Updated: Jan 19
This walkthrough is designed to help you with a Panel Prep. This is in preparation for Installing a DIY Ceramic Coating. If you are looking to take care of an existing coating; please refer to this post on "How to Clean Your Ceramic Coating at Home" - If you haven't read the preceding parts of this guide I suggest start here "Part 1: Wash and Decontamination" and "Part 2: Polish and Paint Correction"
Alright now that housekeeping is done - let's crush this final step before installing your DIY Ceramic Coating. This is the easiest part of the entire process - it does however require a bit of attention to detail to really knock it out of the park.
Supplies Needed to Panel Prep Your Vehicle:
2-4 High GSM Microfiber Towels
Panel Prep Spray
Step-by-Step Guide: How to Panel Prep Your Vehicle
Put on your gloves. The reason for gloves is not any danger in the prep chemicals, but rather the purpose of this prep step is to remove oil / grease from the surfaces receiving your DIY Ceramic Coating. Setting a hand down (without gloves) on a panel you just cleaned... well, it would get tiresome having to redo your work.
Spray one panel at a time with your preferred panel prep. (Less is more - within reason.)
Quarter a High GSM Microfiber and buff off the panel prep solution.
Look at the panel from a couple different angles to ensure you don't see fingerprints, polish or any other oils on the surface.
Repeat Steps 2-4 until vehicle is completed
I then suggest doing one final wipe of the entire vehicle with a separate brand new microfiber. No prep spray - just a gentle dry "insurance" wipe.
Pro Tip - You can use a 50/50 Mix of Distilled Water and Isopropyl Alcohol (90%+) in a spray bottle to save a couple dollars over "prep" spray
In Conclusion: I cannot stress this enough - this final panel prep step is the make or break on longevity for your DIY Ceramic Coating. Ceramic Coatings bond to the clear coat, oil and grease creates a weak bond. Most DIY Ceramic Coatings are rated for a one to two year lifetime. Poor prep will cut this in half - tedious prep has the potential to extend the life of the coating beyond the manufacturer's rating.
As mentioned in the original post "Can Ceramic Coating be Done at Home?" - I will not be posting a specific step by step guide for installing the actual DIY Ceramic Coatings. There is large variance in flash times and this is a crucial part of the process. The manufacturer should have provided some form of instruction with your kit. If you have questions you are still welcome to reach out. I will also be writing a future post on How Kings Valet Installs Ceramic Coating. Once I have written that I will link it here. It will be generally the same - but remember... follow YOUR manufacturer's directions, not mine.
As always have a blessed day! If you have something you want to see covered in the blog in a future post - I am an email or call away: firstname.lastname@example.org or 574.347.4445.
PS If you have made it this far... I am assuming you don't need Ceramic Coating from us at Kings Valet. However, in the instance you are the 1% that read the whole guide and hate the idea of doing this yourself... Learn More about Lifetime Ceramic Coating by Kings Valet Here