Ceramic Paint Protection

What is a Ceramic coating?

Ceramic coatings is one of the best in paint protection technology available. Superior to traditional wax and sealant regimes simply due to longevity and durability.

Ceramic coatings is usually based on Silicon Di-Oxide and Titanium Di-Oxide chemistry which is akin to glass, crystal and ceramic molecular structures . There is also an emergence in Graphene based technology.

While different manufacturers will have there own formulas with different characteristics, all coatings creates a cross linked molecular bond between itself and the coated surface by interlocking itself with the relevant surface molecules. This is why they are referenced as semi permanent but must be considered as a sacrificial layer atop a vehicle’s surface taking the brunt of minor attacks while preserving the actual paint underneath.

Benefits of Coatings

Coatings offers the same benefits as wax and sealants in terms of water repellency, self cleaning ability, UV protection and of course shine and gloss but is superior in longevity and has nominal scratch resistance. It also has anti graffiti ability not to mention pH resistance which means it cant wash off and bird poo damage can be avoided.

With the past water restrictions in Cape Town and as a world resource, one of the stand out considerations for coatings is its self and ease of cleaning ability! 

The reality of ceramic coatings

Ceramic coatings cannot withstand stone chips, vandalism i.e. knives or keying, dog scratches, hail stones, mall dings, jeans rivets or belt buckles. If you want a force field this is not it!

If you want the best protection for the above mentioned damage consider doing Paint Protection Film (PPF). PPF is way more expensive to do an entire car with, typically R25,000 plus for a cheap job. I recommend doing the front end (full front bumper and leading edge of bonnet) with PPF and ceramic coating the rest of the vehicle. 

Most Ceramic coating system applications under R7500 results in a 0,5-1 micron Dry Film Thickness layer. This can be reliably boosted with ceramic primers before coating to at least a full micron and in high end ceramic coating systems up to 15 microns, typically in the R10-R15,000 bracket. Layering or top coating a ceramic is also an option but becomes expensive with inherent technicalities. The reality is that no matter what system you opt for ceramics its not thick and flexible enough to withstand extremes as earlier mentioned.

Self healing coatings represents the best advancement in Ceramic coating technology. As the name implies, normal swirls caused by car wash and scratches not exceeding the self heal layer will automatically heal by closing up under the sun or if a heat source is applied. Deeper damage will look far less worse than without. 

Realistically ceramic coatings will assist from swirls through bad car washing, help with cleaning, anti graffiti and its a single application lasting multiple years that cannot be washed off.  Due to its superior pH resistance, Bird poo isn’t an immediate issue so long as its removed timeously. If you are concerned about UV damage due to sun exposure its also a a solid consideration.  

Coating Application

In order to apply a coating the paintwork needs to be prepared. Preparation depends on the condition of your paintwork in terms of paint repairs, swirls and scratches. So a new car or immaculate condition one can be as quick as decontaminating the paint with an iron remover and clay followed by a pre-cleaner to where the paint needs to be corrected with multiple polishes to remove defects like scratches and swirls.

The cost of installing coatings may be a lot, but must be considered against how long it will last, its actual protection and the convenience of time it saves from having to continually treating a car like a wax or sealant based system.

With the current water restrictions its considerable ease in cleaning and indeed self cleaning ability that will keep your car cleaner even helping to save the environment!

Maintenance

Ceramics does make it easier to wash your car and stays cleaner for longer. However careful and considerate washing when the car is dirty is still needed in order to prevent scratches and swirls that may penetrate beyond the coatings depth.

Ceramic coatings requires maintenance to replenish their hydrophobic or water repellant features and keep the surface clear from dirt that would decrease its performance.

If your ceramic coating has acquired swirls, light scratches or you have had a body panel resprayed we are able to repair or recoat part areas.

Top coats are also available for those requiring a boost.

These details is certain to extend the lifespan and performance of the coating.

Paint Protection Price Guide 

We offer different ceramic coatings and paint protection systems to cater for the personal needs of our clients.

As this is ever changing and individualised, instead of having a rigid price list and to help you identify what is possible in any given budget we’ve developed a generalised Paint Protection Price Guide © Qiyaam Adams

This guide groups paint protection by Price Bands and lists the forms of paint protection available at that band and mentions the features, benefits and drawbacks of each other.

The best would be to give us a call and we will be a happy discuss your needs. We can go through your expectations, budgets and the vehicles situation to help guide you to the most suitable choice.

Notes:

  1. The pricing guide below takes into consideration at the lowest price point just application of protection and at the highest point a good level of paintwork preparation in terms of decontamination and polishing. 
  2. To apply a ceramic coating or a other paint protection system professionally it needs to be decontaminated and polished. Less so on an untouched brand new car and more so on a car that has been driven. Polishing defines the look of the car and paint protection enhances and protects it. 
  3. Exact pricing therefore depends on the work to prepare the paint,  which needs to be inspected in person as its hard to quote based on pictures or the subjectivity of just looking at it. (“Oh it looks fine”)
  4. Ultimately what you can spend will determine the paint protection that we can apply the level of paint correction that can be done.

Price Bands

  • R350 – R4000
    • Conventional  Polymer sealant or natural wax formulas
      • Generally 3 to 6 months longevity and in some cases 1 year.
      • If the best look is required such as a show car then a natural wax formula is the best
    • Ceramic sealants or ceramic infused waxes
      • Offers better and more durable protection than conventional waxes or sealants but not the real benefits of a proper ceramic coating.
      • Better car shampoo resistance than wax or sealant.
      • Easier cleaning and superior water repellancy.
      • Longevity from 3 months to 1 year
    • All In One (AIO) and ‘Glaze’ options where Polish (to remove imperfections) and Protection is combined in one is also available and benefits you by lowering costs.
      • Combining polish and protection is a compromise between paint defect removal and protection
    • For the above any condition of paint is possible as the paint is not permanently sealed. At minimum it requires to be clean and better decontaminated to perform properly. Polishing will enhance the outcome and longevity. 
    • At the lowest price point we can apply effective spray sealants and at the highest price point it would be show car level waxes.
  • R2000 – R7500
    •  Entry to prosumer level ceramic coatings that can last anything from 1 to 5 years with 7H – 9H pencil hardness with a general thickness of 1 micron. 
    • Paintwork needs to be prepared by decontamination and corrected by polishing before the coating can be applied and is usually the bulk of cost.
    • At the lowest end we can apply and affordable ceramic coating but this will be influenced by the condition of the paint (how much paint correction polishing is required) at the higher end of this bracket we can apply very decent coating systems perhaps even two layers.
  • Up to R15,000
    • Professional grade coatings that would be manufacturer warrantied to last 3 to 7 years and above with 9H to 10H pencil hardness with thickness up to 15 microns.
    • Paintwork needs to be prepared by decontamination and corrected by polishing before the coating can be applied and in this circumstance the cost of materials can be 50% to 60% of the cost.
  • +/- R25,000 
    • Ceramic Coatings with High Solid coatings (in other words high end) layered with 10H hardness or Self Heal technology
      • Doesnt alter the originality of your car or its colour. 
    • Full Car Ceramic coating and areas of the car prone to high impact damage Paint Protection Film (PPF) e.g. front bumper
      • Possibly the best combination of protection
    • (Cheap) Paint Protection Film, Vinyl or Liquid wrapping for the whole car
      • Always a risk for paint lifting
      • Custom fit ( requires skill and is expensive) is best versus pre cut (cheapest)
    • Ceramic coating a PPF installation is also possible.
  • R40,000+ 
    • Entire car wrapped with premium Paint Protection Film (PPF) with 100+ Micron thickness with Self Heal Technology (in the PPF itself)

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