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.
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.
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
Armor Shield IX Nano Ceramic Coating by AvalonKing is our favourite car paint detailing solution on the market and the highest customer-rated product on our list. Why? The answer is simple - this professional-grade ceramic coating is specifically designed to offer premium performance, outstanding protection, great usability, impressive durability, great strength, and unparalleled efficiency. When applied, the coating acts as a shield that guards your entire car and gives it a beautiful, show-stopping gloss it deserves.
Armor Shield IX fills in all the imperfections on your car’s surface, bonds with the paintwork and creates a thick protective film that provides ultimate protection against a wide range of mechanical and chemical pollutants, including bird droppings, tree sap, harmful UV rays, rust, corrosion, graffiti, acid rain, road dust, dirt, and grime. What’s more, the coating is characterized by its impressive hydrophobic properties that enable water beading, as well as the exceptional 9H level of hardness that makes the coating resistant to minor mechanical damage.
Another great thing is that the entire kit includes everything a DIY car detailing enthusiast might need - a 30ml bottle of Armor Shield IX, a pair of professional nitrile gloves, an applicator sponge, a buffing towel, suedes, and step-by-step operating instructions. This amazing kit can be used to coat cars, motorcycles, bikes, RVs, SUVs, boats, and even aeroplanes.
Moreover, Armor Shield IX is one of the most durable coatings on our list - if applied according to the instructions, the product provides protection that lasts between 2 and 5 years.
Why It’s Our Top Pick
PRODUCT QUALITY: Armor Shield IX Nano Ceramic Coating is a premium product that uses cutting-edge nano technology and carefully selected ingredients known for their quality that ensure flawless performance. Also, this coating has a high percentage of SiO2 (84%), which increases its strength and longevity.
CUSTOMER FEEDBACK: With the product ranking of 4.8 out of 5, this is the best-rated product on our list. Over 2,000 mostly satisfied customers revealed that the product’s quality, longevity, and ease of use are the main reasons why they would recommend it to a friend without hesitation.
PRICE: With the price of $69.99 per kit, Armor Shield IX is definitely well worth the investment.
ONLINE PRESENCE: The company’s website is well-designed, easy to navigate, and has a ton of useful content. When it comes to their social media presence, their Instagram account currently has 13.9k followers.
Here Are The Facts:
- A professional-grade product designed to deliver.
- Protects against all kinds of environmental and chemical pollutants.
- Free worldwide shipping if you order 2 kits or more.
- A great volume discount - if you buy 2 kits, the second is 50% off, whereas if you buy 3 kits, you get one for free.
Chemical Guys JetSeal Paint Sealant and Paint Protectant
Chemical Guys JetSeal Paint Sealant and Paint Protectant is one of the favourites on the market, made to fit the needs of both detailing beginners and professionals alike. It is a highly-efficient DIY car detailing solution formulated to fill in all the existing imperfections on your car’s surface and create a protective coating that will keep the paintwork looking new and shiny.
JetSeal Paint Sealant and Paint Protectant is a powerful sealant designed to offer premium protection against weathering, UV rays, discolouration, high temperatures, and other harmful pollutants. It’s a versatile product that can be safely applied to cars, motorcycles, trucks, RVs, and planes.
Why It’s Our Second Pick
PRODUCT QUALITY: JetSeal Paint Sealant and Paint Protectant is made of the ingredients of the highest quality and offers outstanding performance, even when exposed to more demanding conditions.
CUSTOMER FEEDBACK: More than 2,000 customers left their feedback and the product has a high score of 4.7 out of 5.
PRICE: A 16 oz bottle of the product can be purchased for $38.99, which is a great value considering that this sealant lasts around a year.
ONLINE PRESENCE: Chemical Guys is a famous brand with a well-designed website and strong following - nearly 500k followers on Facebook, 789k on Instagram, and 619k subscribers on YouTube.
Shine Armor Fortify Quick Coat
- Advanced Formula 3-in-1. Our fortify quick coat is your all-in-one ceramic coating hydrophobic...
- No Streaking, Smearing Or Scratching. Shine Armor Fortify Quick Coat premium formula ceramic car...
- Cuts Dirt, Grime & Grease. Our Quick Coat ceramic wax car sealant eliminates dirt, grime & grease...
- Safe For All Surfaces. Use this car wax spray-on automobiles, boats, motorbikes, RVs, four-wheelers...
- Superior Products. This means superior shine for your cars! Our ceramic quick coat also works as a...
Meguiar’s Scratch-X 2.0
- Quickly removes fine scratches, swirl marks and fingernail marks
- Clear coat safe
- Enhances paint color
- Ideal for use as a quick touch up or to revive a car's entire finish
Griot’s Garage Brilliant Finish Car Wash
- Maintain paint care perfection bucket after bucket as our special brighteners yield a lasting,...
- Creates an eruption of rich, slippery suds
- Made from concentrated premium ingredients
- Produces a head-turning, streak-free shine
DUSICHIN Foam Cannon
- Adjustable foam cannon foam lance with 1/4" quick disconnection fitting, 33 OZ (1 litre) container...
- Requires Pressure Washer to Have 6 GPM & Max 3,000 PSI Pressure For Use
- All the connectors are made of quality brass
- Variable, adjustable Spray Nozzle for accurate mixing and foam generation
- New Heavy Duty Design, ideal for enthusiast or professional use
Mothers California Gold Clay Bar System
- COMPLETE CLAY KIT – With 3 Clay Bars, (1) 16 oz. Mothers California Gold Instant Detailer, and (1)...
- SMOOTH FINISH GUARANTEED – Easily remove embedded grains of metal, tree sap, airborne deposits,...
- MADE FOR ALL PAINT TYPES – Mothers California Gold Clay Bar System smooths and cleans car paint...
- HOW TO USE – Start by kneading and flattening the clay, then spray a section of the car with...
- MADE BY MOTHERS – This Clay Bar System is part of a growing line of high-quality car care cosmetic...
Bead Maker Paint Protectant
- ☑️ EASY TO USE - Simply Spray and Wipe On Wet (as a Drying Aid) or Dry Surfaces.
- ☑️ SAFE FOR ALL SURFACES: Safely Use On Paint, Rubber, Plastic, Metal, Glass and More!
- ☑️ CURED UV PROTECTION: Combined UV Filters and UV Stabilizers + Longer Lasting, Super Glossy...
- ☑️ HIGHLY HYDROPHOBIC: Easily & Effectively Repels Dirt and Water Across Your Entire Car, RV,...
- ☑️ DOUBLE BLACK COLLECTION: Master Level Professional Detailing Products From P&S - Family Owned...
Turtle Wax Ice Spray Wax
- Provides Durable Wax Coating - Long lasting, incredible protection, repelling water, dirt and road...
- Creates a Deep Mirror-Like Shine- Features a unique blend of carnauba wax and silicone polymers to...
- Wax or Topper- Flexible formula can be used as a standard spray wax or layered on top of existing...
- Flexible, Multi Purpose Formula - Can be used on door handles, plastics, rubber trim, exterior...
- Easy Application - First wash & dry vehicle, then using 2 sprays per panel, spread and wipe with a...
Adam’s UV Ceramic Paint Coating Kit
Adam’s UV Ceramic Paint Coating Kit is an advanced car paint detailing product made with the help of patent-pending Ceramic Glow technology, which ensures ease and accuracy of product application. This DIY car detailing solution offers a 9H level of hardness, which means that your paintwork will be protected even against minor mechanical damage such as scratches.
Adam’s UV Ceramic Paint Coating Kit is extremely durable and can protect your car’s surface against weathering, water, UV rays, road dirt, grime, dust, and chemical contaminants. It can be applied to vinyl wraps, clear coat, single stage, and lacquer paint finishes. The kit contains a 50 ml bottle of UV Ceramic Paint Coating, a 4 oz Ceramic Boost, a 4 oz Surface Prep solution, 2 applicators, 4 towels (2 for prep and 2 for removal), and a pair of gloves.
Why It’s Our Tenth Pick
PRODUCT QUALITY: Adam’s UV Ceramic Paint Coating Kit is a premium product that offers amazing results and long-lasting protection - one application is enough to protect your car for up to 5 years.
CUSTOMER FEEDBACK: The overall score is relatively high - 4.6 out of 5.
PRICE: The entire kit is sold for $69.70, which is an excellent price for what you get.
ONLINE PRESENCE: Adam’s Polishes have a solid website and around 600k followers across the most popular social media channels like Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.
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.