Ceramic Coating Beneath The Surface: DIY Or Professional Coating Application?
Ceramic coating is the latest and most advanced form of paint protection on the market right now. It uses state of the art nanotechnology that not only gives vehicle exteriors a fresh off-the-lot look, but also makes them hydrophobic, anti-contaminant, and easy cleaning.
Ceramic coating is undisputedly superior to previous methods like wax coating and it’s been taking the auto care industry by storm for over a decade now. However, this superiority is clearly reflected in the price, which tends to take drivers considering professional application off guard. Luckily there’s a DIY (do it yourself) option which looks pretty good next to prices that can easily go from $1k to $5k for product and labor, based on pre existing defects and damage to the exterior (more damage = more layers). already deal with a number of auto body shops on a regular basis.
This leaves many drivers wondering the same question. What’s better between DIY or professional coating application? The short answer: you get more bang for more bucks.
With professional coating, your money goes towards the peace of mind that your vehicle is being handled by trained experts. What’s more, this is usually accompanied by a warranty that will guarantee their work holds up on paper, or their accountability if it doesn’t. Plus, you can count on the pros to come equipped with the experience and tools needed to get the job done right.
It’s also important to consider that professional coating involves a more complex series of steps, as well as heavy-duty products and hardware designed to ensure their work stands up to the warrantee. This includes professional-grade coating, primer polish to give vehicles an underlying shine, sealed booths to keep out new contaminants during service, and infrared curing stations that harden the active ingredients.
In fact, most of the professional process consists of preparation and deep cleaning to remove rust and grime, and prevent new contaminants from getting mixed in. These thorough sanitation and inspection procedures are vital for maximizing the lifespan of ceramic coating. However, they’re difficult to replicate outside of the highly controlled environments at auto care facilities.
The same amount of care is required for DIY coatings. Minimizing exposure to new contaminants is certainly important since it’s difficult to correct mistakes. Temperature and humidity need to be accounted for too since they can be very impactful to the process as a whole.
That said, doing the job yourself is far from impossible, and it takes about 8-10 hours to complete either way. But before you set out on your DIY experience, here’s a few pointers to help you make the right decision.
First off, it’s important to take a step back and take a personal inventory of everything you’re working with. The expenses don’t stop with the ceramic coating product alone, and if you simply aren’t confident in your ability then it’s best to leave it to the pros. After all, mistakes in ceramic coating can only really be corrected with wet sanding once the layers harden. This can quickly multiply the price of professional help for a job that would have otherwise been a fairly reasonable amount. Lastly, keep in mind that DIY ceramic coating products vary in quality, so take the time to research beforehand to find the right one for you.
Nowadays, the general rule of thumb is this: the more money you throw at something the better results you’ll get. When it comes to new or near-flawless vehicles, getting professional work done is worth the investment, especially if they get regular usage. It also saves on time and hassle. For vehicles with some wear and tear to the exterior, or even those that just spend more time in the garage, you may as well save some scratch with a DIY project.