In the blog entry “Ceramic Coating Primer for the DIYer”, we discussed how ceramic coatings work, the three categories of ceramic coating products that are available, and consumer cautions when shopping for or being offered ceramic coating options in the car care industry.
The terms “ceramic coating” or “ceramic infused” are included in the labelling on a wide variety of detailing and car washing chemicals. At the same time, consumers are becoming aware of the dramatic vehicle paint protection benefits that ceramic coatings can offer. At Proje’, we want to keep you from falling victim to wild promises in the sometimes gimmicky use of the term “ceramic”.
The Proje’ ceramic coating products contain nano-ceramic particles that fill in the microscopic imperfections in the vehicle paint surface, dramatically increasing the surface repellency of foreign substances and liquids. The resulting super-smooth surface creates a visual effect of a deeper shine and more glossy appearance.
To quickly review, there are three main categories of ceramic products. For example, serum-type curable coatings are the most durable and long-lasting, but require special application procedures that should be left to the detailing professional that is certified in Proje’ ceramic application.
A second category of ceramic products is the “spray-and-wipe” ceramic-infused coatings, which are relatively simple to apply, making them perfect for the “do-it-yourselfer” (DIYer) who wants the benefits of ceramic coating without the cost of professional installation.
The third category of ceramic products available from Proje’ are ceramic-infused maintenance products These are designed for use on a vehicle that has already been coated, either by a professional using a serum-type curable coating or by the DIYer using one of the spray-on/wipe-off products mentioned above.
In this blog entry, we will discuss the proper process for the DIYer’s installation of a ceramic coating. Those who already have experience with personal vehicle appearance care will find these procedures familiar, with the difference being the actual products used. For those who do not have experience washing and waxing cars, this description will help you to successfully protect your car using Proje’ Premium Car Care Products.
Set up for Best Results
All of the following steps are best performed out of direct sunlight, and in moderate temperature and humidity. Also ensure that your completed vehicle will be shielded from rain, mist, and errant sprinklers for at least 24 hours after ceramic application.
The Professional-Style Prep Process
Anyone who has experience in house painting, or for that matter, vehicle painting, knows that the preparatory steps are the most important—and sometimes most time-consuming—part of the process. This is also true with ceramic coating applications. The prep process can be broken down into four parts:
- Removing surface contamination (fallout, etc.),
- Paint correction as necessary, and,
- Final pre-application wipe-down.
The Wash Process. Rinse off the vehicle first. Then make up a solution of Proje’ Vital Car Wash Soap in a bucket. Dip a Proje’ Microfiber Car Wash Mitt in the car soap and gently agitate the vehicle surface, removing loose dirt and grime. Dip the wash mitt often. Then fully rinse the vehicle.
Dry the vehicle using Proje’s Ultimate Drying Towel or DryPro Microfiber Drying Towels. If you have a household leaf blower, you can use it to blow out the cracks and water-holding seams.
Removing Surface Contamination. You may notice that the painted surfaces of your vehicle still feel rough, even after a good washing. That’s because there are environmental contaminants stuck to the surface of the paint. If you have experience “claying” your own vehicle, remove these contaminants using the Proje’ Clay Mitt, lubricating the surface as you go with Throwback Clay Lube. (If you do not have experience “claying” a vehicle, please refer to one of the blog entries on this topic to learn proper technique.)
Paint Correction as Necessary. This step refers to polishing the painted surface to remove minor imperfections. This should only be done by DIYers that are experienced with such procedures, using only Proje’ products that do not contain silicone or wax, like Leveling Polish or Revive.
Final Pre-application Wipe-down. Once the vehicle is fully washed, clayed, and dried, it is time for the final wipe-down to make sure that the paint surface is completely free from all contaminants that might prevent the coating from properly adhering. For this, we will use Proje’ Prep Spray.
Work on the vehicle one section at a time by misting the Prep Spray liberally on the paint surface, then wipe it completely dry with a clean microfiber towel. It is important to make sure the area is completely dry and streak-free. You may need to use two towels to accomplish this. You can tell that the surface is ready if it has a “squeaky clean” feel. If not, clean again with Prep Spray and a fresh towel.
The vehicle is now ready to receive the Proje’ consumer-friendly ceramic coating of your choice.
Consumer-applied Ceramic Coating Options
For the consumer or (DIYer), Proje’ offers ceramic-infused “spray-and-wipe” coatings, which do not require special procedures and are relatively straightforward to use. These products, when properly and regularly used, offer many of the benefits of a serum-type coating without the onerous installation procedures and potential pitfalls of incorrect installation. The options are:
- After Wash Ceramic Spray Coating, and
- SiO2 Quick Coat.
Using After Wash Ceramic Spray Coating. This will be the product of choice if you have taken the time to fully wash and prep your vehicle. Working one section at a time, spray the product directly onto the vehicle and wipe it off with a clean, dry Proje’ Polishing Towel. You can use a second towel for a final streak-free buff, if necessary.
Note that After Wash can also be applied by misting the car while it is still dripping wet from the final rinse after washing. Then simply dry off the vehicle with one of Proje’s drying towels. This is a great maintenance technique as well, and can be performed after every wash, if desired. It is generally accepted that the dry application of After Wash mentioned in the previous paragraph is going to provide a better initial coating, however.
Using SiO2 Quick Coat. Working one section at a time, spray the product directly onto the vehicle and wipe it off with a clean, dry Proje’ Polishing Towel. You can use a second towel for a final streak-free buff, if necessary. Quick Coat is also great for “waterless” washing of well-maintained vehicles that are just a but dusty.
Maintenance is Important!
Once you have taken time to apply a ceramic coating to your vehicle, it must be properly maintained to ensure the coating provides the best protection and durability. We will go over ceramic coating maintenance in the blog entry entitled “Consumer Guide to Ceramic Coating Maintenance”.
Ceramic coatings offer superior protection and stunning appearance enhancement for vehicle paint. The consumer can choose the longer-lasting and stronger benefits of a professionally installed serum-style coating, or the ease-of-use of ceramic-infused products for DIYer application.