Blog: Detail Oriented: Now that your ride is clean its time to protect it

A Ford Mustang GT convertible shines after completion of the Basic Detail package that Visual Pro Detailing’s Mark Barger offers.


Mark Barger from Visual Pro Detailing and I recently covered how to properly clean your vehicle, so now it’s time to learn how to apply some protection to your paint’s finish.

If you haven’t applied some sort of wax or polish in a while, you might need some paint decontamination/correction such as a clay bar system which we will cover more in depth later.

In this post, we are going to explain how to properly hand polish your vehicle. If you want some machine polishing techniques, be sure to stay tuned for future posts.

You’ll want to start with a clean surface, so if you missed our first post check it out first here: 

We’ll begin with the essentials. Since these first few posts are about basic techniques and products you can purchase in most local retail stores, Mark recommends picking up Meguiar’s Ultimate Paste Wax. You will also want to grab a few plush microfiber towels to remove the polish. Mark says, “the softer the towel the better, to minimize putting toweling marks (tiny scratches) in the paint’s finish.”

Your car’s finish needs to be clean and cool to the touch before you begin. A small amount of product can go a long way, so don’t over apply, as that will create more work.

Start by applying the product to one section of your car at a time and always finish polishing going in the same direction. Mark recommends using the “cross hatch” technique with your wax applicator as opposed to just applying it in circles. The cross hatch method is simply taking a section of the car and buffing it horizontally and then following up with buffing it vertically to get the best possible product coverage.

After you have finished your entire vehicle, allow the product to cure, or haze, which normally takes about 15 minutes. Now you are ready to remove the residue with the microfiber towel. Be sure to turn your towel over from time to time to minimize leaving any product behind. You might even need to have a couple of towels to help complete the job.

Your car will appreciate its new coat of protection from harmful UV rays and other elements. Who knows — you might even get a couple compliments for the shine it’s now presenting.

If you have any questions or topics you would like Mark and I to cover feel free to email me at

You can reach Mark at or visit with any questions or to schedule an appointment to let Mark take care of your ride.

Idle Thought of the week: “Applying too much wax only makes it much harder to remove, and gives you no improvement in protection.” – Mark Barger


Copy editor

Shawn Anglin is a sports clerk for The Southern Illinoisan. He also blogs about cars at

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