The exterior of a car requires proper protection from the dirt and debris on the way. Therefore, you can consider putting an extra layer of protection that is more durable than the traditional car wax to protect your vehicle.
Most car owners struggle with the maintenance of their car exterior. They can consider using a ceramic coating or paint sealant. These can be used to effectively minimize the wear and tear of the vehicle, preserve the gloss of the paint, and safeguard it against harsh weather.
In this article, the primary differences between ceramic coating and paint sealant have been highlighted.
Ceramic coating vs. sealant
Ceramic coating: The primary purpose of this product is paint protection. It contains synthetic protection agents in it. They provide protection from the contaminants as well as a shiny, and glossy finish to your vehicle by bonding to the paint. These products are called permanent because they can be removed only through polishing or lack of maintenance.
Paint Sealant: The liquids which contain human-made polymers, synthetics, and resin in them are called paint sealants. The presence of these things enhances the longevity of protection. Paint sealants provide a strong molecular barrier to the surface of the paint so that the bonding capability and structure may increase.
|Ceramic Coating||Paint Sealant|
|Longevity||1-2 years||6 months to 1 year|
|Durability||High||Lower than ceramic coatings|
|Maintenance||Regular washing with cleaners||Regular washing with cleaners|
|Difficulty of removal||Professional||Comparatively easier|
|Re-application||Needs to be examined every year, and re-applied in every 2 years||Needs to be re-applied in every 6 to 8 months|
Points of comparison between ceramic coating and paint
- Durability: It is the primary concern of the car owners while comparing and selecting one from ceramic coating and paint sealants. Paint sealant is a polymer-based product that has both organic as well as inorganic ingredients. Depending on the environment where the car is parked, paint sealant may last for four to six months. Ceramic coating has better durability when compared to paint sealant. The presence of Silica Dioxide in its chemical composition makes it long-lasting. It can last for a year.
- Application: When compared to the traditional car wax, both ceramic coating, as well as paint sealant, are difficult to apply. If you are applying paint sealant to the paint, you need to ensure the adequate bonding of the sealant and the paint by clearing all the contaminants such as iron particles, dirt, grease, dust, and tar from the car exterior. After the paint sealant has been applied evenly to the painted exterior of the car, you need to let it stay for about forty minutes before removing the excess sealant with a microfiber cloth. Applying a ceramic coating is tougher than applying a paint sealant. First, all the contaminants need to be cleared to ensure proper bonding. Then, the defects such as watermarks and swirl marks also need to be cleaned by hand or a machine polisher for augmenting the gloss and shine of the paint. Now, you need to apply the ceramic coating to the painted surface, and then you should buff it up after five minutes. After the application of a ceramic coating to your car, the painted surfaces should not come in contact with grease or water for a day so that its proper curing can be ensured.Therefore, applying paint sealant is much more straightforward than using a ceramic coating.
- Cost: The paint sealant comes in an extensive range of sizes and prices. Although paint sealant is comparatively cheaper than ceramic coating, you need to note that it needs to be reapplied in every six months. Also, salty water which is a common contaminant on the pathways can adversely affect the hydrophobic property of the sealant and gradually destroy the paint.
The advantage of Ceramic Coating
- Ceramic Coating provides better protection than sealants or waxes: The Ceramic Coating is exceptionally durable, and it lasts for several years once it has been applied. If the coating is of a professional grade, it might even offer a warranty. They protect the exterior of your vehicle against dirt and water and make it easy for the owners to clean them.
The hardness of the coating also plays an essential role in preventing scratches and watermarks from washing.
There are some myths related to a ceramic coating which you should know and avoid. Some of them have been given below:
- Ceramic coating shall make your vehicle scratch proof: Ceramic coatings are scratch resistant but not scratch proof. The difference is huge. When you follow the cleaning guidelines laid down for your vehicle, there shall be a decline in the swirl marks and wash marring. If you wash your car using steel wool, the coating won’t be able to protect it.
- Ceramic coatings are for those people who are unable to take care of their vehicles: Even if you put a ceramic coating on your car, you should clean it regularly. The accumulation of contaminants and grime on the coating shall make it difficult to wash with a PH-neutral soap. If the pollutants stick to it, you will not be able to clean it properly. Therefore, you should clean your car frequently so that the coating lasts longer.
- The coating provides more shine than waxes and sealants: If you ever park a coated vehicle beside an uncoated one, you shall notice that the coated one appears to be glossier than the uncoated one. You are likely to believe that the coating is making a difference in the appearance of the vehicle. However, one of the prerequisites of ceramic coating is that the paint should be free of contaminants and defects. If there are scratches, swirl marks, or haze on the exterior of the car, they shall be locked under the coating. These defects shall affect how light bounces off your paint, and thus, your vehicle will appear to be less shiny. Polishing the paint is not a requirement for waxes. However, if you choose to clean the paint before you seal it, your paint might end up looking better than the ceramically coated car. Therefore, the coating is not offering any shine to the vehicle.
- Ceramic coating will protect your vehicle from the wear and tear of stone chips: Although the ceramic coating is capable of protecting your vehicle to a great extent, it does not imply that it is strong enough to absorb a rock hitting your vehicle at high speed. You should use good quality paint protection film to protect your car from stone chips. However, these protection films are costlier than ceramic coatings.
- You can skip the painting and perform the ceramic coating: Sometimes, the new vehicles are delivered to the owners with defects in the paint. The sanding marks from dry buffing are commonly visible on the car. The car may even require repairs for the problems with the painting process or the damage done to it after it leaves the factory. The car companies do not spend their time or money to repair the vehicle. If the car has been at the showroom for some time, it might have been washed improperly, thus leaving swirl marks. Therefore, you need to examine the paint thoroughly before the process of ceramic coating.
- You can apply ceramic coating by yourself: Applying a ceramic layer is a difficult task. The coat should be done by a professional only so that it can protect for a long time. The coating is so tight and secure that only wet sanding can remove it. Therefore, the companies only offer these to an accredited detailer.
- Ceramic coating will last for years without any maintenance: The period for which the ceramic coating will last is difficult to determine beforehand. Many factors come into play while deciding it, such as how the vehicle is washed, and the climate in which it lives. Although most companies offer you a warranty to assure you that their products are of good quality, it does not guarantee that your coating will last for an extended period without proper maintenance. These companies usually have specific requirements so that the warranty remains valid. You need to prove that you have washed your vehicle adequately.
- Only water can be used to wash the ceramically coated vehicles: You should use soaps that are compatible with ceramic coating. If there is mild dust, you can wash it off using water, and rinse it with a towel. However, if there is a lot of dust, you can use the PH-neutral soap solution to wash your vehicle.
The advantage of using paint sealants
Paint sealants are inexpensive and can be easily applied: Although the paint sealants offer less protection than the ceramic coatings, they work well with such vehicles which are used daily.
Ceramic coating vs. Paint sealants? Which is appropriate for your vehicle?
Ceramic coating is appropriate for your vehicle if the paint of your car is in good condition; it is kept in a garage with proper temperature; it is used frequently but not abused, and adequate washing products and techniques are used to clean it.
Paint sealants are ideal for those vehicles which are used daily; it is driven on such roadways that are extremely dirty; it is not washed correctly; it can be scratched or marked, and someone who has a tight budget owns it.