Best Ceramic Coatings for Cars – Buyer’s Guide
Best Ceramic Coatings of 2019
|Product||Type||Size||Type of coating surface||UV protection||Anti-corrosion||Durability|
|Color N Drive Kit (Editor's Choice)||Car ceramic coating kit||1.7 oz.||Painted surface||Yes||No||No information|
|CarPro C.Quartz Kit||Car ceramic coating||1.7 oz.||Paint, glass||Yes||No||3 - 12 month|
|HydroSilex Recharge||Nano spray ceramic coating||16 or 32 oz.||Paint, glass, wheels||Yes||Yes||No information|
|Ethos Handcrafted Car Care Ceramic Wax Top Coat||Anti-corrosion ceramic coating||16 oz.||All types of surfaces||Yes||Yes||12 month|
|Gtechniq Crystal Serum Light Kit||Long lasting ceramic paint coating kit||1.7 oz.||Painted surface||No||No||3 - 5 years|
1. Color N Drive Kit – Best Overall Coating Kit
With long lasting results and easy application, the Color N Drive Car Ceramic Coating Kit will give your vehicle a flawless look. Giving your car a protective top coat, this coating kit will keep your vehicle safe from UV light fading, iron powder, stone chips, bird droppings, and scratches. You also get an impressive shiny gloss from this do it yourself Nano bionic kit that gives you easy to use application steps.
Using 9H nanotechnology, the Color N Drive Car Ceramic Coating Kit is durable in a unique way. The gloss coat will look flawless for up to 5 years. With a hydrophobic paint sealer, it will help keep your vehicle clean longer as well as easier to clean staying intact for up to 150 washes. Creating a dirt and water repellent, the ceramic coating creates a protective layer on the surface of your car.
This is also an easy to apply product. With a specially formulated coating, the Color N Drive Car Ceramic Coating gives you great results without a lot of hassle. You can easily correct mistakes and doesn’t require multiple coatings to finish it. If you follow the user-friendly application steps, you won’t need any experience to use it safely.
This kit comes with everything you need to polish two cars with a coating and comes with a premium coated sponge that gives you an even application without scratches. The Color N Drive Car Ceramic Coating Kit gives your car a 3D deep gloss and has a 9H hardness rating that resists scratches while also preventing fading, water spots, and oxidation.
- Works really well
- Easy to apply
- Water runs right off of it
- Preparation to apply it takes hours
- You use a lot of microfiber towels
2. CarPro C.Quartz Kit – Best for Professional Results
Featuring superior protection, the CarPro Cquartz gives you an impressive gloss finish better than if a professional had done it. This is an easy to use detailing product that gives you a deep gloss that is long lasting. It also comes with an enhanced formula that works quickly and doesn’t require a lot of effort or complicated machines.
The CarPro Cquartz Kit has properties that make it almost self-cleaning since it stays cleaner longer than other products on the market. It is resistant to contaminant, dirt, oils, water, UV rays, low and high temperatures, bird dropping, and marring that happens when you are washing it. This product is often used by professionals and car enthusiasts the world over.
- Easy to apply
- Long lasting results that last for months
- Bugs wash off like magic
- Can only wash the car with their shampoo
3. HydroSilex Recharge – Most Versatile Result
A universal product that will protect almost protects virtually any type of surface, the HydroSilex Recharge is very easy to apply and, once it is cured, generates a transparent top layer that will give your vehicle additional gloss and protection from the elements. This can either be used by itself or alongside a maintenance coating when revitalizing other ceramic coating brands. It is so simple and easy to use, you do not need to be trained or certified to apply it.
HydroSilex Recharge will work with any coating brand to provide a slick surface feel, UV protection, self-cleaning, and to help maintain gloss. Since it generates an extremely slick surface, it becomes a repellent from contaminants in the environment while also providing UV protection against fading. With its design, this product gives your vehicle an instant hydrophobic effect right on contact, and it actually has Nanoparticles that fill in the pore of the paint to create a deep mirror finish.
Even though you apply it dry, you can actually expose your vehicle’s surface to water immediately. With its slick surface, your vehicle will become very hydrophobic with a self-cleaning surface that needs less maintenance. This anti-oxidation and anti-corrosion product is used by the public as well as professionals, and one bottle provides enough product to use on ten cars.
- Smooth to the touch
- Good results with decent luster
- The color of the vehicle really pops
- The nozzle doesn’t spray but the product comes out in a stream
- Water beading is different than other waxes
4. Ethos Handcrafted Car Care Ceramic Wax Top Coat – Best for Surface Protection
Bridging the gap between ceramic paint and carnauba waxes for cars, Ethos Ceramic Wax is as easy as a liquid wax to use but gives you the durability, shine, and gloss of a professional ceramic coating. You actually end up saving time by giving your vehicle’s surface a semi-permanent coating without having to worry about paint damage. This enables you to save time by providing a semi-permanent coating to your vehicles surface without fear of damaging the paint.
Enhancing and protecting any vehicles surface, Ceramic Wax Top Coat generates a superior hydrophobic protective layer that will repel stains and water while enhancing the surface with a great shine, clarity, and reflections. You also get up to twelve months of protection from environmental contaminants, corrosion, oxidation, and UV rays.
Durable and Easy To Maintain
With easy maintenance, Ceramic Wax provides a non-stick water repellant surface that lessens the amount of time you have to spend washing your car. This is also a durable and long-lasting product won’t wash away with detergents or car shampoos. It is safe for fiberglass, acrylic, chrome, single stage paint, ceramic coatings, and clear coat finishes.
Safe To Use
Giving you professional quality results, safely and easily, Ethos Ceramic Wax was created for car enthusiasts that want a professional level of surface protection that is safe and easy for a do-it-yourselfer to apply. It doesn’t include waxes, silicones, or cheap fillers and is blended with pure Sio2 chemicals to give you durability, slickness, and shine for year-round protection.
- Easy application
- Dirt and sand won’t stick to the finish
- Water beads off nicely
- A little on the pricey side
- Takes several passes to wipe off all the residue
5. Gtechniq Crystal Serum Light Kit – Most User-Friendly Product
GTechniq Crystal Serum Light provides you with up to five years of protection giving your superior gloss while protecting your vehicle’s surface from dirt and everyday contaminates. Giving you the best chemical and swirl mark resistance you will see from a prosumer grade product, GTechniq Crystal Serum Light is thought to be the most durable and thickest true ceramic coating on the market. This product achieves a new level of durability, gloss, and chemical and scratch resistance.
When you compare Crystal Serum Light to typical ceramic coatings, you will see a pretty thick combined film that truly reduces any surface hazing and increases the gloss of the surface. This product also comes with 3 VViViD Microfiber towels for product application.
- Gives your vehicle a great shine
- Very user-friendly
- Good durability
- The towel that is included not exactly great quality
What is Ceramic Coating?
A ceramic coating is actually a paint coating and is also known as quartz, glass, and Nano coating. This is a pretty new product that is applied to paint like a sealant or wax. It is intended to give you an added layer of protection for your paint.
They differ from sealants and waxes though since they were created to bond to the paint, plus they last a lot longer. Once a paint coating is cured, it acts as a second clear coat. Many of these coatings will last from a year to over three years before you need to apply another coat.
How are Ceramic Coatings Made?
Either quartz or resin based, most ceramic coatings have nanoparticles that are usually suspended in a solvent that will flash off or evaporate when you spread it thinly across your paint.
How do Ceramic Coatings Work?
A ceramic coating works by bonding to the pain on your car. In comparison, sealants and waxes actually sit on top of your paint job while a ceramic coating will adhere to your paint. You apply a standard coating by wiping it onto the vehicle’s paint and then removing the excess as the solvent in the coating evaporates.
As the thin layer cures to the paint, it will become hard giving you a hard and semi-permanent layer of protection. This protection includes buffering against light scratches, shedding or sheeting of water, UV resistance, chemical resistance as well as a high gloss appearance.
Ceramic Coating vs. Wax and Sealants
When comparing sealants, waxes, and ceramic coatings, the wax will last the shortest amount of time on your vehicle’s surface. However, it is the most forgiving when you consider the amount of time it takes to apply and surface prep. Providing a soft and warm glossy appearance, the wax is very soft to the touch.
Engineered to last longer than typical waxes, the sealant will last several months longer and are often easier to apply. Made with man-made chemicals, sealants will give your vehicle a glossy wet look.
Of the three, ceramic coatings are the least forgiving during the application process but it will last the longest. If you want it to last as long as advertised, make sure to take care with the surface prep. It isn’t hard to apply and it gives your vehicle a shiny, candy coating look.
Benefits of a Ceramic Coating
UV Damage and Oxidation
When a vehicle is often sitting in the sun, the paint on the vehicle’s surface will start to oxidize creating a faded or dulled paint. With a layer of ceramic coating, you can protect a car’s paint from UV rays and reduce the amount of oxidization.
Chemical Stains and Etching
Naturally acidic contaminants in the environment which is another danger to your car’s surface. A ceramic coating will create a surface that is chemically resistant keeping some contaminants from bonding to your car’s paint making it more resistant to etching and staining as long as the contaminant is removed in a timely manner.
Ease of Cleaning
Being hydrophobic is one of the best features of a ceramic coating. Repelling water and creating a surface where water beads and slides off easily means that grime and mud will have a harder time bonding to your car’s paint. So, when you wash your car, you can remove contaminants with less effort.
You can also add a ceramic coating if you want your paint to be glossy, a ceramic coating enhances the reflective properties in your car’s paint as well as a clear coat that adds to the clarity and depth of your vehicle’s paint.
What Ceramic Coatings Won’t Do?
Stop Chips, Swirl Marks, and Scratches
Sometimes exaggerated, ceramic coating will repel some small scratches but it won’t make your vehicle totally resistant to parking lot scratches and the risk of rock chips. Plus, automated car washes and improper washing techniques can still create swirl marks on the surface of your vehicle. Keep in mind that a ceramic coating is not a substitute for more serious chip or scratch protection, and it doesn’t get rid of the need to wash your car correctly to prevent swirl marks.
Stop Water Spotting
You get a certain amount of mineral and dirt with just a regular drop of water. When that drop evaporates from your car’s surface, those minerals are left behind and create a visible spot. Consumers and detailers often believe that the hydrophobic features of a ceramic coating will stop water spotting since water will now slide off of the coated surface. Even though this is true for some water, there will still be other water drops that remain on the vehicle and bead creating a water spot.
Stop Having To Wash Your Car
Even though a ceramic coating will keep your car looking like you just bought, plus you will have very little maintenance to the surface. However, this doesn’t mean it still won’t get dirty when you drive it. Having a ceramic coating just means that the cleaning process is easier, and you won’t have to wax your vehicle as often getting rid of maintaining your car’s exterior. So, having a ceramic coating won’t make your vehicle maintenance-free, just that you will have less work and get better results.
Features To Look For In Ceramic Coatings
Using a ceramic coating is a great option for cars that spend a lot of time in the sun. It protects your vehicle’s surface from strong UV rays and lessens the oxidation of the paint. If you don’t live in a sunny area, you won’t necessarily need a ceramic coating for this type of protection especially if you live in a very cold area that doesn’t get a lot of sun, it may not be worth the high cost of a ceramic coating. If you do live in a warm climate and where acid rain is prevalent, you will get more of an advantage out of using a ceramic coating which can end up being a more affordable option than regular waxing of your vehicle.
If washing your car is not on the top of your list of fun activities, a ceramic coating is a great choice for your vehicle since it repels water. Making your car basically self-cleaning, a ceramic coating makes cleaning your car less intensive as well as less frequent, keeps your car cleaner longer, and won’t trap dust. If you live in a dusty area, this is a great choice for your vehicle or anyone who lives in an area where their vehicle is at the mercy of the elements. However, if your car stays in the garage most of the time it may not be as important.
Most people won’t bother with a ceramic coating on an old car unless they want to sell it. Older cars tend to have a weak layer of paint on them from the passage of time which would mean that the ceramic coating would actually make contact with the car which can cause a chemical reaction that can damage it. Time causes paints to thin from scratches, exposure to the elements, and frequent washings.
Car Usage and Terrain
A car that is used frequently will benefit a lot It from a ceramic coating since it exposed more to the elements that could diminish the quality of the car’s factory paint job. If you have a classic car that is garage-bound, you don’t need to worry about the extra protection. Also, consider what type of terrain you drive on a car that drive on rough roads need extra protection from chipping and scratches that can be caused by debris. Using a ceramic coating is often better than relying on the vehicle’s paint job, plus if you drive your car a lot in a sunny area you will need the protection from UV rays. A vehicle that is only driven on the weekend in overcast weather and on smooth roads won’t need the extra protection.
Ceramic Coating Drawbacks
Prep work and cost are the biggest drawbacks to using a ceramic coating. Coatings will vary in price with some of the do it yourself paints running in the affordable range and the more long-lasting professional applications running a couple of hundred dollars. Surface prep before applying the coating is imperative consisting of polishing or compounding and a wipe down with a solvent that will remove any waxes or polishing oils. If you really don’t want to do all the work, still with sealants and waxes.
Types of Ceramic Coatings
Known by many different names including silicon, quartz, glass, nanoceramic coating, and epoxy, a ceramic coating really only has two basic classifications that include quartz or polymer. Since Nano is just a term that is used to describe the manufacturing technology for all modern paint coatings, don’t worry if you do or don’t see the word nano in a ceramic coating product.
- Polymer – Also called epoxy, polymer coatings were created to cross-link with your clearcoat to create a permanent bond.
- Quartz – Also called silicon dioxide or glass, quartz coatings were created to be more durable than typical clearcoats to help make them last longer.
You will even find a combination of quartz and polymer in some coatings giving you the best of both worlds. Keep in mind that the application stays the same no matter which type of coating you use and can be applied with either a syringe or spray application.
The type of coating isn’t as important as how easy it is to apply and how long it will last. One rule of thumb is the cheaper the coating, the shorter its lifespan while professional-grade coatings having the longest longevity although more recent ceramic paints that have hit the market are closing that gap.
Applying Paint Coatings
Typically, most ceramic paint coatings are applied with either a syringe or a spray onto an applicator before being wiped evenly across the paint. Once you have allowed a flash time for the solvents in the coating to evaporate, then you can wipe away any excess. Make sure to check the instruction before applying your chosen coating.
Tips for Applying Ceramic Paint Coatings
- Make sure to be aware of adjacent panels and window if you use a spray coating, and make sure not to let the overspray dry.
- Clear the nozzle when you are done so it doesn’t dry shut when using a spray coating.
- Remember to no apply a coat that is too thick or you will have high spots that are difficult to buff away.
- Use ventilation when applying coatings as most coatings tend to give off strong fumes.
- Use a layer of sued to wrap your foam applicator making it easier to apply and wasting less since it won’t soak into the applicator.
Don’ts When Applying Ceramic Paint Coating
Do not put coatings over new paint since new paint will still have solvents and other gasses that will escape as the paint cures. This includes water-based paints. You can always check with your painter to see how long they recommend until you wait until coating your new paint. You are safe to put coatings on new cars since factory paint is cured/baked during assembly so it is ready for a coating by the time you get it.
Removing Ceramic Coatings
Polishing or compounding is the most reliable way to remove a ceramic coating. You just can wash away a good coating with solvents or soaps since it bonds to the surface of your paint.
Remember, this is an important decision since it is hard to remove once it is applied so you need to do your homework before making a final choice. Adding value to your vehicle, a ceramic coating has many benefits making exterior car maintenance easier and preventing chemical contaminant and UV ray damage while giving your vehicle a nice glossy appearance. Just make sure the ceramic coating that you choose has an easy application and will last a long time.