Can I Apply Ceramic Coating At Home? DIY Ceramic Coating

car coatings ceramic coatings Oct 08, 2023

 One of the most commonly posed questions in the auto detailing community is, "Can I apply ceramic coating at home?" For many, the cost of professional ceramic coating services can be equivalent to or even exceed the cost of a full repaint. Given these high expenses, it's no wonder that many car enthusiasts are exploring the DIY route.

Opting for DIY ceramic coatings is not only pocket-friendly but also offers the convenience of application as per your schedule. In this blog, we'll dive into the steps and precautions needed for a successful at-home ceramic coating application and discuss some prevalent misconceptions.

Essential Precautions for Safety and Success

Before diving in, it's crucial to ensure your safety and create the ideal environment for the application:

  1. Safety First: Always wear safety clothing, nitrile gloves, and respiratory protection.

  2. Ideal Environment: Apply the ceramic coating in a space that offers good ventilation, maintains a temperature around 68°F (20°C), and has a relative humidity of about 60%.

  3. Towels and Equipment: Never reuse the towels that you've used for anything, though the may look clean they can still have residue in the fibers.

Ensure your workspace fulfills these criteria before moving to the application.

Preparation is Key

The foundation of a great ceramic coating lies in how well the surface has been prepared:

  • Thoroughly clean and dry your vehicle. It must be free from all contaminants.
  • Follow the detailed instructions that come with your ceramic coating kit for precise surface prep.

DIY Ceramic Coating: Step-by-Step

  1. Clean and Dry: Ensure your vehicle is spotlessly clean and completely dry. Clay bar and machine polish is also recommended depending on the condition on your cars paint work. 

  2. Setup: Use the cloth provided in your kit to wrap around the applicator sponge.

  3. Application: Add a few drops of the ceramic coating liquid onto the applicator. Use this to apply the coating both vertically and horizontally on a 1.5 to 2 sq ft area.

  4. Buffing: Quickly buff the applied area using a microfiber cloth about 1.5–2 minutes post-application.

  5. Repeat: Continue this process for the entire vehicle, ensuring that you coat the entire car once you begin.

Avoid These Common Mistakes

  • Temperature Concerns: Avoid application in temperatures below 39.2°F (4°C) as this can slow the curing process.

  • Humidity Issues: High humidity can cause the finish to appear oily due to airborne condensation.

  • Overcoating: Applying too much can result in a greasy appearance and improper curing.

  • Moisture Exposure: Early exposure to moisture, like rain, dew, or mist, can damage the coating.

  • Preparation Skips: Never cut corners on prep work.

  • Direct Sunlight: Never apply the coating under direct sunlight and ensure the car remains out of the sun for at least 24 hours post-application.

  • Hot Surface: Never apply the coating to a hot car surface.

In Conclusion

DIY ceramic coating is a feasible and cost-effective alternative for those willing to take the time and precautions necessary. If you're hesitant about the application process, consider spending the additional money and having a professional detailer do this for you. 

P.S. For more insights and tips, make sure to tune into the Auto Detailing Podcast.

P.S.S. Join the detailing community! Check out the detailing discord - it's free and filled with experts and enthusiasts alike!