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What's in a name? - Paint Care Products
What's in a Name? Paint Care Products
There is a lot of confusion in the car care industry about certain names of products and their meanings. This is because there is no Standardization of Terms, so names can be used for marketing purposes that can confuse the end consumer.
In this article we will look at some commonly used names and acronyms that deal with paint care, including polishes, glazes, and LSP's.
LSP- The acronym LSP has evolved to mean “Last Step Product” which covers the last applied protective product (wax, paint sealant, or paint coating). The acronym LSP was originally coined by Mike Phillip's to mean “Last Step Process”. This broader term could include using a glaze (in a body shop), a quick detailer, or even washing the car. The very last step done before the detail was complete, regardless of actual process or product used.
(Car )Wax- Car Wax was originally a generic term used to describe products applied to to the paint for protection and shine. Car Waxes, originally, consisted of different forums of natural occurring waxes, (primarily bees wax and carnauba wax), oils, solvents, and resins. As synthetic car wax technology evolved (later becoming known as sealants) the term wax began to be applied to products that contained mostly natural ingredients. The primary ingredient in waxes today is mostly premium grade carnauba.
Examples of car waxes: P21s Concours Look Carnauba Wax, Pinnacle Souveran, Dodo Juice SuperNatural
Examples of products that are not true waxes using the wax name: Meguiar's NXT Tech-Wax, Prima Banana Armor Wax
(Paint) Sealants- Paint Sealants are protective paint products that perform a similar function to car wax but use primarily synthetic ingredients. Originally many paint sealants used the name wax in order to avoid confusing the consumer, although the term paint sealant was later used to separate these synthetic products for their natural ingredient cousins. Some paint sealants do have a small blend of wax (usually montan wax or carnauba wax) but the primary ingredient is usually resins or polymers. I am not aware of any product that uses this term in a different manner than above.
Examples of synthetic paint sealants: BLACKFIRE Wet Diamond All Finish Paint Protection, Optimum Opti-Seal, Ultima Paint Guard Plus, Wolfgang Deep Gloss 3.0
Polish- The term polish conjures up high-gloss, perfectly clean finishes that reflect light and is used in everything from furniture car to toothpaste. The most commonly accepted definition of the term polish, as it relates to the car care industry, is a product that is abrasive in nature and creates a smoother surface. Many polishes are applied by machine to achieve their desired results. However the term polish has been loosely applied and can applied to glazes, waxes, and sealants as well.
Examples of paint polishes: BLACKFIRE SCR Finishing Polish, Menzerna SI1500, Meguiar's Ultimate Polish
Examples of car sealants using the term polish: Duragloss Total Performance Polish, Zaino Z2 Show Car Polish
Examples of non-abrasive cleaners and glazes using the term polish: BLACKFIRE Gloss Enhancing Polish, Wolfgang Paint Polish Enhancer
Compound- A compound is an aggressive polish designed to remove serious paint defects, usually applied by machine. This term is a common term and I am unaware of any product using it in another fashion
Examples of Compounds: 3M Extra Cut Compound, BLACKFIRE SRC Compound, Menzerna PG1000
Glaze- The term glaze is one of the most widely used and least defined in the car care industry. This is because the term split into several different meanings, almost immediately after it gained popularity. In the old days (circa 1930's and 1940's) Glazes were essentially waxes with out the wax. They contained the oils and solvents, but did not have any wax for fear for sealing in fresh paint and preventing the old lacquers from curing.
A lot of body shops used to mix glazes with abrasives, corn-starch being a popular one, in order to clean the paint or remove blemishes. Also the old lacquer paints were quite porous and would fade. Adding the oils from the glaze to the paint would seem to revitalize the paint (because the paint would literally drink the oil). Prior, glazes were used as a wax with out wax, but now they became known for their ability to make paint wetter.
While machine polishers were used prior to the 1950's, this is when they really started to show up in body shops. Glaze manufacturers knew they could reach a bigger market if they put abrasives (for polishing) into the glaze, since the the glaze was traditionally the last step. The abrasive or machine glaze was born. From this point on glazes could be abrasive or non abrasive depending on the manufacturer. It was not a matter just a matter of marketing, but rather a description of the product.
In the 1990's (perhaps slightly before) Zymol began to refer to their waxes as glazes in some literature, which later became the infamous Estate Glazes.
Today, the term glaze, outside of Zymol's use, refers to a product that is applied to the paint with out any protective (or very little) ingredients. These could be oil based, acrylic based (which feature polymers identical to a sealant), be abrasive or non-abrasive, and may or may not work with waxes or sealants.
Products that use the term glaze to define a gloss enhancing step with out any protection: Meguiar's #7 Show Car Glaze, Poorboy's World Black Hole Glaze, Prima Amiga
Waxes that use the term glaze: Zymol brand
Paint Polishes that use the term glaze: 3M Machine Glaze, Mothers Professional Machine Glaze, Wolfgang Finishing Glaze 3.0.
Cleaner/Waxes and AIO's- Cleaner/Waxes are products that blend together the protective properties of a carnauba based car wax with the polishing ability of a paint polish. AIO's, or All In One's, are similar products that tend to rely on natural ingredients, like synthetic paint sealants, to achieve the same, all inclusive polishing and protecting in one step. These terms after often used interchangeably
Examples of products that are cleaner/waxes or AIO's- BLACKFIRE Total Polish N' Seal, Klasse AIO, Optimum Poli-Seal.
Paint Cleansing Lotions- Paint Cleansing or Pre-Wax Cleaners are products that are generally designed to deep clean and prime the paint for protection. They usually feature chemical cleaners, a light abrasive polish, or glazing agents. Often the contain all three.
Examples of Products that are Paint Cleansing Lotions/Pre Wax Cleaners: BLACKFIRE Gloss Enhancing Polish, Ultima Paint Prep Plus