A ceramic coating isn’t the most easy form of protection to apply. However, the added performance often make it worth the extra effort. Preparing the surface as best as possible will get the best performance out of the coating.
Why preparing the surface
A wax contains oils, which often have little trouble being combined with the residue of other oils. Of there is still a little bit of oily residue left from polishing, or a glaze, the wax will only slightly be affected by this. A sealant can be a little bit more tricky, but will still perform good. But a coating is a bit more tricky. In turn for this, you will get better performance than a sealant, and much better then that from wax. If you are in a hurry, a wax will be the quickest option, if you have the time and want to put in the effort, a coating might be a very interesting option.
how to prepare the surface
In order to prepare the surface as best as possible, its recommended to keep these rules in mind:
- Remove all forms of oil. Just wiping off the polish residue is not enough. Use an IPA product (or similar) to remove any trace of residue for a perfectly clean surface
- Make sure the surface has been washed, decontaminated and preferably polished (to remove any surface oxidation)
- Tape off areas that are not supposed to be coated to make your job easier. A ceramic coating for paintwork might not perform well on unpainted plastic trims
- A coating designed for glass might not perform properly on paintwork, and vice versa
- As with all protective products, applying it as thin as possible makes it easier to work with
- Read the label or ask the manufacturer on advice on curing time. Letting these products cure to long before buffing might make it very difficult to work with
- Most ceramic coating products are designed to be used within 6 months from manufacturing. If you have a very old bottle, test it out before applying
- There might be cured bits in the cap from a used bottle, this is normal. The ceramic product hardens into a very hard, slightly glass like residue
- Some manufacturer actually make special products that help to prepare the surface
Difference between paint, plastic and glass
Ceramic coatings are tricky to create. To get the best performance possible, the manufacturer has to focus the recipe on the surface it will be applied upon. The chemical bonding with glass is different that the bonding with plastic or paintwork. Please note that painted plastic count as paintwork, because the clear coat that is being applied on painted plastic is the same paint that is being applied on the metal body panels. Check wether the product you are using is designed to work with the surface you are applying it on.
- Waterspots are mineral deposits left behind after a liquid (such as water) evaporated. During evaporation, only the water molecules will evaporate. The contamination in the water will be left behind. Minerals are a very common contamination in water....
- There are mainly 2 different types of polishes. SMAT and DAT. Knowing which one does what will help you to choose the right polish for the job....
- Plasti Dip is an American manufacturer of several different types of plastic/rubber coating type products. The brand originates from 1972 and has gathered worldwide recognition with its main product: Plasti Dip aerosol spray....
- Removing a scratch is a very important part of the correction process. However, there are several different ways of removing several different types of scratches. It also needs an explanation on what removing a scratch actually means....
- A random orbital and its different settings can affect your performance in a great way. A couple of big issues that influence the polishing performance are the speed, stroke size and pressure. But first some general information about the machine....
- Wheels are an important part of your vehicles appearance. Polishing wheels can be just as effective on the overall look of the vehicle as the rest of the paintwork. Polishing wheels isn't very difficult, but takes some practice and the proper polish/tools to do it perfectly....