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Blog / Your Ultimate Guide to Understanding Ceramic Coating

Your Ultimate Guide to Understanding Ceramic Coating

ceramic coating 1

There is nothing like the gleam of a pristine, well-made, expertly-maintained car. 

A car like this turns heads, elicits murmurs of appreciation, and is, frankly, fun to drive.

Your car should be something you can be proud of. After all, you spend a lot of time in it, and your car is an extension of your personality. 

Unfortunately, it takes a lot of time and effort to keep your car as clean and lustrous as it deserves to be. Faithfully scrubbing your car and waxing it regularly can be a drag, and sometimes you simply want to zip off to your next event without having to worry about constant maintenance.

But don’t worry, there’s another way to keep your car looking fantastic!

At Sun Stoppers, we can apply a ceramic coating to your car, which will give it a long-lasting shine unparalleled by anything you’ve ever seen before. And if that isn’t enough, a ceramic coating also makes your car a breeze to wash, as contaminants bead up on the surface and rinse right off. 

Is a ceramic coating right for you?

Keep reading to find out!

table of contents

What is a Ceramic Coating?

A ceramic coating is a silica-based liquid polymer—essentially a thin layer of glass that coats your car. When applied to a car, it bonds with the paint at the molecular level. This creates a long-lasting protective layer that makes your car look amazing. 

In practical terms, a ceramic coating is an alternative to waxing. It gives your car the glorious gleam of a well-applied wax without having to constantly re-apply it.

Types of Ceramic Coating

There are many brands of ceramic coating on the market, and they vary slightly from each other in:

  • Thickness
  • Glossiness
  • Longevity
  • Slickness
  • Durability

However, they all use the same chemical process. In general, there are two categories of ceramic coatings:

  1. Consumer-grade ceramic coatings
  2. Professional-grade ceramic coatings

Consumer-grade ceramic coatings are easier to apply than professional-grade ceramic coatings. They are available at auto stores and offer a “DIY” option if you’re interested in a ceramic coating and have the skills to apply it yourself.

However, even a consumer-grade ceramic coating is complicated to apply properly. It requires a temperature-controlled environment out of direct sunlight, and multiple steps of prep work before you can even begin applying the coating. If the coating is applied wrong, it will show, and removing a botched job requires even more work.

Ceramic coating is difficult to apply correctly

We recommend that you get your car coated by a professional. That way you can rest easy knowing your car is in good hands. Not only that, but professional-grade ceramic coatings are better products overall. They are thicker and more durable than consumer-grade coatings, and they provide a deeper shine. 

At Sun Stoppers, we use the professional-grade XPEL Fusion Plus Ceramic Coating.

5 Benefits of a Ceramic Coating

Now that we understand what a ceramic coating is, let’s look at the six benefits that a ceramic coating provides for your car.

1 – Never Wax Again

Ever since the first Model T rolled off the assembly line in Detroit, keeping your car shiny and new has been a tall task. Car owners had to wash and wax their cars regularly. (Or, if they were wealthy enough, their chauffeurs did the task for them.)

For years, waxing remained the best option for car owners who wanted to retain that shiny, new car gleam. 

But no more! 

Now, with a ceramic coating on your car, you can have a vehicle with long-lasting, breathtaking shine. And the enhanced gloss is better than a wax.

Ceramic coating gives vehicles a long-lasting shine

2 – Easier to Clean

One of the most remarkable things about a ceramic coating is its hydrophobic ability. 

Let’s break down the word “hydrophobic.” “Hydro,” is a prefix that refers to water, while “phobic” is a suffix that refers to a fear of or aversion to something. “Hydrophobic,” then, refers to a material that actively repels water.

A ceramic coating gives your car a hydrophobic coating. Since this coating actively refuses to bond with water, anything water-based that hits your car will immediately want to bead up and slide off. 

This includes things like mud and bird poop. 

Although many contaminants will slide off on their own, your car is not 100% self-cleaning. However, your days of scrubbing relentlessly are pretty much behind you. With a spray of the hose, most of the remaining dirt on your car will slide right off. 

ceramic coating 2

3 – Protection

A ceramic coating also protects your car’s paint job to a certain degree.

Now, this protective coating has its limitations. A flying rock, for instance, will still damage your paint job. If you’re looking for robust paint protection, you might opt for a paint protection film instead.

Still, a ceramic coating protects from some everyday things that can damage your paint job, such as:

  • Scratches and marks
  • UV damage/Oxidation from the sun 
  • Chemical stains
  • Etching
  • Damage from bugs

4 – Long-lasting

One of the largest benefits of a ceramic coating is how long it lasts.

Instead of re-applying wax to your car every few months, get a ceramic coating and you’re good for years!

But just how long does a ceramic coating last?

Here at Sun Stoppers, we guarantee our ceramic coatings for four years. That’s four years of high-gloss, low-maintenance beauty, keeping your car looking brand-new. 

5 – Adds value

Even if you plan to upgrade your car in a few years, a ceramic coating is worth it because of the added resale value it gives to your car.

After all, the person you’re selling it to will greatly appreciate the ability to have an amazing-looking car with very little maintenance required!

Benefits of ceramic coating for a vehicle

Ceramic Coating vs. Paint Protection Film: What’s the difference?

When looking into options for protecting and enhancing your car’s paint job, you might wonder if you should go with a ceramic coating, or if you should opt for a paint protection film instead.

How will you decide?

Let’s look at what a paint protection film is and how it compares to a ceramic coating.

A paint protection film is a thermoplastic urethane film that provides robust protection for the paint job on your car. It can keep the paint from being chipped and scratched. It is thicker than a ceramic coating and provides much more actual protection to the paint job.

It also has the ability to self-heal when heat is applied.

Essentially, a paint protection film exists to protect your paint, while a ceramic coating maintains high gloss and makes your car easy to clean. 

A ceramic coating maintains a high gloss on vehicle

So which one should you choose?

In the end, it all comes down to priorities.

Is your primary goal to protect your paint job? Are you worried about chips and scratches? If so, a paint protection film is probably what you’re looking for.

However, if your main goal is to add a gorgeous, low-maintenance, long-lasting gloss, you’ll want to get a ceramic coating.

And if you want both?

You’re in luck! 

A ceramic coating can be applied on top of a paint protection film, providing the best of both worlds: Enhanced paint protection and a low-maintenance glossy coat. Plus, it will be easy to clean!

Here at Sun Stoppers, our professional installers can give your car a paint protection film, a ceramic coating, or both. Find a location near you and come chat with us about what you’re looking for! 

How To Apply A Ceramic Coating

You can apply a ceramic coating yourself, or you can get a professional to do the job for you.

What does the ceramic coating process look like?

Well, let’s walk through it.

First, thoroughly wash  and decontaminate your car. You don’t want anything left on your paint that could be covered with the ceramic coating and later loosen, causing a problem. This decontamination process will typically include:

  • Washing by hand with car soap and water
  • Applying a chemical spray to remove ferrous-based particles such as brake dust
  • Using clay to remove additional contaminants such as tar
  • Polishing the paint
Dirt or grime on vehicle paint can cause ceramic coating to loosen

After you’ve washed, decontaminated, and polished your car, it’s time to apply the ceramic coating.

This requires several steps:

  1. Apply a specific amount of ceramic coating to an applicator
  2. Wipe it across the panel you’re coating
  3. Let it sit 1-5 minutes until the solvents begin to dry
  4. Remove the excess material
  5. Inspect under a good light source to make sure it’s been thoroughly applied
  6. Cure the ceramic coating

Things to Watch Out For

Although many people opt to apply ceramic coatings themselves, many things can go wrong, resulting in sub-par results. Common mistakes include:

  • Failing to properly prep your car
  • Using the wrong type of applicator
  • Using a sub-par ceramic coating product
  • Applying in an environment that’s too hot, too cold, or too humid
  • Applying in direct sunlight
  • Applying the wrong amount of ceramic coating
  • Failing to remove excess coating
  • Failing to cure properly

An improperly-applied ceramic coating can create streaks and marks on the surface of your car or give it an oily or grainy finish. 

Unfortunately, since a ceramic coating chemically bonds with your paint, a botched job is challenging to remove once it has cured, requiring you to sand it down.

ceramic coating 3

If you’re doing the coating yourself, it’s important to take your time, work in a temperature-controlled environment, and work with precision. 

Also, do your research and make sure you’re getting a good brand of ceramic coating product. Here at Sun Stoppers, we use highly-acclaimed XPEL products

If you’re comparing different ceramic coating products at the store, one thing to watch out for is the bottle. If it comes in a plastic bottle, it’s not an actual long-lasting ceramic coating, because real ceramic coatings chemically react with plastic bottles. 

If you want the best coating for your car, it’s highly recommended that you call in a professional. Not only will this save you time, but they will apply professional-grade products and give you the results of your dreams, free of blemishes. 

How To Find a Reputable Installer

Unfortunately, some ceramic coating installers who bill themselves as “professional” are little more than scam artists. Take your time to find a reputable installer so that you get a good quality coating that enhances your car and lasts for years. 

How will you separate the good installers from the bad ones?

If any of your friends have gotten ceramic coatings installed on their cars, talk to them first, asking about their experiences. Would they recommend their installer?

Another good first step is to look online. Find an installer near you and check out their website. Does it seem professional? You want an installer who pays attention to detail.

Next, pay close attention to their reviews. What are other customers saying about this installer?

Find a reputable ceramic coating installer

You can also ask your installer to provide references.

Finally, ask your installer specific questions about the process, such as:

  • What kind of prep work do they do?
  • Does the ceramic coating come with a warranty?
  • What parts of the car do they plan to coat? 
  • Do they plan to remove the license plate, stickers, and decals before coating?
  • What sort of maintenance will be required after the coating?
  • What follow-up services do they offer?

Their answers to these questions will help you determine how thorough their process is and how much attention they pay to detail. Remember, it’s the attention to detail that makes the ceramic coating end up outstanding!

Four Common Myths About Ceramic Coatings

Although a ceramic coating will give your car a beautiful, hydrophobic finish, it’s not quite the magical miracle some people make it out to be. Here are five common myths about ceramic coatings, debunked.

Myth 1: A Ceramic Coating Doesn’t Require Maintenance

Although a ceramic coating vastly cuts down on the amount of time you’ll need to spend maintaining your car, it doesn’t eliminate the need for maintenance. Before you get a ceramic coating, talk to your installer about what types of ongoing care will be required. 

Myth 2: You’ll Never Need to Wash Your Car Again

The hydrophobic surface of a ceramic coating makes your car much easier to clean. Some dirt will slide off immediately, and most will come off with a quick rinse.

However, it’s still important to wash your car regularly to keep it free of dust and grime.

Myth 3: A Ceramic Coating Completely Prevents Scratches

Although a ceramic coating has some scratch-resistant qualities, it does not entirely protect against scratches. Nor does it protect against rock chips. A ceramic coating is primarily for getting high shine with low maintenance. If you’re looking for paint protection, you might be better off opting for a paint protection film. 

Ceramic coating helps to protect against minor scratches

Myth 4: A Ceramic Coating Will Last Forever

With proper maintenance, a ceramic coating will last for years. However, it will not last forever. Like all coatings, it does eventually wear off with time. 


Are you ready to add a ceramic coating to your vehicle? Find a Sun Stoppers location near you, and give us a call today!

Here at Sun Stoppers, your car will be in good hands. Our professional installers are committed to making sure every step is followed to the letter and every detail is perfect, and we only use high-quality XPEL FUSION PLUS ceramic coating. 

We also offer other protective services for your vehicles, like window tinting and paint protection film.

We even offer protection for new, electric vehicles like Teslas. In fact, we offer Tesla window tinting, Tesla paint protection, and Tesla ceramic coating.     

And the best part? Working with us is easy!

  1. Head to our website and get a FREE ESTIMATE.
  2. Bring your vehicle to the nearest Sun Stoppers.
  3. Enjoy a fast and professional application. 

With a shiny new ceramic coating applied to your car, you’ll be the envy of every person you pass on the highway!

Contact us today. We look forward to hearing from you! 

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