Often you will hear, see or be advised to use a ‘glaze’ in your detailing process. Glaze (such as Meguiar’s Show Car Glaze #7, Menzerna Finishing Glaze PO115C, Poorboy’s Black Hole or White Diamond, Mothers Sealer and Glaze, or Prima Amigo) is a detailing product originally developed for ‘show’ cars and is often applied to the paint surface to hide minor imperfections – a ‘beauty’ product. Due to its ‘hiding’ abilities, glaze is also used by large detailing shops to hide imperfections due to improper polishing. The question we want to answer here is whether or not a glaze is necessary for the enthusiast.
What is a Glaze and when should I use it?
In a nutshell, glaze is a product designed to clean; produce a temporary wet, dark look to paint; and to fill minor paint imperfections in paint’s surface. Glaze is an oily product that nourishes paint and deepens luster while giving a slight polish and fill to light micro-marring and swirling.
If you are performing a complete detail on a car and, hence, have polished it properly, then there is not really a place for glaze in your detailing process. A glaze is like a band-aid…it performs a temporary fix by ‘covering’ up some imperfections. Some people will routinely use a glaze in their detailing process if they don’t want to take the time to perfect their paint…this is often the case in large detailing shops where a large number of cars need to be ‘pushed’ through each day. Keep in mind that glazes washes off fairly quickly and, hence, will reveal the true condition of paint in short time. Utilizing a glaze to hide imperfections so that a customer is ‘satisfied’ is very misleading and not good business practice.
If you performed a complete detail on a car and a few months have passed and you notice light imperfections then the use of a glaze to hide those imperfections might be a good idea…or you can just put up with the imperfections until you detail it again.
- Glaze, by nature, is an oily product. As such, glaze needs to be applied properly. Using a soft pad will not work well…if you are using a PC (Porter Cable 7424 or equivalent) then try a Lake Country White Pad…a 4 setting will work well. You could certainly apply glaze by hand using a soft foam applicator or a microfiber applicator.
- One of the most difficult things to get used to with any detailing product, whether it be a sealant, wax, or glaze, is the practice of applying it thin. Often we want to ‘see’ that the product is adhering to the paint surface and thus we tend to layer it too thick. This makes the removal process too difficult and in some cases can lead to marring of the paint surface during removal. Apply glaze thinly!
- Unlike sealants and waxes, glaze should be applied to one section or panel of a car at a time and then removed immediately. Glaze is not a product that needs to dry on the paint surface – in particular Meguiar’s M07. Apply it to a panel and then remove with a quality microfiber towel. Glaze is a wipe-on, wipe-off (WOWO) product. (Always follow the manufacturer’s directions…some glazes are wipe-on, haze, wipe-off.)
- It is good practice to remove glaze in steps…first go over the panel that you just glazed ‘coarsely’…and then go over it again…and then again. It’s okay if you leave behind some product on/after your first pass…the goal is to try and remove the bulk of the product on the first pass…get most of it off and the re-wipe the panel – be sure to fold the microfiber towel to a clean side after each pass.
- If a car is detailed properly then there will be no need to use a glaze to fill imperfections.
- Using a glaze to ‘beautify’ a car…darken its appearance and give it a wetter look…may be a good idea if you are ‘showing’ your car.
- Glaze will wash off fairly quickly so ensure that you don’t apply and then immediately wash your car.
- Good practice is to apply a glaze and then apply a wax or sealant.
- Depending on the glaze you use, it may or may not offer protection…in general, glazes do not offer any protective qualities.
- Glaze does not replace polishing!