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  • Francisco Pedroza Jr

The Ultimate Informational Guide to Ceramic and Graphene Coatings

Imagine a car coat that is so hard, it can withstand any type of weather. Imagine an anti-bacterial coating, which resists tree sap and other contaminants from adhering to the surface of your car's exterior. You may be wondering: "Why bother? I'm just going to wash my car." Well, this is true; but think about how much more time you'll save in the long run as compared to washing your vehicle every few weeks or months! Not only will you have a shiny new paint job for years to come, but you won't need wax on top of that anymore - because this is all built into the ceramic or graphene coating.

Ceramic and Graphene Coatings – The Ultimate Paint Protection


Both ceramic and graphene coatings are liquid polymers that can be applied to the exterior of your vehicle without altering its original paint. When it's been properly applied, this nano-coating forms an invisible layer that protects against mud and other contaminants from damaging or scratching your car during those inevitable road trips! You'll also enjoy how resistant the particles make it to water as well--you won't have any issues with corrosion when driving through puddles on rainy days.


The best part about having these benefits built into one product? It doesn’t require waxing anymore because everything has already been taken care of for you with the ceramic coating. This means less time spent maintaining what should never need maintenance anyway - saving both money AND precious free time.


*For the purposes of this article, when we refer to ceramic or graphene coatings, we are referring to both products as they are quite similar and in most cases, as of this writing, graphene coatings are really just "graphene-enhanced" ceramic coatings.

Available Options for Ceramic Coating

If you’re interested in making your car or truck look better and more professional, there are two options: get it done professionally, or do it yourself.

If price is a factor for the type of quality you desire on your vehicle while managing other priorities like time with family then doing some research to see which DIY option can fit within those constraints may be worth consideration.

Conversely, if money isn't an issue but rather wanting flawless workmanship from someone who has experience coating vehicles then by all means find that skilled installer nearest to where you live and have them take care of this task instead!


Time is also another great thing to consider. If you have the time to devote up a few days or more, then doing it yourself is an option. If not and want this done as soon as possible without having any interruptions in your schedule for other things like work commitments etc., hiring someone who can do so on short notice may be best suited instead!


Costs

Ceramic and Graphene coating prices vary wildly from brand to brand as well as if you get a DIY kit or go to a professional.


DIY kits can be found for as low as $100, but the quality of these is often not very good. Professionals will charge anywhere from a few hundred to well over two thousand dollars depending on what you want to be done and how much work needs doing before they start coating your car with it!


In general, ceramic coatings are more expensive than other topping options like sealants or waxes because there's less time involved in applying them so this may also factor into cost considerations too if that matters most when deciding which option would best suit their individual situation better. Ceramic coatings are also more durable and last longer than previous options because they're applied in a thicker layer and bond to the paint instead of resting on top of it. This means that the coating will be less likely to chip or peel off, which is especially important for those who want their car's paint job protected from scratches as well!


In comparison to vehicle wraps or paint protection film, ceramic coatings are MUCH cheaper and nine times out of ten, the professionals apply ceramic coatings on top of wraps and paint protection film to enhance look and increase protection.


Professional Ceramic Coating



The latest trend in the automotive industry is taking a car to be professionally treated with ceramic or graphene coating. The benefits are endless, especially for those of us who work hard on our cars and keep them clean!

A professional coating will last 4 years or more depending on how you take care of it and how long the coating is guaranteed. With many places offering ceramic coating services in El Paso, Texas, there is no shortage of options for professional installations.


Professional coatings come backed with either manufacturer or installer warranties. This is a great way to ensure that you are getting what the company promises since they will need to stand by their work or products.


Time saved is also a large factor to consider. Depending on your paint's condition, you could spend anywhere from 2 days to a week working on your vehicle to properly prep, perform paint correction, and coat your vehicle by yourself.

Unless your vehicle's paint is really beat up, a professional team working on your vehicle will likely take less than 3 days and the product will be phenomenal.


DIY Ceramic Coating

If you're not looking to spend a lot of money and want the satisfaction that comes with doing it yourself, then this is for YOU! You can do your own ceramic coating at home using products like IGL Poly Ceramic Coating. This product will last up to 12 months on average if properly applied in an environment where there's no dust or dirt particles present (like inside a garage).

The keyword here is "properly". If done incorrectly by someone who doesn't know what they are doing... well let me just say I wouldn’t recommend trying DIY ceramics unless absolutely necessary. I say this because chances are bad things can happen such as coating failure within weeks/months after application especially if it is your first coating.


How do I get a DIY Ceramic Coating

Are you still determined to go the DIY route? I got you covered. There are a wide variety of options for consumer-level ceramic coatings. There are so many different kinds that it can be overwhelming but if you answer some questions, you can definitely make things easier and get a clearer picture of what you want.


The first place to start is with the basics:

  • What type of coating are you looking for? Ceramic or graphene

  • What's your budget range and how much time is needed in the application process?

  • How many extra coats will need to be applied, if any at all?

  • Do I need just a base coat or topper-coat as well?

  • And finally... Which company should I go through when purchasing my ceramic coating kit?


When you answer all these questions, it can significantly help you narrow down which product would work best depending upon your needs!

A great place to start looking at products, as with most things, would be Amazon or detail-specific supply stores such as the Detailed Image.


IGL Poly Ceramic Coating is one of the most popular and easiest to apply, but there are others that have their own advantages such as durability or ease-of-use for beginners who don't have experience.

Process of DIY

While the entire process of DIY is far too lengthy for the space we have here, I can give a brief rundown of the process.

First and easiest step:

You need to purchase a kit that includes everything needed for the job.


This will include the coating, application pads, and in some cases some panel prep spray. The package should come with instructions on how long it takes in hours/days per step.


If not included then google is your friend! You can also find tutorials online which are usually more detailed than what's provided by companies themselves but be careful of scams!

I recommend going through YouTube videos first before trying anything else because they're free! They'll provide better detail about each stage so there won't any confusion later down the line when things get tricky!

It may seem like an extra hassle at this point however these steps could save time.

Second and the most time-consuming step

You will need to wash, decontaminate, and do the proper paint correction on the surfaces of the vehicle.

Any wax stripping soap will do well for this step. Rinse, foam, scrub with a mitt, rinse and dry. Once this is done, you're ready for claying the vehicle.


You will need to clay bar the surface of your vehicle with soapy water. This is necessary because you want a smooth, even coat on all surfaces and soap helps remove any contaminants that may have been left behind from previous steps or just general wear over time). It's also important not to apply too much pressure when cleaning as this can cause scratches in paintwork!


After claying, you will need to do some sort of paint correction depending on the vehicle's needs.

This will remove any scratches or imperfections in the paint. If you have a newer vehicle, this step may not be as necessary but it's always best to give your car some TLC! As a professional in this field, I can tell you I've never come across a vehicle new or old that didn't need some level of paint correction. Cars with only 5 miles on them have had swirls. Cars still at the dealership showroom likely have paint defects from production. It isn't necessarily the manufacturer's fault BUT these imperfections need to be removed in order for your coating to adhere properly.


It is also important that if there are swirl marks on surfaces of vehicles they need correcting as these can cause problems with ceramic coatings later down line and make them less effective than expected because their surface area has been reduced by removing those swirled areas which would otherwise provide protection for other parts from wear over time).


This process should take anywhere from 4 hours to 4 days depending upon how much correction needs doing - so plan accordingly when diving into this project.

Remember it’s always best practice (and safer) if possible!)to do these things inside where the wind won't blow dirt back into freshly cleaned panels!).

After the final paint correction pass, one more wash to remove the majority of polishes is necessary. Make sure everything has dried off completely after washing - don`t forget about crevices and such.

Before actual application of the coating, an IPA wipe on the entire vehicle is necessary. This will remove any oils, waxes, or other contaminants from the surface that did not come off with the wash.


The final step is the actual application of the ceramic or graphene coating itself.

The coating is applied to the surface of your car, and then can be heated up with infrared lamps or heat guns to decrease drying times between coats. This process should take anywhere from 30 minutes (for small areas)to an hour or more for larger panels.

The heat will cause its molecules in that area you're heating - which are now solidifying instead liquid like they were before being coated, so when cooled down again these new "liquid" coatings have bonded themselves onto whatever was underneath them! This means any scratches on paintwork below would be covered by a certain degree with this layer too!.


Depending on the coating, you may apply multiple coats or one coat. All in all, you should be expecting at least 2 days of work when prepping and applying ceramic coatings to the average used vehicle by yourself. It's important to do take your time and do it all correctly since you don't want your coating wearing off early.


Why you need a ceramic coating

If you're a car enthusiast, then you know that the paint is one of the first things to go when your vehicle starts to show its age. As time goes on, the paint becomes more and more susceptible to damage from UV rays, bird droppings, and environmental pollutants. These items are so common in our environment that they can't be avoided, but with a ceramic coating, your car's finish will stay strong for years.


Hate water spots? Your car is about to get a whole lot more hydrophobic

Ceramic coatings are hydrophobic, meaning they repel water. This is a huge benefit for the exterior of your car because it will be much more difficult to get those pesky droplets on its surface and have them turn into ugly spots that ruin paint jobs over time (especially if you live in an area with high humidity). The only way these little drops can make contact now would require some force from rain or other natural elements like hail storms!


This means less washing too - which saves both money AND energy since there's no need to use as many soap products when all dirt just slides off without leaving anything behind but clean metal surfaces...and we don't want our cars looking dirty anyway, do WE?


Go from sticky to slick

Mud can make your car look dirty and cheap. It’s not easy to clean it off either, since the mud sticks like glue! But with a ceramic coating, this isn't an issue at all because no matter how muddy you get while driving through puddles or dirt patches on the road-mud just slides right off without any difficulty whatsoever.

If your car is often a target for bird droppings or even graffiti, a ceramic coating will make it much easier to clean off. In most cases, graffiti and droppings come off during the rinse portion of a maintenance wash with a pressure washer.


The best part is that ceramic coatings are not just for the paint of your car; they can also be applied on almost any surface including metal surface insides, such as wheel arches and engine bay covers!


Protect your vehicle from UV Rays, Rust, and oxidization.

UV rays can cause your car to rust and oxidize. This is a problem because when that happens, it's not just the paint job you have on there anymore-it’s also all of those expensive mechanical parts! But with ceramic coatings, UV Rays are no longer an issue for cars since they're protected from them.

Another layer of protection for your car's paint

When it comes to car protection, no degree of safety is too much. Nano-coating bonds with the molecular structure of your vehicle’s paint and make a shield that can withstand any external force from scratches or other particles while you drive on the road; all without having to work hard at taking care of it yourself! Since it is bonded at a molecular level, it cannot be washed off, even after 100 washes, it will still be there.


What can't ceramic coatings do?

Ceramic coatings do so much for your car, but there are some things they can't do.


Rock chips

While ceramic coatings definitely mitigate the full damage from rock chips, they are not a full-proof shield. Even paint protection films cannot completely protect from rock chips, they only help mitigate the damage.


Rock chips can be caused by anything from flying debris to the road itself, and they will make your car’s paint job look terrible if left untreated for too long! It is important that you take care of these little bumps in order to keep them at bay before it becomes an even bigger problem down below on more expensive parts like tires or rims which may need replacing as well due to damage done over time with rock chip neglecting.


Ceramic Coatings do not last forever

Ceramic coatings do not last forever. They will need to be reapplied depending on the severity of your driving habits, how often you wash it, and how long the warranty is for the ceramic coating!

General Care and Maintenance is still needed

General TLC is still needed. You will need to wash your car, but you should be doing that anyway! The only difference with a ceramic coated vehicle versus one without it would just mean washing the exterior less frequently as dirt won’t stick so easily because of how slick ceramics are when applied correctly on all surfaces including glass windows for example which means they can stay cleaner longer too if not washed off by rain or other natural elements like snowfall in wintertime.

As in everything else in life, the best medicine is preventative measures. If you want to keep your car looking new for a long time, the best thing is not just applying the ceramic coating and forget about it. You should take care of it to help it last even longer than the manufacturer's or installer's warranty.

The first step in caring for and maintaining any vehicle would be washing off dirt with water or soap as needed then drying thoroughly before moving on from there which means doing this less often if using ceramics because they are more slippery than regular paint so things don’t stick like usual!


Remember to dry quickly. While almost all ceramic coatings are waterspot resistant, no ceramic or graphene coating is waterspot proof. If you leave strong soapy water on your hood or roof to dry in the sun, you WILL get water spots.

The next steps depend largely upon what type/brand was used when applied correctly: some need boosters every few months while others only require that once per year (or not at all). It also depends on how much rain falls where one lives too since precipitation can wash away protective coatings over time especially for those that need boosters and don't get them.


Other Options

Ceramic and graphene coatings aren't the only things out there, but in comparison to the alternatives, they are currently providing the best value for the money.


Paint Protection Film

While paint protection film does increase the level of protection, it does not enhance the appearance of the vehicle at all. In fact, most paint protection film installers recommend ceramic coating the film to enhance the look of the paint. With this being said, most serious car owners that are set on paint protection film pay an extra premium and end up getting the ceramic coating too.


Waxes and Sealants



While waxes provide amazing shine, their lives are extremely short, usually between 1-3 months. Sealants are on the opposite end of the spectrum providing better protection but little to no visual improvements.


F11 and other "toppers"

No ceramic coating post would be complete without mentioning these gimmicky toppers.


These products are marketed as a way to add extra protection and shine, but they do nothing of the sort. F11 is not only expensive at $150 for an average size vehicle (which will last about two months under the best conditions), it also contains harmful chemicals that can damage your paint over time if used too often or improperly applied by inexperienced detailers who don't know what they're doing.


Any kind of "topper" that is applied via a spray is just a form of a sealant. Most of the time they are sealants infused with carnauba wax to provide a great shine but just like with regular paste carnauba waxes, their life span is extremely short.


Closing Remarks

While there are many factors to consider, ceramic and graphene coatings are a great way to protect your vehicle and keep it looking new for years. They currently provide the best value compared to other options that provide both protection and enhance appearance.


We hope you enjoyed this article and found it informative. You should now have enough information to decide on the big questions about ceramic coatings:

  • Do I want one?

  • Do I get a pro to do it?

  • If I'm going to do it, what kind should I get or where do I go?

  • Where can I get more information on the application?

  • What are their benefits compared to other options?

If there are any questions, please feel free to contact us!



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