There are several ways to protect the paint on a car, truck, or SUV. From vinyl wraps, installing a car bra, or religiously waxing and polishing your ride, vehicle owners spend a lot of money keeping their rides looking sweet. But what about the newest kid on the car paint protection block – DIY Nano-ceramic coatings? While professionally installed ceramic coatings have been around for quite some time, the latest craze has been the introduction of do-it-yourself variants of this high-effective paint protectant.
The question many consumers ask – “are ceramic coatings really that good?”
In short – yeah! They’re actually considered by many automotive experts as being the most cost-effective way to protect automotive paint from exposure to UV sunlight, acid rain, bird droppings, and more – while maintaining an ultra-shiny appearance for up to 5 years.
If you’ve ever wanted to know about ceramic coatings, this article was written for you. In the info below, we’ll breakdown the facts about ceramic coatings, what they are, how they are applied, and the pros and cons of installing a DIY nano-ceramic coating to protect your vehicle.
What is Ceramic Coating?
Have you ever used a non-stick cooking pan? Well, the technology infused into these daily cooking pieces is slightly different but is essentially the same concept. A ceramic coated pan is infused with a microscopic layer of protection that keeps food from sticking to it while cooking. A ceramic coating for car paintworks in a similar fashion. It’s the second layer of skin that protects the clearcoat of your vehicle’s paint.
Automotive ceramic coating utilizes nanotechnology, with molecules so small that it’s invisible to the human eye. When it’s applied to a car’s surface, it infuses onto the clear coat of the paint and fills all the microscopic pores, peaks, and valleys in the paint. This provides a completely smooth and even layer of protection that makes the surface exceptionally water-resistant (or hydrophobic), resistant to scratches, chemicals, UV light, road grime, bug splatters, bird droppings, and more. Moreover, since this protection is so hard when it cures, it actually helps to reduce swirl marks – which improves the surface appearance for years.
What are the Options of Ceramic Coating?
There are two types of ceramic coatings for the automotive market:
- Professionally Applied Ceramic Coating: A professionally applied ceramic coating is an industrial strength and highly complex version, that must be installed by a professional automotive technician. This type of coating requires significant preparation work and can take a few days to install and cure correctly. The cost of this type of automotive paint ceramic coating ranges from $1,000 to $3,000 installed.
- DIY Nano-Ceramic Coating: If you wait long enough, eventually consumer-friendly versions of a proven product will become available. Such is the case with DIY Nano-ceramic coatings. Similar in many ways to the commercial-grade ceramic coating, the DIY version helps to provide a microscopic layer of protection for your car’s exterior. The major difference is that the formula of the DIY variant has been simplified for easier application – and reduced curing time. This makes it easier to install – yet produces similar long-lasting protection. A DIY ceramic coating will run you between $30 to $150 (depending mainly on the quality of the product and the size of your vehicle).
What are the Pros and Cons of Using a DIY Ceramic Coating?
While it might seem “convenient” to have a professional install a ceramic coating, the reality is that it’s not that difficult. Many consumers have purchased DIY ceramic coating kits and have reported exceptional results. The key to superior performance is preparation work – making sure the exterior of the paint is as clean and free of debris (or waxes) as possible. This permits the ceramic coating to truly protect the clear coat of the paint, which also produces an exceptional shine.
There are a few advantages and disadvantages to consider by investing in a DIY ceramic coating:
- DIY Ceramic Coatings are fairly simple to apply.
- They offer exceptional hydrophobic protection (meaning water literally slips off the surface, which keeps the vehicle cleaner – longer).
- Provides exceptional scratch protection.
- Produces an amazing shine without having to frequently wax or polish.
- Can last up to 5 years when properly prepped and applied on paint in exceptional shape.
- Makes removing bug splatters and bird dropping simple – as they don’t stick to the paint surface.
- Not all DIY ceramic coating kits are equal. Some are made from cheap materials and produce less than stellar results.
- Customer service with some DIY ceramic coating companies is sub-par – making it difficult to correctly learn how to apply and care for the vehicle.
- It requires some significant preparation to ensure positive results.
What is the Smarter Investment – Ceramic Coating vs Car Wax?
If you’re on the fence about whether a ceramic coating is a smart investment – consider this fact. Applying car wax is a process, beginning with prep work (cleaning the vehicle and stripping previously applied layers of wax & polish), applying the new wax & polish, then repeating this process every month or two. This process needs to be repeated frequently since wax only lasts for a few months (if that). Assuming that you are proactive about wax and polish car care, you’ll spend an average of 4 hours per month on prep work, application, and routine care – and spend about $20 per month.
With ceramic coatings, especially the easier to apply, high-quality DIY ceramic coating kits, you’ll likely spend six to eight hours on prep work, installation, and care – one time. The coating will cure and provide a long-lasting layer of protection that produces a more elegant shine than car wax and polish and lasts about 30-times longer – for less than $100.
If you’re looking for simplicity, cost-effectiveness, and superior protection – the hands-down winner is the high-quality DIY ceramic coating kit ArmorShield IX. The key is to do your research online to find a product that actual customers rave about. When people take time to articulate their feelings about how easy the product is to use, the superior results it produces, and the customer service offered by the company manufacturing the DIY ceramic coating – that is worth its weight in gold.