View Full Version : Kissing the Finish

Mike Phillips
Oct 21st, 2010, 02:11 PM
Kissing the Finish by Mike Phillips

Kissing the Finish is a technique you can use to apply a liquid wax and help keep the wax spreading out over the paint instead of loading up inside your pad.

I use the "Kissing the Finish" technique when machine applying a liquid wax or paint sealant, that is instead of taking the wax you see on the face of the pad and simply squishing it up into the foam by placing the foam pad flat against the paint, I'll first "kiss the finish" or in other words, touch the face of the foam pad with wax on it down onto your panel at an angle thus depositing only a portion of the wax on the pad to one area on the paint.

The effect is to have a bunch of dabs of wax on the paint deposited off the face of the pad. You're car's panel will look like it has spots, or arcs of product on it...

It's really the lazy man's way to machine wax a car because there are similar methods that will do the same thing. This technique works well for two reasons,

1) If you're already use a DA Polisher then you're already use to applying product to the face of the pad.

2) If you're working on vertical panels it can be a challenge to sling a small amount of product onto the vertical panel directly out of the bottle so applying to the face of the pad is faster, easier and uses less product. For horizontal panels you could simply squirt a little wax randomly over the surface and then pick up the product under the face of your buffing pad on the fly, but if you're a creature of habit you might find yourself just applying to the face of the pad via reason 1 above.

First, shake shake shake... always shake liquid car care products up thoroughly before applying.

Next, apply a small circle of product onto the face of the pad... you can also use an x-pattern or even make a smiley face... whatever makes you happy...

Next, touch down just an edge of the face of the foam pad and deposit a little of the wax to a portion of the panel you're working on.

Then after you've Kissed the Finish in a few places, take what's left and place the face of the foam pad against the paint and THEN turn the polisher on and begin making overlapping passes over the paint.

UNLIKE removing swirls with a DA Polisher where you only want to work a small section at a time, (about 20" squarish or so), if you've removed all the below surface defects and now you're just applying a wax or paint sealant, you can work a section as far as you can reach as long as you have ample product to spread out.

For the hood of this El Camino I can easily reach and work on half of the hood at one time, so I use enough wax to coat over half of the hood and move the pad over each square inch at least 2-3 passes to sufficiently work the sealant over and into, (to whatever level possible), the paint.


As I come up to a dab of wax from where I "Kissed the Finish" with my pad, I tilt the polisher, lifting the leading edge of the pad but maintaining constant contact with the trailing edge of the pad and then run the pad over the dab of wax and then immediately lay the pad flat again and then work new territory with this new dab of wax.



Tilt the polisher a little to lift the leading edge of the pad...

Then move the tilted leading edge over the wax to draw and trap the wax between the paint and the pad...


Then lay the pad flat and begin working the wax or in this case a synthetic paint sealant over the paint.

Continue doing this as you work around the car and all panels are coated with an application of wax or paint sealant.

This is called, Kissing the Finish...

Note: This technique works well with basecoat/clearcoat finishes because clear coat paints don't absorb liquids very well. Be careful if you use this technique on a single stage paint, especially a metallic single stage finish as portions of ANY liquid paint care product if left to stand for too long of a time on single stage paint can act to stain the paint. This is usually not a problem and simply picking up the excess with your pad and working it into the paint will even out the appearance by equally coating the entire surface.

I just want to point out that older single stage paints can and do absorb some types of liquids, so pay attention and either avoid this technique on single stage paints, or work quickly to spread the dabs of product out before any concentrated dabs of product soak into the paint.

Again, it's not really a problem, just want to make you aware because single stage paints are not very common and a lot of people have never worked on these types of paints.

Products Showcased

Note: This is not a Meguiar's recommended procedure, just one I've been using and sharing for years...


Bill Davidson
Oct 21st, 2010, 02:42 PM
Products Showcased

I assume you meant to type W9207 (Finishing Pad).

I use the kissing technique if/when I find my pad getting loaded up, but normally I just apply the wax to the pad. I try not too use too much product.

I'd like to highlight a point that Mike made. It's important to raise the edge of your pad off the surface prior to picking up the new section of wax. If you don't do this, as soon as the pad hits the wax, it will fling it all over the place.

J. A. Michaels
Oct 21st, 2010, 03:17 PM
I remember you showing us this technique at the Tampa roadshow class a few years back. I have used it since.

Mike Phillips
Oct 22nd, 2010, 05:51 AM
I assume you meant to type W9207 (Finishing Pad).

Yeah I meant W9207...

Typing faster than I think... :D

I remember you showing us this technique at the Tampa roadshow class a few years back. I have used it since.

That was a great class... lots of great memories and I'm still good friends with some of the people that attended...

Meguiar's Roadshow in Tampa Florida! (http://meguiarsonline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=12567)

I don't know who took this picture from that class but I always thought it was pretty cool... it can be a challenge to hold the attention of a large audience but if you look carefully... everyone's focused like a laser beam on the topic at hand...




Oct 22nd, 2010, 06:33 AM
I do that....oh yeah....I learned that from you years ago!