To add a ceramic coating to a car, you need a nice, smooth surface with no contaminants. No matter how good you are at polishing, if you don’t prep properly, the ceramic coating will fail. That’s why it’s so important to prepare the car for the ceramic coating. How to prep for ceramic coating?
- Wash the car thoroughly.
- Clay bar the car.
- Polish the car.
- Apply surface prep spray.
- Wipe dry with a microfiber cloth.
Taking these steps will make sure that you have the best surface possible for applying a ceramic coating. All of this is fairly easy to do and it doesn’t require any beforehand experience.
We’ll go step-by-step, explaining everything thoroughly, so even first-timers will understand what we are talking about.
Rinse The Car With A Pressure Washer
Before you do anything else, your car should be cleaned. The first step to that is rinsing with a pressure washer. I don’t recommend using a garden hose here.
The pressure washer will wash away most of the road grime and dirt. Any cleaning agents you use afterward will be more effective.
Wash With A Car Shampoo
Although you can proceed like you normally wash your car, it’s best to take some extra measures here. The thing is, you want absolutely no dirt and contaminants on your car.
The best way to clean a car is to first foam it with a snow cannon and then wipe it with the two bucket method. By doing this, you are lifting off all the hard-stuck dirt and road grime.
Add a stripping agent to the car wash soap. This will help with removing sealants, contaminants, waxing, etc…
Not only that you don’t want dirt on your car when adding a ceramic coating, but you also don’t want any other sealants. If you waxed your car before, the stripping agent will get rid of that. This is a crucial step when prepping for ceramic coating.
In the end, just rinse again with a pressure washer.
Let It Dry
Once you are done washing the car, dry it thoroughly. If you have a blow dryer at home, that would be great. Just blow-dry the car, and you will be fine.
If you don’t have a blow dryer, get multiple extra-absorbent microfiber cloths, and wipe the car until it’s dry. Make sure to get those crevices where water gets trapped.
Clay Bar The Car
Now, something beginners may be unfamiliar with is clay baring. I think most DIY detailers avoid using clay bars. Well, now is the time to start.
Clay bars work on the pores of the paint. It’s a way to deep clean a car. It removes contaminants that are stuck deep inside the pores of the paint. A necessary step before polishing or coating a car.
Here’s how to clay bar a car.
- Get a small piece of the clay bar.
Tear only a small piece so you won’t be worried about it falling on the ground. If it falls, you can just get a new one.
- Spray clay lubricant on the panel you will be working on and on the clay bar.
- Start gliding the clay bar across the paint.
It’s as simple as wiping. Remember to apply lubricant as you are working so the clay bar doesn’t feel rough.
- When done wipe with a clean microfiber cloth.
Once you are finished, you will see why you did this step. The car paint will be rough and ready for any coating you want to add. There will be no contaminants or sealants.
Polish The Car
Removing contaminants is not enough prepping to properly apply the ceramic coating. Although your car may be squeaky clean, the paint may have some uneven spots or some swirls. These things can affect how the ceramic coating sticks to the paint.
That’s why you need to polish your car before applying the ceramic coating. By polishing, you will even out the surface and remove any swirl spots on the paint.
Polishing a car requires an electrical buffer. Applying the ceramic coating also requires a buffer. So, if you don’t have a buffer on hand, you won’t be able to do this.[How To Polish With An Electric Buffer]
Here’s how to polish a car.
- Get a buffer and polishing pads.
- Get a cutting compound and a pad conditioner.
- Apply the cutting compound on the polishing pad.
To apply the compound evenly on the pad, add 5 drops of it on the pad. This should be enough for a 2×2 panel. Repeat for each 2×2 panel.
- Start with the lowest settings on the buffer.
- Keep the buffer flat at all times and move inch by inch.
- Speed up once the compound is evenly applied to the paint.
- Repeat for each 2×2 panel.
[Related Article: How To Remove Ceramic Coating Streaks]
Apply Surface Prep Spray
To finish up, you will have to add a surface prep spray. This is the last prepping step you have to do. After this, you can go ahead and apply the ceramic coating.
What a surface prep spray does is remove any old layers of glaze, wax, grease, and sealant. After all the polishing you have done, there will be small pieces of these old layers.
By adding the surface prep spray, you are making sure that you have the absolute best surface for the ceramic coating.
Applying the surface prep spray is very easy. Read any specific instructions on the bottle. It’s as simple as spraying it on the car and wiping it with a clean microfiber cloth.
Once you’ve done that, you can go ahead and apply the ceramic coating.
[Related Article: How To Remove Ceramic Coating]
Related Questions And Other FAQs
What Do You Wipe Down With Before Ceramic Coating
To remove old layers of sealants and wax, wipe down the paint with a surface prep spray and a microfiber cloth.
How Do You Correct Paint Before Ceramic Coating
To even out the paint, and remove any swirl spots, you need to buff out the paint. Polish the car using a cutting compound and an electric buffer. This should correct the paint but it will not fix any rust spots.