How to apply ceramics on a car with your own hands
The paintwork of the car body requires constant care. One of the most effective means, providing both protection of paintwork, and improving the appearance of your car is car ceramics. It will keep the car lacquer in pristine condition and protect it from external factors, in addition provides easier care of the car body. Let’s consider what autoceramics is and how to properly apply ceramics to your car so that the coating will last as long as possible.
Car ceramics: what is it
Autoceramics (nanoceramics) is a type of protective and decorative car body coating. But not only – wheel disks, calipers and even car interior elements are covered with ceramics. Sometimes autoceramics is called “liquid glass”, which is not quite correct – these are two completely different means, although they are designed to achieve the same goal.
What is included in the autoceramics
Ceramics for the treatment of car body parts is a multi-component composition, which became a result of many years of work and scientific research. This “cocktail” is based on a quartz-ceramic mixture with the addition of polymers and natural minerals. An organic silica solvent is added to the solution to ensure an even application of the composition on the surface and to provide an antistatic effect.
Surfactants (surfactants), aluminum oxide and titanium dioxide are used as additional ingredients. These provide the protective coating with improved heat and water repellency as well as a distinctive glow.
Despite such a rich composition of various components, car ceramics are chemically neutral and do not react with the car paintwork or with any chemical compounds deposited on it. It does not form a chemical bond with the car paint and varnish, and is held firmly on the surface due to the adhesion at the molecular level.
What does the ceramic coating protect from?
If properly applied to the car bodywork, ceramic coating forms a thin hard protective film with a water-repellent and antistatic effect. The product protects the paintwork against most types of negative influences:
mechanical damage: from minor scratches, chipping, road sandblasting, and scuffing;
Corrosion, which is ensured by preservation of the bodywork’s original coating;
Chemicals, including oils, gasoline, diesel fuel and technical fluids;
ultraviolet light, which prevents paintwork fading in the sun.
In addition, nanoceramics creates the effect of a new car and visually improves its appearance, and thanks to its hydrophobicity ensures easy cleaning of the bodywork and its lower susceptibility to dirt and water that simply flows off it.
What You Shouldn’t Expect from Car Ceramics
The main thing to understand is that ceramics is not a panacea. Autoceramics can freshen the appearance of your car and protect it from adverse factors. But you should not apply it with the following effects in mind:
Disguise defects of the paintwork. Due to its transparency, autoceramics cannot hide the damage to the paint or varnish of your car – there are special kits for repairing chips and scratches for this purpose.
Providing full body protection. Only a protective cover and garage storage with no operation can give 100% protection to the car body. In other cases, chips, scratches and abrasions are not excluded, but autoceramic is the most effective protection against small mechanical impacts – there will be not even a trace of them.
Preservation of absolute cleanliness of your car. Even on ceramic coating there are stains and traces of dirt, but they accumulate much slower. Car wash will still be necessary, but much less frequent.
Nanoceramics for a car is not designed to eliminate defects, but to preserve and improve the appearance of the car body, prolonging its life span.
Pros and cons of autoceramics
Like any protective-decorative material, autoceramics have certain advantages and disadvantages.
Chemical neutrality and no harm to the basic paintwork;
possibility to apply the coating by yourself;
excellent protective properties;
ensuring a long-term effect;
improving the appearance of the basic coating.
Difficulty of self application;
high initial cost of autoceramics (which is compensated by the long-term effect);
The need for careful preparation of the body before application;
Long waiting time for curing the coating – at least a day;
To get the desired effect, you need to apply at least 2-3 layers of the product on your car.
How to apply ceramics on your car with your own hands – step by step instructions
In order to apply the protective composition on the car paintwork correctly and without overspending the material, it is important to follow the instructions clearly. For convenience, it is divided into 3 main steps, performed one by one.
What you need for applying ceramics
To apply a ceramic coating on your own car, you will need:
soft microfiber cloths that do not leave fibers;
applicator (a special hard sponge);
Car ceramics – to process a sedan, 50-70 ml of product is enough.
Branded products are sold as a ready kit, which includes everything you need for application. It is also important to keep in mind that even with the purchase of a new car preparation of paintwork and its polishing is mandatory – without that you can not apply the composition correctly. For preparation you will need:
car shampoo and sponge;
Tools for removing stains from the body;
Paste for polishing the body (grit size depends on the depth of scratches);
Also, personal protective equipment should not be ignored: goggles, gloves and respirator mask.
Step 1: Surface preparation
First you need to thoroughly wash the car and remove all traces of dirt from it. To do this, you can use the services of professional car washes or do everything by hand.
The next step is to proceed to polishing. The final result depends directly on how properly and qualitatively the body will be polished. Therefore, there is no need to rush here – even professional car centers take several days to polish.
After polishing, the body is thoroughly cleaned and dried. Immediately prior to the application of autoceramics, it is recommended to degrease the surface with cleaners (not solvents!) or isopropyl alcohol – this will help increase the adhesion of the composition.
Step 2: Ceramic coating application
Important: Properly applied ceramic coating should be in a room protected from sunlight and at a temperature of +10 to +30 degrees without dramatic changes in temperature.
Directly the composition is applied under the following scheme:
The applicator is wrapped with a microfiber.
Apply literally 4-5 drops of the product to the microfiber.
The protective composition is evenly distributed on the bodywork – there is no need to rub it in with force.
The auto-ceramic is first rubbed with horizontal and then vertical movements.
When the solvent in the nanoceramic evaporates (see the instructions for the evaporation time), take a new microfiber and continue with the surface treatment. This will make the layer more even and remove the excess coating.
If you plan to treat the entire car, it will be correct to start with the hood, then move on to the roof, trunk and bumpers. Last of all, the product should be applied to the mirrors and doors.
Step 3: Re-applying Ceramic
Important: The second and subsequent layers of autoceramic should be applied only after the previous layer is completely dry, as it usually dries in 1 to 3 hours. Otherwise, after complete drying the composition will cover the body elements unevenly, and the transitions between the thin and thick layers will be clearly visible, which will only spoil the appearance. Therefore, it is better to do everything right the first time.
It is not difficult to apply each subsequent layer correctly – everything is done by analogy with the first layer. The main thing is not to rush. But also do not lose time – it is impossible to straighten the cured autoceramic.
After processing, it is better not to touch the car during the next 24 hours – it is better to leave it in a garage or a garage box at the same temperature, protected from wind and precipitations. The final consolidation of the product occurs within a week, and during this period, you should refrain not only from washing the car, but also from using it in the rain.
To ensure effective and long-lasting protection, you need to apply about 3-5 layers of nanoceramic, but everything depends on the manufacturer. However, exceeding their number relative to the recommended amount will not improve it – on the contrary, very many layers are difficult to properly and evenly distribute over the entire surface of the body. If you make a gross mistake, it will be possible to remove the ceramic protection only with the help of abrasive blasting of the body parts.
Frequent questions from motorists
How long does the coating last?
It all depends on the manufacturer and how properly the coating was applied. For example, the lifetime of a line of professional formulations Ceramic Pro is 2-3 years or more. Cheap products, especially those purchased at a popular Chinese marketplace, may take a couple of months to wear off.
Does a new car need car ceramics?
Absolutely, and much more than a used car. When applied to a new paintwork, the coating prolongs its service life, makes the car brighter and shinier.
What happens to the protection at the end of its life?
The coating evaporates evenly over time, rather than coming off in layers, as is the case with low quality waxes or polymer compositions or films.
What will happen to the autoceramic on impact? Will a grid appear?
Car ceramics is a stable, yet pliable material, firmly bonded to the car varnish. A normal chipping will appear at the point of impact without any other visual effects.
What surfaces can autoceramics be applied to?
Almost any elements of the body and interior, with the exception of rough (fabric and leather) surfaces and auto glass.
Ceramic coating for car bodies is a great solution for car owners who want to protect the body of their car and ensure its distinctive appearance. With a certain skill, you can apply such a coating yourself, but if you want a really high-quality result with a long-lasting effect, it is better to entrust this work to professionals who know how to apply ceramics to cars, and who are able to do everything correctly.
How to apply ceramics on your car with your own hands
No one is immune from the appearance of chips, scratches and other defects on the surface of the car. It happens even to cars that are carefully driven. As a result, the body needs a paint coating. To protect the car and save money, ceramic compounds are used.
Ceramic is a modern way to protect the body from scratches, chips, dirt, dust, gravel, and reagents. The product received its name because it creates a durable hard film on the surface.
The protective agent is a mixture of polymers, quartz sand and natural minerals. To give the coating an antistatic effect and uniform application, an organic silicon solvent is added to the composition. Car ceramics contain aluminum oxide and surfactants – known as hydrophobes. Titanium dioxide adds luster to the surface. Manufacturers do not disclose the exact composition to protect consumers from counterfeit products.
Ceramic protective coating analogues
Other types of protection can be used instead of ceramic.
- Wax . For a long time, it had a reputation as the only remedy available. Wax comes in solid, paste form, liquid, cold or hot. It’s easy to apply, but it offers little protection against damage. You usually wash the wax off after 1 or 2 washes.
- Vinyl films . They protect against ultraviolet rays and mechanical damage, but they are expensive. In addition, the film is difficult to apply. Over time, it peels off, becomes cloudy, yellowing.
- Liquid rubber . Protects the body, but significantly changes its appearance. Not all owners of personal vehicles are ready for such metamorphosis.
If the body needs reliable protection and attractive appearance, we recommend choosing ceramic. Ceramic protects against minor mechanical damage, UV damage, and moisture, yet still gives your car a high-gloss finish.
Benefits of ceramics
There are several reasons for the success of this material in the Russian market.
- It provides reliable protection from mechanical damage and has flawless appearance. The coating prevents scratches, cracks, chips on the paint layer. The body acquires a glossy shine.
- Resistance to chemicals and corrosion. The surface retains its look even after the use of engine oil, gasoline or diesel fuel. If reagents get on the body, they flow down. The substance fills various microcracks, preserves and prevents corrosion in areas with a damaged paint layer.
- Protection against ultraviolet radiation, high temperature . Chemical additives used help retain color throughout the declared period of use. Ceramic products are superior to inexpensive film coatings in this characteristic. Modern compositions can withstand temperatures up to 780 °C.
- Anti-graffiti effect . This property is important for car owners who have encountered vandals painting on other people’s cars. The film that forms on the surface repels the paint and prevents it from penetrating deeply into the surface. Any unwanted inscriptions can be removed with an ordinary car wash without aggressive components, polishing machines or other special tools. The exception is oil-based paints. Additional cleaning agents are required to remove them.
- Lifetime . If you sit in a car 2-3 times a week and drive it a small number of kilometers, the ceramic will show its protective properties for the declared manufacturers three years. With intensive use of the vehicle, the real lifespan is about 1 year. After that, it is necessary to renew the body.
Another advantage is the ability to paint the car with a sprayer, because then the paint is easy to remove. Thanks to the polymers that are included in the ceramic products, dirt does not adhere intensely. This eliminates the need for aggressive detergents or high-pressure water when you want to remove encrusted dirt.
Video with a detailed story about the advantages:
Disadvantages of ceramics
It does not create a full-fledged scratch protection for the coating itself. Sure, ceramic works better than wax or film, but over time, various damages will form on the surface. Scratches and microcracks cannot be removed with regular polishing. If defects appear on the protective layer, the only way to get rid of them is to completely remove the old coating and apply a new one. Since the cost of treatment is quite high, this disadvantage can be considered significant.
You should also consider other disadvantages.
- Complicated stage of preparation, special requirements to the room . The surface of the car must first be thoroughly cleaned, dirt removed, degreased, polished properly. The main disadvantage of independent work is the complexity of providing the required conditions. For this reason, quality may suffer. It is also necessary to maintain a certain level of humidity and comply with the temperature regime specified by the manufacturer.
- Problems of finding protective products . Many companies sell their products only to car dealerships, certified service and curing centers. Ordinary car owners are often offered low quality compositions, which do not correspond to the standards of the real car ceramics.
- The need to use additional tools and materials . In preparation, it is necessary to buy a variety of scrapers, polishes, cleaning agents. This process makes car owners nervous and takes time.
- Application of at least 2-3 layers, long drying time . To achieve the desired effect, agents should be applied in at least 2 layers. Usually it takes a few hours, but in most cases, manufacturers recommend leaving 12-15 hours for each individual layer to dry completely.
- High cost . Buying quality products forces car owners to spend at least 15,000 rubles. Some compositions cost 30 thousand. This does not take into account the amount of costs for additional materials and payment for the work of craftsmen in the event that the product is not applied by one’s own hands.
If scratches are not removed from the surface, they remain visible even under several layers of autoceramic. The substances have a transparent structure, so the resulting film does not disguise the damage.
The statement that ceramics allow you not to go to the car service to clean the surface is mistaken. It is usually said so for advertising purposes. Due to the weak adhesion of dirt to the coating washing is noticeably easier, but it is still necessary to do it. If you consider yourself a realist, try to be skeptical of the creativity of marketers.
What ceramic coatings can be used
In order for autoceramics to perform the functions entrusted to it, you should responsibly choose the manufacturer. We recommend using compositions of premium series Opti-Coat Pro, produced by the American company Optimum Polymer Technologies (OPT).
Their advantages include:
- silicon carbide (SiC) base, a technology that is unparalleled in the world;
- absence of thinning solvents and the inclusion of polyurethane which provides a unique flexibility of the film;
- reliable protection from the effects of reagents, mechanical damage, sun fading;
- Bright glossy gloss, accentuated color depth;
- 5 years warranty.
We tell more about Opti-Coat Pro in the video:
The product line also includes Opti-Coat Pro+. It has an improved protective composition with the addition of components that increase the smoothness of the coating. Protective film Opti Coat Pro Plus has a thickness of only 2 microns, but its properties are superior to other products on the market.
How to apply a ceramic coating with your own hands
The process is quite complicated. You will need time, care and attention. Before you start work, you need to carefully study the manufacturer’s instructions. In it you will read detailed recommendations on the use of the protective agent.
You can also watch a video:
The room must have:
- ventilation . In a garage or a special box it is necessary to organize forced air circulation. It is important to equip the ventilation system with a filter that reduces the amount of dust;
- a dry microclimate . The humidity of the air should not be more than 40-50%;
- lighting . It is important to ensure good visibility of any dirt, streaks or other imperfections;
- warmth . Keep the air temperature between 15 and 35 °C.
The entire job can be divided into 3 steps.
- Cleaning off dirt.
- Preparation of the bodywork.
- Ceramic application.
The car is washed thoroughly beforehand. No traces of dirt should remain on it. It is best to perform a professional car wash. If you do not have such an opportunity, it is acceptable to use a high-pressure washer.
After cleaning the car, you can start preparing the surface. To do this, it must be treated with degreasing agents. You can also use auto scrubs.
Step by step instructions
The procedure for applying the ceramic composition is as follows:
- The bottle is shaken well.
- Apply the autoceramic to the applicator (usually included in the kit). If the manufacturer does not provide one, a microfiber cloth can be used.
- The compound is rubbed on the surface in a zig-zag motion. First do it from left to right, then from top to bottom.
- Perform polishing, using a dry microfiber cloth. It is important to make sure in advance that it will not leave lint and other traces on the body.
- If necessary, apply new coats at intervals of 1 hour.
Up to 10 coats can be applied. Allow at least 60 minutes for the previous coat to cure before applying a new one.
We have prepared a video for you showing the whole process:
How to take care of the coating
There are rules of care for ceramics.
- For the first week, do not wash the car with alkaline products. No wiping is allowed during this time either. Depending on the composition, washing restrictions may be in effect for up to 2.5 weeks;
- Do not drive in rain or snow during the first week. Refrain from parking under trees to reduce the risk of contaminating the bodywork with bird droppings or tar, which can destroy the paintwork.
- If you use a brush for cleaning, it will scratch the paintwork. Do not wipe the car with a dirty rag – it has an abrasive surface. It is best to choose a quality microfiber.
- When allowed to wash, it should be done by machine method.
- The ceramic layer is renewed if necessary after 8-12 months after application.
In order to keep the protective functions of the composition for a long time, Gyeon Can Coat, Gyeon Cure or other similar products are applied on top. This should be done at least once every six months.
Why protection should be applied in a child-care center
If you decide to refinish your ceramic coating yourself, assess your own strength. Are there minimal doubts that you will succeed? It is better not to take the risk and go to a child-care center. If you apply it yourself poorly, it will be very noticeable. In addition, the autoceramic will lose its protective properties. As a result, you will have to pay twice: the first time – for the purchase of the composition, the second time – for the re-purchase and involvement of craftsmen.
Considering all the complexities of the application, the best solution would be to go to a kids-center that uses ceramics. The multi-step procedure is performed by certified employees, using professional equipment. They provide a quality guarantee, and also give discounts on subsequent re-treatment.
How the protective coatings are renewed at the AMD PLUS Dentist Center:
Get advice by calling +7 (495) 750-01-01 or leave your contacts. Our manager will contact you and answer all your questions.