Wondering how long do ceramic coatings lasts? Ceramic coating is a durable coating that bonds directly with your paint. This helps ensure that it lasts a long time.
The specifics, however, can vary from brand to brand, and also application to application. Professional-grade ceramic coatings applied by skilled, experienced hands tend to last a long time, often for 5-9 years or more.
However, there are a lot of caveats. Cheaper Do-It-Yourself coatings may last for only 1 to 6 months. Likewise, the application process is very important and if done wrong, you may have to redo the ceramic coating altogether.
Let’s dig into the specifics so you know what to expect. We’ll also cover tips for expanding the lifespan of your ceramic coating.
A Closer Look at How Long Do Ceramic Coatings Last
If you head to Amazon or a similar website, you’ll find a variety of ceramic coating sprays that you can apply at home. Prices may vary, but you can typically find DIY ceramic coating sprays retailing between $40 to $100 for a single bottle (how much a bottle will cover depends on the brand and application technique).
Of course, time is money and you’ll likely spend several hours applying the coating, so keep those costs in mind. Many DIY ceramic coating brands claim to last between 1 year to 18 months, but experience has shown that they tend to be much shorter.
Keep in mind that some brands may overstate the longevity of their sprays. A brand might claim that its ceramic coating will last for two years, and maybe that’s true under ideal but unrealistic conditions.
However, this claim might be based on a collector’s car sitting in a garage most of the year. If you’re applying coatings to your daily driver, the coating itself might not last as long as it’s exposed to rain, debris, UV radiation, and whatever else.
Professional-grade ceramic coatings applied by skilled hands will often last for more than a year. In fact, it’s common for professionally applied ceramic coatings to last for 5 to 9 years even if the vehicle is driven regularly. In some cases, the coating may last much longer.
It’s smart to conduct research and see what other customers and also auto professionals are reporting. Reading through reviews, you’ll often find customers who mention how long the coating lasted.
And the numbers can vary widely. A coating might last just three months, or perhaps it holds up to the top claims, lasting a year, eighteen months, or more.
While reading customer reviews and conducting research, keep in mind that the application process is very important.
If a customer didn’t follow directions or simply lacked the skills to properly apply the coating, this may greatly reduce how long it lasts. Likewise, a subpar auto shop may produce subpar results.
Let’s examine the ceramic coating application process and how car owners can extend the lifespan of the coating.
Properly Prepping Your Car Before Applying the Ceramic Coating
The specifics of the ceramic coating application process are very important for determining how long the coating itself lasts. Properly applied coatings will typically last much longer than poorly applied coatings.
If the person(s) applying the coatings try to take shortcuts, the coating itself likely won’t last very long.
Before applying a ceramic coating, it’s important to thoroughly wash your car. You may want to head to a car wash to first give your car a thorough scrub. You can choose either a Do-It-Yourself hand wash or hire a professional.
While some customers may prefer a tunnel wash, hand car washes are often better. A DIY hand car wash, we recommend using the 3 bucket wash method and high quality wash solutions to thoroughly wash your vehicle. Going over your vehicle a second time is also smart.
You want to remove every hint of dust, dirt, or debris that you can find. It’s smart to use a clay bar to remove any embedded debris or grime.
Unfortunately, dust and debris will inhibit the ceramic coating and can prevent it from firmly bonding with your paint. If so, the coating won’t last as long as it could have if properly bonded.
If heavy swirling or scratching is present, it may be best to have a professional preform a paint correction before applying any ceramic. Remember, a ceramic coating will lock in whatever its applied to. This means a ceramic coating will actually lock in the damage on a non-corrected, swirled, and scratched surface.
Make Sure Your Vehicle is Dry Before the Coating is Applied
After the wash, you need to ensure that your vehicle is dry before applying the coating. If you have a well-sealed, clean garage, it’s smart to park your vehicle inside overnight. No garage?
Then consider using a clean car cover. This may seem like a pain but if more dust and debris sticks to your car, it’ll undermine your efforts.
If you work with top-notch professional ceramic coating experts, they’ll make sure that your car is both clean and dry before applying the coating. This way, it will form a stronger bond and thus will last longer.
If you check out directions and customer reviews, you may notice that there are wide ranges for how long the coatings last, say six months to a year. Prep work can have a big impact on how long the coating lasts.
If you clean and dry your car before applying, the coating might last a year or longer. If you just slap the coating onto a dusty car, it may start to break down quickly, and a few months later, you may need to reapply it.
Properly Applying a Ceramic Coating to Ensure Longevity
You’ll sometimes see ceramic coating brands state that less is more when spraying on the coating solution. This is true, if you apply too much coating, you’ll end up wasting a lot of the ceramic application.
Of course, if you apply too little coating, you’ll have a thin, potentially patchy coating layer. Ultimately, balance is the key.
It’s important to read the specifics of the ceramic coating spray brand you bought. And you also need to make sure you give the coating plenty of time to dry. If you drive your car immediately afterward or it’s exposed to rain and other environmental factors, it could ruin or weaken the ceramic coating.
Polishing in the ceramic coating typically takes a practiced hand. It’s easy to get stuck with swirl marks and imperfect coats. If you’ve never applied ceramic coating before, it’s wise to look up tutorial videos online. And be prepared to reapply the coating. It may take a few tries to get it right.
So How Long Does Ceramic Coating Last?
There’s no one right answer. The longevity of a ceramic coating will be determined by the quality of the coating itself and its application. Generally, you should expect a ceramic coating to last for at least six months.
With a high-quality off-the-shelf ceramic coating brand applied by skilled hands, you may be able to get a year or more out of the coating.
Professional-grade ceramic coatings applied by experts often last for five to nine years. In some cases, the coating may last the lifetime of the car.
Still, some car owners will opt to have the ceramic coating reapplied more often, say every year. Ultimately, this ensures that your vehicle is more fully protected.
Either way, ceramic coatings last longer than most other types of coatings. A good wax job will make your car shine and may provide limited protection for a few weeks.
However, wax isn’t particularly durable and the coating will quickly break down. This is especially true if you’re driving the car daily.
Teflon coatings are more durable than wax. However, even Teflon coatings will typically last for only a few months or perhaps up to six months. Teflon is more durable than wax, generally speaking, and will provide more protection.
Ultimately, ceramic coatings are more durable and long-lasting than wax. Ceramic coatings also typically outlast Teflon coatings.
However, a high-quality Teflon coating applied by skilled hands may outlast a cheap off-the-counter ceramic coating applied by a novice.
When determining which coating to apply to your vehicle, make sure you keep all of the above in mind. If you want to maximize protection, selecting a professional-grade ceramic coating and then having it applied by skilled professionals will typically maximize results.