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OT- Wax On, Wax Off

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  • OT- Wax On, Wax Off

    I was flipping through my classic car magazine last night, and came across a "tip" from the editors that I have never heard of.

    The old circular motion method of "wax on, wax off" is not correct. It says to always use a straight line or crosshatch motion. This will help eliminate the dreaded swirl marks in the finish should a little piece of dirt invade the wiping area during either task.

    I've been polishing my classic car wrong all these years. Who knew?

  • #2
    Corn starch

    From restoration people at ---- 'Dust on powdered corn starch and wipe down with soft cloth.'



    • #3
      Depends what kind of "surface finish" you want -- that kind of "halo" effect from circular motions or the "wood grain" effect from straight rubbing...

      circular is more uniform


      • #4
        Depends on how clean your cloths are and how fine the wax polish is .

        also clean your car is before you wax .

        you only need one grain a grit put many marks all over the car .

        all the best.markj


        • #5
          Find that difficult to believe...if it was the case, would not all power buffers/polishers be straight line or random action? Almost all I have seen are circular motion...and its not like straight line action does not exist for other purposes within the autobody trade.


          • #6
            Personally I dislike the power polishers and the swirls created from their use.
            Mostly this is due to to buddy doing his entire car with one pad, outside, with all of the dust that is almost everywhere to some degree. I think everyone has seen the results when someone picks up one of the $39 Walmart polishing systems and has her all done an hour after it's out of the box
            Clean a spot on a black painted surface and leave it outside for half an hour and you'll get the idea. Combine this with what is usually not a properly cleaned car in the first place and you have a recipe for lots of abrasion or scratching.

            While I subscribe to the in line technique vs. the circular one, the biggest factor I find for the reduction of scratches is to use clean applicators and soft clean towels.
            If you wait until these tools look dirty, well it's already too late the damage has already been done and all you can hope for is damage control.

            Some more reading for those interested in applying car waxes.


            Apply your wax in a back-and-forth motion, not in circles. If you are creating swirls, you need to replace your applicator or towels.
            Home, down in the valley behind the Red Angus
            Bad Decisions Make Good Stories​

            Location: British Columbia


            • #7
              In Southern Nevada, (which is known to have a bit of airborne dust) we always waxed and buffed under a stream of running water for that very reason.



              • #8
                Proper application of automotive waxes and sealants is very complex if done properly. From what you wash with how you dry.... The use of clay blocks. Washing between cutting steps. Getting the paint super clean and degreased before using cutting compounds with the buffer is critical. A person needs to use different buffing pads for each grit and properly clean / blow off (away from the car) the buffer as you move to finer grits. Once the cutting process is done, moving to wax or sealant application is where your direction is really critical. I apply and buff wax by hand using linear actions. It is much more obvious on dark colored vehicles... I don't apply or buff wax with power equipment.


                • #9
                  Originally posted by motorcyclemac
                  I apply and buff wax by hand using linear actions.

                  I have to agree with everything u said but I question the linear thing,

                  circular motions have their advantages - unlike linear they are uninterrupted...

                  linear motions leave check marks - not only that - if your not perfectly clean with everything (which is the case most of the time) they will consistently bring up abrasive particulates that would otherwise work their way down into the mat and stay there with circular...

                  they may indeed leave a halo -- but better than a "grain" esp. if viewed from certain directions - while circular remains the same,

                  circular also has a better cleaning action and will dislodge particles stuck to the paint and is better for oxidation removal as it cleans from all sides....


                  • #10
                    It's been a long time since I bothered to wax a car, but when I did, I always did the final stage linear rather than circular, partly because I did it manually. I got some pretty damn nice finishes, but one thing I never did was combine polishing and waxing. If the car needed polishing I polished it first, then waxed it after with non-abrasive wax. That may make a difference in how the buffing marks look in the end, because ideally, or so I thought, there should be little or no sign of buffing at all when you're done.


                    • #11
                      Back in the 60's,when I had no better way to polish lacquer guitar finishes,I learned to go over a finished guitar with a clean wool buff loaded with cornstarch. It was MESSY!!! But,it did wipe the haze right off and leave a very deep,mirror shine that I couldn't get with the white automotive compound I was using at the time.