Ceramic coating VS Sealant VS Wax: Which is the best paint protectant for your vehicle
There are many people these days who see their car as just a means to get from point A to point B. However, your car is one of your most important assets and, just like any other asset, you have to do everything you can to protect its value.
One of the most important ways of doing that is by always keeping your interior and exterior clean and in a good condition. Although both are equally important, this article will be all about how to take care of the exterior of your car.
Did you know that the condition of your vehicle’s paint is one of the top 5 most important factors in determining the overall value of your car? Every car should have a clear coat on its paint. These clear coatings not only protect your paint, but they also diminish your scratches and add a much-needed shine to your vehicle.
There was a time when the only paint coating available in the market was wax. People used wax on their cars to ensure that the paint would remain in excellent condition. Nowadays, there are several options available when it comes to paint protectants and coatings.
The three most commonly used paint coatings are wax, sealant, and ceramic coating. Each product has its own benefits and drawbacks, so it is important that you select the coating that can meet your requirements perfectly in order to avoid having to get your paint corrected or repainted.
Ceramic coating, sometimes called Nano coating or even glass coating, is the latest type of paint protectant out there. All the hype in the detailing world seems to be about this product at the moment. It’s not as readily available as sealant and wax are and not all detailers are qualified to install it (it can take a few days and will prevent you from driving your car for at least another day), but it’s the thickest, most durable, and truly the most beautiful top coat finishes out there.
Ceramic coating is essentially a layer of glass on top of your paint and due to its crazy hydrophobic properties (AKA water repellent properties), the water will bead and sheet off your paint extremely well. Not only does this prevent mud and dirt from bonding to your paint, it also has self-cleaning properties as well has UV protectant built in.
Here are some of the interesting benefits that you can get with installing ceramic coating by a professional detailer.
Ceramic coating will lasts longer than sealant or wax - it can easily last for 2 to 3 years if applied correctly.
It is mark and scratch resistant to a certain extent - minor chip marks and scratches are easily prevented.
Ceramic coating has UV protection facility which means that your paint will not be oxidized even if the vehicle has been exposed to acid rain and UV rays for a long time.
It is chemical resistant - tree sap, bird droppings, and harsh degreasers will not be able to damage the paint and coating.
Hydrophobic effects of the ceramic coating will make it easy for you to clean your car – the amount of water stains will be reduced.
The car will be easier to maintain, and you will not have to deal with removing dust, grime, and dirt on a constant basis – dirty and grime will have a harder time sticking to your car.
The car paint will give a unique glow and shine that will remain for as long as the coat is there.
Ceramic Coating usually comes in a liquid form that you must apply with specialized pads after carefully washing and prepping the car. The difficulty in installing ceramic coats is mainly in the preparation process and, depending on the condition of the vehicle, the preparation work can be different each time. First, the paint must be fully hand washed and clay treated to guarantee that there is no dirt or contaminants on the paint that could get in between the ceramic coat and the paint. Secondly, a tar remover and an iron X remover is applied to dissolve any dirt particles that are still embedded in the paint after the hand wash and the clay wash. Then, a buffer is used to polish the imperfections off of your paint, leaving it as smooth as it possibly can be. Finally, one of THE most important steps is to make certain that you used isopropyl alcohol to remove the polishing oil and anything else that could still be on the paint. At this point, you should have an extremely clean and sleek surface to apply the ceramic coat properly.
The chemical will bond to the paint of the car, creating a glass coat protecting your vehicle. The biggest attraction of the ceramic coating is that once you have applied the coat, you can use the proper tools (Most likely an Electrometer or a posiTector) to check the thickness of the paint. You will notice that the paint will be thicker after the application of the ceramic coating compared to when the car came out of the factory.
Although this sounds like a great DIY project, I would recommend getting this done by a professional detailer and verifying that you hire a professional experienced in the coating process because it requires special expertise and skills to get the best results. Find out who the best detailer is in your area and make sure they have the necessary experience in installing ceramic coats. Improper installation could mean spending thousands of dollars on a coat that doesn’t look good, feel good, or last as long as it should.
***(For Richmond, Virginia and Virginia Beach, Virginia please visit WingsMobileDetailing.com and VB.WingsMobileDetailing.com respectively for professional advice)***
Wax is a traditional option that comes with its own benefits. In case you’re not planning to have the ceramic coat, you can consider this as another viable option. On the one hand, wax is very easy to use; there is no need to hire a professional because wax is simple to apply. It is something that can easily be done at home while producing great results.
It will get you the shine, glow, and protection that you want, but, depending on the type of wax, it will most likely only last 1-2 months. In order to apply wax, you have to assure that you get your car hand washed first so that all the dust is removed. Then you will have to dry the vehicle properly before applications. NEVER GET WAX ON YOUR TRIMS! it will most likely leave stains that’ll be hard to correct.
A sealant is the combination of organic and inorganic ingredients that provide better shine and protection compared to Wax. A sealant is a polymer-based product that will provide protection to the car’s paint that you wouldn’t get from wax. It will protect the paint from very minor scratches so that you can avoid rusting spots and can avoid having to repaint your car while also getting protection against UV rays. Sealants can usually last up to 7 months and is a great choice for those who want more protection than wax, but don’t want to spend as much money. Some sealants are also applicable to your windows, trims, and chromes, but you must do your research before applying because not all sealants are okay to use on anything other than your paint. The only minor drawbacks are that it will have to be reapplied about every 6 months and it doesn’t prevent rock chips and major scratches.
Which is the best option
Whether you are planning to get the ceramic coating, sealant, or wax, you should know that all 3 requires some sort of prep work. With wax, a simple hand wash before application should do. With sealant, a clay bar wash is a must in order for the sealant to stick properly to the paint. With ceramic coating, the preparation process is much more detailed and can take days if the paint isn’t in a good condition.
It’s important that you select the option that you are most comfortable with. All of these paint protection agents protect your paint from some sort of damage, but it is always better to choose the option with long-term benefits.
You might think that wax is an affordable option, but when you consider long-term results, you will notice that ceramic coating will help you save more money in the long run as compared to sealant and wax. Whichever you choose to do, make sure that you get a consultation with professional detailers before making any decisions.
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