Ceramic Coating vs. Paint Protection: A Guide for Auto Detailing Students

After a while, a vehicle’s paint job is going to lose the shine and glimmer it had when it was first bought. Not only that, but damage from factors like scratches, swirl marks, bug splatter, and oxidation is inevitable if the car isn’t sufficiently protected. Once it’s been exposed to the sun for long periods of time, a car can experience its paint fading, making it look like a shadow of its former self. Drivers have two excellent options for maintaining the quality of a vehicle’s paint job: ceramic coating or paint protection. 

For any auto detailing professional, the best time to have clients apply these forms of protection is when their vehicle is still new, and the paint job is still in great shape. When that happens, both of these options have unique pros and cons, depending on the needs of the car and owner. 

Here’s what you should know about the difference between paint protection and ceramic coating, and which one is better for different situations.

Ceramic Coating: Years’ Worth of Protection from Liquids and the Sun

Made from two primary ingredients (titanium dioxide and silica dioxide), ceramic coating bonds with the paint to protect it. This type of coating can keep the car protected from factors like heat, UV rays, and scratches. Ceramic coating is also hydrophobic, meaning it will keep different types of liquids from damaging the paint. It can also permanently keep UV rays from causing the paint to fade. These coatings can be applied not only to paint, but also to wheels, glass, and chrome. Once the coating is applied and levelled, it is meant to keep the paint and shine protected for years to come. Not only will it keep the paint shining and make its colour stand out more, but its ability to repel water makes it easier for owners to clean it.

When applying ceramic coating, it is meant to protect the car’s paint for years to come

Paint Protection: Keeping Scratches Away, Across Every Corner of a Vehicle

Paint protection refers to a film made from a sheet of thermoplastic urethane that’s applied to the car’s paint to protect it from various types of damage including scratches, chips, oxidation, chemical stains, UV rays, and swirl marks. As it’s able to resist these factors, it provides an advantage for drivers in areas where these issues can be common. Additionally, auto detailing professionals may recognize that its top coat is self-healing, so these types of wear and tear can often revert back to normal by themselves after enough time has passed. Paint protection film is also designed to be stretched far enough to fit whatever shape the vehicle has, including its various curves and edges.

Protective film can make a vehicle more resistant to chips and scratches

Choosing the Best Method: What Auto Detailing Students Should Know

Anyone in an auto detailing career will be aware that placing ceramic coating on a vehicle only needs to be done once. However, this type of coating is thinner than that of paint protection film. Moreover, paint protection’s chemical makeup allows it to heal by itself, and despite some slight wear and tear, it can more or less go back to its original form—an advantage ceramic coating does not have. Although ceramic coating provides permanent protection from water and sun damage, and its hydrophobic properties allow it to easily resist water, it does not protect against scratches, chips, and the like. 

Picking one type of protection over the other depends on what the car itself needs—but getting both ceramic coating and paint protection film applied to the vehicle is the best possible option, if the car owner’s budget allows for it. This way the driver gets superior protection, ensuring the car’s exterior looks sharp while doubly resisting damage from water, UV rays, and scratches.

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