What Exactly is a Glaze?

First, a little history - glazes were initially designed for use in the bodyshop process to be used on freshly painted surfaces to improve gloss and continue to "feed" the paintwork, giving it a strong gloss and improving clarity. Glazes often revitalise paintwork through their oily wetting agents, "glazing oils" and over time, that very nature has become especially attractive to show car entrants to can apply a quick layering of an oily product to give an especially wet look on show day. In more recent times, acrylic versions of "glazing" products have come onto the market aimed at being used in a routine that might be finished with a sealant rather than a wax.

In plain terms, a glaze adds wetness and depth - that’s why you’d put it on the car. You would put it on after polishing (sometimes instead of a polish if you can get away with it) but before the sealant and/or wax. You can use a glaze after machine polishing with abrasive compounds/polishes and you can use a glaze over an AIO polish, like Car-Lack68 NSC or Autoglym Super Resin Polish. Whenever I’ve said about putting it on top of Car-Lack68 NSC we’re regarding the Car-Lack product as a polish. Yes, it is an AIO and contains a sealant, too but you can use a glaze on top. That leads us to another use for glazes but more about that in a minute … read on …

Glazes fall broadly into two categories - oily and acrylic. Oily glazes are Meguiars #7, Clearkote Red Moose Glaze, for example and acrylic glazes are the likes of Chemical Guys EZ Creme Glaze, Poorboys World Black Hole and Finish Kare 300, 303, etc.

Oily glazes are generally not best followed with a sealant, so the polish … glaze … seal … wax mantra might not play out especially well in that circumstance. Using an acrylic glaze, you can follow on with a sealant or wax. Both types of glaze will sit happily on AIOs, like Car-Lack68 NSC or AG SRP but acrylic is more suited.

… back to other uses.

Particularly oily glazes can be spread over the wax to give a really slick, deep look. Meguiars #7 is one such example and indeed the name, Show Car Glaze gives us a clue as to its intention. It can be used this way to give a really deep look for show day … kind of like an ancient "show detailer". In fact, this is a "pure polish" with no abrasives. Working gently is the key so as not to disrupt the underlying wax. Be aware that if it rains, it will wash straight off - you can follow on with another layer of wax and this kind of sandwiching in works really well over a period of time … say, polish and wax one week, the next week wash, glaze and another layer of wax. This is especially good looking in high sun during the summer months.

Dodo Juice Lime Prime Lite can be used in a similar way - Dodo Juice confirm this. With a wax that is well cured, you can wipe over Lime Prime Lite gently after washing and drying to adequately prepare the surface for a second layer of wax.

I know the latter part of this discussion might well seem to overcomplicate the "rules", but the rules are there to be broken. In the end it comes down to:

1. What are you working with?
2. What are you trying to achieve?

In the main, use a glaze after polishing to add gloss and depth, before sealing or waxing the look in. Use a suitable glaze for the products you are working with.

While the line between finishing polishes and machine glazes is getting more and more blurred, it’s often worth looking to Meguiars for a little distinction since their product lines have remained for many decades.

Meguiars #3 Machine Glaze is fantastic for putting "life" back into dry paint, especially single stage paintwork. The petroleum content in many polishes further dry out already dried paint when correcting neglected paint and this product is very good indeed for revitalising the surface and a good example of the initial intention of glazes. Good by hand, too … but nowhere near as good as #7 when used by hand.

Think of these old-fashioned glaze products as a "moisturiser" for paintwork - single stage, mostly.

I hope that helps you understand what a glaze is, why you’d use one and gives some examples for how and when you’d use one.