Meguiar's #20 Polymer Sealant Review - by Kenneth T Pittman.
A Meguiar's representative was at the NIFE Club meeting on April 15, 2000,
presenting the manufacturer's product as well as answering questions regarding
their car care line. One of the products that was discussed was the #20 Polymer
Sealant, at which point I displayed some reserve as to the longevity of such
"sealants." Pointing out that I had pretty much run the complete gamut
with such products, too include calling up the toll-free numbers and readily
giving my credit card number to the celebrities on the various infomercials so
prevalent on night-time TV. At this point I must point out that my initial
expectations of this type of product has been slightly askew, largely in-part to
the intentional mis-direction of infomercials such as the one where a completely
oxidized 60's Mustang is shined to a "Showroom" gloss in a matter of
After doing some research based on a statement made during the demonstration at
the meeting - for those that were present, Rick Nobregas stated that "You
don't get a showroom shine from the wax. The wax only protects and enhances the
shine that the polish provides." I found that this is a very TRUE
statement, since, as was pointed out at the meeting, the polish enriches, as
well as returns, much needed moisture to the paint and finish of the car.
However, I did not discover this nor did I perform the research until after I
used this product.
I will first qualify the following review by stating that I personally feel
that, dollar for dollar, Meguiar's manufacturers and distributes the absolute
BEST car care product available on the market today. I have to admit that
initially I was extremely impressed with the #20 Polymer Sealant. As compared to
other products that I've tried, Meguiar's sealant was easier to apply, even in
the sun, and on a hot surface. This product required very little effort to
remove something that has proven to be nothing short of a bad mistake gone worse
with other products. Also, this product did return some color and gloss to a
badly oxidized surface. The primary failing point of the Meguiar's #20 Polymer
Sealant was pretty much the same as its competitors. It simply didn't last long;
as a matter of fact after only approximately two months, its' effects started
showing signs of fading.
Mind you this was applied on a car that does not see automated car washes, is
hardly ever driven on bad weather days, is hand-washed with ONLY Meguiar's Car
Wash solution, and then is hand-dried with a chamois (never a towel). Therefore
in my mind, this polymer should have lasted forever!!! It was at this point I
performed some research, talked with some old-timers, and came to the following
First of all, hands-down Meguiar's offers the finest product on the market for
the money spent (in my opinion). But the BEST investment I could have made in
the care of my beloved car's respective exteriors was that of an orbital buffer.
If you think that you've received good results out of the Meguiar's product line
by-hand, try it with a buffer. Even the consumer grade product delivers a
decidedly improved response. At one point I made the analogy to myself that the
difference of utilizing the product by hand and using the buffer was if I had
never polished and waxed at all.
In the case of heavy oxidation and badly neglected paint, I found that repeated
applications of the Meguiar's "Medallion" Premium Paint Cleaner first,
followed by repeated applications of the Meguiar's #9 Swirl Remover Deep Gloss
Cleaner/Polish delivered better results than any/all of the Polymer product I
previously applied (even better than NU-FINISH). Admittedly, the trick is with
the repeated applications - which all of the manufacturers do clearly run
disclaimers on the "Directions" of their respective products that for
"heavily soiled/neglected areas, repeated applications may be
The Meguiar's products listed above clearly deliver better, more desired results
than the #20 Polymer Sealant. After an acceptable gloss was received, I then
applied several applications of the Meguiar's "Gold Class" Clear Coat
Prep and Swirl Reducer. Although in each application the product was applied by
hand, the removal was performed with an orbital buffer. The end result has been
so phenomenal that people who have seen my '84 Coupe and '86 GT have immediately
commented on the finish - not even noticing other enhancements to either car
(auxiliary driving lights, etc…).
Owning 3 cars, each in a different stage of finish neglect (for lack of a better
expression), gave me a prime scenario to test the Meguiar's product line. It was
not always necessary to go the extreme described above, as a matter of fact only
my GT required that much attention. And even the eventual wax chosen to really
set off the gloss finish created is dictated by the level of neglect of the car.
In the case of the badly neglected, oxidized surfaces, I found that the
Meguiar's #26 "Yellow" Paste Wax (I'm really old-fashioned when it
comes to waxes, and personally believe that it's not "WAX" if it comes
pouring out of a bottle) is the product of choice. While on the average clear
coat finish the Meguiar's "Gold Class" Clear Coat Paste Car Wax is
definitely the way to go. Again, in each application removing the product with
an orbital buffer delivers the absolute, optimal results.
I have to admit that, initially, I was more than just a little wary of using a
buffer especially for the first time ever in my life. I have personally
witnessed some of the horrors that can result from the improper use of these
tools. The best piece of advice that someone gave me is that - the buffer should
do ALL of the work, you are only there to guide it. With that in mind, I got the
hang of it in next to no time. The real trick is to almost let the buffer float
over the car, it should only be the natural action of the buffer itself that
does the work. In other words, the buffers' OWN natural weight should be the
ONLY DOWNWARD pressure applied.
So, in conclusion, the Polymer Sealant itself didn't live up to expectations.
However, my disappointment was transformed into a truly enlightening and
eventually rewarding experience by using other Meguiar's products. As far as
which is better, high-speed buffer, orbital buffer, variable speed buffer,
and/or the Meguiar's dual-action buffer? I really don't know, having only tried
a 5" single-speed orbital buffer, and a 9" single-speed orbital
buffer. Maybe the Meguiar's representative might be willing to offer one of the
Meguiar's devices for comparison???