In this post we will use the term finishing to encompass all forms of paint sealing/waxing.
The standard, wash, decontamination, polish and seal routine is often bereft of one important step which can compromise on the longevity of the finishing product / sealant we use.
Polish often leaves behind a thin layer of oil/lubricant that is used to suspend the polish particulates in compounds. Often after polishing most of the particulates have broken down, what’s left behind is often imperceptible and forms a thin layer of oil sitting on the surface of your vehicle (this often adds to that feeling of smoothness on the paint). It is key to have these oils and residue removed prior to the final finishing step.
The reason is this layer of oil/film breaks down easily and if as it interfaces between the surface of your paint and your finishing product, it can severely compromise the life of your finishing product as your finishing product is unable to bond well with the surface of the paint and is instead bonding to the residual film leftover by the compound.
To remove this, we often use a IPA type cleaning solution like Carpro's Eraser. Go over all surfaces that are to be finished with either of these solutions and you will be well on your way to ensure your vehicle stays in pristine condition for longer. Double over all surfaces and check to ensure no streaking/marks are left behind prior to the finishing stage (this is particularly important for ceramic coating style products which locks everything in, high spots and all).
A little something to think about in between polishing and finishing but this 5-10 minute step will save your paint from faster deterioration in the future.