Professional Ceramic Coating - Which Would You Choose?

Mikepol2

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Mike: There is no question that if paint correction is done properly, it will virtually always result in a smoother surface and thus, provide a clearer reflection.

I understand that many people are more than happy with the condition of their paint on a new vehicle and for them, perhaps correction isn't necessary. I'm far too obsessive to coat a car without polishing it first though. :-)
I can say that my Mustang had TONS of swirls on it from the dealership. Harder to see on the grey (or your silver) - but on the black part on the back it looked like they had taken a Brillo pad to it. This is one of the reasons I had a pro do it: it needed a 1-step paint correction and polish. He got all the swirl out.

Gotta remember that some 17 year old kid with a bucket is out there washing cars at the dealership (or, maybe they have a automatic car wash - shudder).

But I know that yours won’t have spent much time at the dealership - so it should be in better shape.
Part of the learning process - I didn't realize at first that polishing affected the clarity of the reflection, I though it was for repairing scratches.

I'm going to tell the dealer not to wash it when it comes off the truck, just clean the inside if needed and attach the splitter and front fender flares. So it should have ZERO swirls before I get started.

Ready to start right now but... RRRGH!!!!

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Mikepol2

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OMG the bottles of CQuartz UK 3.0 and Reload came today and they are TINY! How can these possibly be enough to coat a whole car???
 

Mikepol2

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OK I think everything for the project is ordered. I bought all CarPro materials since I'm using their CQuartz UK 3.0 ceramic:

Iron-X iron remover
Essence polish
Eraser surface prep
CQuartz ceramic
Reload spray sealant
Polishing pads
Harbor Freight - Bauer 20mm 6" DA polisher
(UPDATE 12 microfiber towels & 2 drying towels)

Total cost delivered $300.91. If it turns out good then it will be a hefty savings over paying someone to do it. Now all I need is a car to use all this stuff on.
 
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Bikeman315

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OK I think everything for the project is ordered. I bought all CarPro materials since I'm using their CQuartz UK 3.0 ceramic:

Iron-X iron remover
Essence polish
Eraser surface prep
CQuartz ceramic
Reload spray sealant
Polishing pads
Harbor Freight - Bauer 20mm 6" DA polisher

Total cost delivered $252.92. If it turns out good then it will be a hefty savings over paying someone to do it. Now all I need is a car to use all this stuff on.
Looks good. 👍 Don’t forget a bunch of good microfiber towels.
 
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friedmud

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OK I think everything for the project is ordered. I bought all CarPro materials since I'm using their CQuartz UK 3.0 ceramic:

Iron-X iron remover
Essence polish
Eraser surface prep
CQuartz ceramic
Reload spray sealant
Polishing pads
Harbor Freight - Bauer 20mm 6" DA polisher

Total cost delivered $252.92. If it turns out good then it will be a hefty savings over paying someone to do it. Now all I need is a car to use all this stuff on.

Looks good. 👍 Don’t forget a bunch of good microfiber towels.
If you're looking for good microfibers I can recommend The Rag Company: https://theragcompany.com/

You can get some seriously plush microfibers from them.

I also have a bunch of from Chemical Guys that are great (and I use their Microfiber Wash to keep them clean too).
 

DFB5.0

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A couple of thing to note for @Mikepol2 -

- New cars from the factory are never perfect paint wise. I have even seen Bentley's with shocking paint defects right off the truck. It's the reality of high-volume manufacturing.

- Ceramic coatings have the ability to last for to 5+ years, considerably longer than other paint sealants.

- Both of the above points are why a couple of forum members are recommending you polish prior to ceramic coating. You don't want to lock in possible paint imperfections or have to compromise the coating by polishing afterwards.

- Once the coating applicator is primed, a few drops of Ceramic will spread over a surprising amount of space. Hence the small bottles.

- Work in a small and inconspicuous place first, allowing you to get a feel for coating application. I would also say the same for machine polishing. Both processes are easy enough to get the hang of, I suppose I'm suggesting is not starting of a large, highly prominent section like the hood.

- In terms of towels, another vote for the Rag Company. Perhaps have a look at their "Kits" as these will give a selection of towels to try and see what you like.

- Also, choose a lower GSM towel for the ceramic coating process. And never use those towels again on the paint, the cured coating fragments in the towels have the potential to scratch. This towel would be perfect, and at $2.00 a towel, economical too.
https://theragcompany.com/collections/coating-towels/products/the-edgeless-pearl

- And most of all, take your time and enjoy it! There is nothing more satisfying as a car guy than standing back and admiring your new pride and joy at the end of a big detail like this.
 

Mikepol2

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If you're looking for good microfibers I can recommend The Rag Company: https://theragcompany.com/
- In terms of towels, another vote for the Rag Company. Perhaps have a look at their "Kits" as these will give a selection of towels to try and see what you like.

- Also, choose a lower GSM towel for the ceramic coating process. And never use those towels again on the paint, the cured coating fragments in the towels have the potential to scratch. This towel would be perfect, and at $2.00 a towel, economical too.
https://theragcompany.com/collections/coating-towels/products/the-edgeless-pearl

- And most of all, take your time and enjoy it! There is nothing more satisfying as a car guy than standing back and admiring your new pride and joy at the end of a big detail like this.
Thanks guys, ordered this morning, got the 12 pack of the above towel for the coating and also two drying towels. Like anything else you get started into, my arsenal of detailing tools is growing! Already thinking about tackling my Silverado next... now THAT would be a project. 70K miles on it, black paint with scratches and nicks everywhere. And compared to the Mustang, it's huge. Definitely would have to add a paint correction step!
 

Bikeman315

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Already thinking about tackling my Silverado next... now THAT would be a project. 70K miles on it, black paint with scratches and nicks everywhere.
Why wait? What a great practice vehicle. You’re going to have the time and materials. Get to it.

One more item you should have. Lighting. There are specialized hand held “swirl” lights but this will be a good start.

https://www.detailedimage.com/Ask-a-Pro-Search?q=Lighting

https://www.harborfreight.com/detachable-dual-head-halogen-shop-light-62565.html

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VIPR01

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Lighting is always overlooked, great point! It’s amazing what a solid light set-up will do for your polishing game. I invested in a few scan grip products thru Obsessed Garage. Also, another great spot for microfiber towels in bulk.
 

Mikepol2

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Why wait? What a great practice vehicle. You’re going to have the time and materials. Get to it.

One more item you should have. Lighting. There are specialized hand held “swirl” lights but this will be a good start.

https://www.detailedimage.com/Ask-a-Pro-Search?q=Lighting

https://www.harborfreight.com/detachable-dual-head-halogen-shop-light-62565.html
Lighting is always overlooked, great point! It’s amazing what a solid light set-up will do for your polishing game. I invested in a few scan grip products thru Obsessed Garage. Also, another great spot for microfiber towels in bulk.
It would be perfect practice. If I booger something up on it who cares, it will be camouflaged by the door dings, rock scrapes and tree branch dents, plus 6 years worth of washing swirls. BUT... I also would have no vehicle to get to work for a few days. If I start with the Mach on Day 1 home from the dealer and get that done, then I can drive that to work while I'm on the Silverado.

I may be pretty solid already on lighting, have a good collection of different lights for doing repair work. My favorite is a head-mounted high intensity 5000K LED that keeps your hands free and aims right where you look. Will compare what I have to the above and see if I should add more. Thanks!
 

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I'll chime in on the lighting situation...

Yep, it's beautiful if you have a huge shop with nice, bright overhead lights and lots of stands of other work lights for the sides.

But in my experience, while good lighting is essential, it doesn't have to be "detail level" lighting everywhere. I prefer to use a gadget like this to look over the area I am about to polish and find any marks that need work. (I may also have used it after the wash to mark any areas I remembered seeing.) Then, I just give the area an even treatment and recheck those spots with the Astro. If more work is necessary, I move to a smaller polisher and pad and work on those areas only until they're removed.

But, I don't think you need to have stage lighting on the area all the time.

My two cents...
 

Vettel-ish

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To reinforce @Bikeman315 and @Vettel-ish recommendations to polish even a new car before ceramic, check out these before and after polishing pics of a brand new Hellcat. I thought polishing was just for removing swirl marks but looks like it actually makes reflections sharper.

20160722-DSC_5608-2.jpg


20160722-DSC_5609-2.jpg
Think of it like you are locking in the imperfections with the coating. so why would you not want to make the car perfect before "sealing" up the paint. You will notice the difference.
 

Mikepol2

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So getting back to the wheels... how the heck would you polish these before ceramic???

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