Can ceramic coating be applied to a car that has already been PPF’d?

  • February 9, 2024
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Part 1: The Essential Basics

Reminiscing about my first car, a beat-up ’89 Corolla, I remember how it shone after a thorough wash. In those days, the concept of car detailing was foreign to me. But as the years passed, I’ve learned to appreciate the science and art behind maintaining a car’s aesthetic appeal. One of the methods I’ve come to understand and appreciate is the application of Ceramic Coating and Paint Protection Film (PPF).

Ceramic Coating, for those in the dark, is a liquid polymer applied to a car’s exterior. Its magic lies in the chemical bonding with the vehicle’s paint, creating a layer of protection. This coating shields the paint from UV damage, acid rain, and even bird droppings, keeping your beloved chariot’s paint job sparkling for longer.

On the other hand, we have Paint Protection Film (PPF). It’s akin to a plastic wrap for your car, but way more high-tech. PPF is a thermoplastic urethane film applied to painted surfaces of a vehicle, protecting them from stone chips, bug splatters, and minor abrasions. It’s like a superhero’s shield, taking on the brunt of the world’s elements so your car doesn’t have to.

Part 2: The Process of Applying a Ceramic Coating

The first time I attempted to apply ceramic coating, it was a disaster. I ended up with an uneven coating, and my beautiful car looked like it had been in a fight with a bottle of glue. But, as with everything, practice makes perfect.

The application process of ceramic coating begins with a thorough cleaning of the vehicle. After that, the car must be dried completely. The coating is then applied with a microfiber cloth using a specific technique. The key to a successful application is to work in small sections, ensuring the coating is evenly spread.

The supplies required for this process aren’t too complicated; a ceramic coating kit, microfiber cloths, and a whole lot of patience. While anyone can apply ceramic coating, professional application is recommended for the best results.

Part 3: The Process of PPF Treatment

My first encounter with PPF was at a car show a few years ago. I was marveling at the pristine condition of the vintage cars when an owner let me in on the secret – they were all PPF’d.

Like ceramic coating, the process of PPF treatment starts with a clean, dry car. Then, the film is cut to fit the specific sections of the vehicle. The film is applied with a slip solution and squeegeed to remove any air bubbles.

The supplies for this process are a bit more specific – a PPF kit, a slip solution, a squeegee, and a heat gun. I would strongly recommend a professional application as the process can be a bit tricky.

So, the burning question, can ceramic coating be applied to a car that has already been PPF’d? The answer is a resounding yes. In fact, it’s a match made in heaven. The ceramic coating provides the gloss and hydrophobic benefits while the PPF provides the physical protection. It’s like having your cake and eating it too. The key here is to ensure the correct application process of the ceramic coating on the PPF to avoid complications.

In conclusion, protecting a vehicle’s paint is an art form, one that leads to the question of the benefits of PPF and ceramic coating. The answer is simple – the combination of both methods results in a car that stands up to the test of time and elements.

Can Ceramic Coating be Applied to PPF?

Paint Protection Film (PPF) and ceramic coating are both popular ways to protect your vehicle. But what happens when you want the benefits of both? Let’s dive in.

Expert Opinions

Most experts agree that ceramic coating can indeed be applied over PPF. This combination offers your car optimal protection from environmental factors such as UV rays, acid rain, bird droppings, and scratches. However, it’s crucial to entrust this task to a professional to ensure an even and flawless application.

Potential Risks

While combining PPF and ceramic coating can bring excellent results, there are potential risks. For instance, a poor application can lead to an uneven finish, reducing the aesthetics of your vehicle. Additionally, if the PPF is damaged, the ceramic coating can make it more challenging to replace.


Applying ceramic coating over PPF provides numerous benefits:

  • Enhanced Gloss: Ceramic coating adds a gleaming shine to your car, enhancing its overall look.
  • Improved Durability: Ceramic coating increases the lifespan of the PPF, offering prolonged protection.
  • Easy Maintenance: It repels dirt and water, making cleaning your car a breeze.

Best Practices for Applying Ceramic Coating on PPF

Pre-application Considerations

Before applying ceramic coating on PPF, ensure the surface is thoroughly cleaned. Any dirt or dust can interfere with the coating’s ability to properly bind with the PPF.

Application Process

Applying ceramic coating involves several steps. First, apply the coating evenly over the PPF using a sponge or applicator pad. Leave it to dry for a few minutes before buffing the surface with a microfiber cloth. This process may need to be repeated to achieve the desired level of protection.

Post-application Care

After application, avoid washing your car for up to a week. This allows the ceramic coating to fully cure and bond with the PPF, ensuring maximum protection and longevity.

The Impact of Ceramic Coating on PPF

Long-term Effects

Long-term, ceramic coating can significantly extend the lifespan of PPF by providing an additional layer of protection against environmental damage.


When applied correctly, ceramic coating offers exceptional durability. It forms a strong bond with the PPF, resulting in long-lasting protection that can withstand daily wear and tear.


Beyond protection, ceramic coating enhances your car’s aesthetics by providing a slick, glossy finish that amplifies the car’s color and shine.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can PPF and Ceramic Coating Coexist?

Yes, PPF and ceramic coating can coexist. In fact, applying ceramic coating on PPF can offer your car superior protection and a stunning finish.

Why Consider Applying Ceramic Coating on PPF?

Applying ceramic coating on PPF offers enhanced protection against environmental damage, extends the PPF’s lifespan, and leaves your car with a high-gloss finish.

How to Maintain a Ceramic Coated Car with PPF?

Maintaining a ceramic coated car with PPF is simple. Regular washing with a pH-neutral soap will keep your car looking its best. Also, consider a maintenance spray to reinforce the ceramic coating’s hydrophobic properties.

What are the Alternatives to Ceramic Coating on PPF?

If you’re looking for alternatives to ceramic coating on PPF, you might consider options like wax or sealant. However, these alternatives may not offer the same level of protection or longevity as ceramic coating.