How is a Ceramic Coating Removed?
Ceramic coatings are the best way to protect your car from everyday wear and tear – they are immune to chemical damage, UV radiation, and light scuffing, and provide you with an incredibly slick, hydrophobic surface. One thing that we talk about a lot is how these coatings form a chemical bond with your vehicle’s clear coat. Unlike wax, which is soft and merely sits on top of the paint until it wears away, ceramic coatings are very hard and adhere on a molecular level. This is why the coatings can be so thin and last for so long.
Here is more about the ceramic coating options available to you on Vancouver Island.
When done properly, removing a ceramic coating will unveil perfect paintwork - what's more satisfying than that? The new coating is applied, and that perfection is preserved for years to come.
High quality ceramic coatings will last for years (more detail on that here). That is great news, especially when compared to wax which lasts for weeks at best. However, the inevitable question is, “what do you do when they need to be replaced?” Eventually, a ceramic coating will need to be replaced. Before they can be replaced, they need to be fully removed – if they’re so hard and form such a strong bond upon application, how is this possible?
Removing Ceramic Coatings
When preparing a vehicle for a new ceramic coating, you need to do 2 things: fully remove the old stuff, and make sure the paint is prepped to receive the new coating (just like it was before). Here are 3 ways to get rid of an old ceramic coating:
- Chemical Removal: Ceramic coatings are incredibly chemically resistant, but do have a chemical weak spot: strong alkaline products. These cleaning products are orders of magnitude stronger than what your car would experience out in the world (think: thick gloves and respirators). These products should only be used by professionals because they are strong enough to be very dangerous for humans, and could also seriously damage your paint.
- Clay + Dust Remover: A clay bar can not remove a healthy ceramic coating, but extremely worn coatings can be removed when you combine clay with an abrasive, like iron dust remover. Again, this process should only be undertaken by experts.
- Polish: Polishing is arguably the safest and most effective method for removing an old layer of ceramic coating. Polishing comes with the added benefit of helping to prepare the paint underneath for the next layer. It’s important that after a polishing, the paint be fully cleaned and degreased before the new coating is applied.
When done properly, removing a ceramic coating will unveil perfect paintwork – what’s more satisfying than that? The new coating is applied, and that perfection is preserved for years to come. Part of the trick is making sure that you decide to remove the old coating at the right time – a ceramic coating will give you years of service, so there’s no point in trying to eek an extra month out of a coating that has done its job.
The key to successful ceramic coating removal is having it done by experienced hands. Although it can involve power tools, ceramic coating removal is actually a delicate procedure. If done improperly, your paint could be seriously damaged, so it’s best to go to the pros. Besides, you are most likely replacing it with a new coating, so why not just have it done by the folks who are going to apply your new coating?
If you’re on Vancouver Island, there is only one shop to go to – CJ’s Autobling is the local authority on ceramic coatings, vehicle customization, and everything detail. Give us a shout – we are open!