Ceramic Coating Gone Wrong - How to Remove Bad Ceramic Coating
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It’s an irresistible craze, a silky showroom shine that repels dirt. Who wouldn’t want that? If you fell for the ceramics coating craze of late, did you ask a detailer to coat your ride?

If not, chances are you felt the allure to do it yourself and save some bucks. Like every other DIY project, things do go wrong. Then, what happens when you end up with swirl marks and misty finishing all over your car? How do you rectify this?

Preparation is Key

Now, a ceramic coating goes on the bare paint, or top of a protective film. For the best results, your car’s paint ought to have a smooth, clean look before applying the ceramic coat. Such a surface is free of any dirt, chemicals, or contaminants. Otherwise, you’ll end up securing the existing blemishes.

While prepping your ride for the ceramic coating, did you do any of the following steps?

  • Opting for a drive through car wash before or after the coating.
  • The car’s exterior is not well lubricated.
  • Interfering with the curing process.

Do you know why most dealers void their ceramic coating warranty if you go for an automated car wash? Though convenient, such a flow dulls the car paint before and after applying the coat.

Note that, the soap and brush used tend to remove the car wax and sealants. If you made this mistake, have the swirls and scratches corrected by an expert. Or, go for a fresh round of coating altogether.

Lubricating a car before applying the coat strengthens the bonding process. In contrast, the coating’s curing process takes up to 7 days to complete. In this period, any wash may disturb the shine. Also, a big change in temperature or humidity compromises the process.

What Next: Removing a Bad Ceramic Coating

Unlike common belief, a ceramic coating is not permanent. It is a thin glass layer that you can remove when necessary. Still, the coat includes SiO2 and Si3D, found in a pottery glaze, which is quite clumsy. Here are the three best approaches you can use: –

  1. Polishing


Polishing is the most common way to remove a ceramic coating on most rides. It gets rid of most water spots, swirls, and scratches, ending up with a smooth finish.

All you need to get the job done is some spare time and the necessary skills on how to use the buffer. Plus, it’s multipurpose stuff that is useful before and after applying a ceramic coat.

To polish your car: –

  • Avoid polishing your car out in the sun. Heat compromises with the polish. Instead, set up adequate lighting with fluorescent lamps.
  • Do you prefer doing the polish during the day? Ensure you park under shade for some time before you start the process.
  • Wash the vehicle by hand, using side to side motions. Ensure you get rid of any debris or dirt on the car.
  • Assemble everything that you will need for the polishing. These include: –
  • A high, medium, and low-grade
  • Polishing pads of varying sizes.
  • Microfiber polish.
  • An electrical polishing machine.
  • An ultra-low fiber towel.
  • Pick a small pad and wet it.
  • Apply the low-grade polish to a part of the car, avoiding any visible swirl marks. Repeat, using consistent pressure in all the sections.
  • Rinse off the pad as needed.
  • Wash the car for the second time. This second rinse limits the extent to which the next polish penetrates the coat.
  • Apply the high-grade polish on the wet surface. Follow it with the medium grade polish. Then, do a final polish using the low-grade polish. You should end up with a tacky and sticky finish. This coat will then cure in the next week.
  1. Claying

If your ceramic coating appears flaky or peeled off, claying is your best option to correct the look. A detailing clay is tacky and slippery. It attaches to and removes contaminants from the car’s exterior. When used on a ceramic coating, the clay breaks the bond between the coat and the paint underneath it.

Claying is a safe option that works to correct other stubbing swirls and scars from your car. But, is it not effective in removing iron blemishes. Now, some paints contain iron. A ceramic coating applied to such overlay will prove hard to remove using a clay bar.

To remove a wrong ceramic coat using claying: –

  • Get any traditional clay bar like the MEGUIAR’S Smooth Surface Clay Kit from your local auto store.
  • Use some grease or oil to wet the clay bar before use. For, friction from a dry clay bar can also bruise your coating. Or, mix your neutral car shampoo with more water in a spraying bottle. Use it to wet the clay. Do not overdo it on the lubrication.
  • Starting from one section, rub the clay sideways to remove the ceramic coating. Ensure you keep a consistent pattern and pressure.
  • Wipe off the clay using a clean towel. Even out the surface before you apply a fresh ceramic coating.
  1. Using A Chemical Applicator

get rid of ceramic coat

A ceramic coating’s strength wears out when in contact with alkali products. Chemical applicators like Chemical Guys Gap are most effective in getting rid of poor paint. Unfortunately, the chemicals can also do some damage to the exterior coating. Hence, make sure you do a patch test before you start.

  • Use only 20 to 30 drops of the applicator.
  • Apply a few of these drops on one section of the car.
  • Immediately spread the applicator on the coating.
  • Opt for straight, long motions instead of circular ones.
  • Be extra caution along the boundary lines.
  • Level the section to get rid of any excess products
  • Wipe the surface three times using a microfiber cloth. The first wipe should be in straight lines. Then, opt for small circular motions for the second wipe. The final wipe should be with fine cloth.
  • Repeat the same procedure with another section of the car.
  • Ensure you balance the pressure of your strokes on every section of the car.

A ceramic coating, when applied correctly, can last for decades. Hence, it’s the highest protection for your car today. Unlike wax, this coating needs at least three polishes to remove.

If you are worried about damaging your paint, it’s advisable to seek the advice of a detailer. After rectifying a poor coat, ensure your finish is on point.