DIY Car Paint Detailing – Buyers Guide for 2020

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Even if you’re a fresh car owner you probably know that car detailing is an essential step in maintaining your vehicle – it helps protect your car’s exterior and interior and keeps your car looking brand new for an extended period of time.

Maybe one of the most important aspects of car maintenance is the one concerning the paintwork. Luckily for us, there are tons of great car paint detailing products designed to keep the paint spotless, shiny, and free from any marks, scratches, or swirls.

However, digging through all those products can be tiresome, so we decided to help you out, do the tedious work ourselves, and present you with a list that comprises the absolute best DIY car detailing solutions currently available on the market.

Let’s take a look! 

Car Paint Detailing Steps

If you wish to keep your car’s paintwork in pristine condition, there are 7 basic car paint detailing steps you should complete for the best results.  

Pre-washing stage

During the first stage, your aim should be to remove loose particles and stubborn dirt, grime, bird droppings, and bug splatters from the surface of your car and prepare it for contact wash. This is achieved by using pre-cleaning solutions and snow foams.  

Contact washing stage

Contact washing refers to the good old water and bucket cleaning that involves using a quality car shampoo and a mitt to give your car a good scrub or two. It’s common to use the so-called two-bucket washing method, where one bucket contains a wash solution and the other clean water. When you apply a wash solution to a single section of your car’s surface, dunk your mitt in clean water before dunking it back in the wash solution. This prevents contamination of the wash solution and ensures your mitt stays clean throughout the process. 


Decontamination stage is the final cleaning step where you use chemicals and clay bars to remove the most stubborn contaminants, such as industrial fallout, that tend to remain stuck even after you complete the previous two cleaning stages. 


The next step is drying – use a soft cloth and work quickly and meticulously to avoid any streaks and water marks. 


Polishing helps reduce or eliminate minor imperfections present on the surface paint. This step is mostly done by detailing professionals or more experienced enthusiasts, as you can easily damage your paintwork if you don’t have any previous experience. 


Although glazing is not essential, this step boosts the paintwork, enhances its shine and colour, and makes swirls less visible. 

Waxing / Sealing

Car waxing or sealing is quite possibly the most important step on our list, as it serves to protect and preserve all that you already accomplished during the previous 6 stages. During this phase, you can use products such as car wax, paint sealant, or ceramic coating to create a thick layer of protection that will prevent any damage caused by environmental or chemical contaminants, facilitate the entire process of maintenance, boost the appearance of your car, and, ultimately, increase your car’s resale value.  

The Best DIY Car Paint Detailing Products in 2020

Explaining the Ranking System

As the market is flooded with all kinds of DIY car detailing products, we had to come up with a ranking system that’ll help us narrow down our list to the very best solutions out there. The system includes four main factors: 

1. Product quality

Quality of the product is the primary factor in deciding whether a certain product is worth your time and money or not. Product quality mostly depends on the materials and ingredients used in the manufacturing process, as well as their ratio. High-quality products are made to perform brilliantly even when exposed to more demanding conditions.   

2. Customer feedback

Feedback coming from the users who already have some experience with the product is invaluable when it comes to evaluating a certain product, as it reveals all the advantages and disadvantages you may face once you start using it.    

3. Price

Price is another crucial factor which influences our buying decisions, so we focused only on those DIY car detailing solutions that provide the best value for the money.   

Please note that the prices expressed in this buying guide are those found at the moment of writing the review. Check out individual product pages to find information on the latest prices.

4. Online presence  

Companies and brands that understand the importance of building a strong online presence and know how to engage with their customer base are those who are doing things right in today’s digital world.

Armor Shield IX Nano Ceramic Coating

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Chemical Guys JetSeal Paint Sealant and Paint Protectant

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Shine Armor Fortify Quick Coat

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Meguiar’s Scratch-X 2.0

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Griot’s Garage Brilliant Finish Car Wash

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DUSICHIN Foam Cannon

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Mothers California Gold Clay Bar System

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Bead Maker Paint Protectant

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Turtle Wax Ice Spray Wax

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Adam’s UV Ceramic Paint Coating Kit

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Now that you have the 10 very best DIY car detailing solutions in front of you, all that is left for you to do is to choose the one(s) that fit your individual needs. You won’t go wrong with any of the products from our list, as they all meet the most important criteria used to determine the overall value of a product – its performance, level of protection it offers, effectiveness, versatility, longevity, ease of use, price, online presence, as well as customer feedback.