Two types of finishes exist exterior coating and interior coating. Exterior coatings are designed to protect and preserve the surface of cast or molded pieces. Usually, these finishes contain some sort of sealer (such as epoxy) to provide a barrier between the exterior coating and the surrounding elements. Interior coatings are designed for the interior of the object and to act as a cushioning layer against scratches, bumps, or wear. The two basic types of finishes include oil-based and water-based.
An oil-based ceramic coating of wax debate exists because the two finishes contain the same ingredients, albeit in different proportions. In oil-based finishes, the wax is applied with a wick and allowed to dry; it is then extracted with a solvent. A water-based finish uses a different formulation but requires no solvent. Here’s how each type of finish compares when applied to similar materials:
When comparing car wax to ceramic, the winner is clear. Wax adds shine and protection without the added effort or expense of adding a water-based product. However, the car wax option can be limited by the presence of contaminants, such as minerals. Car waxes also tend to leave a thin film of gum at the interfaces. The combination of these two unfavorable aspects can make it difficult to apply a wax-coated finish.
On the other hand, water-based products are easy to use, do not contain contaminants, and offer exceptional sheen and protection. Water-based products are the clear winner when comparing ceramic coating vs wax. In addition, they offer more flexibility and durability. However, they may not be suited for all applications. Some car waxes contain oils that react negatively with some plastics and other materials. If you must use a water-based product, you should check the label for this information.
An acrylic is a great option if you want to coat your ceramic material with a protective wax coating. It is highly resistant to oil, grease, and other contaminants, and acrylic is especially attractive because it is so highly resistant to ultraviolet light. However, this type of coating will scratch easily if used in an abrasive environment. This is not a problem when using acrylics to protect wooden structures, however.
Paint can be a good choice for protecting the metal parts of your vehicle. It is highly resistant to most acids, but not to sunlight, which causes the acrylic to degrade quickly. This is not a problem when using acrylics to coat your metal car’s bodywork, but it can be a problem when applying paint to your windows. Acrylic is also a very poor choice for painting the interior of a vehicle.
A car wax alternative to paint is pasting wax. Paste wax does not need painting and protects against scratches, but it does not offer a high level of protection against other contaminants. Paste wax can be applied to most paintwork surfaces, although it is advisable not to use it on metalwork or glass surfaces because the wax may melt the paintwork if it is not allowed to fully dry. Applying wax will leave a sticky, thick layer on the surface, which is ideal for protecting your car, but it is best to apply wax with a specialist tool before applying paint.
If you are concerned about the health risks associated with paints and bodywork, then paste wax is a far better option. It is highly resistant to acid, grease, and other contaminants, and is easy to apply with a pad or brush. In fact, the greatest advantage of paste wax is that it is far easier to use than any other form of car care product, and there are no risks associated with using it on exposed areas of your car.