You want to use a ceramic coating to protect your new car, but you’re torn between paying for professional installation or taking the DIY approach. You don’t have to worry because most car owners have been having this dilemma when deciding which ceramic coating method of application they should go for.
On the one hand, you can choose a premium DIY nano-ceramic coating, engage in some work, and get good results. Or, if you prefer longer-lasting results, hire a professional to prepare the surface and apply a professional-grade ceramic coating. In addition to the decision-making struggle, which paint coating is the best choice for your car?
To bring some light to the topic, this article will help you dissect the facts around professional-grade ceramic materials and installation techniques, some of the best ceramic pro coating brands, and the benefits and drawbacks of these great products.
The Installation Process for Professional Ceramic Coating Products
Preparing and applying a professional-grade ceramic coating takes a lot of time. From beginning to end, the process typically takes five days (including the time to strip old wax, polish, and other imperfections). The professional in professional ceramic coating installation may advise painting correction in specific cases (which can extend the process even more).
Complete Washing And Clay Bar Treatment
The professional-grade ceramic coating is more complicated than DIY, so the preparation is more involved. Like the DIY alternative, the preparation starts with thoroughly washing and clay bar treatment. Before using any product, cleaning the vehicle’s paint of toxins like brake dust is essential.
1. Using Degreaser and Deionized Water
Unlike the DIY approach, a professional installation uses only deionised water and specialised tools to minimise the risk of scratches. They also apply chemical degreasers to remove grease, oil, or grit from the roads.
2. Air Drying With Compressed Air
Lastly, the car is air-dried using filtered, compressed air to prevent the spread of pollutants across the newly polished surface.
Once the wash and treatment are complete, they will go on to the paint correction process . A professional protective coating will show any imperfections in the paintwork much more clearly.
Ceramic Coating Application
Applying the professional ceramic coating is theprocess’s process’s most time-consuming and difficult step. There are many different brands and varieties of professional coating, all with their own set of suggested procedures to ensure optimal results. Nonetheless, these are the broad strokes of the process:
1. Adding the Primer Polish
Priming polish is the first step in applying products like Opti-Coat or Modesta. By doing so, the surface beneath the coating might shine brighter.
2. Transporting the Vehicle to A Sealed Installation Booth
When the final polish has been applied, the car is transported to the auto detailing business’s installation booth, which is significantly more elaborate than a standard paint booth. This aims to ensure that the ceramic coating and vehicle surface are not contaminated by dust.
3. Wiping The Vehicle’s Body with Alcohol and Water
Professional applicators will clean the vehicle’s body with an alcohol and water-based solution before beginning the application process.
4. Applying the First Layer
Applying the first coat of ceramic pro coating is done in squares of two feet by two sections. It’s a lengthy and tedious procedure. It takes at least 8 hours to finish an average-sized vehicle.
5. Adding Extra Layers
Additional coating layers will be applied like the primary layer. However, the number of layers applied will vary based on the quality of the professional-grade ceramic coating (or the package option you select).
6. Heat-treated Baking
Activating the adhesive components in most professional coatings requires heat treatment, such as baking. Using heat lamps, which can reach temperatures of up to 150 degrees, is achieved in a shorter amount of time.
It will take some time for the car to cure after the product has been installed in its totality. A professional installation will often keep the vehicle overnight before being returned to the owner.
The professional grade ceramic coating has the same 48-hour waiting period as a high-quality do-it-yourself ceramic coating. But unlike the do-it-yourself version, the professional grade can take up to 30 days to fully solidify and provide ceramic pro rain protection.
Top 3 Professional Ceramic Coating Brands in the Market Today
Three companies stand out as the undisputed frontrunners. This is not a ranking but a brief overview of the three most widely available options.
1. Ceramic Pro
If we’re talking about bandwidth, nobody does it better than Ceramic Pro or its parent company, Nanoshine Ltd. More than a hundred thousand automobiles a month have it applied by over five thousand authorised dealers in more than seventy countries.
In addition to protecting paint, alloy, glass, ceramic pro leather, fabric, rubber, and plastic, their wide range of products is suitable for air and marine purposes.
Applying the Ceramic Pro brand auto paint often necessitates using not one but two different products: the base coat and the clear coat.
Ceramic Pro 9H
This is their top-of-the-line offering, providing the highest possible level of protection for your vehicle, which is the 9H. It is typically placed in several layers, with more coverage resulting in increased product warranties. A “lifetime warranty” is available when four coats of this product are applied in addition to one coat of their Pro Light product.
Ceramic Pro Light (Lighter Version)
The Ceramic Pro Light is a lightweight variant of their premium product that serves as a topcoat. Despite its inferiority to Pro 9H in terms of durability and strength, it excels in producing a brilliant shine and a lack of hydrophilicity. It can be expected to live for about two years.
Ceramic Pro Sport
Ceramic Pro’s commercial offering is called Pro Sport. When the Ceramic Pro 9H or Light has been applied, this is utilised as a booster or product extender. The effect can last anywhere from six months to a year.
2. Modesta Glass Coating
Moderna Glass Coating is a Japanese professional coating formula with nine products that comprise their product line. These items range from the introductory BC-01 to the top-tier BC-09 (unfortunately not a BC-07 variant) and even include a Paul Dalton Private Label (named after one of the product’s inventors).
Modesta Glass Finishing Properties
The surface, which is hard and glassy, is made from a unique mix of high-quality silicon and other inorganic components. Titanium dioxide, which they use in sure of their products, is inherently oxidation-proof.
Methods of Application
They provide three methods of application, all of which must be carried out by a trained and certified expert or an authorised dealer.
The standard procedure for applying ceramic coatings to cars has been tweaked. The memorable finishing touch, however, is achieved by wiping the surface with a damp microfiber cloth, which triggers the hardening process. This method of installation calls for a heat-lamp curing time of up to an hour with products in the BC-01 through BC-04 series.
The liquid glass coating is applied dry with an applicator. A primer agent (P-01A) is used as a foundation coat before applying BC-05 or PD Private Label. Afterwards, a microfiber cloth removes excess priming before a final coat is sprayed. No UV or infrared lamps are required for this treatment procedure.
The BC-06 compound is sprayed using a paint gun and nitrous oxide as the propellant as a finishing touch. This procedure is similar to the wet application in that it requires numerous coats of spray and cures in much the same way.
3. Opti-Coat Pro
Optimal Polymer Technologies sells Opti-Coat, which trained professionals can only install. It only takes one application to protect the vehicle’s paint job permanently.
Opti-Coat Pro's Special Features
A factory clear coat can be chemically bonded with Opti-Coat PRO, a clear, ceramic polymer coating. The product is applied with a foam applicator and pad. Installers will lay it in portions or blocks measuring 2 feet by 2 feet.
The “flashing” step of the application procedure is necessary since a liquid medium in the formula will evaporate during the application process. This is why the process is labour-intensive and should be left to qualified professionals.
The last step is curing, which starts with a “baking” time at 150 degrees. You can touch it dry after 30 minutes; after another hour, it’s ready to be submerged in water. A full recovery may take up to 60 days. This product does offer a high gloss finish and substantial colour depth, but its durability only lasts up to five years.
Our Favourite However Is: Wax is Dead
The concept of Wax is Dead was uncomplicated – to improve upon ceramic coatings’ already impressive protection capabilities and make the application process much more manageable.
However, this simplicity belies the hard work we put into achieving our goal. For three years, we tirelessly tested numerous formulas and sacrificed many nights of sleep. Finally, we succeeded. Today, we can proudly claim that we have created some of the most cutting-edge coatings available, thanks to our exclusive, proprietary formula that offers all the advantages of ceramic coating in just one application.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Professional Ceramic Coating
Based on the products we mentioned earlier, professional-grade ceramic coatings can provide top-notch protection against sun rays, scratches, anti-graffiti spray, bug splatters, bird droppings, and more. Also, it is sometimes simpler to have a professional automobile car care expert perform the coating’s preparation, installation, and curing rather than doing it yourself.
On the other hand, here are some benefits and drawbacks of investing in a professional ceramic coating.
Advantages of Professional Ceramic Coating
Easy Process for the Vehicle Owner
Easy Process for the Vehicle Owner Take the vehicle to the dealer, schedule an appointment, and they will handle everything else. If you purchase a product with a lifetime guarantee, you won’t ever have to worry about applying it again or buying more paint protection.
Protective and Superior Shine
Professional Ceramic coatings can create outstanding shine and hydrophobic qualities for your vehicle.
If the professional installing it excellently prepares the surface and applies the ceramic, it will need less maintenance than some do-it-yourself options.
Disadvantages of Professional Ceramic Coating
The professional option is more expensive than most high-quality DIY Nano-Ceramic coatings. Depending on the product, the number of uses, and the length of warranty needed, prices might vary from around €940 to €3,300.
Requires More Research
As with the do-it-yourself ceramic coating market, consumers must research the products and installation businesses they choose. You can locate the best specialist for the job who also uses the best products with a little bit of research.
Challenging to Identify Warranty Protection
Ceramic coating product warranties are not easily guaranteed. For some, it’s all about meeting the standards established by the installation business or the manufacturer. Before making a purchase, be sure your questions are answered.
Advantages and Disadvantages of DIY Nano Coating
High-quality ceramic coating solutions available for do-it-yourself application can also provide protection and abrasion resistance on par with those offered by ceramic goods installed by professionals. Compared to the professional-grade version, the DIY formulation is optimised for installation, requires less preparation, and may be simpler to set up. Yet there are benefits and drawbacks, just as with any professional product.
Advantages of DIY Nano Coating
While having a professional apply nano-ceramic coating to your car will cost you over $1,000, you may do it yourself for less than $100.
Exceptional Hydrophobic Properties
Do-It-Yourself Ceramic Coatings Can Achieve Professional Results in Certain Areas.
Similar Longevity of Service
DIY and professional products provide about the same level of protection at about the same time.
Disadvantages of DIY Nano Coating
Requires Significant Effort to Prepare the Vehicle
You’ll need to put in some effort beforehand if you want good results from any paint protection product. Even with a do-it-yourself ceramic kit, the work can be tedious. The amount of preparation needed to paint will depend mainly on the quality of your paint surface.
Not Suitable for All Cars
A do-it-yourself ceramic coating won’t do much for a car with a thin clear finish. This is more suited to modern vehicles with high-quality clear coat coatings.
Poor Products Sold in the Market
There is a wide variety in quality among professional coatings. Do your homework before buying on the DIY market, as many low-quality items are available with exaggerated claims.
Facts to Keep in Mind on Professional Ceramic Coating
1. Ceramic Coatings are not scratch-proof
The risk of scratches can be reduced with the help of professional ceramic coating, but they are not scratch-proof.
2. Ceramic Coatings are not rock chip resistant
Any paint, glass, or other surfaces of your car that is struck by a rock of any size travelling at high speed may cause damage, especially when it has ceramic coatings.
3. Chemical Resistant
Ceramic professional coatings and high-quality do-it-yourself coatings may not be indestructible, but they prevent toxins from damaging your finishing coating.
4. Self-healing properties depend on the brand
Some ceramic coating solutions in the market contain a polymer that makes superficial scratches and scrapes virtually invisible. Nonetheless, minor scratches may usually be “lightly rubbed” out, thanks to the ceramic covering. When compared to paint protection film, they are still lacking.
5. Warranties are guaranteed if they are in writing
Make sure to get everything explained in writing if a dealer or installer is offering a warranty or guarantee, and make sure they explain everything to you personally as well, including any limitations or extra costs.
6. Using car wax is up to you
Consider a ceramic coating for optimum shine and protection of the clear coat. Also, while it is “working,” there is no requirement to wax the car. But it’s probably going to break down at some point. Some professional coatings (or their accompanying application kits) come with a lifetime guarantee. However, the vast majority have a limited lifespan.
The critical factor is how hard you’re willing to work. Preparation and application are the primary differentiating factors between the highest-quality professional ceramic coatings and the highest-quality do-it-yourself ceramic coating kits.
Having a professional take care of things is more convenient, but you’ll have to pay more for the service. It makes sense for some buyers to have things set up by a pro.
It’s also relative to how you feel about it. Suppose you’re interested in tackling this project. In that case, you must acquire a high-quality DIY Ceramic Coating product with a fantastic hydrophobic effect from a reliable business that provides helpful customer service and clear installation instructions.