It seems that every few days that go by, a new ‘miracle’ coating for paint protection magically appears. While there are some that are impressive, most of today’s products that are peddled at car ceramic coatings fall short of the mark.
In the automotive world, a ceramic coating is one that is inorganic, non-metallic, and when hardens, is crystallin in nature – making the protection exceptionally hard and durable. So, which ceramic coating products for car surfaces on the market today live up to this description? Are there ceramic coatings that are better than others? And what are the benefits of these ceramic coatings for vehicles in the first place?
These are all questions we’ll uncover today.
Things to Consider When Buying a Nano Ceramic Coating
There are three types of ceramic coating for car surfaces made today to protect vehicles from exposure to harsh environmental and man-made contaminants; a nanotechnology-based, highly concentrated coating comprised of SiO2, a spray-on coating with a lower percentage of SiO2, and ceramic coatings that are Teflon or silicone-based.
The main ingredient that determines the hardness and thus, the protective qualities of a ceramic coating is SiO2. The higher percentage of SiO2, the stronger the coating, and longer-lasting protection. It’s really that simple. Anytime you’re considering a ceramic coating, there are four important “jobs” that the coating should accomplish for counting in high quality which should also make, break and shape your decision
1. Must Be Strong
A ceramic coating should have a hardness rating of 9H which is based on the pencil scale of hardness. This is important as the coating’s primary task is to deflect harmful UV rays, chemicals, and other road or environmental toxins that can damage a vehicle’s surface.
2. Must Reduce Damage
The coating is also intended to protect the surface below from damage. It should make bond directly to the surface you’re trying to protect and form an invisible shield that will hold up for years.
3. Must Be Able to Bond on Multiple Materials
Most car enthusiasts understand that their windows, headlights, plastic trim, and vinyl wraps are also exposed to harsh contaminants. A high-quality ceramic coating will have the ability to make bond onto all these surfaces and materials.
4. Must be User Friendly
Finally, any ceramic coating you purchase should be easy to apply, simple to maintain, and most importantly, be supported by a company or team of people that are willing to help you through the process.
Other Attributes to Consider
The other ‘attributes’ of what a ceramic coating produces, such as being hydrophobic (meaning shedding water from the surface) or allowing dirt and spots to easily wash off is window dressing. If that’s the only reason why you’re purchasing a ceramic coating, you can probably accomplish this with a Teflon based spray-on product that improves the shine of paint (a little), makes the car shine (sort of), and causes the surface to be slippery.
Protection, on the other hand, is not as impressed with these ceramic coating for cars. So, if protection and longevity – with each of the positive attributes produced by these new sprays included at no additional cost, the nano-ceramic coating is your best value.
The Impact of Cost on The Quality of a Ceramic Coating
In the paint protection world, you truly get what you pay for. If you’re looking for the cheapest way to protect a vehicle, you’re going to compromise at least one important quality. The lower-priced options with ceramic coatings may be easier to apply, but they will not last as long.
In the end, this means you’ll pay more and spend more time in the long run having to remove the old coating and reapply. So, to that end, we’ve broken down three different price-points that ceramic coatings fall into.
You’ll find several spray-on ceramic coating for cars under $30. They’re simple to apply, prep work is minimal, but the end results are not going to be great or last long. We’ve included a few of these on the list to give you a lower-priced option.
From $30 to $60:
Jumping up in class to this range introduces the high-end SiO2 spray coatings. These can be used as a topper or maintenance product – or stand-alone ceramic coating.
This is where the magic happens. When you rise above the $60 per bottle threshold, you’ll discover the longevity expands, the ceramic coating quality increases, and the results are far superior. However, it also means a little more focus on details, enhanced prep work, and stricter application guidelines.
As such, we’ve reviewed dozens of the best-selling and most popular ceramic coatings on the market. Amongst all best ceramic coating, most of them are sold through Amazon.com – and fulfilled to customers quicker than most e-Commerce platforms.
Reviews of The Top 10 DIY Ceramic Coatings for 2020
Factoring everything above, here are the top 10 DIY ceramic coatings for cars that are sold in 2020.
We ranked them based on four factors:
1) Product Quality: This is determined based on how well it protects, how long it protects, and the value associated with the protection longevity. For example, if two products are nearly identical in their quality and features – but one is priced lower – that one is ranked higher in this category.
2) Presentation: The way a ceramic coating is packaged, the quality of supplies, and whether they offer everything in a kit makes a huge difference in the high worth it produces.
3) Customer Feedback: Testimonials matter as well. We’ve factored the feedback of people like you that have used the product and go out of their way to express their pleasure or displeasure.
4) Overall Value: Finally, we’ve combined everything above to determine the overall high worth it provides.
1. Armor Shield IX-Ceramic Coating DIY kit
For centuries, the King reigned supreme due to its high quality. Due to its amazing quality, it has been ranked as number for best ceramic coating. And in 2020, AvalonKing’s Armor Shield IX takes the crown for the best DIY nano-ceramic coating on the market. This ceramic coating features more than 1,000 positive reviews and stands solid for best ceramic reviews on its website – with an overall customer rating of 4.8 out of 5.
People across the globe, from Australia to the USA, have purchased this DIY nano-coating kit that includes everything you need to apply it to your paint, windows, wheels, plastic trims, and chrome. It even works great on vinyl wraps, PPF, and carbon fiber.
The DIY kit comes with:
(1) 30ml bottle, applicator sponge, 5 suede applicator pads, a buffing towel, protective gloves, and detailed instructions.
Armor Shield IX is protected by a two-year expected longevity guarantee – a first in the DIY ceramic coating segment.
It's priced at $69.99 per kit and is sold directly through their website. Shipping is free in North America and is fulfilled from Illinois for US consumers and Toronto for Canadian customers. They’re continually adding new higher quality ceramic coating products and opening new fulfillment centers across the globe to better serve their customers.
1) Product Quality: This is the highest percentage of SiO2 in the DIY ceramic coating industry. Their formulation contains 84% SiO2, plus other proprietary ingredients that forms a transparent and exceptionally durable shell of protection on multiple surfaces.
2) Presentation: The packaging is something you’d find in a high-end fashion boutique. High-quality chrome bottle, clean looking, solid package so the bottle does not get damaged in transit, and easy to follow instructions.
3) Customer Feedback: Thousands of satisfied customers, dozens of personal opinions on YouTube.com, and an exceptional customer support team elevate Armor Shield IX to the top.
4) Overall Value: At $69.99 per kit, a two-year expected guarantee, everything included in the package to apply, this has high durability and the product is the best value for cars on the market today.
Here are the FACTS:
(1) The kit is good for motorcycles, small coupes, and personal watercraft. (2) ) kits for midsize SUVs and four-door vehicles. (3) kits are best for full-sized pick-up or SUVs.
- Armor Shield IX offers volume discounts. One kit is priced at $69.99, two kits, $104.99, and three kits are buy two get one free at $139.99.
- Strongest SiO2 percentage – 84% of 99.9% pure SiO2 – best among DIY ceramic coatings.
- Superior Educational Resources. AvalonKing.com is filled with an amazing blog that provides tons of detailing tips and tricks. Plus, a cool YouTube.com channel.
2. CarPro Cquartz DIY Kit
It’s quite common to see Armor Shield IX and CarPro’s DIY kit called CQuartz in the top few spots. CarPro is an international giant corporation that mainly deals in the UK and Europe but can be purchased through distributorships in North America.
The formulation is 70% SiO2 of 99.9% purity, which is great – just not 84% great. In formula, the lower SiO2 does make it a bit more forgiving to apply – so those living in colder or extremely hot climates may benefit from the easier application.
Their kit is sold with a 50ml bottle (so that will be good for all vehicles and midsize SUV), but you’ll have to buy two for a truck. It also includes applicator pad and suede microfiber cloths. You’ll have to purchase a buffing towel and gloves for protection.
1) Product Quality: CarPro does not offer a warranty with their product but does expect it to hold up from 2 to 5 years in some cases. They offer additional aftercare products that can extend lifespan.
2) Presentation: The kit is a nice one. But the lack of clarity about whether they include protective gloves, or a buffing towel brings down the presentation and value of the kit. Moreover, it is easy to apply.
3) Customer Feedback: A lot of positive reviews on Amazon.com. But 4.3 out of 5 out of 237 ratings should be carefully examined.
4) Overall Value: $78.99 per 50ml kit, it does offer you a good worth.
3. Adam’s UV Ceramic Paint Coating 50 ml
While they are known for their high car care products like soaps and shampoos, Adam’s Polishes has recently entered the nanocoating market with their UV Ceramic Paint Coating. They sell their ceramic coating in a 50ml bottle and has included a unique application technology for ceramic coating.
It’s a “patent-pending” Ceramic Glow Technology that adds an application aid allowing users or professionals the ability to never miss a spot and make sure the coating is perfect. We’re not quite sure how this works, or the special techniques needed to work. We also don’t know much about what’s in the product. However, their 110% satisfaction guarantee seems legit. That’s why it has been ranked as number three for best ceramic coating.
They offer three different purchase options. The bottle alone ($85.00), a ceramic coating kit ($119.00), and a UV Complete Kit (which includes the special flashlight used to see if you’ve applied it correct – at $126.00).
1) Product Quality:It’s a new product for car ceramic coating, but Adam’s has a great reputation for selling high-quality products. The lack of transparency with product ingredients does raise some red flags (so buyer beware).
2) Presentation: Their “kit” is highly impressive and easy to use. It includes the car ceramic coating, a 4oz bottle of SiO2 Boost Spray (for aftercare), the 4oz Surface Prep (which is an IPA spray used prior to applying the coating), 2 buffing towels, 2 micro silk applicators, and a pair of gloves.
3) Customer Feedback: There are only 85 current reviews – 4.3 out of 5 stars.
4) Overall Value: At $85 just for the bottle, and $119 for their complete kit, it’s the most expensive product on our list for vehicle ceramic coating. However, including the IPA prep spray is a nice touch – as it’s important to use that for good results.
4. Migliore Strata Coating – PRO SiO2 Coating & Paint Sealant
The fourth item on the list of best DIY car ceramic coatings is Migliore’s Strata Coating. PRO SiO2 Coating & Paint Sealant is exactly that – a blend of ceramic and synthetic ingredients that holds up for about a year. Migliore Strata PRO SiO2 Coating is known for its depth of appearance, as the added paint synthetic paint sealant ingredients add luster. The drawback is reduced longevity.
It's not the easiest product to use for ceramic coating. In fact, when you inspect most of the comments on Amazon reviews, one of the top ‘complaints’ is that it can be tricky to apply. We’d recommend contacting them for further tips or installation tricks to reduce mistakes – or perhaps select a different option.
1) Product Quality: We’re unable to find a lot of details about this product's formulation (formula for which it is made of). That along with the one-year expected lifespan drops this item down the list.
2) Presentation: It’s a nice box, clean looking, easy to use, and the bottle is professionally wrapped. Beyond that, we really don’t have a lot of specifics about what’s in the box, or other supporting items.
3) Customer Feedback: : Another Amazon product for car ceramic coating with a review of 4.3 out of 5 stars.
4) Overall Value: This is priced at $89.99 – which is high for the 1 year of expected longevity. You can do better with the items above.
5. Nano Bond Ceramic Coating
So – with a price of $34.90 – what’s the catch. Well, that’s the problem. A car ceramic coating like this should cost double. The Nano Bond marketing of buzz terms like Diamond Protection tends to lead to some overzealous claims. That’s why its listed at fifth on this list.
1) Product Quality: On the surface, it appears great. The choice of branding claims, vs the cost of this item, is arguably the biggest question mark.
2) Presentation: It’s a nice box with a nice bottle and items included in the kit like gloves, applicator pad, suedes, and buffing towel. Best appearing nano-coating in that lower price range actually.
3) Customer Feedback: The has multiple reviews on Amazon – 4.2 out of 5 with about 150 ratings.
4) Overall Value: We just can’t assign an overall value – simply due to a few skeptical questions as mentioned above. Again – it appears a good high value, perhaps too good.
6. GlideCoat Marine Ceramic Coating
All of the items above are designed specifically for automotive applications – and many boastings can be used on boats. But, GlideCoat Marine car Ceramic Coating is the exact opposite – it’s designed for marine applications but can be used on your vehicle as well.
The marine formulation holds up very well against exposure in extreme wet and cold climates. So, the formula makes it a great ceramic coating for those in Canada, the Northwestern US, or the east coast.
1) Product Quality: : It’s a very impressive car ceramic coating – especially for a marine ceramic coating. It claims to hold up for 18-months with direct marine exposure.
2) Presentation:: It’s a very impressive car ceramic coating – especially for a marine ceramic coating. It claims to hold up for 18-months with direct marine exposure.
3) Customer Feedback: While it’s got a perfect 5 out of 5 ratings on Amazon – it only includes three participants. This one might be a risk – simply due to the lack of direct customers' feedback.
4) Overall Value: Most marine-specific car ceramic coatings are higher than the average products. Such is the case here – at $85.00 per bottle. It is sold as a 50ml bottle, which is a good value for owners of four-door sedans..
7. Mothers CMX Ceramic Spray
The first of our spray-on ceramic coatings is a hybrid car product. It’s from the wax-gurus at Mother’s. The Mother’s CMX Ceramic Spray is a blend of SiO2 and TiO2 (titanium dioxide) along with some polymers that provide a strong and durable layer of protection.
It is designed to be used as a standalone coating but can also be used on top of some DIY nano-ceramic coating products. Like other ceramic coatings, it requires at least 24 hours to cure without exposure to water or debris
1) Product Quality: For the money, this is the best buy on our list. If you prefer to add coats every few months, Mother’s CMX is probably the best one for you to consider. It’s sold for less than $20 per 24-ounce bottle.
2) Presentation: It’s a nice spray bottle, clean looking, with a nozzle that works well for these thicker liquid car ceramic coating. The 24-ounce bottle should allow you enough product to apply 3 times on your vehicle, or 9 months.
3) Customer Feedback: This product rates 4.6 out of 5 on Amazon.com with nearly 1,000 reviews. That’s a good standard for a spray-on product. Most of the feedback says that it’s simple to spray and remove.
4) Overall Value: Again – if you’re looking for the easiest, cost-effective solution – this one should be on main on your main priority list. Just don’t expect it to protect or hold up as long as the best-listed items on the list.
8. Wolfgang Concours Series WG-3500 Uber SiO2 Silica Spray
Another great spray-on SiO2 Boost Spray is Wolfgang Concours Series WG-3500 Uber Silica Spray. It’s very strong with a lot of chemicals in the formulation – which does produce a rather pungent smell. It’s not as easy to apply as Mother’s CMX, but it should hold up longer.
It's priced at $35 per 16oz bottle – which is average for this type of ceramic coating. You can use it by itself, or to protect some of the nano-ceramic coatings listed above.
1) Product Quality: On the quality side – it’s one of the best Boost out there. It’s not as “slippery” as the Teflon-based “ceramic sprays” but does produce good hydrophobic properties and better protection against exposure.
2) Presentation: It’s an average bottle, spray nozzle and with easy to follow instructions. Some of the reviews mentioned that the spray nozzles arrived broken – which is a common problem with many sprays purchased online.
3) Customer Feedback: It’s not the best – but 4.2 out of 5 with several reviews is still a solid B.
4) Overall Value: One bottle should last you about a year. While the manufacturer states it will hold up for about 6 months, it’s recommended to apply every three months. You can layer this type of product on top of each other.
9. HydroSilex Recharge – Spray-On Ceramic Coating
The next to last item on this list of Top 10 DIY car ceramic coatings is HydroSilex Recharge. It’s a spray-on coating, that lasts for about 6 months. It’s similar to Wolfgang’s item above – with ingredients and formulation. The problem with many of these ceramic coatings is understanding how much of each ingredient is included.
1) Product Quality: Six months of protection is a good quality ranking for a spray-on coating which is easy to use. Many positive reviews on how easy it is to apply, but for best results – spending time prepping the vehicle is needed.
2) Presentation: It’s a nice spray bottle – with a clear container and cool color. That’s a big plus for many consumers.
3) Customer Feedback: This is rated 4.4 out of 5 on Amazon.com.
4) Overall Value: With a price of $35 – it’s on par with Wolfgang’s item above.
10. Ethos Ceramic Wax 9H
If you’re an old-school car person and love applying wax – this car ceramic coating product is for you. Ethos Ceramic Wax 9H is a unique formulation – claiming that it will last about 10X longer than natural carnauba wax. That might be a stretch, but the blend of Teflon Resins does add some credibility to the longevity. Being a wax-on product, it likely is a paint sealant with added Teflon technology.
1) Product Quality: Probably the best “WAX” on the market for replicating the qualities of a ceramic coating. Not sold on the 10X longevity – as that would equal about three years of protection.
2) Presentation: It’s a nice wax, and the container is clean, neat and straight with easy to use.
3) Customer Feedback: This rates 4.6 out of 5 with more than 400 ratings. That rates higher among the competitors on the list above.
4) Overall Value: The cost of this changes from $28 to $35 based on the manufacturer’s individual preferences. Unfortunately, finding out how long one box will last is a bit tricky.
The DIY ceramic coating market is as competitive as ever. With companies like Adam’s entering the fray recently, it’s quite possible that there will be more added to the line-up in 2021. The key is to do your research and find out exactly what is required to prep your vehicle, apply the coatings, and take care of it. This will provide you with the right information to make an informed decision.