It’s an investment to take care of your vehicle’s exterior. Paint can experience wear and tear, just like mechanical components do. One of the best treatments to protect your paint is ceramic coating, with benefits that can last for five years or longer if it’s done right.
What does ceramic coating cost?
At a professional detailer, it could be $1,500 to $5,000 or even higher. If you’re willing to put in the elbow grease yourself, all you’ll pay is the cost of materials and supplies, which could be under $100.
Let’s dig into what ceramic coating is, what it costs, and how it’s applied.
What is Ceramic Coating?
The term ceramic coating tends to be used for a variety of different products that are applied in the same way. Ceramic coating is a silica-based resin that’s applied to a vehicle’s painted surface to seal and protect it. The finished product is much more durable than wax and lasts for years versus months, and it repels water and dirt like you’ve never experienced before. Ethos Ceramic Matrix is a multi-year, DIY 9H ceramic coating.
The silica nanoparticles chemically bond to your car’s surfaces at a molecular level, sealing it from the outside as an invisible shield. It’s important because of what you normally see: the microscopic pores in your car’s clear coat and paint. The nanoparticles fill in the porous surface and create a uniform layer on top that’s smoother.
Also in the ‘ceramic coating’ category, you’ll find Ethos Graphene Matrix coating. While similar in the way it’s applied, the results are even better since it uses a new carbon-based graphene technology which is an even more resilient material and lasts even longer yet.
Ceramic Coating Benefits
Any detailer will tell you straight up that wax doesn’t last long, even the high-quality stuff. After a few car washes, it loses its luster and water doesn’t roll off very well anymore. And then there’s the bane of any proud car owner: water spots that stick out on a waxed car, forcing you to perfectly dry or chamois the car every time.
A ceramic coating blows car waxes out of the water with its benefits. Perks include:
- A durable finished product. Rather than measuring the lifespan in weeks, ceramic coating can last three years or longer. And its cousin, graphene coating, can last from five to ten years.
- DIY application. Although the prep work takes time, the actual ceramic application is quick and doesn’t require immense amounts of energy expended.
- Long Lasting Hydrophobic Coating. Water beads off the paint because the molecular structure makes it hydrophobic.
- Scratch resistance. High-quality ceramic coatings from Ethos are 9H or better on the Mohs hardness scale, putting them at the top of the class in resisting abrasions.
- Protection against environmental effects. You can’t tell the birds where to do their business or the rain where it should fall. Ceramic coating protects your car’s paint from the harmful effects Mother Nature tosses your way.
Can I Apply Ceramic Coating Myself?
Applying ceramic coating is definitely up a DIYer’s alley, especially if you enjoy detailing your car. Make no mistake – you’ll need to set aside time to get it done well. The majority of the time you spend on ceramic coating isn’t on the application itself, but on the preparation leading up to it. Check out our, "How to Install a Ceramic Coating Blog" for more information.
See, the paint needs to be meticulous when ceramic coating is applied. Since it’s sealing the paint, anything that’s stuck to, etched into, or scuffed into the finish is going to show up afterwards. Since your car’s going to have a mirror-like finish, the blemishes are even more noticeable.
The best time to apply the coating is before you’ve added miles to the odometer of a new car; before road grime and dust have latched onto the paint, and prior to your first scratch. Ethos Detox prep spray strips away the crud that sticks to your car, and giving it a thorough wipe with a clay bar or clay mitt is a bit of insurance as well.
Your car isn’t new? It just means more prep. After detoxing, it’s going to be necessary to hit the paint with a polisher, eliminating the scratches and swirl marks so they don’t show through the ceramic coating.
Professional Application vs Do-It-Yourself Ceramic Coating
Likely, you’ve seen ads for professional ceramic coating or the dealership offered it as a service before you pick your new car up for the first time. There’s no telling how good of a job they’ve done, and which product did they use? If you’re capable, it’s always a good idea to not just save the money, but also be sure the job is done right. And what will they charge you? $899? $1,299? May be even $1,999 on a new car?
A professional ceramic coating on a used car can be a good idea if you aren’t comfortable with the preparation steps. Incorrect use of a power polisher can permanently burn the paint, making it look worse instead of better. But the prep is where the bulk of the cost is at. Maybe an idea is to get a professional detailer to prep your car and do the ceramic coating yourself.
How to Apply Ceramic Coating
It can’t be stated enough – your car needs to be spic-and-span spotless before applying ceramic coating. Once you’ve got it prepped, the easy part begins. Follow the instructions from Ethos closely and your finished product will be something you’ll be proud of. It’s as easy as wiping on a small section at a time, letting it cure momentarily, then wiping it off. Precise instructions can be found on each of the product pages.
If you’re looking for a faster solution, Ceramic Wax PRO goes on like a normal car wax. Since it contains Ethos’ ceramic resin formula, it lasts for a year or longer so you don’t have to spend a weekend every other moth detailing and waxing your car. Or for shiny finish in minutes that lasts up to six months, Ethos Resist Graphene Spray Coating goes on after you’ve washed and dried your car. It can also be used as a touch-up for cars with ceramic coating.