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Thread: Sealant Curing Time: Myth or Fact?

          
  1. #1
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    Sealant Curing Time: Myth or Fact?

    It seems to be a debated topic so I wanted to see if anyone could add some
    insight on this topic. I have read several times that after applying a
    non-abrasive sealant, you have to wait 24-48 hours before topping it with a wax.
    Is this a myth or a fact?

    I am looking to put a coat of Klasse SG or Meguiar's equivalent on after I polish, to be followed up
    with something like High-Tech Yellow Wax (M26). If I am doing someone else's
    car, I dont have the luxury of holding the car for a day. I understand that M26
    will give some sealant-like protection, but I am looking for a little longer
    span of protection and the benefits of the caranuba as well. Thanks!

  2. #2
    Michael The Guz's Avatar
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    Re: Sealant Curing Time: Myth or Fact?

    This is a general guideline for allowing the polymers in the product to cross link and form a bond to the paint. 12 hours would also be acceptable. Hopefully Mr. Stoops can chime in as well. I paraphrased it.

    Ultimate wax is the longest lasting wax currently offered by Meguiar's. It is synthetic meaning it's a sealant. NXT and M21 are also sealants and would be right behind UW. M26 is almost a hybrid but it is still carnuaba based. UW/NXT/M21 will outlast it.

    I have used KSG and it's gives a candy coated look. But it does last and is very durable. In my opinion, UW gives a better look than KSG. I have experienced very good durability with UW. It will be close to a carnauba look that you are looking for. M21 is also nice. KSG is also finicky in it's application and removal. Thus me going back to Meguiar's.

    I am not a detailer but if you are doing someone's car, I would not worry about topping UW/NXT/M21 or KSG with anything else. 1 coat is sufficient. In the detailing world time is money. Give the client what they want based on their budget.

  3. #3
    Global Product & Training Spec Michael Stoops's Avatar
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    Re: Sealant Curing Time: Myth or Fact?

    This is actually less of a "myth v fact" situation than it is a "what can you actually get away with" situation.

    It is absolute fact that a cross linking polymer sealant needs some period of time for the solvents (ie, carrier ingredients) to full flash off and the polymers to fully cross link and "cure". That's usually 12 to 24 hours depending on ambient temp and humidity. Prior to that time, if you apply another wax on top you may be slightly compromising the initial application of the synthetic product, but is it enough to prevent a full bond/cure? That is highly doubtful, but it all depends on how aggressively you apply that carnauba, how aggressively you wipe it off, and just how the solvents in the carnauba wax play with the polymers that are trying to cure and bond. But there's simply no way for you know that last part with any real degree of certainty. We don't test for that sort of thing since the vast majority of people don't apply a wax over a sealant. And even if they did, there's no way to test every single wax on top of every single synthetic.

    But in all honesty, all of the above is really over thinking the process. What level of added protection do you expect to gain from applying a carnauba over a synthetic in the first place? Most carnauba waxes are not really all that durable in the first place, while those cross linking polymers are. And if the polymers haven't fully cured before applying the carnauba anyway, are you really gaining anything or are you potentially losing something? You're absolutely correct that when doing a car for someone else you don't have that luxury of waiting 12 hours of so between the two products. That being the case, it's probably best to apply the synthetic and call it done.

    Basically there are two perspectives on this:

    1) if you're a hard core detailing enthusiast who hangs out on detailing forums, and detailing has become a major hobby for you, then experimenting with different sealants and waxes, combining the two, etc is part of the fun of the hobby. Nobody who has 20 different waxes/sealants in their collection really needs all of those, but they enjoy playing with them and trying different waxes on different colors of paint to see which, if any, they like best. Waiting until the next day to apply the LSP is no big deal then.

    2) if you're a detailer making cars shiny for a living, you most likely aren't going to bother with applying both a sealant and a wax simply because you aren't getting paid for the extra time involved. Plus, your customer likely wouldn't be able to tell the difference anyway, so what's the point? Who are you detailing the car for - you or the car owner? The car owner is paying you for your time, knowledge and expertise, and they have a certain expectation of how the car will look when you're done with it. Your goal is to exceed that expectation while staying within the budget of the customer and your time frame for doing the car within that budget. Are you doing a true concours level, show car finish for the customer, or are you doing a one step type process?
    Michael Stoops
    Senior Global Product & Training Specialist | Meguiar's Inc.

    Remember, this hobby is supposed to be your therapy, not the reason you need therapy.

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    Re: Sealant Curing Time: Myth or Fact?

    i think if u wait an hour or so after the first sealant coat u should be able to put carnuba on without hurting anything, i think the initial drying happens in the first hour. then the longer u wait after that the less likely u are to hurt anything.


    now me personally it doesnt even matter since i cant seem to go much more then 3 weeks without putting new product of some sort on, then on top of that the fact that i use spray wax once a week after every car wash and high quality soap that doesnt remove anything it just doesnt matter

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    Registered Member ffboy's Avatar
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    Re: Sealant Curing Time: Myth or Fact?

    I'm a bit split between waiting for the cure time, sometimes I follow the recommended 12 hour cure time, sometimes I don't. Really quite difficult to tell if there is any difference in the overall quality of a "cured" sealant vs. uncured sealant. I just try not to be bothered too much by that curing time, since there will be times where I will need to use my car before that crucial 12 hours is complete. But as a hobbyist (finally got back to doing some detailing late September after some needed therapy due to 2 surgeries), I prefer to follow that recommended cure time.

    Klasse SG, or where I live, Carlack 68 Long Life sealant, good protection, I do find it gives a glassy/mirror like gloss. But yes, it is tricky to apply and remove. I do like the look it gives, but I can't say I like it better than Ultimate Wax or NXT 2.0, because I found that there are certain angles or light intensities where the brilliantly reflective Carlack Long Life Sealant lacks the depth of Ultimate Wax or even the NXT 2.0

    I try to strictly follow the cure time. However, there is already a noticeable improvement in gloss immediately after being buffed off. If permissible, I make sure the sealant is given that 12 hour cure time. If not, then I'm still OK with it.

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