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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been having my '04 Black truck done with Zaino Polish for the past ten seasons and have been very happy. Friends are now touting Ceramic finishes as the do all/end all. Anyone switched over? If so, is it worth it? Comments one way or another, tell me what you think. Thanks Rick
 

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Go Ceramic!
 

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Well I finally went with ceramic. I washed, used clay mit, and a polish for any swirls on clear coat. The ceramic was fairly easy to put on and remove. Hard to see it as you apply it so have reference marks, fine to overlap as well. Applied 2 coats. Shine Is awesome. I recommend it.
 

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A properly done ceramic treatment will protect better and last far longer than any 'traditional' wax-type finish. You'll still need to polish the truck for any required paint correction because the ceramic doesn't 'hide' any defects.

I just did a set of winter wheels yesterday and even on a PC'ed finish the shine is crazy and the finish is very slick. I do things myself and have landed on CQuartz UK 3.0 (2 layers an hour apart) followed with Gliss V2 after at least four hours and the finish can be maintained with Reload and washed with Reset when needed.

CQuartz UK is good for roughly 2-3 years depending upon environment and exposure and is one of the easiest ceramics to apply with a pretty forgiving flash/cure time (I've gone as long as 10 minutes flash and it still buffed off easily with a microfiber) and is basically a 'wipe-on/wipe-off' treatment. Same with Gliss but flash time is about 1-2 minutes.
 

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A properly done ceramic treatment will protect better and last far longer than any 'traditional' wax-type finish. You'll still need to polish the truck for any required paint correction because the ceramic doesn't 'hide' any defects.

I just did a set of winter wheels yesterday and even on a PC'ed finish the shine is crazy and the finish is very slick. I do things myself and have landed on CQuartz UK 3.0 (2 layers an hour apart) followed with Gliss V2 after at least four hours and the finish can be maintained with Reload and washed with Reset when needed.

CQuartz UK is good for roughly 2-3 years depending upon environment and exposure and is one of the easiest ceramics to apply with a pretty forgiving flash/cure time (I've gone as long as 10 minutes flash and it still buffed off easily with a microfiber) and is basically a 'wipe-on/wipe-off' treatment. Same with Gliss but flash time is about 1-2 minutes.

I agree with Struck that a properly done ceramic will last much longer. Chicago Auto Pros did a comparison video on YouTube that showed several products on the same car. It's worth a watch.

My experience with ceramic tells me that prep is the most important part. You realy need to spend the time to do it right. If there is a product you need, just buy it. Don't complain about nickels and dimes here since it's not a cheap product and half-assing it will give half-ass results.

I bought a Lexus IS a year or so back and did the whole shooting match for ceramic. I washed the car with Dawn (never use Dawn as a primary car wash soap) to get as much old polish off as I could. I hit it with an iron remover and followed up with Gyeon Prep to remove any polishes or waxes left on the surface. I clayed the car twice since it needed it. I then set to work with the DA and Sonax Perfect Finish. I like Perfect Finish since it's a diminishing abrasive and is more than adequate for what I was doing.

A wipe down with Prep made sure I had no polish left on the surface.

I went as far as taping off the trim pieces to prevent any ceramic from creating dark spots on the trim. This is optional but prevents an oops that can easily come from lack of attentiveness. And I found a few spots where I hit the tape. So, consider it.

The application is pretty easy. Follow the instructions. FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS!!! I decided I was going to be meticulous and I did one panel at a time. I applied, waited for it to dry, then wiped off. What I neglected to consider was that the ceramic could dry on the applicator pad even with me adding to it on each panel. My reward was a nice scratch on the hood. Had I followed the directions and paced myself accordingly, I would not have had that happen. So, follow the directions.

The product I used was Kamikaze Miyabi Coat. It was easy to apply and wiped off with little fuss. It got several sold reviews and looked like a good fit for someone attempting ceramic coating for the first time. Plus, the price was not bad. I think it was about $130 for the bottle of ceramic, an applicator pad and 2 applicator cloths.

I'm not going to recommend it because the touted benefits of the ceramic coat faded long before the manufacturer stated they should. I observed approximately 50% of the expected life of this coating. I don't neglect my cars. I wash them regularly. The only thing I didn't do was spring for the refresher spray that was nearly $100 per bottle at the time. That may be why my coating failed to last a year. It may have been operator error. Either way, it's time to polish it out again and go with something else.

On my Lightning, I will probably try the 303 Graphene spray. I don't mind spending $20 per bottle and a recoat shouldn't take too long. I had close to 3 days in the prep and application of the ceramic. I also had to keep the car away from rain and moisture for 2-3 days. That meant no driving since it was rainy as soon as I finished. Of course. That's a lot of time to invest for what is my daily driver.

There are many benefits of ceramic but you need to do your homework so you can decide on the best ceramic for you. Your paint will look great when it's done but the work you have to put in to do it right may be more than you care to put in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
What tends to make me hesitate is reading that if you encounter a issue along the way the only way it's removed is by sanding. A speed-bump like that I don't want to address.
 

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What tends to make me hesitate is reading that if you encounter a issue along the way the only way it's removed is by sanding. A speed-bump like that I don't want to address.
That's not necessarily the case, depending on what the issue is and how long it sat before you found it.

The instructions from the product I used said you can just go back over the product for a touch-up. I took that to mean you could remove some, say, lint, from the ceramic while still wet and just reapply right over the top of what was there. I actually did that. My garage is pretty dusty and dirty and I got a spot of something in the coating. I just pulled it out with a toothpick and then hit the spot again.

For defects in the paint once the ceramic is cured, depending on the product, it may take being as aggressive as wet sanding. I would consider that to be a pretty rare issue if you prep properly and apply the ceramic in a garage or other enclosed area. If you do it in your driveway as the leaves are falling, that's a whole other ball of wax and I don't recommend you do that.

Do some reading and prepare accordingly, and you won't have to worry about an aggressive correction. Also, in many cases, you let the ceramic cure and then hit it with your buffer and cutting compound. In my case, the Sonax Perfect Finish would heave been what I used and was what was recommended (not by name, just a general polish to remove defects).

Don't overthink it. It's not super complicated. You can do this.
 

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Any of what I will call the 'consumer grade' ceramic coatings should be pretty easy to work with and also to address any issues. Unless you slather on a ton of the coating and let it dry for 24 hours a simple re-application of the product followed by some buffing with a microfiber towel would likely fix it.

I was coating wheels with CQuartz and they're steel wheels with the holes around the circumference and I hadn't noticed that there was a 'run' of coating through a hole and onto the inner face of the wheel. I noticed it about 12 hours later and another application of CQuartz provided enough solvent to allow me to buff it off with a microfiber. Crisis averted...

CQuartz is pretty easy to use and has the longest 'working time' I have found, GTechniq is easy to use, Avalon King is easy to use...any of them would work for someone who hasn't coated anything before and the key is to look at panels from all angles and good lighting to see to it that you haven't left any residual product on.

Even lint in the coating, which you should obviously avoid, isn't an issue as you're only waiting until the product starts to 'flash' and then you're buffing it off. It's begun to set at that point and once you buff it off there isn't really any 'depth' of product for junk to get stuck in.
 

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I've said it before. I'll stick with a good sealant and carnuba wax. Simple enough to apply same results after. You have to reapply sooner than coatings which I don't mind gives me time to go back over the paint and body to check for any issues.
 

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I made the switch a couple years ago, and there's a little learning curve, but there's that with any new product jump. I used to use Zaino for years because it was the best/longest lasting product I could find and I tried tons of them. Zero regrets jumping to ceramic. Now you have to be careful, there's tons out there and they aren't all created equal. Turtle wax spray ceramic isn't the same ballpark as a professional Cquartz for example. Now don't get me wrong, the TW stuff is excellent for what it is, but they aren't the same. I actually used the TW ceramic spray on my Raptor for years, because I didn't have the time/motivation to fully ceramic coat it between all the other vehicles and never enough time in the day lol, I just applied it every couple months (it's spray on/wipe off, so it's cake) and it did the job for my daily driver.

Our Tesla I did Carpro Cquartz UK3.0 followed by 2 coats of Carpro Gliss and it's phenominal. It's now 2 years old, still beads like crazy in the rain, water sheets right off when you spray it, the look is great, the application wasn't bad at all. All the work is in the prep, which you should do whether it's wax, sealant, or ceramic.

On my TRX I switched to Gtechniq CSL and Gtechniq ExoV4. The application is even easier than Carpro and the results/longevity are rated about the same. Obsessed Garage is a great resource for videos and even getting the stuff, they only sell the best of what works. And not necessarily the most expensive or pro-install only, just the best even for DIY applications. If you're nervous about jumping to ceramic, the Gtechniq CSL/ExoV4 is the route to go since application is so easy and user friendly. Some products get very finicky with flash and cure times. The Gtechniq stuff is great for flexibility there. Even if you are seasoned at it, that's still a go-to combo to apply.
 

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Turtle Wax Seal and Shine spray wax has become my go to wax. It is straight up excellent. It's cheap, long lasting, durable, easy as anything to use, does stain plastic. For years my go to wax was Collinite #845 sealant, and it's excellent, but IMHO the TW S&S is better in every way. I've also used the TW Ceramic spray wax, and it's also excellent, but I prefer the Seal and Shine, but even the cheaper TW Ice Spay Wax is very, and I've used it a couple time. I followed their recommendation and washed, claybared, and applied 2 coats of Seal and Shine and after 10 months it was still easily beading water. They claim this lasts for a year and that claim is pretty legit from my experience. IMO it's so cheap, easy to use, and long lasting that I doesn't warrant the cost and effort of a ceramic coating. It's shocking how good a spray wax/sealant from a company like Turtle Wax can be.

It's cheap enough to try it at least.
 
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