Ceramic Coating Vs. Clear Coating

Is ceramic coating and clear coating the same thing? 

No, they are not. An automotive clear coat is the final coat applied to your vehicle, going over the primer and the pigmented paint. It's a transparent, glossy resin that is meant to enhance the look of your paint and to provide some protection from the elements. Approximately 95 % of all vehicles manufactured today have a clear coat finish.

Ceramic coating is the hardest paint coating on the market. It is 4-5 times harder than a traditional clear coat. A ceramic coating will help protect against elements such as ultraviolet rays and substances such as road salt, tar, sap, and mag chloride. It is a protective layer for your clear coat.

Does Sticklers provide both ceramic coating and clear coating? 

No, we do not apply a traditional automotive clear coat. That is something a body shop/ repair shop would do when the vehicle has been damaged or repainted.

When should ceramic coating be applied? 

It's always better to apply a ceramic coating to a new vehicle before it sees the elements or a car wash, but there is no wrong time to have a paint correction done, and then a ceramic coating applied. Whether it's brand new or ten years old, a ceramic coating can be applied with proper prep work done on the vehicle before coating. A new car or an older car first needs to be decontaminated using an iron and fallout remover followed by a clay bar treatment and then a paint correction to remove swirl marks, marring, or defects in the paint. Then the vehicle needs to have a primer polish applied to ensure that the coating will properly bond/adhere to the surface.

When is a clear coating used? 

Clear coating is used after a vehicle has been painted. It provides a buffer between the paint and the elements as well as gives the vehicle a glossy finish. It is simply a layer of clear resin that is applied over colored resin.

What are the major benefits of having ceramic coating applied? Chemically resistant, UV resistant, long-lasting protection, very hydrophobic, coatings provide a hard surface so dirt and debris roll off rather than sticking to your paint, making it easier to clean.

I have scratches on my car already. Will ceramic coating fix this? 

A ceramic coating will not repair defects in the paint like swirl marks, marring, or defects like scratches, A level of paint correction is needed to polish out defects before applying a ceramic coating.

How long does ceramic coating last? 

With proper maintenance and care, a ceramic coating will last anywhere between 2-7 yrs, depending on the coating. There are entry-level 1-year coatings to professional 7-year coatings. But even with a professional-grade coating, if it is not maintained and cared for correctly, it will fail or get clogged. Also, it depends on how the vehicle is prepped before the coating is applied.

How do I wash my car after the ceramic coating is applied? 

A hand wash using a two bucket system is best. One bucket has a pH-balanced soap, and the other with fresh, clean water. Thoroughly rinse the vehicle from the top to the bottom, apply your soap using a foam cannon or by hand. Using a quality wash mitt, do a section at a time, starting with the roof and working your way down. After each section, rinse your wash mitt in the clean water then back into the bucket with the product. Using a grit guard in your buckets will help knock off dirt/debris that the wash mitt may have picked up. Apply a thorough final rinse and then dry with some type of air blower or compressed air. Quality drying microfiber towels can be used, but even those over time can cause marring in your paint.

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