Paint Protection Package

What is the difference between Wax and Paint Sealant

Most people don’t understand the difference between wax and paint sealant. More specifically, When do you use a wax and when do you use a paint sealant? Do you use both products together? And, is one better then the other?

Here's is Mel Craig’s (world renowned mobile pro detailer), version on what the differences are!

Car Wax
Car wax as something that contains Carnauba, which is a natural wax, found in nature and comes from a palm leaf. Carnauba wax is the most commonly used wax that manufactures are designing for use in vehicle paint protection. Carnauba wax can be purchased in both liquid and in a paste.

Paint Sealants
Paint Sealant is man made from synthetic polymers and resins with no naturally wax ingredients added or other and other natural Products. Paint sealants are not from nature.

Both of the products looks and feel much the same. And for the most part, they are applied the same way.

There is a lot more to both of these products. There are many types of blended carnauba waxes out on the market making some of them very good and will perform much like a straight paint sealant. This topic could use a lot more detailed explanation. But, in the essence of time, we wanted to be sure you could at least separate the two for your own benefit.


Some people (including mobile professional detailers), think you need to use both usually as a practice know as topping by first applying a paint sealant and then follow up using a carnauba wax for added protection and more shine and depth. In most cases this is not necessary and mostly a waste of time and product.


A good paint sealant will bond much nicer to a painted finish resulting in longer protection. Carnauba really has no bonding capabilities so it will never outlast a good paint sealant.
However, don’t misunderstand the performance of a good wax! Wax is a great product but you just have to know it needs to be reapplied more often.

Wax removes wax. Paint Sealant removes wax. Wax “will not” remove a paint sealant.

The only time we blend the two together is when we use a paint sealant as our primary protection and then return a month later and we can top off the paint sealant with a carnauba wax to help enhance the paint sealants protection. This will help the paint sealant last much longer.

The difference between a wax and a paint sealant is simple, Paint Sealants will out last and out perform most straight carnauba wax products. The best way to get a nice Carnauba to perform at optimum levels is to re-apply the wax on a consistent basis.

For best results its best to apply waxes and paint sealants to a clean surface and never apply over dirt or debris.

Here are some recommended basic steps to follow:

  1. Wash the painted surface
  2. Use detailers clay to get a smooth painted surface
  3. Do a light polish to add the shine
  4. Add either a high grade carnauba wax or a paint sealant for you protection choice.


Good luck with all your car care endeavors.