What is a ceramic coating?

Posted February 9, 2018 by Chris Blaisdell, Onsite Detail

What is a ceramic coating? 

Advances in the auto detailing industry

The advances in the auto detailing industry in the last few years have been incredible. The science and technology behind the tools and chemicals has improved so much that detailer’s who have not kept up on their continuing education have been left behind in many regards. 

ceramic coating Ferrari
Ferrari detailed by Onsite Detail

One of the biggest innovations we’ve seen is the introduction of coatings for a vehicle‘s exterior surfaces. The creation of these ceramic coatings has changed the way people protect their vehicle’s exterior surfaces. When compared to a traditional car wax or paint sealant, a ceramic coating forms a much harder, thicker layer of protection, enabling it to last considerably longer. Ceramic coatings form a strong and durable layer of protection on many of a vehicles exterior surfaces. Some of the coatings on the market today actually cross link and bond with the vehicle’s existing clear coat to provide an even better durability. Most of the coatings can be layered for more protection. Not only does a ceramic coating provide exceptional protection but the depth and gloss that can be achieved are truly astounding when proper decontamination and paint correction is done prior to a coating installation. When kept clean and with proper maintenance the vehicle will have that “just waxed” look for years! 

What your paint needs before a coating can be applied? 

As mentioned above a ceramic coating will provide exceptional protection, but without the proper prep work the gloss and shine of the coating will be lacking. 

Paint decontamination of a car’s paint is an often overlooked detailing step, yet very necessary to achieve a flawless finish. Paint contamination consists of any airborne chemical compounds, metal/iron particles, adhesives, industrial fallout, rail dust, acid rain, bird droppings, road tar, grime, tree sap, bugs, water spots, brake dust, road salt, oil, paint over spray, etc. that is either on or embedded in the paint surface. Keep in mind that even new cars are subject to paint contamination and most, if not all will need some decontamination. 

After the paint is clean it’s going to need some additional love and care before the coating installation. It needs to be corrected. Paint correction refers to the process of removing the imperfections in your vehicle’s painted surfaces and restoring it as much as possible. Paint is corrected as needed using professional grade products and tools. These imperfections include, swirl marks, scratches, water spots, bird dropping etching, holograms, and more. The only true way to remove scratches in your vehicle’s paint is with the process of paint correction. Time and cost to correct the paint varies depending on the condition that it’s in. Many times, the correction process is the bulk of the work when providing a coating installation service. Unfortunately, paint cannot fix things such as rock chips, deep scratches that have gone through the clear coat and colored paint, cracks in the paint or bubbling from rusting underneath the paints surface. These problems need to be addressed by a body shop prior to paint correction. Once the paint is clean and corrected, its ready to receive the coating installation. 

By Chris Blaisdell, CD, from Onsite Detail