Do I need ceramic coatings after a full PPF?

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When you invest in a full Paint Protection Film (PPF) for your vehicle, you’re already taking a significant step towards preserving your car’s exterior. PPF offers a robust shield against road debris, scratches, and environmental contaminants. However, many car enthusiasts and detailers, including us at OCDetailing NC, often recommend an additional layer of ceramic coating on top of PPF. Why? Because ceramic coatings can provide an extra layer of protection, enhance the gloss, and make maintenance easier. In this blog, we’ll explore the benefits of applying a ceramic coating after a full PPF and help you determine if it’s the right choice for your vehicle.

Ultimate protection with ceramic coatings

Ultimate protection with ceramic coatings

Understanding ceramic coatings

Ceramic coating is a silica-based liquid polymer applied by hand to a vehicle’s paint. After curing, it forms a durable protective layer that shields the paint from road debris, weather elements, and environmental contaminants. When properly maintained, ceramic coatings can last for several years, far outlasting traditional waxing and paint sealants. This advanced protection not only preserves the vehicle’s appearance but also reduces the need for frequent maintenance, making it a popular choice for car enthusiasts and professionals alike.

Ceramic coatings - "hero" protecting your car

Ceramic coatings – “hero” protecting your car

Understanding Paint Protection Film (PPF)

Paint Protection Film (PPF) is a transparent, durable film applied to a vehicle’s exterior surface to protect the paint from damage caused by rocks, debris, road salt, insects, and minor abrasions. PPF is made from a thermoplastic urethane material that offers exceptional clarity and self-healing properties.

Shield your vehicle from everyday hazards with Paint Protection Film (PPF)

Shield your vehicle from everyday hazards with Paint Protection Film (PPF)

Comparing PPF and ceramic coatings

Here is a comparison table between Paint Protection Film (PPF) and ceramic coatings:

FeaturesPaint Protection Film (PPF)Ceramic coatings
Protection levelHigh: Protects against rock chips, scratches, and minor impacts.Moderate: Protects against UV rays, chemical stains, and minor scratches.
Durability5-10 years, depending on quality and maintenance.2-5 years, depending on application and maintenance.
MaintenanceLow: Requires occasional washing and inspection.Moderate: Regular washing and periodic reapplication.
AppearanceInvisible with a glossy finish; some films offer matte options.Enhances gloss and depth of paint.
Application processProfessionally applied; involves cutting and fitting to vehicles.Professionally or DIY applied; involves multiple layers.
CostHigh: Typically more expensive due to material and labor.Moderate: Costs vary depending on product and application.
Self-healingYes, for high-quality films: minor scratches can heal with heat.No, scratches remain until reapplication.
Hydrophobic propertiesNo, it does not repel water.Yes, water and dirt repel off the surface.
Thickness6-8 mils (0.1524 – 0.2032 millimeters)2-3 microns (0.002 – 0.003 millimeters)
FlexibilityCan be applied to complex curves and edgesApplies evenly over the entire surface
UV protectionYes, protects paint from fading.Yes, protects paint from oxidation and fading.


By combining both PPF and ceramic coatings, you can enjoy the best of both worlds. The PPF will provide a robust shield against physical damage, while the ceramic coatings will enhance the film’s effectiveness by adding an additional layer of protection against environmental contaminants. Together, they offer comprehensive protection and stunning visual enhancement, ensuring your vehicle stays in showroom condition for years to come.

Do I need ceramic coatings after a full PPF?

Yes, applying ceramic coatings after a full PPF is beneficial for extra protection, easier maintenance, and enhanced gloss. However, it is unnecessary if your high-quality PPF already provides adequate protection and you are satisfied with its performance and appearance.

Benefits of applying ceramic coatings over PPF

Applying ceramic coatings over PPF offers many benefits, enhancing the protective qualities and aesthetic appeal of your vehicle. This combination provides an extra layer of defense against environmental contaminants, UV rays, and chemical stains, ensuring the PPF remains in optimal condition. The ceramic coating’s hydrophobic properties make it easier to clean and maintain your vehicle, reducing water spots and dirt accumulation. Additionally, it amplifies the gloss and depth of the paint, giving your car a stunning, mirror-like finish. By using both, you achieve unparalleled protection and beauty, keeping your vehicle looking pristine for years.

Read more: How long does car detailing take near Lumberton, NC?

Considerations before applying ceramic coatings over PPF

Before applying ceramic coatings over PPF, there are several considerations to keep in mind to ensure the best results:

PPF quality and condition:

  • Ensure the PPF is properly installed without bubbles, lifting edges, or imperfections.

Surface preparation:

  • Thoroughly clean and prep the PPF to remove any contaminants, residues, or oils that could affect the ceramic coating’s adhesion.


  • Use a ceramic coating product specifically formulated to bond with PPF, as not all coatings are suitable for this purpose.

Professional consultation:

  • Consult with a professional installer who has experience in applying ceramic coatings over PPF to ensure optimal results.

Cost and maintenance:

  • Consider the additional cost and ongoing maintenance involved with the combined application, and ensure it aligns with your vehicle care goals and budget.

Put your trust in OCDetailing NC for all your car protection needs!

Maintaining the beauty and performance of your car requires the utmost attention to detail, whether you’re driving a cherished, used vehicle or enjoying the luxury of a brand-new one, ensuring its longevity calls for expertise and care.

At OCDetailing NC in Lumberton, NC, we specialize in addressing the unique protection needs of every vehicle, from classic Ford Mustangs to the latest Tesla Model S. Our experts are committed to providing outstanding Paint Protection Film (PPF) and Ceramic Coating services tailored to meet the specific requirements of your car. Visit us at 2725 East 5th St, Lumberton, NC 28358, or contact us at (910) 816-0352 to discover how we can help protect and preserve your vehicle with our premium services.