Then apply the cleaner to the paint and other parts of your vehicle. Lastly, wash it away with a microfiber cloth and let it dry.
For a high-quality paint protector that will make your car look brand-new, consider the Chemical Guys JetSeal Paint Sealant & Paint Protectant.
Save some cash and check out the Meguiar's M20 Mirror-Glaze Polymer Sealant for an inexpensive, but effective, high-gloss paint protector.