Ceramic Coating Process: Preparing and applying

Ceramic coated honda city
Ceramic coating in India costs a lot. There are some DIY kits available for ceramic coating which makes it a simpler process. The process is simple but it does need a lot of precision and patience.
Ceramic coated range rover
Below are the processes involved in Ceramic coatings. 
1. The preparation
2. Applying ceramic coating
3. Curing 
4. After care (optional)

Ceramic Coating Process 1: The Preparation

car washing
Step1: Wash the vehicle
The First step in preparing your car for Ceramic coating is washing your car. This is to remove surface grime, dirt and major debris.  

Step2: Clay bar treatment (optional)

Clay bar treatment
A clay bar is a semi hard bar of industrial strength clay. Clay bar treatment breaks up the hard contaminants and penetrates into the microscopic peaks and valleys in the paint clear coat. The clear coating has to bond with the clear coat, the microscopic areas in the clear coat have to be clean and free of debris.

Step3: paint correction

Paint correction for ceramic coating
Ceramic coating does not fix your paint and will not hide the swirl marks on the body. It is made to protect and enhance the existing paint surface. If the imperfections are left untreated the ceramic coating will magnify and enhance them. If the car has some paint corrections needed, it is better to leave it to professionals than messing it up.

Step4: Isopropyl Alcohol wipe

Alcohol wipe
The Final step is to remove any oil, lubricants, chemicals, waxes etc.. from the surface. The Isopropyl Alcohol solution should be wiped on the entire vehicle.

Ceramic Coating Process 2: Applying the ceramic coating

Ceramic coating preparation
Once all the preparation is made it is time to apply the ceramic coating. The Kit gets an applicator sponge, applicator cloth, gloves, microfiber buffing towel and a bottle of ceramic coat.  

Step1: Applying drops

Ceramic coating drops
Wrap the cloth tightly around the applicator sponge. Use a razor blade to cut the side of the applicator sponge and use the cut to hold the cloth.  Add 10-12 drops of the ceramic coat on the cloth.

Step2: wipe on

wiping ceramic coat
This step is most important of all. Patience is something that will help a lot in this step.  
1. Select a section in the car and apply only on that section
2. Wipe the cloth in a horizontal pattern and then a vertical pattern to ensure even application.
3. Once the selected section is completed move on to another section.
4. Make sure to change the applicator cloth if the ceramic coat crystalizes on the cloth.

Step3: Let it dry

Drying ceramic coating
Once you have applied the coating to the full section. Let it dry for 3-5 minutes based on the temperature. Time for drying is different for different products and will be mentioned on the manual.

Step4: Buffing

Once the coating is done for the entire body panel, lightly buff the coated area with a microfiber towel until shine appears. Once the buffing is done allow 1-2 hours and apply another coat and repeat the same steps. 

Ceramic Coating Process 3: Curing Process

Curing process
Initially the coat bonds with the clear coat within minutes. The complete curing of the ceramic coating takes about 24 to 48 hours depending on the manufacturers. During the curing time potential exposure to water, including rain and direct sunlight has to be avoided.

Ceramic Coating Process 4: After care

Ceramic coating after care
A vehicle after ceramic coating should be easy to maintain. The purpose of ceramic coating is to avoid temporary solutions like polish or wax. However, there are some things you need to keep in mind
1. wash on bi-weekly basis to avoid dirt and contamination build up
2. avoid washing in direct sunlight to avoid water spots
3. wash from top to bottom leaving the dirtiest sections for the last.
4. Use a separate sponge and soap for the wheels. 

Image credits:
Adrian Dascal on Unsplash
Nima Sarram on Unsplash
Norbert Buduczki on Unsplash
Zac Nielson on Unsplash
Denin Lawley on Unsplash
Mitchell Griest on UnsplashCarl Barcelo on Unsplash

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