Ceramic Coating Services
Starting at $650*
Ceramic Coatings: The Short Explanation.
Ceramic coatings deliver a hard film that makes water-spots easy to remove, offers great resistance to all wash chemicals and can help withstand micro-marring. It produces a high-gloss, warm-looking, extreme hydrophobic finish. These exterior-only services include: pre-wash, wash, decontamination, clay bar, prep polish and a single application of a Ceramic Coating. Protection may last greater than 24 months; however, the level and quality of any exterior maintenance will determine the life of your coating.
*This Coating service DOES NOT include any Paint Correction or Paint Enhancement that would otherwise remove or reduce swirls. Please ask for a consultation regarding Paint Correction services should your vehicle require it.
Ceramic Coatings: The More Comprehensive Explanation.
The What and Why.
What is a ceramic coating?
For simplicity’s sake, there are three forms of paint protection: waxes, sealants, and coatings.
Waxes are comprised of an organic material—mostly known as carnauba wax. Carnauba is known as Brazil wax and palm wax—a wax of the leaves of the carnauba palm Copernicia prunifera, a plant native to and grown only in the northeastern Brazil. Carnauba wax is an economical solution which provides a form of protection. There are many forms of application, and it provides a warm glow and shine to a vehicles paint. However, is it not particularly durable and will require multiple applications to maintain any form of durability. It is also susceptible to the environment and harsh soaps.
Sealants are another form of protection. They are synthetic and provide a higher level of durability and protection compared to waxes. They are easy applied to a vehicles exterior paint, but they do not provide the same warm shine waxes do.
A ceramic coating is a long-term nanoscopic exterior automotive paint treatment and protectant. Ceramic coatings are typically composed of silicon dioxide or silica (Si02). Some types and brands also use titanium dioxide or titania (Ti02) which provides an additional hardening agent. A chemical bond with strong hydrophobic (water repelling qualities) properties is created when a ceramic coating is applied to your paints clearcoat exterior. Essentially, ceramic coatings work to repel water and help mitigate mineral deposits and dirt from damaging the vehicle’s paint surface. Ceramic coatings are applied in a liquid form and cure to form a tough exterior layer on top of your paint’s clearcoat.
What are the benefits of a ceramic coating? What does it do?
A ceramic coating will provide protection to your vehicle’s paint from blemishes and damage. They provide superior heat, abrasion, chemical, water, and impact resistance. Ceramic coatings work to prevent water stains, road grime, bird droppings, and other substances from reaching and harming the paint. They will also assist with keeping your vehicle cleaner for longer periods as well as helping protect from harmful UV rays. Vehicle wash maintenance is also much easier after applying a ceramic coating as it helps create strong water beading action. Another benefit outside of protection is the tremendous aesthetic glossy shine ceramic coatings provide. When properly maintained, ceramic coatings can be effective for several years depending on the product used.
What Ceramic coatings will NOT do.
Ceramic coatings may offer unrivaled protection, but you should not expect an impenetrable barrier. Despite the amazing protective qualities, ceramic coatings DO NOT provide 100% protection against swirls, stains, scratches, etchings, or water spots. Rocks will still chip your paint. You can still get door dings. Tree sap, water spots. and bird droppings, if left unattended on the exterior paint, can still penetrate the ceramic coating silica-based polymer coating.
Appropriate and frequent maintenance—utilizing the right products—will be essential and required to keep your vehicle’s exterior looking its best. This will include the occasional treatment with an appropriate spray product after you have washed your vehicle. Lastly, ceramic coatings and other hybrid ceramic products usually do not provide any true surface restoration and/or paint correction for defects in your clearcoat.
Why the higher price?
Price of ceramic coating kits is often less than $100. However, it is not the materials that largely contribute to the cost of a ceramic coating. The preparation prior to its application does. Because ceramic coatings usually do not provide any true surface restoration and/or paint correction, paint surface prep is typically required prior to applying any type of ceramic coating or hybrid ceramic product. Before you apply any ceramic coating, you will want to achieve the optimal surface to ensure the best possible results. You will want to ensure your exterior paint is properly decontaminated chemically and physically with a clay bar (if needed). This will ensure all foreign materials and contaminate are removed from the clearcoat ensuring the best possible scenario for appropriate bonding of the ceramic to the clearcoat.
Aesthetically speaking, you will also likely want to engage in some level of paint correction to address any defects (swirls, scratches, stains) within the paint. The level of paint correction and surface preparation will largely dictate the cost as the more time that is spent to eliminate defects and prepare the surface will contribute to the cost. This is important because ceramic coatings will magnify any imperfections that exist in the paint.
The process of applying a ceramic coating, while simple—can still be costly if done incorrectly. Application must be smooth and consistent. Any faulty application and subsequent correction will be costly and time consuming to fix.
These reasons contribute to why a professional may charge $1,000 (often times much more) to apply a ceramic coating to your vehicle. The good news is if you want to ceramic coat your daily driver—it may not be realistic or necessary to engage in extensive paint correction prior to application. This is a large variable, and every situation will be unique. Consequently, this is a discussion you should absolutely have with your detailer so the appropriate expectations can be established before application. Ultimately, the cost of a ceramic coating really depends on the level of perfection you are chasing for your clearcoat and the time that will be invested to achieve it.