Ceramic coating has become increasingly popular among car enthusiasts and owners due to its ability to provide long-lasting protection for a vehicle’s paint. This innovative technology offers numerous benefits and is a great alternative to traditional wax or clear coat.
In this article, we will explore the ins and outs of ceramic coating, including its cost, advantages, and downsides. Whether you’re considering a DIY application or seeking professional help, this guide will help you understand the cost implications involved.
The average cost to ceramic coat a car runs between $1000-$3000 for professional install and $100-$250 if doing it yourself. The price of a ceramic coating depends on many factors such as:
- Size of the vehicle
- Condition of your car (new car or older car)
- Quality of the ceramic coat used
- Additional services provided during ceramic coating
- Preparation work required before application
Now that you know the rough cost, here’s what you need to know about ceramic coating, what it’s good for, and how to safe money while getting proper results.
- Ceramic coatings are a great protection investment
- It can be done at home or professionally
- It lasts on average between 5-10 years if done correctly.
- Pricing is variable depending on size, age, quality, and vehicle condition
- It’s important to justify the cost per performance of using a wax vs ceramic coat
What Is Ceramic Coating?
Ceramic coating is a liquid polymer that is applied to the surface of a car’s paint. It forms a protective layer that bonds with the paint, creating a durable and resistant shield against various external elements.
This coating is typically made up of silicon dioxide (SiO2), which gives it its strength and longevity.
Ceramic Coating vs. Wax
One of the key differences between ceramic coating and traditional wax is the longevity of the protection.
While wax provides a temporary layer of protection that lasts for a few months, ceramic coating can offer protection for up to several years.
Additionally, ceramic coating provides enhanced resistance against UV rays, chemicals, and environmental contaminants.
Ceramic Coating vs. Clear Coat
Clear coat is the layer of paint that is applied to the surface of a car’s paint. While clear coat does provide some level of protection, it is not as durable as ceramic coating.
Ceramic coating adds an extra layer of protection on top of the clear coat, making it more resistant to scratches, stains, and fading.
Ceramic Coating – DIY vs. Professional Application
When it comes to applying a ceramic coating, you have two options: DIY or professional application. DIY ceramic coating kits are readily available in the market and can be applied by car owners themselves. These kits usually come with detailed instructions on how to properly prepare the surface and apply the coating.
However, it’s important to note that the quality of the application will largely depend on the skill and experience of the person applying the coating.
Ceramic coating is a lot trickier to put on compared to traditional wax. This is why the cost around the $100-$250 mark is more accurate. Your first attempt isn’t going to turn out great, but as you keep at it, it definitely gets easier. I tell everyone, give a try yourself first and if you don’t like it, seek a professional detailer.
Ceramic Spray demonstration. The easiest, safest, longest lasting DIY spray ceramic coating.
On the other hand, professional ceramic coating services are offered by experienced detailers who have the necessary tools, equipment, and expertise to achieve optimal results.
Professional application often involves a detailed paint correction process to ensure that the surface is free from any imperfections before applying the ceramic coating. This level of preparation and attention to detail is crucial for achieving a flawless and long-lasting finish.
Professional ceramic coats can last upwards of 5-10 years which is a huge benefit to keep our vehicle in great shape. Keep in mind were also talking about a spray coating, not a physically applied one. The coating application will differ whether the ceramic coating applied is in paste/liquid or spray form.
The video below is if you’ve already done all the previous steps:
How Much Does A Ceramic Coating Cost – Cost To Ceramic Coat A Car
From here lets look at the cost to ceramic coat a car at home, or via a professional detailer.
How Much Does A Professional Ceramic Coating Cost?
The cost to ceramic coat a car can vary depending on several factors such as the size (a larger vehicle will cost more) and condition of the vehicle, the level of paint correction required, and the type of ceramic coating product used. So how just how much does it cost?
On average, a professional ceramic coating job can cost anywhere between $500 to $2,000 or more.
It’s important to note that this cost includes not only the application of the ceramic coating but also the necessary prep work, paint correction, and detailing to ensure the best results.
What Are the Benefits of Ceramic Coating A Car’s Paint?
There are numerous benefits to having a vehicle ceramic coated. Firstly, ceramic coating provides excellent protection against UV rays, oxidation, and environmental contaminants such as dirt, bird droppings, and tree sap. This protection helps to keep the paint looking vibrant and glossy for an extended period.
Secondly, ceramic coating acts as a sacrificial layer, taking the brunt of any scratches or swirl marks, thereby keeping the original paint intact. Lastly, ceramic coating makes regular maintenance easier as dirt and grime can be easily washed away without damaging the underlying paint.
While it may offer scratch resistance, it is not scratch proof. Deeper scratches will always need to be filled, buffed, or sanded out if you want it done right.
Ceramic coating protects against salt wear and mud stains as well. It makes it significantly easier to remove during harsh weather seasons as well. Ceramic is also known to give your vehicles paint hydrophobic properties which will bond to your paint to create a chemical reaction to keep the paint clean and repel unwanted substances. Road grime and mud are a natural byproduct of us driving, ceramic coating will definitely help!
What Can’t Ceramic Coatings Do?
While ceramic coatings offer significant protection and durability, it’s important to note their limitations. Ceramic coatings cannot completely prevent all types of damage to a car’s paint. For example, they are not scratch-proof, and deeper scratches can still penetrate the coating and reach the paint layer.
Additionally, ceramic coatings cannot prevent rock chips or dings caused by flying debris on the road. It’s essential to understand that while ceramic coatings provide an added layer of protection, they are not invincible. While they do help protect against the elements, these surface coatings make it a lot easier to keep your ride clean and bring their value even higher.
What Are the Downsides To Ceramic Coatings?
Despite their benefits, ceramic coatings do have a few downsides. Firstly, the application process can be time-consuming and requires proper surface preparation. Secondly, the cost to ceramic coat a car is much more expensive than a wax job, but offers night and day differences.
Remember before ceramic coating, the preparation required to get a blemish free shine can be daunting, but worth it. If you have any questions about nano-coatings, get in touch with your local professional detailers, I’m sure they would love to help in case I miss anything in this guide.
However, when considering the longevity and long lasting protection they offer, the cost can be justified. Lastly, ceramic coatings require regular maintenance, including periodic reapplication to maintain their effectiveness.
Are Ceramic Coatings All Hype?
Ceramic coatings have become increasingly popular in recent years, with many claiming them to be a revolutionary advancement in car paint protection. While ceramic coatings do offer significant benefits, it’s essential to separate the hype from reality.
They are not a magical solution that will make your car completely damage-proof. However, they do provide a high level of protection and durability that can greatly enhance the appearance and longevity of your vehicle’s paint. Since a ceramic coating is essentially a “sealant” you need to make sure to check it every now and then and keep up on it.
You can also get your wheels ceramic coated too. It’s not just hype, the science you learned in chemistry class definitely makes sense why the product is getting so popular. Just make sure you stay within your price range and get the whole job completed.
If you take your vehicle to a dealership and they don’t offer to wash the car and clay bar it first, it’s probably best to decide to go elsewhere for another professional-grade opinion. If you plan to install it yourself, just take your time (the process can take a while remember), follow the instructions on the packaging, and put in plenty of elbow grease to enjoy those long lasting end results!
How long does a ceramic coating last?
The lifespan of a ceramic coating can vary depending on factors such as the quality of the coating, the application process, and how well the car is maintained.
On average, a professionally applied ceramic coating can last between 2 to 5 years, while DIY coatings may last up to 2 years. Regular maintenance and periodic reapplication can help extend the lifespan of the coating.
Can a ceramic coated car be taken to a car wash?
Yes, a ceramic coated car can be taken to a car wash. However, it’s important to choose a car wash that uses gentle and non-abrasive cleaning methods.
Automated car washes with brushes may cause micro-scratches on the coating, affecting its appearance, and durability. Opting for hand washing or touchless car washes is recommended to ensure the coating is not damaged.
Can I apply ceramic coating on wheels?
Yes, ceramic coating can be applied to wheels as well. Ceramic coated wheels not only provide protection against brake dust, dirt, and grime but also make cleaning them much easier.
The coating creates a hydrophobic barrier that repels water and helps prevent the buildup of contaminants.
Do I need to polish my car before applying a ceramic coating?
Yes, it is recommended to perform paint correction and polishing before applying a ceramic coating. This step helps to remove any swirl marks, light scratches, or imperfections on the surface of the paint, ensuring a smooth and flawless finish.
Use high-quality ceramic coatings, and try different ceramic coatings, not all products work the same. I’ve left my recommendations above.
When considering the cost to ceramic coat a car, it’s important to weigh the benefits and downsides alongside your budget. While ceramic coatings may not be necessary for everyone, they can be a worthwhile investment for those looking for long-lasting paint protection and enhanced aesthetics.