An introduction to ceramic coating

An introduction to ceramic coating


Some people have heard all about the prospective benefits of ceramic coating for their car, which helps to keep it sparkling clean even when being splashed with filthy, slushy mud. For others, ceramic coating is a complete unknown. And as always, there are some in the middle who have seen the videos but are doubtful as to whether they are genuine and if the coating really works. There are also legitimate concerns about the possible risks of applying this coating to the car, and whether the price tag on these products is worth it.

After reading this article, you’ll have a good knowledge of what ceramic coating is and whether it’s right for your vehicle. We’ll assess the numerous benefits, but also consider any disadvantages – in a nutshell, ceramic coating does exactly what it says, but it’s not a necessity or even desirable for everybody.

Let’s get stuck in.

Car maintenance is a challenge

It’s inevitable that months and years of use is going to leave your car with signs of wear and tear. Try as you might, it can feel an impossible task to get the exterior looking as beautiful as it did when you purchased it, especially when you have to deal with stains, chipping and the gradual fading which occurs due to sun exposure.

Regular washing and careful maintenance can go a long way, but cleaning away water spots, dust, mud, bird droppings and whatever else is an uphill battle. Driving in snowy and icy conditions with salted roads will also give your car a dirty look. Having to spend hours and hours looking after your vehicle eats away at your precious time – and yes, eventually, it gets boring, too.

For convenience, some choose to clean their cars in an automatic car wash, however this tends to be awful for the surface, due to the scratches caused by the vigorous brushing and the harmful chemicals used in the cleaning products. Applying car wax helps to keep glossy and shiny aesthetics while protecting somewhat from the elements, but these benefits subside after a few months, so it’s only a short-term fix. For protection that last years, your best bet is ceramic coating.

What is ceramic coating?

Believe it or not, ceramic coating was not originally intended to be used on cars but for the space and oil industries. However, the advantages of this type of coating are undeniable, and other industries are looking to capitalize.

In a nutshell, ceramic coating gives your car another layer, which protects the vehicle itself from damage – if the ceramic layer becomes damaged, it’s not the end of the world. Ceramic coating is made using novel nanotechnology – the particles used are microscopic, making the extra layer is incredibly thin, so it cannot be detected by the naked eye. As a transparent layer, ceramic coating won’t change the color of your car in the slightest, but it will provide resistance from chemicals, scratches and attempts at graffiti. The particles also serve to make the surface of the vehicle water-resistant and repellent. Because the particles used are so small, only a small amount of liquid is needed to coat the entire car – so ceramic coating isn’t that expensive after all!

Differences between a non-coated and ceramic coated vehicle

Ceramic coating is semi-permanent and lasts for several years. As its water-resistant, the layer will not break down or wash away if the car is left out in the rain or during cleaning. Ceramic coating is renowned for preventing water spots and for keeping the vehicle dirt-free. In contrast, a vehicle that hasn’t been coated is more vulnerable to scratches, marred paint and generally dirty aesthetics.

How can I get ceramic coating on my vehicle?

There has been plenty of chatter in the automobile world about ceramic coating recently, but it has actually been used for many years on top-end motors. However, this type of coating has historically been very expensive, so having it applied was only really worth it if you had an expensive vehicle or were especially concerned about having a perfect-looking car.

For those who want ceramic coating, there are now two choices – either do it yourself with a consumer kit or hire the services of a professional detailer.

We recommend the latter, as professionals have the high-quality equipment and often years of experience to ensure a perfect job. Why go through the stress of doing it yourself, when an expert can come in and safely apply the coating evenly all over the vehicle.

How long the ceramic coating process takes depends on the type of package that you choose, the vehicle’s size, the current condition of the paint and more. In general, expect a professional application to take between 1 and 5 days.

Those who go down the DIY coating may find that its more cost-effective, and that the coating provides great benefits – but not everybody has a trouble-free experience. There are plenty of low-quality DIY kits on the market, and although these may not damage the vehicle, it ultimately won’t be as protected as you think. Furthermore, the kits don’t always give all the necessary advice and guidance, which is paramount, as it takes plenty of time and effort to fully prepare a car for ceramic coating.

A detailed look at the benefits of ceramic coating

Ceramic coating is not just a passing fad – nanotechnology is going to be a revolution for many industries, and detailing is just one of them. Part of the reason why ceramic coating is only becoming popular now is because the benefits are relatively recent discoveries and are just filtering down to the mainstream.

Mud repellent

A car with ceramic coating will be much better protected against mud and dirt than one without it. Mud slides straight off the vehicle, and you don’t have to worry about ice or snow getting stuck to the front, back or sides.

Water repellent (hydrophobic)

Ceramic coating has beneficial water-repellent or hydrophobic properties which simply stops water from accumulating on the surface of the vehicle. The coating will cause the water to bead and roll off the car and take any mud and dirt with it. This happens because the coating stops all of this from meshing with and bonding to the paintwork of the car. And if any dirt does get stuck to the coating, it can be washed away much easier than if stuck to the paint.

Protect from ultraviolet (UV) rays, oxidization and rust

Over time, the paint on vehicles that are left out in the hot sun for long periods will begin to fade, leaving it looking dull and worn. This is the result of exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays which beam down onto the car and oxidize the paintwork, which will eventually lead to rusting. You can protect from this unwanted effect by applying a ceramic coat to your motor.

Ceramic coating offers extended protection

Ceramic coating helps make your car more durable than with other types of coating, because of how it bonds to the paint. The tiny particles in the coating create a bond that cannot be dislodged by outside forces, such as rain water or snow, or by vibration. This means that the coating will keep the car’s paintwork in brilliant condition for several years, not just a handful of months.

However, before we go all-in with nanotechnology and ceramic coating, here are some precautions you should know about.

What not to expect from ceramic coating

With ceramic coating creating such huge interest right now, it’s unsurprising that there are a few claims which don’t quite stand up to scrutiny. It’s important to have the full facts before deciding whether to buy. While ceramic coating does a great job, it cannot protect from every single external threat that your vehicle faces, and for some cars, this level of investment may just not be worth it.

For example, ceramic coating cannot stop damage from chips or other unfortunate impacts. And nor is it a cure-all – you’ll still have to carry out maintenance every so often. Furthermore, while ceramic does indeed last for many years, it will wear off in the end.

With this in mind, be sure to give your vehicle a regular wash, and don’t just hope for any persistent mud or grime to clear away. The same goes for bird droppings. However, the more that you keep on top of maintenance, the less effort that will be needed to keep your car looking great.

Debunking common ceramic coating myths

There are also a few popular ceramic coating myths, which are ultimately just misinformation. Before taking the plunge, just be sure that you aren’t doing so for any of the following reasons.

“Ceramic coating means that you don’t need to wash or maintain your car”

While it’s true that a ceramic coat will significantly reduce the amount of time needed for washing and maintenance, if you’re using the vehicle regularly, you have to expect for it to pick up some dirt, which will steadily accumulate over time.

Moreover, while ceramic coating is considered expensive by some, you’ll save quite a bit of money in the long run from not having to wax it every couple of months. This certainly adds up after having the coating for several years.

“Ceramic coating prevents all scratches”

Sadly, some car detailers will go overboard when describing the ability of ceramic coating to prevent scratches. While the coating does provide a strong protective layer, the idea that it will stop damage from rock chips or stop every single potential scratch is inaccurate.

However, ceramic coating is resistant to less-pertinent scratching, which will only affect the ceramic layer and not the bodywork of the vehicle. Ceramic coating also stops damage from small knocks, such as from animals or when brushing against a bush or hedge.

Ceramic coating has also become more scratch-resistant, but as the protective layer is so thin, it doesn’t have the flexibility or thickness to stop deliberate scratching, nor stop the damage from small pieces of rock which hit the car when travelling at fast speeds.

“Ceramic coating is permanent”

This one is not a complete myth, as the nano-particles in the coating do form a semi-permanent bond with the particles of the paint – this infusion between the layers is what makes ceramic such an effective coating material. This bond gives the vehicle a beautiful glossy surface that doesn’t need topping up every few weeks to maintain the shine. A top-quality coating could last for three years or longer, but don’t expect it to last time.

“Applying ceramic coating is easy”

Ceramic coating has definitely become easier to apply, thanks to the range of DIY kits now available, but it’s still not a process to be carried out without preparation, which is why many like to leave it up to a professional.

For instance, ceramic coating should not be applied if there are any surface blemishes, as these cannot be removed afterwards. If the vehicle needs a lick of paint or any other maintenance, this needs to be done before applying the coat, because of the semi-permanent layer that it adds to the car. Also, while not absolutely essential, coating often looks better when applied to a car that has recently been washed, buffed and kept in tip-top condition.

“Ceramic coating is glossier than wax and sealants”

This is sometimes, but not always the case. Ceramic coating will not provide all of the car’s gloss – this is why careful maintenance beforehand is so important. For example, if ceramic coating is applied to a car with dull and faded paintwork, it will still look dull and faded post-treatment. There may be a small improvement to the shine. Any swirl marks, blemishes and other eyesores on the paintwork before coating will still be there, and easy to spot, if not taken care of in the preparatory phase.

Final thoughts

After having those myths debunked, you may be asking yourself whether it’s worth forking out for ceramic coating. But with so many benefits, it’s still absolutely worth the investments, which pays long-term dividends anyway. The initial cost of ceramic coating will be paying for itself within a year, when you don’t have to spend hours washing or touching up the paint. Hiring a professional in is also well worth it, as they will help get your car into a condition where the coating has maximum effect.

No type of coating will ever protect from serious damage, but a ceramic layer does ensure that your car always has a freshly-waxed appearance, while stopping excessive dirt accumulation. There are no waxing, sealant or other coating products on the market which conserve the paintwork as successfully as ceramic coating.

If any of your ceramic coating queries were not answered in this article, please do not hesitate to get in touch. We are happy to answer your questions.



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