In recent years, graphene coating vs ceramic coating paint have dominated detail scenes as the highest level of protection. Not long ago, ceramic strengthening paints, waxes, sealants and spray paints were premium accessories for dealers and detailers. These days, they are so common that they can be found in almost every home improvement workshop. There are hundreds of products from almost every major car care brand on the market. A lot of the jobs advertised, other jobs can throw you off and end up collecting dust on the shelf.
The compound silicon dioxide (SiO2) contained in the ceramic coating provides better protection than traditional waxes and sealants. It does this through nanotechnology, enabling products to bond with your paint, wheels, glass and trim at the molecular level. This fills in the microscopic pits and grooves in the paint, making the hydrophobic surface so smooth that it actually feels “slippery.”
Are graphene coating vs ceramic expensive?
The price of ceramic coatings is common. True professional ceramic products will produce the best results, but can cost over $100 a bottle and are usually only sold to certified professionals. DIY versions of Adam’s Polishes and CarPro start at about $60. There are also several spray ceramic coatings on the market, such as Turtle Wax Hybrid Ceramic Spray Coating, Lithium Ceramic Slam, Adam’s Ceramic Spray Coating, etc., which are cheaper and suitable for almost everyone.
How long will the ceramic coating last?
Ceramic coatings are very durable and can last from months to years. Professional ceramic coatings are said to last up to 5-7 years. Considering that many of us grew up with pasty wax, which is really remarkable, after just 30 days it starts to lose its hydrophobicity and is nowhere near as good as providing the same level of protection. While true ceramic coatings are very durable, they’re not for everyone or every budget. Many spray ceramic paints and sealants like The Last Coat TLC2 (available in our glove box in January 2020) offer 6 months to a year of protection and can be used on your driveway for as little as 10 per coat Dollar. Spray ceramic coatings don’t last as long, but they are easy to apply and can last up to 6 months before another coat is needed. This cost-effectiveness and modest durability make them a good choice for DIYers and weekend warriors on a budget.
What is a graphene coating?
Graphene coatings are the latest technological advancement in the automotive detailing market. If you’re a regular on social media, you’ve certainly seen a dramatic increase in ads promoting graphic products. This carbon-based nanomaterial is not entirely new, several British professors discovered it back in 2004 and were awarded the Nobel Prize in 2010 for their research. Fast forward to today, and graphene is gaining popularity in many detail areas, as major brands like Adam’s Polishes and Ethos Car Care come out with graphene products that claim up to 10 years of protection. But the jury is still out; some professional groomers and YouTube personalities like Pan The Organizer aren’t convinced, citing a lack of hard data showing its advantages over ceramic, and that other major auto grooming brands haven’t adopted it either.
What are the advantages and strengths of graphene coatings?
Graphene has many benefits in automotive applications and relative strength compared to ceramic coatings. Here are a few:
- High water contact angle (more beads)
- Highly flexible (not easy to crack or chip)
- Easy to use (so easy…)
- Unmatched Durability (5-10 Years!)
- Graphene has an extremely high smoothing factor that rivals some of the best paints and sealants on the market. If you are a fan of this glob effect, then you will love the chart.
- Some of the relative advantages over ceramic coatings are:
- Less prone to water stains
- Easier application process
- Reduces heat absorption from treated surfaces
- Longer durability
How much does a graphene coating cost?
Like ceramic coatings, graphene coatings vary in cost. Graphene products today appear to be competing at similar prices to comparable ceramic paints, with Adam’s Polishes priced at just $79 for a 60ml bottle and Ethos Car Care for $99 for a 30ml bottle. We think this is quite affordable for a product that requires no additional training or certification and provides years of protection. Professional grade graphene coating is the best protection grade out there, with a Mohs hardness of 9H (fun fact: diamond is the only known mineral to get 10H). The upcoming spray-on graphene coatings won’t hit 9H, but they’re still a great option for DIY enthusiasts and are a big improvement over SiO2 ceramic spray-coats. The new graphene spray coating is estimated to last more than a year and cost around $32. This is comparable to many leading ceramic spray coatings, although it is (arguably) a better product for the reasons mentioned above. Like spray ceramic spray, a single bottle of graphene spray can handle multiple cars, giving you great value for money. For the professional detailers out there, Graphene offers a great upsell opportunity for customers looking for the “latest and greatest” coating, and it won’t cost you any extra time to install.
How do you prepare the graphene coating?
As with ceramic coatings and almost every other finish on the market, it is crucial to properly prepare the vehicle surface before installation. Here are the steps we recommend before installing the graphene coating:
- Properly wash using the two-bucket method
- Decontamination with Clay Strip Paint
- chemical decontamination
- At least one step paint correction
- Preparing the panel for cleaning with paint
Wipe down your vehicle with a clean microfiber towel
Don’t have time to do it all? At a minimum, use a good car wash with three detailing buckets (the buckets for washing, rinsing, and wheels), then clay sand the entire vehicle to remove any blemishes before applying the graphene or graphene spray coating. Never apply sealants, coatings or waxes to soiled or old coatings. Once the graphene (or ceramic) coating is applied, it will last a long time, as will any potential defects. So, before applying any coat, take the time to prep for the best results.
Graphene coating vs ceramic the best?
We’re excited about graphene’s rise in professional and DIY detailing and believe it could be the next big thing. But we also want to be patient and not get caught up in the hype until we do our own side-by-side tests and comparisons. As always, we’ll take you on a journey and share our thoughts and recommendations as we delve into what is sure to be more and more graphene products coming to market. Early signs look promising, and who knows, you might see the first graphene product in our monthly subscription box in the near future.