Most car owners take a lot of pride in the looks of their vehicles. That’s why department and auto stores have rows and rows of shelves with car care products on them. These products help auto owners with the dubious task of keeping the inside and outside of their cars looking good. Of course, the outside of a car is the hardest to take care of. Using waxes and cream polish help but they tend to have to be done every few weeks to keep a car looking good. Now there is a DIY alternative to waxing called ceramic coatings. The best ceramic coating will actually slightly bond with a car’s paint. That makes it last longer and protect a car better than any wax or cream car polish.
Ceramic coatings are also sometimes called Nanocoatings or Nano-ceramic coatings. In this article, we will provide a lot of buying information on these products. We will also do some helpful ceramic coating reviews of the highest-rated ones in the auto marketplace. By the time you are done reading this article, you should know exactly which type of ceramic car coating will best fit your needs.
Best Ceramic Coatings for Cars Reviews (Editors’ Picks)
Here is what we feel are the best ceramic auto coatings in the car care marketplace.
1. McKee’s 37 Ceramic Paint Coating Kit
For many people, McKee’s is a preferred car care products brand. Car shine products like this ceramic paint coating from them are the reason why. It’s a ceramic car coating that will last up to 3-years if it’s applied according to the manufacturer’s instructions. It’s an easy to apply product that can be used by professionals or do it yourselfers.
While many ceramic coatings are designed to last only several months, this one is different because of its special formula. The main ingredient in it is silicon oxide. It’s part of Mckee’s highly popular line of McKee’s 37 car care products. These products when used in conjunction with each other are known to produce superior car finishes.
This product comes as part of a kit that will help you wash, prep, and coat your car paint so it looks great well into the future. That includes a wash product, bug remover, coating treatment, ceramic coating and all the necessary application and buffing cloths.
2. Migliore SiO2 Strata Coating
Here is another car care product manufacturer that has a reputation for being among the best ones. This small 2-ounce bottle provides a nice lair of protective coating on any size car. It nicely repels water and keeps the sun’s harmful rays from getting to your car’s finish. This product will protect your car’s delicate finish for up to 12 months.
Migliore has made this ceramic coating so it will give any car a much higher than normal gloss finish if it’s prepped right. This ceramic coating can do that because it is made from a formula that uses condensed Nano-bionic particles. The slick finish it leaves will help prevent dust and grime from clinging to your car.
The manufacturer also went to great effort to make this ceramic coating easy for both beginners and professionals to apply. It even is formulated to protect against pollutants in the air that can harm any car’s finish.
3. CarPro Cquartz Ceramic Coating Finish Kit
Here is a very high gloss ceramic car coating for those that seek that type of look. It goes on easy and will last up to 2-years if applied correctly. CarPro makes this hybrid coating using a nearly pure 70% quartz mixture. That makes its quality high enough that it can even be used by professionals.
This formula will not only help your car look better, but those good looks will last longer between washes. It is designed with self-cleaning properties that help repel road grime, dust, bird droppings and more. CarPro also formulated it to shed water very easily. This product will also keep UV rays from getting to the paint finish on your car or truck.
Inside the kit is not only the ceramic formula, but there is also an applicator and 5 suede microfiber cloths. Once your car is cleaned and prepped, everything you need to apply the ceramic coating is right in the box.
4. Color N Drive Car Ceramic Coating Kit
Here is a DIY Nano-bionic ceramic coating kit that will help you get a professional-looking shine on your car. This ceramic coating by Color N Drive will last well over a year on your vehicle if you apply it the right way. You definitely will be impressed by the results and large coverage area you get from just a 1.7-ounce bottle.
It forms an effective barrier against UV rays, acid rain, and more. This ceramic coating also helps your car’s finish resist building up water spots and forms a good water barrier. It goes on easy and provides a flexible 3D coating over your car’s finish. This product will make your car as close to a self-cleaning automobile as you can get.
The package also contains a 150 ml bottle of pretreatment solution, 2 coated sponges, 1 spreading microfiber cloth, and 1 polishing microfiber cloth. There is enough product in the bottle to do 3 to 4 medium-sized cars.
5. Ethos Ceramic Wax PRO
If you are looking for a ceramic car coating with a super-high gloss look, then you need to take a closer look at this product. It does an excellent job of putting a nice protective layer over your car’s paint and leaving that vehicle looking great. This is a hybrid product that is part wax and part ceramic coating. It will provide a surface coat over your car’s finish that will last 3 to 6 months.
This unique car coating formula combines such ingredients as ceramic resins, carnauba wax, and Ethos own patented polymers. It provides excellent water beading qualities with a nice wet-look shine. This ceramic coating formula also blocks UV ray paint damage and most air pollutants.
Ethos Ceramic Wax Pro will last up to r times longer than normal car wax does. It also only takes a simple wipe-on, wipe-off action to apply it. After using it, the surface of your vehicle will be slick enough to repel many common environmental contaminants.
6. CarPro Reload Silica Spray Sealant
For those that are afraid of what the sun’s powerful rays can do to their car’s finish, here’s the answer. What was designed to once be a specialty UV coating has also turned into a pretty good ceramic sealant. So with this product, you truly get the best of both worlds in one bottle.
This is another hybrid ceramic car coating. For the best results, you may want to use it over a fresh coat non-hybrid ceramic sealant. The quartz silica found in the formula is more diluted than what you will find with a true ceramic coating. That does, however, mean you can use this product more often to top-up the looks of your vehicle.
One of the other nice things about this CarPro Reload Spray is it’s safe for use on all surfaces. That includes your car’s paint finish, chrome pieces, vinyl bumpers, plastic, and glass. It also can be used on both wet and dry car surfaces.
7. Shield One Advanced Nano Hydrophobic Coating
If you want a ceramic coating that repels just about everything in nature that is thrown at it, then you will want to take a closer look at this product. This ceramic car coating helps repel dust, rain, pollutants, and other materials that can scratch and dull a finish. It’s an advanced Nano hydrophobic coating that will last over a year if applied right.
This product is also known for the brilliant shine it will leave on your automobile after you apply it. It will also leave this same sort of shine on glass, wheels, and most other car surfaces. This silicone-free formula is easy to apply and there is enough in the bottle for several uses. Some even like to use it on auto glass, mobile phone screens, laptop screens, and TV screens.
You also don’t have to worry about using a clay bar on your car’s surface before applying it. That’s because it will give you very similar results to doing that as you apply it.
Best Ceramic Coatings for Cars Comparison Chart
McKee’s 37 Ceramic Paint Coating Kit
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Migliore SiO2 Strata Coating
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CarPro Cquartz Ceramic Coating Finish Kit
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Color N Drive Car Ceramic Coating Kit
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Ethos Ceramic Wax PRO
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CarPro Reload Silica Spray Sealant
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Shield One Advanced Nano Hydrophobic Coating
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What Exactly is a Ceramic Car Coating?
Most everyone is familiar with the non-stick coatings that are found on frying pans and other cooking surfaces. Non-stick cooking surfaces were made so that pots and pans were much easier to clean after cooking because the ingredients in the pan just slide off them. That is very similar to how ceramic car coatings work on vehicles. Road dust, dirt, bird droppings, and other harmful particles have a hard time adhering to your car’s surface. This helps to protect your automobile’s delicate finish and make it much easier to clean too.
Ceramic coatings can do this because they add a thin layer of protection over your car’s finish when applied. Many times, these vehicle coatings are also called Nano-ceramic coatings because of the particles found in them are so tiny. The main ingredients that are found in these advanced liquid polymer coatings usually are liquid quartz or silica dioxide (SiO2). They are so fine in the applied liquid that you cannot even feel them.
These ceramic coating formulas are also said to be more protective and last longer because they actually bond with a car’s finish. It may be more appropriate to say they seep into the many tiny imperfections that are found on any vehicle’s finish. This makes the body on your car super-smooth.
The better-quality vehicle ceramic car coatings will last well over a year before they need to be applied. So the extra effort it takes to prep your car before applying them is usually well worth it. That’s why these advanced car coatings are now becoming at least as popular as using car wax.
Ceramic Auto Coating Buying Guide
Here is the most important information that you need to know before you start shopping for a ceramic car coating.
Questions to Ask Before Buying Ceramic Coating
Here are some questions you need to ask yourself before ceramic coating shopping. Answering these questions will help steer you towards the right car ceramic coating for your needs.
What is the main goal you want to achieve with your ceramic coating?
This is important because ceramic vehicle coatings are much more expensive than car waxes and creams. If you are just looking for a high gloss finish you may be able to get that from a much cheaper auto wax or cream too. If long-lasting shine and extra car finish protection are important, then go ahead and spend the extra money on ceramic coatings.
How long do you want your ceramic car coating to last?
Just like with all products, some simply work better than others. This holds true with ceramic car coatings too. Some are made to last just a few months and others can last several years if applied properly. Decide which length of time works best for you and purchase accordingly.
Are you willing to take the extra effort that is required to prep your car and apply a ceramic coating?
Ceramic coatings are not much harder than car waxes or creams to apply to a vehicle. With that being said, your automobile must be meticulously prepped before you can apply a ceramic topping to your car’s finish. A properly prepped and applied ceramic coating job may take half a day or longer to do. You must commit to this amount of time to get the best results from using a car ceramic coating. If this is not for you, then by a cream or wax coating that takes much less preparation before applying.
11 Characteristics to Consider Regarding Ceramic Coating
Here are the main characteristics of ceramic car coatings you need to think about when looking to purchase them:
The first thing that you need to do is decide on the quality of the ceramic coating product that you want to use. As a general rule, the higher the price you pay for a ceramic vehicle coating product the better quality that product is. There are some exceptions to this rule in the auto marketplace, so you must be careful. That’s why it’s always a good idea to check our ceramic coating product reviews online and get some opinions from those that have actually done a DIY car ceramic coating themselves.
As with all products, you certainly want to get the most value for what you spend. That’s why you should know the amount of the liquid product that you get with your ceramic coating purchase. Don’t be fooled here though. Bigger is not always better as far as the amount of ceramic coating that you get in a bottle. That’s because some higher volume ceramic coatings are more diluted or require less of the product to be used than others. So read about any ceramic coating product thoroughly before making a judgment on the amount of liquid coating that comes in the bottle.
Kit or Stand-Alone Product
You must be careful when shopping for auto ceramic coatings based on price. This is because of all the different ways that manufacturers package their ceramic coating products Some come with just the product and others come with such extras as microfiber towels, application sponges, and coating prep products such as clay bars and car body wash liquid. There simply is no standard as to what a manufacturer will include in a package. So know what is included in the package when comparing similar types of ceramic coating formulas. Also, if you are looking to make your ceramic coating application as simple as possible, buy one with a kit.
It’s tough for any vehicle ceramic car coating manufacturer to tell exactly how long their coating will last. That’s because there are many variables that go into that such as how well a car is prepped before application. But the ballpark estimates that managers give about their ceramic coating product’s longevity are usually fairly accurate. Those hybrid ceramic coatings that are mixed with other liquid polymers have the shortest lifespans. This is usually 6 months to a year. Whereas, pure vehicle ceramic coatings if applied using the manufacturer’s specifications can last one to 3 years or longer. Professionals use even purer forms of ceramic car coatings that often last around 5-years when combined with meticulous vehicle preparation.
Amount of Shine/Gloss
Some people are just looking for increased paint finish protection from ceramic car coatings but others want a brilliant shine. There are differences between the amount of gloss that individual products will give you. It may surprise some to learn that some of the hybrid ceramic coatings produce a very glossy finish. This only drawback is as was mentioned, that finish will not last as long. Manufacturers will usually state the amount of shine that you can expect from their products. It also helps to check out some online product reviews. That way you can read what type of gloss results actual users got when applying a specific ceramic car coating.
Ease of Application
There are two types of ceramic car coatings. Those made for professional applications and those made for DIY applications. The ceramic coatings that are made for DIY applications require no fancy equipment to apply and are fairly simple to use. There may be subtle differences in the application process between products that you must be aware of. Some of them have to do with the amount of prep work involved before applying the ceramic coating product. Others have to do with the application of the specific ceramic vehicle coating itself. Once again, read the directions on the package or go to the manufacturer’s website to see the application steps involved in any car coating you are thinking about buying. Reading online reviews will help here too.
Types of Surfaces it Can Be Used On
Not all vehicle ceramic coatings can be used on every type of surface that is found on a car. This does not mean a ceramic coating will ruin other surface types, but it may dull or streak them. Most manufacturers will list the different car surfaces that their products can be used. Make sure you read up on this at the manufacturer’s website or on the package before making a purchase. If you are looking for good results on the overall types of finishes on your car, then purchase a product that can be used on glass, chrome, vinyl bumpers, and more. This isn’t an important consideration if you will not use your ceramic coating on any surface but the paint finish.
Most ceramic car coatings if applied right will do a good job of repelling water but not all. This is another ceramic coating characteristic that you need to research for the specific products you are looking to buy. Once again, refer to the packaging or a manufacturer’s website to get an idea of their product’s hydrophobic properties. Online reviews and car care blogs may be a big help here too. This is especially true if a ceramic coating’s ability to repel water is highly important to you.
Does it Help Repel Surface Contaminants and Pollutants?
When we described car ceramic coatings in this article, we first compared them to non-stick pans. Just like all non-stick pans don’t all work the same, this is also true for ceramic coatings. Some make a car’s paint finish harder for contaminants to stick to than others. These are usually your more expensive car ceramic coating products. The better the ceramic coating product the easier your car will be to clean and to keep contaminant free.
UV Tracing Technology
This is something you are just starting to see being added to vehicle ceramic coating formulas. Manufacturers are including particles that make their ceramic car coatings show up brighter when a UV light is held close to them. This is something that professional ceramic coatings have had added to them for a while. It is now being more widely used on DIY ceramic auto coatings. Consider buying a product that uses this technology if you want a car coating job that is near-professional quality.
Some manufacturers have enough confidence to offer guarantees on how they will perform. These usually are customer satisfaction guarantees that come with the return of unused amounts of the product. Companies will give you a refund if you are unhappy with the or product and return it along with a receipt. Buying one of these ceramic coating products is a good way for first-time users to go. That’s because it minimizes the risk that comes along with the purchase. So consider this when making a car ceramic coating purchase of a brand you have not tried before.
What is the Difference Between Wax & Ceramic Coating?
Almost as long as there have been cars, people have been waxing them to make them look better and to help protect their vehicle’s delicate finish. All that has changed over the last 10 to 15 years with the introduction of Nano-ceramic car coatings into the auto care marketplace. Ceramic car coatings are a product that car care professionals say lasts longer and protects better than any auto wax can.
The difference between these two products has to do with their chemical makeup. Car wax is typically made from all-natural waxes such as carnauba wax. It may be combined with bee’s wax and include petroleum distillates or natural oils. Newer types of car waxes are made from a combination of resins and synthetic polymers.
While all these ingredients increase the shine on any car’s finish there is one problem with them. The size of the particles in their chemical makeup. That’s what gives ceramic car coatings an advantage over auto waxes. Since they are made up of extremely small particles (hence the reason ‘Nano’ is often added to the name), they can seep into smaller imperfections in a car’s body than waxes can. The result is a much smoother finish which has better shine and is easier to keep clean.
If you’re set on going old-school don’t forget to check out our car buffer reviews to get maximum results!
Teflon vs Ceramic Coating for Cars
After polymer waxes burst onto the auto care scene, next to come was Teflon car coatings. Teflon is a synthetic fluoropolymer whose chemical name is poly-tetra-fluoro-ethylene (PTFE). Cream car coatings infused with Teflon were easy to apply so they were very appealing to DIY car care customers.
Teflon signaled an advance in car paint finish protection because when applied it left a 0.2 microns thick coating over a car’s finish. That is a significantly thicker coating than any car wax job built it. This resulted in a nice shine and a layer of car body protection that normally lasted 6 to 8 months. Teflon infused car care creams also tend to leave less prominent swirl marks than waxes do. One of the big drawbacks of Teflon coatings is they come off easy if a car is washed with hard soap or detergents.
Ceramic car coatings took this one step further. They build up a protective layer on a vehicle’s finish that is usually around 0.5 microns thick. So that means they offer better scratch and rub protection than Teflon car coatings do. The thicker layer that ceramic car coatings leave on a vehicle also meant longer-lasting protection. Often times ceramic auto coatings will protect a car’s finish for 1 to 3 years if that vehicle is properly prepped before the application of them.
Why do some people still prefer to use Teflon coatings over ceramic car coatings then? One of the main reasons is cost. Car ceramic coatings can cost up to 10 times as much or more than car polishes infused with Teflon do. Another reason that Teflon car coatings have remained popular is how easy they are to apply. They also require very little prep work other than washing. That is totally the opposite of ceramic car coatings. While advanced ceramic coatings are easy to apply to, the car must be meticulously prepped before they can be applied. This process can take ½ day or more to complete. These are the main reasons why Teflon infused waxes and creams remain popular today.
5 Benefits of Ceramic Paint Coating for Cars
Here are the 5 main benefits you get when you apply a ceramic coating over your vehicle’s paint finish:
It is one of the longest-lasting DIY car coatings
Many people choose to apply ceramic car coatings because of how long they last. If a vehicle is prepped right, quality ceramic coatings have been known to last 1 to 2 years or even more. Many people much prefer to apply ceramic coatings as opposed to having to wax their cars every 2-3 months.
Ceramic car coatings help your car stay cleaner
It was mentioned that when a ceramic vehicle coating is applied it makes the car’s finish smoother. This not only helps your vehicle look better but it also helps make it easier to clean. That’s because dirt, dust, and other airborne commitments have a hard time sticking to your car’s surface when it’s so smooth.
They provide outstanding looks
Most people have more than just protection in mind when they put any type of coating over their car’s paint finish. The same can be said for ceramic car coatings. They are known to help any car’s finish shine brighter. A vehicle with a ceramic coating will also look better because they tend to hide small imperfections in a car’s finish.
These advanced car coatings make your car scuff and minor scratch resistant
Although ceramic coatings will not make your car’s finish bulletproof, they do help protect it in certain ways. They provide a thick of enough coating that they will help prevent minor scratches, scuffs, and rub marks directly on your car’s finish.
Protect your car’s finish from harmful UV rays
Nothing will fade a car’s paint finish faster than direct sunlight. The sun’s powerful UV rays can oxidize your vehicle’s paint finish too if left unchecked. Ceramic auto coatings have properties to them that help block and reflect UV rays before they can impact any car’s finish.
Since you’re aiming for perfection, why don’t you check out our detail spray buying guide!
Common Myths Regarding Auto Nano Coatings
These types of auto paint coatings work so well they are often hyped up on social media but not everything you read about them is true. Here are some falsehoods regarding ceramic coatings.
Ceramic coatings prevent deep scratches
This simply is not true. Although ceramic car coatings do protect a car’s finish better than waxes or sealants, they certainly cannot prevent scratches. Automobiles with ceramic coatings are still susceptible to deep scratches, chipping from flying rocks, and dings and dents. It is not a coat of armor like many people are led to believe.
Nanocoatings last forever
Another statement that simply is not true. The average lifetime of a properly applied ceramic coating is 6 months to 2 years depending on the quality of the product. So it will need to be applied several times over the lifetime of a car.
Nano-ceramic coatings virtually eliminate car washing
This would be nice if it was true but it simply is not the case. People sometimes assume if they apply a ceramic coating to their vehicle that bird droppings, dust, and other types of road dirt and grime will not stick to the surface. While ceramic coating will make it easier to get these types of surface contaminants off your car, it will still need to be washed on a regular basis to keep its finish looking good.
How Ceramic Coating Works
Vehicle ceramic coatings work well because the particles in them are so small they easily go into even the tiniest imperfections on your vehicle’s finish. They do this better than any other type of protective car coating. This helps to make your car’s exterior finish super smooth. That, in turn, makes it shine brighter. It also allows the ceramic coating to spread more evenly across your vehicle, so it protects the paint finish better. When you apply a ceramic coating it’s like putting an additional clearcoat. They also will slightly bond with your paint finish with is the reason they last much longer than waxing does.
Be sure to read the manufacturer’s instructions on how to properly apply the new ceramic car coating that you purchase. That’s the only to guarantee that they will perform as advertised.
How Is A Ceramic Car Coating Made?
Ceramic car coatings are usually made using quartz or silicon dioxide ingredients. One of the keys to their effectiveness is that the particles that they are made up of are extremely small. That’s why they are often referred to as Nano-coatings. This tiny particle size helps them go into even the smallest imperfections in a vehicle’s paint finish. It helps them thoroughly coat the surface of any vehicle where they have been applied. There is not a big difference in the performance of a ceramic car coating no matter which of these ingredients it uses. It is also interesting to note, that even professional car detailers cannot tell the difference between the two once they have been applied. Also check out: The Breakdown on Nano Coatings
If you’re searching alternative ways to enhance the shine on your car’s finish, check out our best clay bar article!
Ceramic Coating Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some of the questions we repeatedly are asked about ceramic car coatings:
Q: Is it best to put on more than one coat when applying a ceramic car coating?
A: All of us here would highly recommend that you don’t put on more than one coat of any nano-ceramic car coating. The reason for that is ceramic auto coatings are what is known as a high solid’s product. That means they will go on very thick to begin with. Because of that, you will probably not get the look you desire if you add more than one coat of these types of auto care products.
Q: If I get any ceramic coating on bumpers, headlights or car trim parts while applying the product, will this cause a problem?
A: The answer here is no. As a matter of fact, you will probably end up giving chrome bumpers, trim and headlights a little extra shine and a layer of protective coating over them. Do not put it on any part of the car that does not have a glossy finish.
Q: Does it make for a better coating job if I use a ceramic vehicle coating that has UV detection properties.
A: Nowadays you are starting to see some ceramic car coatings that have UV Tracing technology blended into them. Although this is not an absolute necessity, it certainly can’t hurt. The big advantage of UV enhanced ceramic coatings is you can shine a UV light on them to make sure the vehicle has been coated evenly.
Read on to find more details about the key characteristics to consider when you are choosing a car sealant.
Without a doubt, if you are tired of waxing your car on a monthly basis or sooner, ceramic car coatings may be just right for you. They also do a better job of protecting any vehicle’s delicate surface than wax or creams, but they are by no means a bulletproof coating. All things considered, the best ceramic coating will last considerably longer and shine up better than any type of wax if applied properly. The extra initial effort you put into applying them will give your car benefits that will last for many months or years.
We gave you a lot of information here on how to find the right product for your needs. You also now have been better informed about the leading brands in the market by our ceramic coating reviews. Now that you are armed with all this information on automobile ceramic coatings, you should be able to make a very sound purchasing decision when looking to buy one to apply to your vehicle.