By Peter Snovitch
Detailing a black car, truck or SUV is significantly harder than detailing lighter cars. The reason behind this is that streaks are more blaring on black cars. If you don’t detail your black car correctly, or you don’t hire an experienced detailer in Las Vegas, then you can do more damage to your car than imaginable. Black streaks caused by incorrect waxing methods are very hard to get out and often require new paint jobs. A DIY detailing job gone wrong could leave you with a paint job bill of $2,000 -$8,000.
To perfectly detail your car, you could hire our detailers, or you can follow this in-depth guide on doing it yourself.
Choosing the Right Products
Before you go out and purchase detailing products for your car, you need to know what type of paint job it has. There are specific products out there for acrylic, lacquer, latex or polyurethane paint jobs. You need to make sure that you get the right one.
Wax will be necessary if your black car, truck or SUV has scratches or needs its shine restored. If your paint is fading, then colored wax can restore it; but only if the paint is oxidized. Colored wax isn’t as effective as rubbing or polishing compounds. So if your car needs its color back, then you’ll also need to look into these products.
The top three black car waxes on the market are made by Meguiar’s, Turtle wax and Dodo’s Juice. You can’t go wrong with products from these brands.
When looking for wax products, you need to find the ones that will darken your paint job. A lot of the black car products out there make your car bright and shiny, leaving the black color diminished. If your car was white or red, then you would want it to be bright and shiny. But black cars look better when their colored is darkened.
Also keep in mind that colored wax or rubbing/polishing compounds won’t be able to restore the color or shine of your car if it’s been neglected too much. If the paint is fading, cracking or discoloring, then it might be time for a new paint job. If any scratches have gone deep enough (to the primer) you can try your luck with touchup paint, or take it to the paint shop.
Preparing your Car and Workspace
The first step of detailing a car is always a good washing, followed by enough time to dry. This will insure that there is no debris or residue on the car, truck or SUV before the wax is applied.
It’s also optimal to wax your car inside your garage. Being outside can introduce a whole lot of pollutants to your car including: dust, pollen and other residues (such as tree sap). Before starting to wax your car, you should make sure your garage is clean.
Don’t sweep your garage because that will just stir dust up. Instead you should use a shop-vac to clean any dust out. Then ideally the floor should be mopped using an oil based cleaner so that whatever dust is left will stick to the floor. These careful preparations will insure that your car will be free of micro-scratches, swirls and streaks during detailing.
Apply the wax by hand using a terry cloth, cheese cloth towel or micro-fiber cloth. Make sure there are no clinging materials on the cloth or you could ruin your waxing job, and possibly even the paint job. Get the cloth damp and add a small amount of wax on it.
The wax should be applied in overlapping circular motions. Don’t press too hard, but make sure enough force is being applied so that the wax gets into any scratches or blemishes of the paint.
If you’re waxing your car outside make sure the temperature is below 85 degrees. Waxing should never be done in direct sunlight if the temperature is above 90 degrees, or if it’s below 65-70 degrees. Waxing inside a garage is the best place because it has a stable temperature and less dust.
It’s also a good idea to apply two coats of wax. This will insure that you get the maximum effectiveness possible out of your product.
Wait for the Wax to Dry and Then Buff
The wax has to be completely dried before buffing. You can determine the necessary time for drying from the product instructions you bought. It’s always safe to wait an extra couple of hours, just in case. The drying time will depend on humidity and temperature, but it’s also important not to let the wax over dry.
Professional black car, truck or SUV detailers have special drying tables that let them know exactly how long wax should be dried before buffing. This is just another reason to go with their methods, because they’ve turned detailing into a precise science.
After the wax is dried, use a clean and lint free cloth to buff it out. If your cloth becomes too full of wax, then use another clean cloth made of the same material and quality as the first one.
If the buffing step didn’t give you enough luster or shine, then you can improve the color by using a high quality lamb wool buffing pad.
Professional detailers use tools designed specifically for buffing, that bring out the best results in black car buffing.
If you’re not ready for waxing/buffing your car, then it would be a good idea to consider paying someone else to do it. In addition to waxing, detailers will also clean, restore and dress other parts of your car. A waxed black car looks great. But if the tires, trim wheel wells, glass, lights and other parts are not also maintained, your car won’t look that good. Black car detailing requires perfection in every single aspect of the vehicle. If that’s the type of quality you’re looking for, and you don’t have time to do it all, then professional detailers are the best solution.