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While many people still wonder what ceramic coatings really are, some are contemplating if the nano ceramic coating is even worth it in the first place. But the truth is that if you are a fan of keeping your car’s exterior looking like showroom quality, you probably must have heard of this nano technology, if not, hold on tight.
Car owners have several ways of protecting the paintwork of their pride and joy. From using car wax to paint sealants, or having a regular car detailing session. Everyone has their own way of enhancing the exterior appeal of their vehicle. One thing is for certain, keeping your car looking brand new is not reserved for the exotic luxury cars or high-end vehicles.
However, one of the most effective products presently on the market when it comes to car paint protection is the popular ceramic coating option. These products are specifically designed to help keep your car glossy and shiny for years while also protecting it from exposure to contaminants that could damage the curb appeal of the car. You will often hear paint protection thrown around with car dealerships or when buying brand new cars online, so before you dive into it, let us break it down for you.
Is it worth investing in ceramic paint protection?
The truth is that nano ceramic paint protection technology is very effective when it comes to helping your car constantly produce that showroom kind of shine. It improves hydrophobic (water-repelling) properties and also protects the car’s body against damaging elements. Some automotive experts even suggest that the most economical way of protecting your car paint from regular acid rain, UV, heat, dust/dirt, bird droppings, tree sap and many more is with the use of premium Nano-ceramic coatings.
Fact or Magic?
This article will show you everything you need to know about car ceramic coatings. It highlights what they really are, the different types, benefits, and also common questions that car owners also ask when considering making the smart investment.
What Exactly Is Ceramic Coating?
A ceramic coating works as an additional protective layer for the paint of your car – similar to a car sealant or wax but designed to last longer, much longer. Nano ceramic coatings are a liquid polymer that is applied to the exterior of a vehicle – usually by hand and with timely skilled-precision. The coating then bonds chemically with the factory paint of the vehicle, creating a layer of protection.
When you apply a car ceramic coating to your vehicle’s paint, it fills all of the microscopic imperfections in the paint, hence making the surface perfectly smooth. This additional layer of protection helps improve hydrophobic properties and make the paint resist water better. By making it more water resistant, you reduce the likelihood of contaminants sticking to your paintwork. And if it does, it is super easy to rinse and wipe off, literally chopping your washing time in half.
In addition to water repelling, it also makes your car well resistant to physical abrasion such as scratches, chemicals, UV light, bird droppings, bug splatter, road grime, and many more. All of which over time, can cause permanent damage, wear and tear and ultimately a big bill in the end.
The bond it creates between the car paint and paint protection car solution itself is typically a semi-permanent one, which means it can’t break down or wash away and does not require repeated application every month, like sealants and waxes.
What Are the Types of Ceramic Coating for Cars?
What Options Are Available To You?
Either you own a car, an SUV, a truck, or performance vehicles, there are two options of paint protection car ceramic coatings available to you. These two options include the commercial/professional grade ceramic coating and the DIY Nano-ceramic coating.
1) Professional Ceramic Coating (Detailers Grade)
This is usually the most popular type of ceramic coating and requires that a trained and certified professional install it. This industrial strength ceramic coating requires advance preparation and handling. This type often takes longer to cure and harden to completion. Because of the lengthy time required to correctly apply the coating, professional detailers will often charge from $1000 to $3000. Due to the cost and meticulous procedure involved, it is very uncommon to see car dealerships offer this, but offer a paint sealant as a form of paint protection instead. However, as you have read, the sealants they tend to use are incomparable to ceramic coatings, let alone the low-end ceramic coatings.
These commercial high-grade ceramic coatings are usually not available to the general public and can’t be purchased at your local store. Reason being, it can be very hard to apply and very easy to get it wrong. So, that’s why it is generally reserved for professional car detailers who are well-seasoned and experienced.
2) DIY Nano Coating (retail grade)
This is the newest kid on the market now when it comes to paint protection. This seems to rightly address the needs of casual drivers and the popular ones you see advertised everywhere.
With a large variety of grades of coatings used in the DIY consumer kits, these are not hard to find online or at your local auto store. Easy enough for someone who has very little to know experience in applying, but the trade off is generally the durability. Easy to apply and easy to come off.
Perhaps you are wondering what are the differences between these two options of ceramic coatings aside their cost. The DIY kits are not only more budget-friendly, as they only cost around $150, they are also specifically formulated for an easier consumer application. While it can also produce similar result as the commercial-grade coatings, it doesn’t require the same advanced prep-work. Failing to apply ceramic coating properly can really ruin the appearance of your gloss. So that’s why it is always a great idea to have it professionally installed using commercial car paint protection coatings.
Why Should You Protect Your Car?
There are many benefits that come with its application. Ceramic coatings add fortified protection to your car’s exterior and makes it look super new better than you bought it. The durable layer is able to do all of these by making your car more resilient and easier to clean. Below are some major reasons you should consider ceramic paint protection for your car.
Top 7 Frequently Asked Questions about Ceramic Car Coatings
Answer – It is important that you keep your car well-maintained even with ceramic coatings – remember it doesn’t eliminate the place of washing. You will need to regularly wash the car, but not with harsh chemicals that can damage the coating by interacting with it. Thanks to the dust-repellant feature of the ceramic coating, you don’t need a strong car wash to get your car cleaned.
Answer – No. using a ceramic coating on your car has already ruled out the need to wax altogether. Ceramic coating provides the benefits of waxing, a glossy finish, and durability combined.
Answer – When properly maintained and cared for, a layer of ceramic coating will preserve the brand new look of your car for a few years.
Answer – No. the truth is that a high-quality Nano-ceramic coating can be applied to helmets, outside car window tints (exterior), headlights and windscreens. Also, ceramic car paint protection is applicable to the marine industry ie boats, yachts and so on, but it will have to be a different ceramic coating designed to take the harsh effects of the sea and outdoor environment.
Answer – The maximum number of coat required is two. If a manufacturer tells you that you need more than that, what it means is that that is not a very good product, to begin with. So go for a more quality product that will serve you better. Like Schmicko, we use a ultra-high density coating, meaning that only one layer is required. Applying 5 coats does not make your coating 5x more durable and stronger, the benefits it produces does diminish over time with each added coating.
Answer – Once you have opened the bottle of the ceramic coating, the best thing is that you try to use it as quickly as possible as it will harden up in to a glass-like compound. So the shelf life of an open bottle is pretty much one day and sometimes sooner depending on the conditions of your surroundings ie temperature, humidity and so on.
Answer – Nano-ceramic coatings are not permanent but semi-permanent. That means you don’t have to apply and reapply every month to maintain the shine of your car paint. With just one application. It can last years if properly maintained. But is not permanent, despite all claims.
Ceramic Car Coating vs Car Wax – Which Is the Smarter Investment?
If you are considering whether or not a ceramic coating is a good investment, then let me help you out. You will see the several benefits of having a ceramic coating on your car, from providing protection to making maintenance super easy; worth every penny.
Comparing with car wax, let’s start by considering the money you will spend on the regular trip to the car detailer, applying sealants and wax, and the labor and time involved in the process over a period of a few years. Then, we will not need to debate the fact that ceramic coating is well worth the initial investment.
Now let’s do the math.
Protective Wax: $40
Protective Gloves (Disposable Pack): $10
Tyre Gel Dressing: $15
Foam Applicator: $5
Degreasing Agent: $40
Detailing Brush: $15
Medium/Heavy Compound: $40
Finishing Fine Polish: $40
Buffing Machine: $350
Buffing Pads x 2: $50
IPA/Steril Cleaner: $20
Spray Bottles x 3: $15
Microfibre Towels Set: $20
Lint-Free Glass Towel: $8
Clay Bar: $40
Car Wash Shampoo:$30
Car Wash Mitt: $25
Drying Towel: $30
Hose Water Extension: $30
Power Extension Lead: $35
Tap Attachment Accessories: $10
Pressure Washer: $250
Time: 3 to 4 hours
Initial Cost: >$1110 (approximately, given that you use a mid tier pressure washer and machine buffer and products, of course this price sky rockets when using high end equipment/supplies)
Your initial cost outlay will of course cost you a fair bit, but ongoing, you would most likely need wax, polishing compound, IPA Cleanse, Towels, clay bar car wash shampoo and time. Being equipped with the right products is just one piece of the pie, having the skill and expertise makes up a huge remainder of what sets apart an average job with an excellent finish. What may take 3 to 4 hours for a detailer may take the average Joe full day or 2. Professional Detailers with 5, 10, 15 year of experience have learned to perfect their craft for so long to be able to complete such a job in a fraction of the time; efficiency. The results are all within the preparation and application, you could spend 5 to 6 hours, but would it necessarily meet the same standards to that of a professional? If applied poorly, the only way ou could remove the coating is by machine buffing and buff incorrectly, you could face possible swirl marks and other defects.
Also remember that wax provides little to no protective hardness whereas a coating does.
For the price of your initial outlay, you could pretty much book a Mobile Car Detailer for around the same price, including paint correction and the application at Schmicko. Also a great option for those invested in boat detailing.
The Bottom Line
Drawing a conclusion over the whole thing, if what you need for your car is cost-effectiveness, long-lasting results, and maximum protection, then your best shot is applying a ceramic coating. Not only does it offer paint protection against damaging contaminants, but it also continually produces an elegant shine that makes your car appear brand new.
However, if you will be using a DIY Nano tech ceramic coating, it’s important you complete some additional research to know the proper preparation and application techniques. That is very important to the result you get from it. But in whichever way, ceramic coatings are quite easier to install than you would think, and its results speak for themselves.
All Year Round Protection & Shine
At Schmicko, we offer boat detailing and car paint protection services all over Sydney. We apply our german-engineered coatings to provide you with the ultimate gloss and protection for your vehicle. Of course, it is ideal to have your coating installed by one our experienced professionals for the best results. Much of the detail comes in to the preparation, such as machine buffing to ensure that we can minimize any surface blemishes as much as possible.
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