What to use and why on darker metallic finishes
Compared to darker solid colours, darker metallic and pearlescent finishes are much more forgiving in terms of hiding minor defects such as marring and fine swirl marks. A further benefit of owning a car with metallic or pearlescent paint is that you end up with a car that looks different depending on the light. For example, in dull, cloudy conditions the flake in the paint will almost disappear, and the car will essentially take on the appearance of a solid finish, meaning you can enjoy great depth and wetness. However, as soon as the sun comes out and catches the flake, the look of the paint is often transformed, with depth and wetness giving way to a sparkling shine.
Given the above characteristics, it is possible to magnify these effects somewhat, depending on product choice. Thus, this guide offers three recommended routes to go down if you have dark metallic or pearlescent paint. The first option offers an intensely reflective shine that maximises the appearance of metallic or pearlescent flakes at the expense of a little wetness and warmth. The second option offers a dripping wet finish whatever the weather is doing, whilst still allowing the flake to sparkle when the sun is out. The third option offers a combination of options one and two, giving a nice wet looking finish with good reflectivity and no ill effect on the flake; this may seem less attractive than the first two options, but in reality it’s the easiest system to apply, which counts for a lot when time is in short supply.
At this stage there is one more thing worth mentioning; in our experience, lower quality carnauba waxes tend to mute metallic and pearlescent flakes, limiting the sparkle on sunny days, and for this reason they are best avoided. The last thing you want to do with a metallic or pearlescent finish is mute the flake, otherwise what’s the point in having it?!
Option 1 – Maximum flake enhancement
Jeffs Werkstatt Acrylic Kit
For an intensely reflective, wet looking shine with massive flake pop when the sun comes out, we recommend the Jeffs Werkstatt Acrylic Kit. This kit comes with all of the products, applicator pads and buffing towels required to achieve the desired finish, and is straightforward to use. The Prime Acrylic basecoat is a deep paint cleanser that also lays down a tough initial coat of protection; you should use it once every six months after claying (it serves as a very light finishing polish to further cleanse the paint). Acrylic Jett Trigger is a pure spray sealant that should be used to add more gloss and durable protection every 4-12 weeks; the more layers you build up, the better the finish will get. The Acrylic Glos is a quick detailer, and can be used to help boost gloss and lubricate when drying off after washing, and to loosen the residues of Prime and Trigger if you find them hard to remove. Here are some examples of the finish this system gives on metallic and pearlescent finishes...
Option 2 – Maximum wetness and gloss
Poorboys Black Hole Glaze topped with Raceglaze '55'
For maximum wetness and gloss whatever the weather is doing, and absolutely no muting of the flake, Poorboys Black Hole Glaze topped with Raceglaze '55' is a killer combination. Poorboys Black Hole Glaze is a superb easy to use preparatory product that cleanses and glazes in a single step, using a blend of naturally derived oils and gloss enhancers. It has excellent filling power, meaning it effectively hides marring and fine swirls. Raceglaze Signature Series '55' contains 55% pure Brazilian No.1 white carnauba by volume, is easy to apply by hand or foam pad, and should be buffed off using a plush microfibre towel. Aimed at professional detailers and enthusiasts who want a spectacular finish that will last for in excess of four months at a time, this premium wax has already been very well received on the major UK car care and detailing forums. It is no mystery why this is so, as the finish it delivers is simply stunning, and we are sure it is destined to become a major rival to more established premium wax products costing significantly more.
Here is an example of the finish this system gives on metallic and pearlescent finishes...
Option 3 – Good wetness, good flake pop, easiest to use
Blackfire Gloss Enhancing Polish topped with Blackfire Wet Diamond All Finish Paint Protection
(for even more wetness, top again with Blackfire Midnight Sun Paste Wax)
For a nice wet looking finish with good reflectivity and no ill effect on the flake whatsoever then the Blackfire system is well worth looking at, particularly if you have little time for car care and want a very easy set of products to use. Gloss Enhancing Polish is a combined finishing polish and glaze, and does exactly what it says on the tin! It has just enough cut to remove marring and it’s glazing oils are able to effectively mask fine swirls. Wet Diamond All Finish Paint Protection is a synthetic sealant that utilises the latest crystal super-polymer developed by Wacker-Chemie of Germany. The unique crystal structure of this polymer refracts light in a similar way to a diamond, and leaves a finish with a level of liquidity very close to that given by a high quality carnauba wax. It wipes on and off very easily, is exceptionally water repellent, and offers a high level of UV protection. For an even wetter looking finish with a little less reflectivity, add a top coat of Midnight Sun Paste Wax; this unique wax features the same crystal super-polymer built directly into the wax matrix, meaning it bonds perfectly to Wet Diamond All Finish Paint Protection. Here is an example of the finish this system gives on metallic and pearlescent finishes...