Ceramic Coatings Or Wax Sealants?

Whether you’ve practiced boat detailing for years or are just getting started, getting the most bang for your buck is likely one of the first factors you consider when browsing products. Still, with so many options available on the market, it can be difficult to narrow down the best choices amongst the crowd.

Ceramic coatings and wax sealants fall into this category, as you will soon find a diverse range of methods to help protect your boat’s surface. So, which of the two are best for your needs and — most importantly — provide the most value for their price? Keep reading to find out.

What is a Wax Sealant?

These items almost always contain natural waxes as an ingredient and, as the name suggests, act as a sealant for surfaces. Some users enjoy it for its “natural” appearance since it sits on top of paint rather than bonding to it.

The Pros

  • Aesthetic: High-quality wax paint sealants can make even the plainest paint job look gorgeous thanks to their rich, deep appearance that masks imperfections and enhances colors.
  • Application: These are also fairly easy to get the hang of, as the application only requires minimal equipment and can be completed fairly quickly.

The Cons

  • Durability: Unfortunately, wax products are not known for being particularly durable, as high temperatures and harsh detergents can cause them to evaporate.

What are Ceramic Coatings?

A product of advanced coating chemistry, ceramic coatings are made using a combination of elements and microscale nanoparticles. The hydrophobic properties in ceramic coatings provide superior protection against natural elements like water spots, bug splatters, bird droppings, and more. As one of the more innovative detailing options out there, these products are always evolving to fill different needs — though they remain a powerful solution for simple paint protection.

The Pros

  • Durability: Ceramic coatings offer an extra layer of protection that other detailing products fail to accomplish. If you want a clear, hard barrier that’ll defend your surfaces from any type of damage, this is the way to go.
  • Aesthetics: Fortunately for us, ceramic coatings don’t sacrifice beauty for power. You can still expect to receive a dazzling gloss finish that improves the appearance of your paint — and keeps it that way.

The Cons

  • Application: You’ll need to put in work to take advantage of all these benefits, as the application process for ceramic coating requires some skill. Some products might have specific techniques to follow, timing requirements, and more. Still, it’s more than worth the effort.

Type of Coating

There are a lot of ceramic coatings on the market right now, so it’s tough to decide which is best. We’ve tested many of these products, and the three that always impress our detailers the most are Liquid Thor, Repel Pro, and Liquid Kraken. We’ll break down some of the best features of each below.

Liquid Thor

The Liquid Thor nano-ceramic coating is one of the easiest ceramic coats to apply. It has a great work time and won’t dry out, allowing you all the time in the world to get it applied perfectly. During the application process, tons of nanoparticles and UV inhibitors will chemically bond to the surface of your boat, locking onto the gel coat, marine paint, glass, or other surfaces to offer an additional protective layer against even the harshest of elements. The water beading on exterior surfaces after applying this product makes it all worth it.

Repel Pro

Best used in areas where the finest boat surface protection is required, Repel Pro offers true 9H hardness, which will come in handy if your boat is put to the test. A guarantee is offered when using Repel Pro with marine paint, but even gel coats will enjoy 2-3x more durability than other polymer-based sealants. For even better results, consider pairing this coating with Starke Replenish Silica Spray.

Liquid Kraken

With roughly 12-24 months in between coats, we love the Liquid Kraken ceramic coating because of its longevity and hydrophobic effects. Additionally, it has a high concentration of graphene oxide, which creates an impressive layer of protection that is one atom thick. With Liquid Kraken on board, you’ll notice a reduction in water spots by about 50%, and if that doesn’t make it all worth it, then nothing will.

Interested in learning more about ceramic coatings? Check out my step-by-step tutorial!

The Consensus

Though users will have no trouble making the most out of either option, ceramic coatings hold an edge over wax sealants thanks to their unrivaled durability.

Despite coming in at a higher upfront cost, the benefits provided by ceramic coatings can’t be overlooked. You’ll enjoy easier upkeep, impressive longevity, and stronger protection against light marring and scratches compared to traditional wax sealants. Ultimately, it is the best option for detailers searching for lasting results.

Still, keep in mind that no coating is entirely scratchproof. Continue following best cleaning practices to avoid salt/sun damage and to continue getting the most value from your detailing products. Prevention and regular maintenance will offer you the most durable protection from UV damage.

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