At some point, you might want to remove your ceramic coating and apply a new one. Well, applying a ceramic coating demands a lot of hard work, and removing it is not easy as well. In this content, you will be given a complete guide on how to remove the ceramic coating in top three ways, but before that, we will give you a short guide about what is a ceramic coating.
What is Ceramic Coating?
Ceramic coating is actually used for finishing the exterior of the car; also, it provides protection to the outer layer of the car. It has a liquid polymer in it, which is applied by hand. The polymer makes a chemical bonding with the original paint of the vehicle, which is actually the protective layer. It protects from ultraviolet rays, chemicals, and bird droppings, etc.
It requires a lot of hard work to remove the ceramic coating, which is discussed below. With the help of these methods, you will be able to remove the ceramic coating successfully and apply a new one if you want.
In case an individual part of your vehicle is damaged then removing the coating of all the other parts is not recommended, that individual part can be changed, and you can install the ceramic coating and paint of your choice on just that part.
Ways to remove Ceramic Coating
Generally, there are only three ways to do something, the right way, the wrong way, and your way. It is always better to call a professional to do this, but even if you are doing without any professional help, you should know the three important methods.
1. Chemical removal of ceramic coating
Basically using chemicals to remove the ceramic coating is considered to be the most effective way until now. However, there are few chemicals from which ceramic coating is highly resistant to, and their strength gets affected by alkaline products. It is not known whether alkaline products are capable of removing the whole old ceramic coating or not, but they are probably the best to dig it into the ceramic coating and remove it from the clear coat of paint.
There is one drawback for this type, chemical alkaline products have a negative impact on the quality of the exterior coating of your vehicle, and it also affects the performance and durability.
Here are a few general tips that you need to follow when using a chemical to remove the ceramic coating.
- Checking the chemical on clear coats before applying it fully is an important step. This way, you will see how harmful the chemical can be. Otherwise, you will have to do it all over again.
- A patch test is always important to avoid any big damage. First, try to complete a single section then go for the whole vehicle. In this way, you can easily reduce the risk of damage.
- Never try to do it when you are having second thoughts about it. Keep in mind that there are other safer options. If you don’t feel like using the chemical product recommended by your manufacturer, then don’t go for it.
Here is the step by step process for using chemical removal for ceramic coating:
Steps to remove the ceramic coating
- Don’t put more than 20 to 30 drops on the applicator
- Choose a single section first and always spread the product from the middle of the section
- Always focus on the boundary and body lines
- Long smooth strokes give you a better and clean result
- After completing the section, do the leveling carefully and remove all the excess
- Wipe with firm pressure
- Use straight lines to wipe the section
- Your starting and ending should be from the edges
- After you are done wiping the area, flip the towel and wipe in small circles
- Always use the towel with shorter fibers for the third wipe
- Keep your hand flat this will give you a neat look
- Your first four stokes should spread your product to the entire area of your section
- After completing one section goes for the other
- This type requires longer strokes with balanced pressure; your strokes should be consistent
- The product should be quickly spread onto the section after putting the drops
- Press your fingertips onto the cracks and other spots for even layout
- Evenly spread the entire product
These are the important steps to follow when you are removing the ceramic coating with chemicals. Always be careful with this way because not all chemicals suit the clear coats of vehicle.
Read Also: Ways to Protect Your Car Paint
2. Claying for removing the ceramic coating
Claying is another method to remove the ceramic coating. It is a slippery and sticky clay bar with which contaminants attach, and removes the coating. If the coating on your car seems a bit tacky and eroded, then you can use this method to get rid of that portion. When it is rubbed over a vehicle, its friction increases and hence reduces the adhesive property of the coating to the original coat, the bonds between them become so weak that they get apart, removing the ceramic coating. In some cases, claying is not recommended much, but still, it does have an effect on the coating.
The thing is, clay has an adhesive composition. It is quite easy to do; the chemicals attach to the clay bar from your car’s paint. Due to its sticky property, not only chemicals but also the scratches and scars get removed.
But as everything has its own disadvantages and nothing can satisfy you in every way, the same is the case with this method. It has its own demerits; it fails to remove the iron contamination. This drawback makes it less effective because iron gets attach to the ceramic coating and original coats, making it hard to remove the ceramic coating completely.
Here are a few simple steps for you if you are willing to do this method and want to achieve a good result.
Steps to remove the ceramic coating
- Starting should always be good to have positive results. A traditional clay bar is a thing you need for your cleaning method. It is best to use the clay bar for this method.
- The vehicle often gets damaged when there is no oil or grease on your vehicle or clay bar. It is important to keep the clay bar wet and slippery. This can be done by using lots of lubricating sprays which comes with the clay bar kits or you can buy it on your own. It helps to remove all the contamination and debris attached to your vehicle.
- Keep on sliding the clay, the left to right side motion of the clay bar helps to create a consistent pattern; this will slowly and gradually get into the ceramic coating.
- Don’t overuse the lubrication, because this might lead to a scratch; the lubricating spray is just used to create some friction which will help to lose the sticky property between ceramic coating and clear coating.
- You can also make your own spray. It is very easy to make one at your home. It is cheaper and better to use homemade sprays. You need two simple ingredients. Any good automotive shampoo and water. But make sure the quantity of water is much more than the shampoo because you need an extra concentrated mixture.
- After you are done claying. Take a clean cloth or low pile towel. Make sure to clean the surface of your vehicle carefully. Any debris should not be left on your vehicle’s surface before you apply a new coating.
3. Polishing for removing the ceramic coating
If you are looking for the most effective and widely used method for removing the ceramic coating, then you must know about polishing. It is universally recognized as well as used. Many people go for it because it doesn’t have any serious drawbacks. It just needs some more labor power and also basic experience with polishing material. It is not only used to remove the ceramic coating but also recommended when you want to install it. So it pretty much does both the jobs very well.
In this method, you will experience different levels of cutting compounds to remove the coating but don’t worry the clear coat surface of the vehicle would not be harmed at all. Polishing is pretty fun to do.
If you are new to this method, then are a few steps which will definitely help you understand the rules while polishing.
i. Drive the car to a shaded area
Before starting the method, you need to drive your car to a shaded area. It will help it to cool down so you can start the method easily. It is recommended to do the polishing on a cool car, when the car is left out in the sun for too long, avoid this method until it cools down at least for two hours.
ii. Wash your vehicle
The first thing you need to do is wash the car thoroughly to remove all the dirt. Rinse it with hand or use a two bucket method for washing. Both will be fine.
iii. Prepare all your supplies
Before starting the process, you need to collect different supplies.
- A high-grade polishing cutting compound
- A medium grade polishing cutting compound
- A light grade polishing cutting compound
- Different polishing pads
- Machine microfiber polishing pads
- An electric polisher
- Low pile towel
iv. Get a damp pad
A little damp pad is required for polishing; apply the compound on the decided area or section of the body panel. The pad will spin on the surface of the vehicle. But make sure to avoid the swirl marks as it will look untidy and also difficult to remove. Constant pressure should be applied throughout the other sections as well.
v. Rinse the foam pad
Where ever you feel the need to clean the pad, rinse it right away. This will help to avoid any negative contact with the compounds.
vi. Wet the vehicle before starting the process
After you are done with the polishing pad, wet the car with fresh water before using the high-grade cutter compound. The wet surface helps you to avoid any scratches or penetrating too deeply.
vii. Step down to cutting levels
When you are done with the first application of high-grade cutting compound step down to the medium one and at last come to the lowest grade or finishing polish. In the polishing method, it is difficult to analyze that you have finished the process.
You should know that how the vehicle looks after removing the ceramic coating. Once the coating is removed, it looks more sticky and tacky. So the people who think that it should look more smooth, slippery, and shiny, they are given the wrong information.
Let’s wrap up
Your vehicle is the most precious thing to you. You cannot imagine damaging it by intention. Removing a ceramic coating has never been an easy task. It requires focus, patience, the right way to do the task, and following the steps carefully. A single mistake can lead to a dangerous result. You should have some basic knowledge about paints, coatings, gadgets, and other products.
Removing a ceramic coating is considered to be like a puzzle. The wax can be easily removed with just claying and polishing. Ceramic coatings require three polishes to be removed or at least medium polish.
You should better call a professional or your manufacturer to know the expert’s recommendation. There are few manufacturers who remove the ceramic coating without harming the clear coat of paint.
Nobody will ever want to do a hard job to lose something that much precious to him. So if you are ready to do this job, you should follow the above steps to remove the ceramic coating from the surface of your vehicle. This will surely enable you to achieve a positive result that will satisfy you.