Top 7 Best Wax for Single Stage Paint In 2023

When you’re on a budget or in a rush, a single-stage paint may be what you need. However, it is of utmost importance to protect it with high-quality wax. Hence, you would want to know the best wax for single stage paint.

While there are dozens of waxes on the market today, not all of them are worth considering. In this review, we will help you figure out which ones are right for you.

Our goal is to find the best wax in each category. So we rate each product based on its price, durability, ease of application, scent, and shine.

We have a winner for the best overall, best budget pick, and editor’s choice. Nevertheless, the rest are just as good in protecting your paint and making it shine like crazy.

How Do You Make Single Stage Paint Shiny?

Wet sand, polish, wax, buff.

That’s how you make single-stage paint shiny! It’s easier than you might think; it just takes a little elbow grease. The steps are as follows:

Step 1: First, you’ll need to wet sand the surface with 1500-2000 grit sandpaper. This will get rid of any imperfections and create a smooth surface. Your local auto body shop or supply store can give you advice on the grit of sandpaper you should use for your specific paint job.

Step 2: Polish the paint with an all-in-one product or with a mild polish or rubbing compound. Test it in an inconspicuous spot first.

Step 3: Wipe down the car with isopropyl alcohol to remove any residue left by the polishing step.

Step 4: Apply a wax, adding shine and protecting your car’s finish for months. Let it sit for 5 minutes or so, depending on the product you’re using.

Step 5: Buff it out with a microfiber towel to shine! For a flawless look, ensure to wash wax from the windshield (if any).

Single Stage Paint Protection Guide

In this guide we will cover everything you need to know about single stage paint protection. We aim to give you real world instructional guide so you can make decisions better suited for your car.

What Is A Single Stage Paint Technology?

A single-stage paint is a type of paint that does not require a clear coat to finish. This means that in the painting process, you do not have to apply a clear coat after applying your base coat of color. Read more on single stage vs two stage paint.

How To Protect Single Stage Paint?

The secret to protecting single-stage paint is to wax it. Waxing will not only protect the paint from the elements. It will also keep dirt and debris from sticking to your car. Moreover, wax gives your car a beautiful sheen that complements the paint job.

Car waxes provide protection for between six weeks and three months, depending on the amount of driving you to do, how often you wash your car, and what type of environment you drive in.

 Sealants are synthetic alternatives to carnauba waxes and contain no natural ingredients. Sealants generally last longer than carnauba-based products. However, they do not offer quite so much gloss and depth of color.

Generally, the best way to protect your single-stage paint is to regularly wash it and apply a wax or sealant. The wax or sealant will provide protection from UV rays and other hazards, while the washing will keep the car’s surface clean and free of substances that could damage the paint.

Note: Always ensure to wash car wax rags after the detailing process. Cleans rags will help you protect your vehicle’s paint job and prevent scratches and other damages the next time you use it.

Best Wax For Single Stage Paint Reviews

We have gone through almost all the major wax for single-stage paints and their performance. We have selected the 7 most popular and highest-rated products on the market based on personal experience and reviews from experts.

1. Optimum No Rinse Wash & Wax with Carnauba – Editor’s Pick

Optimum No Rinse Wash & Wax with Carnauba

Highlighted Features

  • Cleans shines, and protects your paintwork in one step
  • No-rinse wash and wax
  • Carnauba wax provides UV protection
  • Can be used as a wash solution, clay lube, or quick detailer
  • Most environmentally friendly car wax

Use Optimum No Rinse Wash & Wax with Carnauba to maintain your vehicle’s shine between washes. This product keeps your car looking shiny and new without the hassle of a regular wash.

It pairs quick-clean technology with high-quality carnauba wax. Hence, it makes it easy to clean hard-to-remove dirt. Not only that, but it also adds a protective layer of wax to keep your vehicle looking fresh.

Moreover, it’s a multi-use product. You can dilute it in 256 parts of water to use as a wash solution or 64 parts of water to use as a clay lube. Also, you can make it more concentrated in 16 parts of water to use as a quick detailer.

This super-concentrated formula is an effective, simple way to wash and wax your vehicle in one easy step. Apply it directly to your vehicle or apply it to a sponge and wash. Either way, you’ll experience a streak-free shine that’s guaranteed to wow.

2. Adam’s 2-Step Polishing System Combo For Single Stage Finishes – Best Overall

adam's 2-Step Polishing System

Highlighted Features

  • Safe on gel coat, clear coat, and single stage paint exterior
  • 2-step process removes imperfections and polishes to a mirror-like finish
  • Designed for professional detailing results
  • Advanced formulation offers diminishing abrasive technology
  • 110% satisfaction guarantee

Show off your ride with Adam’s 2-Step Polishing System. It’s designed to remove swirls and scratches, restore gloss, and leave your car with a mirror-like shine.

It comes as two separate compounds, so you can use each one independently.

The first step is a medium abrasive compound that removes surface imperfections like swirl marks, light scratches, and oxidation. The second step is a finer abrasive polish that leaves a glossy showroom shine without any dust or haze. This two-step process allows you to get your car looking its best while using only two products, saving you time and money!

You can use both products by hand or machine with an orbital polisher for even better results!

Well, the compound and polished are optimized for use with Adam’s polishing pads. Nevertheless, you can use other different pads with the same great results. It can be wool, microfiber, or foam.

3. Meguiar’s A1216 Cleaner Wax – Best Budget Pick

Meguiar's A1216 Cleaner Wax

Highlighted Features

  • Cleans, polishes, and protects in one easy step
  • Clear coat safe
  • Rich conditioning oils for improved high-gloss shine
  • Longer-lasting beading
  • Excellent swirl removal
  • Easier to use than the traditional carnauba wax

Meguiar’s A1216 is the ultimate one-step wax for your vehicle. It combines a fine conditioning polish with a rich, long-lasting wax to clean and protect your paint for months.

The secret ingredient is the premium carnauba wax. It creates an extra-glossy finish and deepens the color of your paint job for an added pop. Moreover, it’s designed to be easier to apply than traditional carnauba wax.

You can use this one-step product by hand or with an orbital buffer. Either way, you’ll get professional results without additional tools or experience!

In addition, it comes with convenient applicator pads. So you don’t have to worry about getting your hands all sticky with wax. No scratchy sponges and no messy towels – just smooth it on and wipe away.

The product works with any color paint and is safe to use in direct sunlight. It is also self-cleaning, so you don’t have to worry about wax residue building upon the surface of the car.

4. McCall’s Dream Maker Show Car Gloss Amplifier

McCall's Dream Maker Show Car Gloss Amplifier

Highlighted Features

  • Works on both single-stage and clear coated paint
  • Latest gloss technology improves the look and feel
  • Safe on all existing protection, including Bead maker
  • Infused with UV protection
  • One-step spray-wipe process

The McCall’s Dream Maker Gloss Amplifier is the perfect way to make sure your car shines! It only takes one step: just wipe it on, and you’re done.

No matter what surface you’re polishing, this product is guaranteed to add that perfect extra layer of glossiness. Whether you have a sports car, family car, or electric car; whether it’s old or new – it doesn’t matter! McCall’s has the solution for you.

Now everyone driving by can admire your beautifully glossy, shiny car. And not just admire it – they’ll be able to see their own reflections in your car. Also, with extended UV protection, you won’t have to worry about your car getting dull or dingy in the future.

Affordable and easy to use, it pretty much makes your car look like a million bucks- without costing you a million bucks. The only problem is that every other driver on the road will be jealous of how glossy and shiny your vehicle looks!

But hey – it’s okay to be proud of your perfect-looking vehicle. You earned it; now let everyone see it!

5. Adam’s UV Graphene Ceramic Coating Kit

Adam's UV Graphene Ceramic Coating Kit

Highlighted Features

  • Nanocrystalline coating protects against UV rays, chemicals, and weather
  • Patented ceramic glow technology ensures you never miss a spot
  • Superior water beading prevents water spotting
  • Higher scratch and stain resistance
  • Over seven years of protection, even in the harshest conditions

Choose Adam’s UV Graphene Ceramic Coating Kit for Cars to give your car the ultimate gloss and protection in three easy steps.

First, there’s the surface prep that washes, clays, and removes any contaminants before polishing. Secondly is the ceramic boost – a quick detailer that offers robust protection against dirt, swirl marks, and clear coat scratches.

Third is Graphene Ceramic Coating – the main product. It bonds with your paint while providing high levels of chemical resistance and hydrophobicity.

Also, it protects your paint job from chemical etching, UV fading, oxidation, and more! Moreover, the coating offers extreme gloss with a wet look finish similar to a professional coating detail.

In addition, this stuff is like a force field around your vehicle. It protects it from scratches and dings for more than 7 years – even in the harshest conditions. Plus, this ultra-slick formula is visible under UV light, making it easier to see where the coating is applied.

6. Meguiar’s Mirror Glaze Show Car Glaze – Restores a Deep Wet Shine

Meguiar's Mirror Glaze Show Car Glaze

Highlighted Features

  • Outshines hand-applied polishes, waxes, glazes, and sealants
  • Safe and effective on all paint finishes
  • Nourishes paint for a dazzling, deep wet shine
  • Doesn’t dry white
  • Multiple ways to apply: Hand, DA polisher, and rotary

Meguiar’s Mirror Glaze Show Car Glaze produces a dramatic, high-gloss, “wet look” shine that lasts and lasts.

This unique formula contains premium-grade polishing oils, quality waxes, and durable polymers. They work to enhance paint color, depth of image, and gloss. Your vehicle will look its best before applying a final coat of paste wax or paint sealant.

Use it after compounding to remove compound haze and before polishing to create maximum gloss and depth. Also, if you have light swirls or scratches in your paint and are looking for something to make your car “pop,” Mirror Glaze will do the job.

You can apply it by hand or save time with a dual-action polisher. Just apply a small amount of the glaze to a soft cloth and buff your car in small circular motions until you’ve coated the entire surface. Your car will literally look like it belongs in a showroom – hence the name!

Moreover, it’s safe and effective on all paint finishes, from matte to metallic. In addition, you can use it on fiberglass, painted metal, and glass surfaces.

7. Meguiar’s-A2216 Meguiar’s Deep Crystal Carnauba Wax

Meguiar's-A2216 Meguiar’s Deep Crystal Carnauba Wax

Highlighted Features

  • Specially formulated to provide a strong, protective barrier
  • Tried-and-true formula utilizes pure grade Carnauba wax
  • Locks in a dark rich color and gloss
  • Protects all paint surfaces, even clear coats
  • Patented UV protection

Car wash like a boss with Meguiar’s-A2216 Meguiar’s Deep Crystal Carnauba Wax. It goes on easy and wipes off with ease, protecting your car for up to a full year.

This car wax uses a blend of pure Brazilian carnauba wax, beeswax, and other ingredients to create a durable barrier against environmental contaminants. It protects against road grime, pollen, and bird droppings that can damage paintwork over time if left untreated.

Moreover, the carnauba-based wax gives your car a deep, wet look and protects the finish from harmful UV rays. Therefore, you don’t have to worry about whether or not your ride is getting sunburned when you’re at work all day.

And not only will your car look good, but it’ll also smell great, too! This wax has a fresh scent that lasts longer than ordinary waxes.

This is one of the most popular Meguiar’s products because it is so easy to apply and gives great results every time! For best results, apply in the shade with a microfiber applicator pad or foam applicator pad.

Whether you need it to protect the paint job or remove scratches, this deep crystal wax has you covered.

How To Choose The Best Single Stage Wax

You want something that will keep your paint shiny, but you don’t know what’s best for you. That’s why we’re here. We’re going to show you how to choose the best wax for your single-stage paint.

Best Wax for Single Stage Paint

Wax Type

Are you trying to decide what kind of wax is best for the single-stage paint on your classic car? If so, here’s a quick guide to help you out.

  • Natural carnauba wax: It’s generally considered the best choice for a single-stage paint job. It’s the most expensive kind, but it gives your car a beautiful shine and lasts for about 6 months.
  • Synthetic wax: Synthetic waxes are good for people who like convenience, as they typically come in the spray-on form. It’s cheaper and lasts longer (up to a year), but it doesn’t give your car quite the same glossy appearance as natural carnauba.
  • Liquid wax: These are for those who want their cars looking pristine without much work involved. It’s basically synthetic or natural carnauba wax in liquid form, making it easy to apply over large areas.
  • Paste wax: Typically made from natural carnauba, it’s more complex to apply but goes on thick and lasts longer than liquid wax.

Paint Type

Know the type of paint on your car. Look at whether your car is factory painted or custom painted.

If it is factory painted, you’re good to go with any sealant or high-quality synthetic polymer wax. But if it is custom painted, you’ll need to use a 100% pure carnauba wax product.

Type of Shine

You’ll also want to consider what kind of look you’re going for when it comes to your car’s shine.

Some waxes are meant to restore that showroom shine. Others are designed to give a more subtle effect without making your car look like it was just cleaned.

This is more a matter of personal preference than anything else. So there’s pretty much no right or wrong answer here.


Many single-stage paint products contain abrasives that can damage your car’s finish over time. Look for non-abrasive products designed specifically for single-stage paint. They’re gentle enough to use as often as necessary without harming your finish in any way!

Application Method

Think about how easy or difficult it will be to use this wax.

Some products require multiple steps and different tools. Others come with everything you included and are very easy to apply.

Think about the time investment. Do you have the time and energy to give this the attention it needs? Or would it be better to choose a quicker method?

Consider a spray wax if you’re pressed for time. But if you’re looking for a good workout and like using your hands, paste wax is probably a better option.

Are you looking for spot free car wash soap for your vehicle. Have a look on the Top 10 Best Spot Free Car Wash Soap In 2023

Best Wax for Single Stage Paint-FAQs

In this post, we’re going to look at some of the most frequently asked questions about single stage wax. We’ll try to answer each question as fully as possible to provide you with a better understanding.

When can you wax single-stage paint?

Don’t wax single-stage paint too soon! It’s better to wait about 60-90 days for the paint to fully cure. This is because the ingredients in car wax tend to damage the paint if it’s not 100 percent dry and settled.

How do you get orange peel out of single stage paint?

Wet sand with super fine sandpaper by hand. Start with 1500 grit sandpaper and work towards finer 2000 grit sandpaper. Don’t forget to use a polishing pad once you’re done.

Note: You should use a lot of water and where possible have a squeegee on the side.

Can you buff and polish single stage paint?

You can buff and polish single stage car paint, but it’s not an easy task. Why? Because single-stage paint is often thinner and softer. Hence, you want to be as gentle as possible. Use medium compound with a corresponding medium cutting foam pad to avoid burning through the paint.

Can you use ceramic coating on single stage paint?

Although it’s possible to apply ceramic coatings on single-stage paints, it’s not recommended. This is because ceramic coating requires a clear coat to bond to. So, if there’s none, you might end up damaging the car’s paint, and you’ll need to repaint it.

Can you wax a car with peeling clear coat?

No, you can’t. If your clear coat is peeling, then the actual paint job underneath will also be vulnerable to damage from all kinds of elements, including waxing. So you’ll just end up making the problem worse. So ensure you paint prior to waxing.


That concludes our review of the top 7 Best Wax For Single Stage Paint. If you’re still unsure which product is right for you, we hope this list helps you get closer to making a decision.

These waxes will help you retain the shine and gloss on your car paint. Also, they are very easy to use compared to other products that are quite complicated.

Keep in mind that one type of wax is not better than another. It’s all about what works best for your car and what kind of protection/shine you’re looking for!

Moreover, it’s important to note that the results you get after using these waxes depend on how well you apply them. So, be keen and follow the instructions given by the manufacturer.

Happy waxing!

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