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Old 05-20-2008, 02:18 PM   #6
CapnGnarly
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FocusedEnergy View Post
I believe though that you have to let the paint really dry out and breathe before you coat it with wax, and if I'm not mistaken, that usually takes around 6 months. Just my two cents.
Clearcoats react MUCH differently than color coats. I haven't done it on a car before, but I have on guitars quite a bit (been doing custom paint jobs for nearly 6 years).

If you wax a color before it's cleared, it will "suck out" the dyes in it, which will cause the color to fade and sometimes the "flatness" of it warp, causing curves, wrinkles, and even orange peel in some extreme cases. A clear on the other hand is typically a MUCH harder compound, takes about a year to truly cure, and has no dyes in it.

On guitars, I use beeswax (which I know is very different than car wax), and usually put it on within 6 hours of the top clear drying. If I didn't put a clear on, then I don't wax it at all. The wax does the same thing it does on your car, it fills in whatever small scratches or dings or chips are in there, and is easier to "spread," so it flattens out and smooths over any rough spots while still staying glossy and clear.

On a clear, I'd say it's okay to throw some wax on it. Wait a day or so, but it's okay. If you don't put any clear on it, don't touch it with wax until a LONG time after you've sprayed it. I can see the plastic getting warped with the color if it were to happen. I can't say "if you do this, you will ruin your headlights" because that's more than likely not true, but the caveat should be there, just in case.
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