Top 8 Best Ceramic Coatings
By | Last updated: July 16, 2020
best ceramic coatings

There’s an urban myth amongst gearheads that a clean car runs better. Whether or not it’s true, we can’t say. However, why take that chance? Best to keep your ride in spic-n-span shape.

Most of us have an arsenal of automotive cleaning supplies hanging around the garage or back closet but we’re willing to bet a smaller percentage have actual ceramic coating material on hand. This stuff is designed to give your car’s finish that deep and rich shine which always seems to appear prominently on those infernal YouTube ads that pop up at the most inopportune time.

Digging through Amazon, we’ve found a neat octet of options, ranging from quick and affordable to time-consuming and costly. Now, go see if one of them makes your car run better.

1. Editor's Choice: Shine Armor Fortify Quick Coat

Your author is generally suspicious of products marketing themselves as ‘all-in-one’, as this moniker generally means the stuff is good at everything but great at nothing. However, with the most reviews of just about any product ever featured in this series (10k+) counting for a solid 4.4 out of 5-star rating, the masses have clearly spoken.

The seller calls it an all-in-one (there’s that term!) ceramic coating hydrophobic spray. It is a ceramic car wax that provides a waterless wash, coat, and shine … all in one convenient product of course. They assert that it also works as a sealer to give your vehicle a clear shield of protection while also providing a beautiful gloss.

Pros/Positive reviews from an overwhelming sample size
Cons/Not a huge bottle
Bottom Line/An all-day spray

2. Drexler Ceramic Coating Kit

If you’re looking for a more specialized product to complete this job, a kit such as this from Drexler is probably what you have in mind. Purporting to leave your car with a healthy shine for up to three years, these people have clearly never spent time in the windswept environs of rural Utah or in the salty fog of a coastal town.

Nevertheless, this product applies a pair of coatings to your car’s paint, showing up in the form of a base coat and a top coat spray. This surely helps contribute to the three-year claim. Requiring much more work than a simple spritz, the kit comes with everything you need for a pleasant afternoon of caring for the paint on your car.

Pros/Long life, excellent results
Cons/Book a day off
Bottom Line/An investment of time and money

3. Turtle Wax Hybrid Solutions Ceramic Spray Coating

This brand has been around for, what, close to a century? Your author remembers it being one of the first car care products he ever saw, purchased by a family friend who took fastidious care of their then-new mid-80s Jeep CJ-7. Turtle Wax has moved far beyond those ‘paste in a green can’ days, now marketing products like this ceramic spray coating.

To use this stuff, simply spray it on a clean and dry car. Then, spread and remove the spray with a folded microfiber cloth. Turtle Wax recommends, for best performance, that the paint be free of contaminants by using a clay bar or compound prior to application.

Pros/You know the name, easy spray
Cons/Bouts of dangerous nostalgia
Bottom Line/Quickly add a mirror-like shine

4. Adam’s CS3 Clean, Shine, Protect

Adam’s Polishes have, in a relatively short amount of time, been able to worm their way into the wash bays and detail centers across our nation. They offer high-quality products in plain packaging that, quite literally, does what it says on the label. This is refreshing in a world oversaturated with gonzo marketing.

Here we have a product that combines a waterless wash & car wax spray, coat and shine polish, and water-based ceramic coating hydrophobic spray all in one convenient spray. Infused with fancy-sounding ceramic nano-coating silica technology, it acts as a sealer and armor to create a shiny finish.

Pros/Safe on many surfaces (wheels, glass, chrome, metal)
Cons/Only a 12oz bottle
Bottom Line/Go for the 16oz bottle or gallon jug

5. Migliore Strata Coating

Packaged in a box that looks for all the world like something would find on the shelves of a high-end department store (remember them?), this product from Migliore sounds Italian and has the Tricolore branding to match. A quick Google search reveals that, in fact, the word means ‘best’ in Italian.

The stuff is, however, made right here in America. Connecticut, in fact. Said to provide a year’s worth of shine, it provides durable protection against salt and bird droppings and other various road debris. Its ceramic particles provide UV resistance, while an extreme water sheeting profile helps protect paint against washed-induced marring.

Pros/Great results, made right here
Cons/Very expensive
Bottom Line/Molti soldi

6. Epic Elements Protect Ceramic Coating

The manufacturers of this product call it the quickest ceramic coating for cars that comes in a spray form. Like some others on this list, it goes on just like any car wax spray by taking the Karate Kid approach – wax on and wax off (with a clean microfiber towel, of course).

According to the bumf, and the sky-high 4.8 out of 5-star rating from nearly 1000 customers, Epic Elements is safe on paint, windows, and headlights while adding armor & shield to the surface of your entire vehicle. In short, it’s a powerful hybrid ceramic wax car sealant wrapped up in one hydrophobic spray.

Pros/Easy application, very highly recommended
Cons/What size is that bottle again???
Bottom Line/Quick and slick

7. Nano Bond Ceramic Coating Pro

Nano Bond calls this Pro version of their product an all-new deal, featuring their latest formula that contains more strength and increased durability compared to their old stuff. They promote it as providing an excellent high gloss effect for the better part of two to three years.

Like others, this ceramic coating protects paint from scratches, chips, dust, and other assorted crud you’re likely to encounter on a daily basis. As a side note, they’re one of the only ones to assert their product helps reduce paint transfer, handy in big cities where some people are careless with their bumpers.

Pros/Includes an applicator
Cons/Ad is rife with confidence-eroding spelling errors
Bottom Line/Definitely get this if your last name is Bond

8. Nasiol ZR53 Nano Ceramic Coating

Rounding out our octet of options is this very expensive kit from a company called Nasiol. Its simple application is said to save time, with only one coating needed to achieve ‘maximum durability and armor’. It is promoted as capable of bonding to all types of car paint and lasting at least 3 years.

The coating can be applied on car paint, plastic trims, and bumpers. This means you can attack your vehicle using a clean microfiber towel with reckless abandon, compared to the days when you had to be careful not to get ‘that stuff’ on anything other than a painted surface.

Pros/One step for a gloss effect
Cons/Wallet-hoovering price
Bottom Line/Big money for a small bottle

From time to time, TTAC will highlight automotive products we think may be of interest to our community. Plus, posts like this help to keep the lights on around here. Learn more about how this works.

(Editor’s note: This post is meant to both help you be an informed shopper for automotive products but also to pay for our ‘90s sedan shopping habits operating expenses. Some of you don’t find these posts fun, but they help pay for Junkyard Finds, Rare Rides, Piston Slaps, and whatever else. Thanks for reading.)

[Main photo credit: KULLAPONG PARCHERAT / Product images provided by the manufacturer.]

6 Comments on “Big Shiny Cars: Best Ceramic Coatings...”

  • avatar

    A ceramic coating is only as good as the initial prep work done before applying. Proper cleaning, decontamination and paint prep go a long way towards assuring a proper application and longevity of any coating. Some “hybrid” ceramics have little actual ceramic…but having said that, as a former semi-pro detailer, I found the new line of Turtle Wax (yeah…those guys) surprisingly effective and affordable. I just wouldn’t advertise it as being a full ceramic coating!

    • 0 avatar

      Yep the Turtle Wax stuff works pretty good. Spray on, wipe off, very little effort required. No more effort then drying your car really. Even my 80 year old father was impressed since there was no traditional wax on / wax off elbow grease. Once applied water just beads up and rolls off the car, plus leaves a decent glossy shine with no streaks (as long as you don’t let it dry in place).

      I’ve tried the Meguiars Ceramic spray and its terrible. That stuff is sticky and took multiple coats before I saw any effect. It never added any pop to the surface either, so I’d rate it as worse then traditional wax. Its claim to fame is you apply and remove it WET vs the standard on wet then buff dry. Weird stuff… not a fan sorry.

      And your correct – the Turtle Wax is not really a true ceramic coating, its more like a ceramic-lite infused spray. However the stuff is pretty durable if you watch those various YouTube detailing channels. Its pretty much the only stuff I use now as I’ve grown tired of collecting various disappointing and over-hyped products.

  • avatar

    In my old age I’m getting lazy and tired and don’t have time for all-day buffing. My goal is that when I wash (which is not enough…) to try to wax just a few body panels and keep track. Been thinking of trying some of this stuff and dispensing with my old-skool habits.

  • avatar

    If TTAC is going to hawk products for money (not faulting you, everyone has to earn a living), couldn’t you guys at least USE the stuff instead of writing “the seller asserts…”? How are these things “ranked” when it’s obvious you’re just reading and paraphrasing the ad copy? Any professional detailers on this site who can give us some actual hands-on experience with these or other products?

  • avatar

    If you are going to spend big dollars on a ceramic coating, get it professionally done by a detail shop that knows paint correction and proper application techniques. Dont do a full ceramic coat in your driveway, it will almost always be less effective. If its a DIY, use the Turtle Wax ceramic product, its cheap and effective for the price.

  • avatar

    My biggest improvement to protecting the paint on my cars has been using clay bar to prep the surface. I once a year use Zaino, which after clay bar is two polishes, plus two gloss enhancers, which is about a five hour process (which includes dry time). Then following washes, I’ll reapply one of the gloss enhancers. As a result, I have older vehicles that people assume that I’ve had repainted as they look so good.

    I only see that Turtle Wax recommends to clay bar? What do the others say to do to prep the paint? I remember the old days when I’d just wax a car and wax over anything that didn’t wash off (which was typically a lot!). Clay bar is totally worth the time and should be added to the prep work for whatever products one uses.

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