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How to Apply Ceramic Coating to Car

11 Jun 2024
How to Apply Ceramic Coating to Car

Ceramic coatings used to be the preserve of professional outfits, but now Frogchem can offer the same professional-grade products in a DIY kit. But how exactly do you ‘do it yourself’, and how do you get the best results? In this blog, we’ll lay out exactly what to do – and what not to do.

What is a Ceramic Coating?

Ceramic coatings bond to the paint surface and form a hard, resistant layer. This durable coating is more scratch-resistant than wax or clearcoat. It shrugs off UV light, acid rain, exhaust pollutants, tree sap and bird droppings. It also lasts longer than wax – up to seven years.

The process of applying a ceramic coating to a car is straightforward but must be done right to get the best results.

Stage 1: Preparing the Car

Ceramic coating preserves paintwork rather than fixing or restoring it. This means you want the paintwork to look its absolute best before the coating is applied. Also, removing any existing coatings, chemicals, and residue will ensure that the ceramic coating applies properly.

Like so much in car cleaning and detailing, preparation is vital: Effort put in here will be rewarded with an easily applied, effective and long-lived ceramic coating.

Thoroughly wash the car with a good shampoo to remove dirt and grime. You can use a clay bar to remove any deeper, finer contaminants. With the car fully cleaned, inspect for scratches and remove or repair any that you don’t want to go under the ceramic coating.

A must-do step here is a good application of polish to all the paintwork, which will remove small scratches and improve the shine.

Rubbing down the bodywork with a mild alcohol-based spray will remove any remaining wax, oils, or other chemicals from the exterior, ensuring that the ceramic coating will make the best bond to the surface.

The exterior of the car must be completely dry before you start applying the ceramic coating.

Stage 2: Applying the Ceramic Coating

Do not apply the coating with the car outdoors under direct sunlight or if there’s a chance of rain. A day of high humidity will also affect the curing process.

The coating must be applied one panel or area at a time – for each area (a door, a wing, the bonnet, the bumper, etc.), the coating should be applied, cured, and polished before starting on the next area.

Give the bottle of coating a good shake.

Apply a couple of drops of coating directly onto the surface of the area you’re working on.

Use the application sponge to work the ceramic coating into the surface. Make the first application using horizontal/across motions.

Two drops of coating go a long way, so don’t be tempted to apply more. However, if the sponge starts drying out, add another drop to the surface.

Once you’ve covered the entire area, apply another two drops, and use the sponge to apply this in vertical motions. Then, add a third application using horizontal motions again.

Once all three applications have been made, let the coating cure for at least three minutes and no more than five.

Remove the excess with a microfibre cloth and buff the surface to a polished finish.

Stage 3: Repeat and Continue

Now, move on to the next panel or area, repeating the process in Stage 2 for each one to apply the ceramic coating.

Stage 4: Letting the Ceramic Coating Cure

Once you’ve applied the coating over the entire car, it needs to cure for at least 24 hours. In this period, make sure nothing – and especially nothing liquid – contacts the surface. Ideally, leave the car in a well-ventilated garage.

Stage 5: Ongoing Care

Once the ceramic coating is in place, it does not need any additional products or special cleaning techniques. It does not require polishing or waxing. Abrasive products like clay bars will damage and dull the coating, so do not use them.

You may want to apply a ‘nano-coating,’ which is a secondary product formulated to bond with the ceramic coating and add a further layer of durable protection to help the coating last as long as possible.

If you want to apply nano-coating, it should be done as soon as the initial ceramic coating has been applied and allowed to cure before the car is used on the road.

A car with a ceramic coating only needs a normal wash to remove dirt and grime and bring back the freshly polished deep shine from the preparation stage, which is locked in under the coating.

The Verdict?

Ceramic coating for cars is not difficult to apply yourself so long as you methodically follow the stages we’ve outlined here. It offers a long-lasting and effective way to protect your paintwork. It can quickly pay for itself by reducing the need for ongoing polishing, waxing and detailing sessions. It really is the ultimate way to keep your car looking at its best for as long as possible.

Frogchem’s Ceramic Coating pack has everything you need to apply a ceramic coating properly. The 9H Ceramic Coating has the same rating on the Mohs hardness scale as tungsten carbide. (used in industrial drill bits) The kit includes an applicator sponge and microfibre cloth. There’s also a bottle of Frogchem NanoCoat, with its own applicators and cloths, which you can apply after the 9H coating.

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