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Old 03-24-2007, 05:42 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Chicago, IL
Vehicle: 2005 Ford F150
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How long before washing/waxing new paint?

Got some new parts painted. How long should I wait before washing and waxing them?
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Old 03-24-2007, 10:29 PM
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Location: The Bluegrass State
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Was it a catalyzed paint process -- that being a 'baking process' after laying down the paint? If so, feel free to wax immediately.

If not, the standard is 30 to 45 days before any 'sealing' with wax or similar last step products.
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Old 03-24-2007, 11:19 PM
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I'm not sure if it was a catalyst paint job but I know for fact the painter did bake it. Do they ever bake standard paint-jobs?
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Old 03-25-2007, 12:45 AM
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Location: Mishawaka, IN.
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This is a popular topic on the Autopia detailing forum. The consensus across the board is that on factory paint jobs, there's no reason to wait at all. You're good to go to wax right away, though it's probably a good idea to clay the paint first.

There are differing opinions when it comes to repaints, ranging from no wait time to months. One member there, MirrorFinishMan, finally contacted a few different paint manufacturers for their opinion on how long to wait before waxing a repaint. As I understand it from other reading I've done, this wait time applies even if the car was baked after the repaint. Here's the quote:


Looks like the professionals at the major paint manufacturers have a completely different view when it comes to paint cure times before waxing.

1- AKZO NOBEL INC [ 1-800-618-1010 ]
Sikkens Car Refinishes standard is to wait 30 days after repainting before you can apply wax or silicone. Their standard of waiting 30 days includes the AKZO NOBEL Sikkens, Lesonal and Utech automotive paint lines.

2- Sherwin-Williams. drbunnell@sherwin.com
Sherwin-Williams standard is to wait 90 days after repainting before you can apply wax or silicone.
Their standard of waiting 90 days includes all of their automotive paint lines.

3- Dupont Corp., Lionville, PA.
Dupont standard is to wait 90 days if the vehicle is out in the elements and to wait 120 days if it is kept in a garage most of the time. Dupont standard of waiting 90 to 120 days includes all of their automotive paint lines.

4- BASF automotive paints. email: lanet@basf-corp.com
BASF standard is to wait four to six months before waxing.

Below is a copy of a email I recieved from Mr. Tony Lane, Supervisor of the Technical Service Lab at BASF automotive paints.


You don't say but I'm going to assume that you have had your car painted with a two component urethane system. These systems offer a high level of protection and a great deal of shine. While they are well cured by the time the shop calls you to pick up your car, in fact, it will take several months for the curing process to be complete. (Remember that your hearing this from a lab guy and we only deal in the real world when we absolutely have to.) I would give four to six months before waxing. If you're like me, that won't be an easy task to wait that long.

I hope that this is of some help to you.

Tony Lane
Supervisor of the Technical Service Lab BASF


The greatest hazard generally talked about if you don't wait is that the paint will not be able to finish outgassing and never cure to full hardness.

I should also mention there are at least a couple of sealants that claim to be safe for fresh paint jobs. Sal Zaino insists that it's safe to use his products a week after painting. In fact, if you read the full thread from the post I linked to above, there's a quote from Sal on this subject at the top of page 2. Also, Finish Kare says their 2180 sealant is safe for paint within 24-48 hours of a repaint. They say it forms a "chemical web" that allows outgassing through the sealant.

The paint manufactures we work with ask the same question. Its in the product formulation. It basically creates a molecular structure that appears like a web. This webbing allows the paint to breath while protecting it from contaminates including acidic compounds and ferrous particles which will penetrate into the paint system and cause damage.

Fresh paint is especially susceptible to environmental damage so it is highly recommended to apply a coat of 2180 once the paint has been allowed to dry for aprox. 24-48 hours.

Glazes are, of course, safe for new paint and if you're hesitant to wax your fresh paint, you can always slap a layer of something like Meguiar's #5 on to offer a bit of protection, just realizing that it won't have any real durability.

Last edited by rustyzipper; 03-25-2007 at 12:47 AM.
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Old 03-25-2007, 10:57 AM
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Location: Farmington, MO
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You could do it almost instantly after, but id wait a while because its going to be soft for a while, and when you do, rub lightly
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Old 03-25-2007, 10:57 AM


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