Should I wax my bubbling paint?

September 1, 2017 | By Staff


Rust is bubbling the paint in several areas on my 2000 Buick LeSabre. I would like to clean the paint with clay, then wax it using a random orbital polisher. Should I avoid the bubbly areas? I guess that’s a selfanswering question, but I would like to have an expert opinion of what I can expect.


If the rust is actually breaking through the paint I would avoid waxing that area at all because many modern polishes contain silicone, which will get into the bare metal and make it harder to repaint when a repair is done. I would scrape away all of the rust and then repair and retouch those areas as soon as possible, because if you don’t, rust—especially if exposed to the elements—will continue to ruin your car’s sheet metal.

However, if the painted surface is intact, even though the paint is not smooth and flat, I would go ahead and wax those areas gently either with an orbital polisher or preferably by hand, until you can make the required repairs. It sounds like most of your Buick’s paintwork is good, so you would not necessarily need a complete paint job and can most likely make repairs and retouch those areas that are problematic.

My book, “Pro Paint & Body” (HP1563) published by Penguin Putnam covers how to make repairs, from cutting out rusted sheet metal and replacing it, to just sanding and repairing an area and spotting in the paint. It is available from Amazon either in print or Kindle form. In addition to bodywork it also covers all aspects of refinishing, including polishing, waxing and detailing.