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How To Dress Your Car's Interior And Exterior

When And Why

Dressing on a car's interior or exterior should be a decision solely made by the car's owner.  A detailer might use dressing to cover "sin", or areas they cannot get clean enough or are willing to.  The car owner must be able to elect to have it and where it is applied.  Not every owner wants an overly shiny, possibly greasy or "unnatural" look.  This applies to all areas of the car, inside and out.  Now, there are dressings that maintain a natural matte finish with the benefit of UV Protection...but still ask.  I have encountered many customers who are extremely sensitive to fragrances.  Just about every dressing has a fragrance of some sort.  Something to think about.

Let's Take A Look At The Types Of Dressings

Water Based Dressings

Water based dressing technology has excelled over the last few years due to VOC regulations. Development has been a focus to formulate incredible water based dressings for use on both interior and exterior. Water based dressings may be used as tire dressing, trim dressing and interior dressing.  Water Based Dressings offer a great shiny look while protecting the surface from harmful UV rays.

How To Dress Your Car's Interior
Instead of spraying an interior spray dressing or cleaner directly onto the surface where overspray can be a problem, instead try this technique.
Take a clean small/medium microfiber polishing cloth, foam wax applicator pad, microfiber applicator pad or even a household terry cloth wash rag and fold it at least 4-ways, then dampen one side of it by spraying interior dressing onto the cloth or applicator pad.


Next, take this dampened side of your applicator cloth or pad and use it to wipe down the appropriate surfaces in your car's interior always matching the correct product to the surface to be treated. By using this technique you have precise control over product placement and avoid getting overspray onto adjacent surfaces where you may not want a dressing.  Some dressings can be diluted down a little to reduce a high gloss to a medium or matte finish.  Read the directions on your label for possible dilutions.


If you're using a foam or microfiber wax applicator pad, first bury the nozzle into the pad then inject some dressing or cleaner into the pad. Squeeze the trigger slowly and allow the liquid to penetrate into the foam. It won't take much to give you plenty to spread around.  Add more as needed and keep a clean dry polishing cloth around to wipe off any excess from the surface.

Specialty Dressings

Todays interiors demand unique quality products to produce the desired appearance of critical customers. We do not want interiors to look dressed. They should look like new, conditioned and have a natural appearance. Our choice of speciality products are perfect for this type of application.  Microfiber or terry cloth pad recommended for Non-Silicone or Leather Conditioners.


Silicone Free Dressings

When working in a body shop environment a silicone free tire dressing and interior dressing is a must. Silicone is often the cause of paint contamination during the painting process so if you are close to the paint booth or body shop we suggest you go with the silicone free option to avoid any potential problems.

Solvent Based Dressings

A component of a dressing is the carrying agent that transports the active ingredient to the dressing surface and in the case of solvent based tire dressings it just so happens to be a solvent. The process is actually very simple. A dressing is wipe or spray applied and as the dressing sets up the solvent evaporates and leaves the active ingredient on the dressed surface. Solvent based dressings are customarily used as exterior dressings due to the fact that they are solvent and using them on the interior is not necessarily the best practice.

How To Dress Your Tires

Using a dedicated foam applicator pad, I spray the applicator heavily with the Tire Dressing. I then apply the dressing with the saturated applicator to each tire, adding more to the foam appliactor as needed. I then allow at least 5-7 minutes, and then go back and thoroughly wipe down the tires with a dedicated microfiber towel. Make sure on tires that have raised lettering or ridges that extra wiping is completed around those areas. The resulting finish is just awesome, and no sling!

Bumper and Trim Restoration Gels

Do you need to get the bumpers on your car back to black? Have they faded to a horrible dull grey color? With so many different products on the market which is the best way to get them back to that deep showroom black?

You’ve probably seen reference to them all: protectants and bumper dressings, designed to transform the look of your car bumpers and car trim back to new.

The problem with many of these products is that they make your trim look great on first application but will only tend to last a matter of weeks before they fade away and you then have to re-apply to get that car back to black look again.

So what causes the fading problem in the first place and how do you find a more permanent fix to you faded bumpers? The main cause of fading is bleaching from the sun’s UV ray. Many of the car back to black products available will therefore also contain chemicals and conditioners that provide additional protection from these UV rays, but again if they are not giving a longer term fix to the initial fading then they are mainly only preventing further dulling of the greyness. Try Black Trim Kote.  Long Lasting Protection.


4 Easy Steps: Back To Black

To get the deep black color that you desire, the steps you need to follow are really very simple and straight forward:

1) Simply remove all dirt and grease from your bumpers and trim.

2) Ensure the parts to be re-colored are dry and clean.

3) Using a sponge applicator pad, evenly apply a coating across the surface of your bumper or other trim.

4) And that’s it. In 5-30 minutes, depending on what you are treating, your trim will have a long-lasting deep rich blackness to it.

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