As a car enthusiast, you will probably want to do everything in your power to keep your vehicle looking fresh. While ceramic coatings offer good protection against UV rays, paint protection films are a step ahead in protecting against scratches and minor damage. But, what about applying ceramic coating on a paint protection film? It is a common question many people ask and requires a detailed answer. Yes, you can apply ceramic coating on a paint protection film. Follow us to learn more.
What Is The Difference Between Ceramic Coating And Paint Protection Film?
Ceramic coating and paint protection film are two entirely different concepts in the detailing industry serving the same primary purpose i.e. protecting the vehicle and its paint from harmful external factors. Although, the preparation process remains the same for both the application process is different.
Ceramic coatings are liquid coatings that protect the vehicle against dirt, debris, dust UV rays, etc. These coatings will last for several years depending on the maintenance. However, ceramic coatings are not able to protect the paint from minor scratches or hits.
On the other hand, paint protection films are thin films that are installed on vehicles to protect against minor scratches. A major difference between ceramic coatings and paint protection films is that a vehicle with ceramic coating can still have swirls if the washing and drying technique is not appropriate.
But, in the case of paint protection films, the vehicle will hardly have any swirls because manufacturers have come out with what they call self-healing films. This means that a vehicle with self-healing paint protection film heals itself whenever it goes out in the sun.
That said, there is a big price difference between the them as well. Ceramic coatings are usually offered at standard prices depending on the vehicle type. However, paint protection films are always on the expensive side as they require more labor, especially when it comes to supercars with extremely complicated corners and aerodynamics.
At the same time, a regular ceramic coating order will take around 2-3 days to complete, then again depending on the vehicle. But a paint protection film might take a week or more.
Can You Combine Them Together?
Yes, back in the day, both ceramic coating and paint protection films were not advanced to the point where ceramic coatings could be applied over paint protection films. However, today, detailers do apply ceramic coatings over paint protection films to add an extra layer of detail.
However, most detailers do not recommend it to their clients due to adhesion and durability issues. If your vehicle already has PFF installed, you should most probably drop the idea of having a ceramic coating done. But, if your vehicle is in for its first paint protection film installation, you should consult an expert for applying a ceramic coating over the paint protection film.
Is It Worth The Investment?
One of the advantages of ceramic coatings over PPF is the effectiveness of protecting the vehicle against external factors such as water spots, UV rays, bird droppings, etc. However, the point here is that the paint protection film needs to be fresh and new to apply ceramic coating on the PPF.
As mentioned previously, if it has been a while since your vehicle is protected with a paint protection film, you should give it up. This is because the film already has a lot of contaminants and the coating will not properly adhere. Keep in mind that installing a paint protection film is a costly process with the price going even higher with ceramic coating.
Therefore, unless your vehicle needs a complete film replacement or first-time installation, you should be fine with a layer of ceramic coating afterward.
Can I Do It Myself?
Applying ceramic coating or a paint protection film is no easy task. If it’s your first time, you might mess up the coating let alone the film. There are many things you need to keep in mind while performing both tasks.
To begin with, ceramic coatings and paint protection films need to be applied in an area that is free of dirt and dust. Such external factors influence reliability and durability, which ultimately reduces the lifespan of the coatings and films. Unless you have the skills for, you should hire an expert to apply a paint protection film and then install ceramic coating over the PPF.
Most people believe that having the right tools will make the installation process easier. It sure does, but if you are not familiar with the right technique, the tool won’t be of any use either. This is why getting your vehicle protected from an expert is considered an investment. They ensure the vehicle is thoroughly prepared and protected before ceramic coating or film is applied.
And finally, the coating and the film need curing. The curing process simply means proper bonding of the coating or the film with the vehicle’s body. Experts have UV machines that help speed up the process. Plus, the curing process is dependent on the temperature and weather conditions.
If it’s cold outside, the coating and film will take longer to cure. During that, you will not be able to use your vehicle. However, if it’s hot outside, the coating and film will cure relatively faster. The curing process may take more or less the same time as car window tinting Springfield does. Tints acquire less space, but are installed inside the vehicle whereas PPFs take more space but are on the exterior. That’s why!
How Long Do Ceramic Coatings And Paint Protection Films Last?
The lifespan of ceramic coatings and films depends on the preparation, installation process, and maintenance. These three factors directly impact the lifespan and if ignored, will surely make you return to the detailers sooner than you think.
If you get your vehicle coated and filmed by a verified detailer, you will be offered a warranty as well. This is not going to be the case if you opt for cheaper services. If you look around, you will see thousands of retailers selling films and coatings at different prices.
You might want to choose the cheapest one but that will simply ruin your vehicle. Considering the benefits coatings and films have to offer, there is no point in saving a few bucks. If you do, the film or the coating will either won’t last or will turn yellow in a few months.
However, an authentic detailer will offer you a guarantee against it. Generally, ceramic coatings will last somewhere around 2-5 years on average, while paint protection films last around 5-7 years depending on the maintenance and other external factors.
Combining ceramic coating and paint protection film is possible. However, it still depends on the vehicle and its current situation. If the PPF is newly installed, you can apply a ceramic coat over paint protection film. But, if it has been a while, you should forgo the idea. Keep in mind that ceramic coating over PPF is applied on vehicles that are very rare or expensive. If you own a vehicle as such, you should go for it. If not, only a PPF applied by a good paint protection film installer Springfield will suffice.