Keeping your car looking good can be easier than it sounds. Even if you stay on top of washing it, over time, it will begin to lose that glossy paint job look that really made your car pop. However, all paint jobs lose their sheen over the years.
Things like UV rays, dirt, debris, bird droppings, and stains, can damage a car’s paint job, causing the coating to fade and decay over time. If you want to give your car its shine back, then learning how to apply a ceramic coat can do the trick and restore your car’s former glory. However, this job should be done carefully. The last thing you want is for your car to look like it was painted by an amateur.
Learning how to apply ceramic coat can help preserve your car’s paint job for two to three years and can breathe new life into your old paint job. The process mainly involves prepping the surface of the car by washing it thoroughly and applying special sprays that will remove any type of chemical contaminants. Doing so will ensure that the ceramic coat goes on smoothly. Once you’ve applied the coating, you will need to use a microfiber cloth to polish the surface of the car, then spray down the surface with silica spray which makes the coating weather-resistant while also adding a glossy shine.
How is Ceramic Coating Good?
There’s really nothing you can do to prevent your car’s paint job from fading over time, however, you can slow it down. Ceramic coating, when applied correctly, can preserve your car’s paint job for years to come. In fact, it can also instantly make your existing paint job pop. This job isn’t as easy as learning how to change headlight bulb, but if you go slow and follow these instructions carefully, you can end up with pro-looking results.
Ceramic coating is better for your paint job than wax jobs since wax tends to break down after several washes. This means a ceramic coating can provide better protection compared to both sealants and wax jobs.
Getting Down to Business
Applying a ceramic coating to your car isn’t hard, especially if you’re already familiar with detailing knowledge and have the right tool. This process is similar to polishing and waxing. The ceramic coating will form a bond with the surface of the car, so the first thing you’ll need to do is prep the car’s surface.
Prepping the Surface
The coating will work on a nano-molecular level. The coating will form a bond with the substrate and can provide a permanent or semi-permanent coating. So, before you apply it, you’ll need to prep the car’s surface and ensure it’s free of dirt, debris, bird droppings and other types of contaminants. Start by hosing down your car. Use a car washing foam, beginning at the bottom of your vehicle, moving toward the top. After the car has been soaped down, rinse off the body an additional time.
Take another cleaning solution and mix it with water in one bucket. Take another bucket and fill it with clean water. Use a sponge or towel and dip it into the cleaning solution. Begin at the top of the vehicle and wipe it down.
Use the clean water to rinse off the towel. Each time you dip the sponge or towel in the cleaning solution, be sure to rinse it using the clean water. This will ensure that no contaminants from the car mix with the cleaning solution. Rinse the cleaning solution off the car with the hose.
Tar Remover and Iron Fillings Remover
If you’re going to apply a coat of ceramic then you have to make sure the car is free of any type of chemical contaminant. Because of this, you need to use a tar remover and an iron fillings remover. Both products are available in spray form, so you can easily spray down your car. Both products work to decontaminant the paint. Follow the instructions on the bottles and give each product enough time to work.
Next, you’ll need to address any type of residue, excess paint, and scratches on the car’s surface. You can use clay lubricants and a clay bar for this phase. Use the lubricant on the body of the car, then apply the clay bar. Be sure you rub horizontally and vertically.
Final Prepping Phase
A ceramic coat is designed to last two to three years. So make sure your car’s surface is smooth and well-polished. The last thing you want is excess paint sticking to your vehicle for the next few years.
You can use an IPA or spray isopropyl alcohol for the last step in the prep phase. This will ensure that there’s no remaining residue on your vehicle. This last step will prep the surface to form a bond with the ceramic. Lastly, wipe the surface of the car clean using a microfiber cloth.
Waxing Before Ceramic Coating
I don’t recommend waxing your car prior to applying a ceramic coat since the wax will form a coat on the top of the car’s surface. The ceramic coating needs to be able to form a bond with the car’s surface, not the wax.
For this phase, you’ll use a silica spray, microfiber towels, a coated sponge and the ceramic coating. Allow the sponge to soak in the solution. Smear the coating on a small area horizontally and vertically, careful not to miss any spots. Wait for five minutes, after which point you’ll take the microfiber cloth and polish the coating. This allows it to form a glossy finish. Make sure you don’t wait too long to polish the coating after it’s been applied or it can set unevenly. If you do end up waiting too long you can use a machine polisher to smooth the surface.
Next, you’ll apply the silica spray. This spray typically comes with the ceramic coating product and it works to boost the coating’s glossiness and also develops a water resistance. Typically, the spray should be used one hour after the ceramic coating has been applied.
Now, allow the car to remain in the garage for twenty-four hours to give the coating time to settle and remain free of debris.
You should give the ceramic coat a couple of weeks to cure. Make sure the surface of the car remains free of dirt and debris during this time and wipe away any bird droppings or contaminants as soon as possible. During the curing period, avoid washing your car or leaving it out in rainy weather. The car should also not be left outside on sunny days. Basically, keep your car in the garage as much as possible during this time. If you have to store it on the street during the day, then invest in a car cover for optimal protection from dirt, debris, and the elements.
How Much Does it Cost to Have Professionals Apply a Ceramic Coating?
The price will vary from garage to garage and can range from $500 up to $2000. As you can see, learning how to do it yourself can save you some serious cash.
Is Ceramic Coating Permanent?
No. Most ceramic coats will last two to three years with proper care. This can also be dependent on the brand of coating and whether or not the job was done correctly.
Does a Jump Starter Fully Charge a Battery?
The best portable jump starter works by plugging directly into an AC outlet and can recharge a battery for two to three hours, allowing you to get where you need to go. If you’re looking for a reliable, powerful model, I recommend the STANLEY J5C09 Jump Starter.
Can You Apply Wax Over a Ceramic Coating?
Once the coating has had time to cure, you can apply wax over it. Make sure the wax you use it straight wax and doesn’t contain any type of special cleaner. Using a straight wax will add a nice shine and can further protect both the car’s paint job and the ceramic coating. A straight wax should be applied every four months.
Now that you know how to apply ceramic coating, you can see that it’s a complicated and time-consuming process. But it will work to keep your car looking great for at least two to three years, so it’s worth the hassle. While you can take your car to a local body repair shop and pay a professional to take on this job, this type of coating is pretty pricey, and you’ll still have to deal with keeping the car protected during the curing process. Learning how to do it yourself will save you a lot of money and time. Once you do it successfully the first time, you’ll find that doing it the second time around is much faster and easier.