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Let's talk ceramic coatings


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I've got a few friends with higher end cars and SUV's that've had them ceramic coated.  The results are pretty stunning.

 

I've always been a DIY hobbyist car detailer.  Had several black cars and bought a porter cable random orbital buffer years ago.  Also started using a claybar and doing multi-step process on our vehicles to get maximum shine & protection.  Last year at Christmas I got a hybrid ceramic coating/wax.  I applied two coats and was pretty blown away by the lasting shine and water beading.

 

Getting a new black truck, I'm interested in max shine & protection.  I googled some ceramic coatings and of course now I get hit with ads for various products constantly.

 

I did a bit more research.  Found this list.  Curious if any of you have experience with any of these products.  I"m not afriad of investing the time to do a great prep and application for long lasting shine and protection.  

 

https://www.cnet.com/roadshow/news/best-ceramic-coating/

 

 

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I can't speak to any of the ones in their list but when I researched back in 2019 when I got my Truck, I found Armor Shield and applied two coats and have been very happy.  Recoated for the first time last summer so got about 4 years out of it and get comments all the time on how my truck looks brand new.  Prior I had black cars and used Zaino products and their 5-6 step process.  This was much less effort.

 

https://avalonking.com/products/armor-shield-ix-diy-kit

 

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I'm using Cerakote. It's really easy to apply and it lasts about 3-4 months. It's foolproof. You won't get tiger stripes. If you miss an area when polishing it out, just grab the bottle and spritz that spot and polish. Easy. Does it compete with the highend stuff? Nope but it does fine for my DD truck which is black. Now I'm in the winter. No driveway washing. Car wash only until April. Then I will spend a morning polishing the truck with my Porter Cable and then hit it with Cerakote. 

Edited by Jus Cruisin
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12 minutes ago, Jus Cruisin said:

I'm using Cerakote. It's really easy to apply and it lasts about 3-4 months. It's foolproof. You won't get tiger stripes. If you miss an area when polishing it out, just grab the bottle and spritz that spot and polish. Easy. Does it compete with the highend stuff? Nope but it does fine for my DD truck which is black. Now I'm in the winter. No driveway washing. Car wash only until April. Then I will spend a morning polishing the truck with my Porter Cable and then hit it with Cerakote. 

this sounds very similar to my situation.  Thanks!

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12 minutes ago, Jus Cruisin said:

I'm using Cerakote. It's really easy to apply and it lasts about 3-4 months. It's foolproof. You won't get tiger stripes. If you miss an area when polishing it out, just grab the bottle and spritz that spot and polish. Easy. Does it compete with the highend stuff? Nope but it does fine for my DD truck which is black. Now I'm in the winter. No driveway washing. Car wash only until April. Then I will spend a morning polishing the truck with my Porter Cable and then hit it with Cerakote. 

awesome.  I was an early user of Zaino back in the day also... whatever happened to that brand???

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57 minutes ago, J2Jones said:

 

I can't speak to any of the ones in their list but when I researched back in 2019 when I got my Truck, I found Armor Shield and applied two coats and have been very happy.  Recoated for the first time last summer so got about 4 years out of it and get comments all the time on how my truck looks brand new.  Prior I had black cars and used Zaino products and their 5-6 step process.  This was much less effort.

 

https://avalonking.com/products/armor-shield-ix-diy-kit

 

awesome.  I was using Zaino years ago also with black cars, was very happy with it.  I haven't seen or heard of anyone using it in a long time.  I will check out the Armor Shield

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Out of that list, CQuartz is a really good product from my research.  The thing is, consumer grade ceramics are really good but for the best protection a professional install is the best.  This is because the product they use, some not all installers, have to be certified to use the product and have a warranty.

 

Now for consumer grade. I use Adam's Advanced Graphene and really like it.  The water beads like crazy.  So easy to maintain. After rinsing there is hardly any water left to remove other than inside the grill and mirrors. A leaf Blower works great.

 

I first had my truck done professionally with Ceramic Pro.  It was great but to me the cost annually was out of my price range. I can do it myself, the only thing is it takes a little more maintenance upkeep so to speak but I don't mind it.

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13 hours ago, Z71-K9 said:

I did my 2019 my self with CarPro.  The professional application is outrageously overpriced.

the professional application is all in the prep.  I have a buddy that's had several of his cars ceramic coated at roughly $1k each.   It doesn't matter if the car is brand new from the show room, they still do full PH-wash, clay bar, polish and paint correction.  This is what guarantees the long term bonding and also what takes so long.  Easily can be 8 hrs of shop time/materials before the actual ceramic coating even starts.

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On 1/3/2024 at 12:40 PM, shudog said:

awesome.  I was using Zaino years ago also with black cars, was very happy with it.  I haven't seen or heard of anyone using it in a long time.  I will check out the Armor Shield

 

It looks like Zaino is still around.  Just haven't used them since moving away from black vehicles.  It was an unbelievable finish, like a mirror, the depth was amazing, but a lot of effort and didn't seem to last as long as ceramics.

https://www.zainostore.com/

 

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 1/5/2024 at 9:02 AM, shudog said:

the professional application is all in the prep.  I have a buddy that's had several of his cars ceramic coated at roughly $1k each.   It doesn't matter if the car is brand new from the show room, they still do full PH-wash, clay bar, polish and paint correction.  This is what guarantees the long term bonding and also what takes so long.  Easily can be 8 hrs of shop time/materials before the actual ceramic coating even starts.

 

This is the correct answer. Ceramic coating is all about the prep. You areputting an extra layer of semi-permanent protection over the clear coat, which is already there to protect the paint. So getting the paint as perfect as possible, is extremely important, as once you lock in whatever is underneath that layer of ceramic coat. It's going to be there until you take the ceramic off the vehicle. 

 

That said, you are a fool if you pay someone a thousand dollars (going rate) to ceramic coat a GM Truck. Go buy an orbital buffer and compound/polish the vehicle (depending on condition), wipe it down with some diluted rubbing alcohol and put some $75 Quartz on there and call it good. 

 

You can pinstripe a professionally ceramic coated vehicle, just as easily as you can a DIY coated vehicle. It's just a thin layer of protection, that keeps your vehicle looking "wet" for the life of the coating (2-3 years).

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On 1/5/2024 at 1:28 PM, DrivinSierra said:

 I've used Adams Graphene Ceramic line. I really like it. It also has a UV tracer which makes it easier to apply without getting high spots. 

I have a full open weekend coming up.  I think I'm going to give it a go in the garage.  Friday night wash & prep, Saturday start applying, Sunday let it cure in the garage.

 

I was researching various ceramic products over the weekend.  Was set on Armor Shield but a lot of reviews said it didn't last.  Leaning towards the Adams stuff now.

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