Given some of the flagship products of our brand, you’d think that this would’ve been one of the first topics to be addressed by us… We need to remember at times that even though we apply these coatings day in and day out, not everyone has the same experience and some of you might even be looking to try applying a coating for the first time. That being said, I’d like to talk a little bit about how to properly install a ceramic coating because although it has become much easier over the years, there is still a right way and a wrong way.
It’s All In The Prep
The most crucial part of any ceramic coating installation is the work that you perform prior to the installation. Depending on the condition of the vehicle, that could be anything from a full decontamination wash and 3-step polish to a simple 1-step polish with a prep wipe down. The latter is typically only the case when you have a vehicle that is brand new or for something like a collector car that rarely ever sees contaminants, but it’s still important to take a look at the vehicle you’ll be working on to determine just how thorough of a prep stage is necessary.
For the sake of this blog, we’ll assume that you were lucky enough to just take delivery of a brand-new vehicle from the dealership with minimal defects. Regardless if the vehicle is brand new or 30 years old, I still always advise performing a decontamination wash since even in transit from the factory, cars can accumulate all sorts of contamination during the trip overseas or via railroad so it’s always best to give it a proper wash before beginning your process – and I certainly don’t mean letting the dealership “wash” the vehicle, because we all know how that ends.
Stay tuned for a more in-depth walkthrough of paint correction in the future, but for right now let’s say you (somehow) have a near-flawless finish and just want to do a quick 1-step around the vehicle. Q²M Primer is an excellent pre-coating polish that has become the favorite of nearly everyone that I have ever had use it. It is commonly referred to as a “jeweling” polish, and the name is honestly quite self-explanatory. It is a pre-coating polish that contains a very fine abrasive, but it is also paired with SiO2. Using Primer will help correct minor imperfections and “jewel” the paintwork for maximum clarity and a swirl-free finish. With Primer, there are two ways it can be utilized – the first is to completely polish the vehicle, wipe off all residue, and then leave the car overnight. After 12 hours, you can then crack open your favorite coating and get right to it. The alternative would be that after using Primer, wait 15-20 minutes and then give the vehicle a quick wipe with Prep. Once complete, you should have one glossy ride that is ready to be sealed in with an EVO coating of your choice. I’ll talk more about compounds, polishing, and prepping in a future blog, but for now, let’s get to the main course – applying the ceramic coating.
Things To Do & Things To Watch For
GYEON EVO coatings are all going to be exceptionally easy to use and provide remarkable protection from just a single layer of product. Picking up a coating or a coating kit from us will contain everything you need to have a successful installation experience. First, understanding the differences between the coatings that we offer is what will help you have a safer, more enjoyable coating experience. With the exception of Mohs EVO, all of our coatings are going to be SiO2 based – this is important to know, and I’ll explain why once we get to that section. Mohs EVO is going to be an industry-first formula that was pioneered by us – a fluoro-modified polysilazane. The two bases we offer are what is going to directly impact what to look for when applying and removing the coating.
Let’s use Pure EVO for our first example – Pure EVO is a SiO2 base coating as the name would suggest, and it carries the highest amount of it available in a consumer-grade coating. SiO2 is going to be what most traditional ceramic coatings are built around and it provides a thick, glossy layer of coating. When applying Pure EVO, use the included double-sided microfiber applicator with whichever side you prefer ( Suede or microfiber) and load up with some product. On the first initial application, you’ll want to “prime” the applicator with coating. Contrary to the rest of the industry, there is no real rime or reason to application method – if you prefer circular motions then apply in circular motions, but if you prefer traditional crosshatch then feel free to do so as well. The main goal here is to build an even layer of product on the surface without overworking it. I always recommend starting with an area about shoulders-width wide and then either work larger or smaller depending on your application environment and what works for you. Once you’ve got a layer on the surface, SiO2 is going to be the formula base that will give you the “rainbow flash” that you’ve likely seen or heard about before. It’s important to know that you don’t necessarily need to wait for this effect to be visible, but instead, look/wait for the best removal time for your environment. Somewhere dry and warm like Nevada will have a vastly different removal timeframe than somewhere humid and wet like Louisiana or Georgia. The initial bond between coating and panel takes place within the first 5 seconds of coating being on the panel – the reason we leave it on longer is to allow the solvent carriers to flash and evaporate out for a smoother removal on towel feel. While you certainly can remove the excess after 15-20 seconds, you’ll likely need several towels, as they will become saturated with all of the remaining material quite quickly.
When you’re ready for removal, I like to recommend something low-pile like a Q²M BaldWipe EVO to quickly level any excess and then follow up with something plush and absorbent like a Q²M SoftWipe EVO. The SoftWipe is going to pick up any remaining residue that may have been left behind by your initial wipe, and it’s always best to check adjacent panels when performing your second wipe-off. More often than not, you can push excess coating onto nearby panels when doing your initial leveling of the coating. Once you’ve completed wiping down the surface with both towels, it’s crucial to always check your work using reflected/diffused light or with a portable shop light. This is going to make high spots easier to catch and correct before the coating fully cures.
Mohs EVO is going to hold a bit of a different application experience, and I must say that it has quickly become the favorite of many due to the slickness that the formula brings. With Mohs EVO being a polysilazane base, you’ll lose out on the traditional rainbow removal indicator, but what you get instead is much more visual. The indication that Mohs EVO is ready to be removed is that the coating will quite literally “flash” before your eyes, and you’ll see the product begin to bead on itself – you’ll hear us refer to this as the coating beginning to “sweat”. Essentially what is happening is that the base layer has formed, bonded, and has already begun to repel the remaining material left on the surface… which is impressive if I do say so myself. Mohs EVO applies in the same way as the other coatings in the lineup in terms of priming the applicator and using a motion that suits you. Upon removal, you’ll immediately notice the slickness that Mohs EVO brings to the table by just the towel feeling alone. Using the same towel configuration I mentioned above, you should be left behind with a crystal-clear surface that is remarkably slick to the touch. Now that I’ve briefly talked about both of our flagship coatings if you’d like to know more about them in a head-to-head battle, I’ve done a previous blog entry on exactly that – it can be viewed here.
We at GYEON truly feel confident enough to say that our new EVO coating lineup is amongst the easiest ceramic coatings to apply and are constantly researching new ways to enhance the experience. Ultimately, there’s no need to be intimidated by a ceramic coating as long as you take the necessary steps and focus on the process. If you’re someone who prefers to watch and learn, our brand ambassador, Yves, has made an episode on our YouTube Series “The Detailing Guru” about this exact topic – If you’d like to watch it, head over to this link to check it out! Now that you have the basic knowledge of applying a GYEON ceramic coating, which one will you choose? Check out our YouTube channel for guides on each coating in the lineup and follow our Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok for future content and announcements. Get out there, get those cars coated, and most importantly enjoy the weather!