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Ford Falcon Coupe

Which is the best paint protection?

The more research you do, the more confusing it seems to become. There are many, many different brands of paint protection, all claiming to do various things.

Whether its protection from the elements, UV rays, fading, bird droppings, scratch proof, environmental contamination… even being bullet proof (!!!) the list goes on.

This is when it becomes important to do your homework. Try and weed out the hype (perhaps being bullet proof may be high on the red flag list?) with the actual truth. This coupled with your expectations, budget and how you treat the car should be a good foundation to base a decision.

In this blog post we will go through the following:

  1. The different types of paint protection.
  2. Shouldn’t I just get my paint protection done by the car dealer?
  3. How long does paint protection last?
  4. How do I choose which paint protection to use?
  5. Does the car need polishing before applying a paint protection?
  6. What paint protection does Whitworth’s Automotive Polishing use?

Mazda CX9 after paint protection package applied

What different types of paint protection are there?

There are essentially two different types of paint protection: Firstly there is PTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene, a synthetic sealant commonly known as wax or Teflon) or as we call it acrylic paint protection and secondly, a coating usually made up of nanoparticles derived from SI01 Silica which is generally called ceramic paint protection, glass or quartz coating.

How many different types of paint protection is there?

As for how many different types are out there, my guess would be thousands.

And each manufacturer claims theirs is the best, of course.

No wonder people get confused! At the end of the day it’s important to also check out the company who is applying the product…. This can be just as important as the product they use. Are they reputable? Friendly? Professional? What are their reviews like and what have other people said about them? Do your own research too. You don’t need to be an expert on paint protection, that’s their job. The company, and the person you are dealing with, should know their stuff.

White Mustang

Shouldn’t I just get the car paint protection done by the car dealer? That seems easier to me!

So you have just purchased a car, it’s exciting!… and expensive.

Probably your second most expensive asset over and above your house so you want to make sure you get that paint protected so it lasts and doesn’t show its age.

Classic Chevvy with System-X paint protection package

Let me paint you a little picture…. think of a classic car, perhaps a nice black, gold trimmed 1957 Chevrolet. It looks sleek, shiny… brand new even. Yet it is over 60 years old. Age is only a number if you look after it. So much of that tell-tale signs of aging is in the paintwork. This is the cosmetic side of the car. Paint doesn’t help it drive faster, nor handle better (especially in a Chevvy of this age!) but people are visual creatures and the condition of your car’s paint will affect the re-sale value in future.

So getting back to car dealers, the main problem is they will outsource their paint protection so you may not know who exactly is going to apply it.

Car dealers will add a commission on top of the price you are paying, this is how they make their cut. You also may not know what type of paint protection they are using on your car. It’s important to know who is applying the paint protection because if you have any issues with it in the future then you know who to go to.

Blue Tesla after paint protection applied

Does the company the car dealer choose polish the car before applying the paint protection? Yes, if it’s a band new car it won’t need swirl or scratch removal BUT the paintwork should still be prepared. Whether that’s a decontamination or a gloss enhancing polish. This preparation sets the standard of paint underneath the paint protection, the shine of the car and whatever is on the surface (especially if the paint is not prepared properly) is then sealed in under the coating. Not to mention if the paint is prepared properly it will allow for optimum coating adhesion, essentially making sure it will last as long as possible. More on paint preparation later in the blog….

This is when it’s handy to do your own homework, source your own paint protection applicator. Most of the time with any new car purchase you are not getting the vehicle straight away. So you have time to shop around. You can find out that right person, if they have good reviews and a reputable business behind them. This is protecting the investment you just purchased and the paintwork is the first thing that will show the age of a car, so make sure you trust that person to protect it properly, and professionally.

Golden Kia 4x4

So how long does it really last?

The difference is firstly the hardness of the coating which will affect the longevity on your car. Some spray on waxes will last generally 3 – 6 months, but that said acrylic sealants have come a long way over the years, are stronger and better quality, and can last in excess of 10 years

Ceramic paint protection and glass coatings will obviously last much longer. Some for the lifetime of the car… depending of course how you treat your car. If you regularly put your car through lazer washes which use very harsh acidic chemicals to clean your car, or if you clean your car with a stiff broom, or regularly go 4WDing then it would be a miracle if any car ceramic coating would withstand this kind of battering. Ceramic coatings do however protect against UV rays, micro scratches (or swirl scratches from washing), environmental pollutants and contamination and can to a degree protect against bird droppings but you do need to remove these as soon as you see them as bird droppings are extremely acidic and start burning through even the ceramic straight away – but at least its not burning your paint!

A handy tip – keep a pack of wet wipes in the car specifically for bird droppings to get them off ASAP.

Silverato with System-X Ceramic Paint protection applied

Many ceramics do quote a lifetime warranty however to maintain this do need annual inspections to ensure the paint is in good condition and to check and maintain the car’s paint and ceramic health. This is a good feature, like having a check up at the dentist, ensuring the ceramic is performing it’s a good idea to get it checked by the professional who applied it. During these ‘check-ups’ the paint should be decontaminated from environmental contaminants that may not come off with the conventional bucket wash. But ask what their particular annual inspections involve. Use your common sense too – if you get a paint protection applied and you can walk away, use it however you want and never see them again and still have a lifetime warranty, I would be wondering why.

So how do I choose?

All paint protections will have their pros and cons. When choosing you have to consider how you will treat the car. Will it be parked in a garage or kept outside? Parked on the lawn with bore water spraying all over it three times a week? How long do you want to keep the car? Is it an every day driver or just a weekender? What’s my budget? Does it need scratch or swirl removal as well? These sorts of questions will give you a good starting point.

The decision will always be your own. Don’t let a trained car salesman bully or trick you into something where you don’t really know what you are getting or what you are paying for. Let your favourite professional walk you through what they are offering, how much it costs, how they prepare the car and what all that can do for you, your car and your particular situation. Remember to ask all your questions and make sure the polisher knows their stuff.

Before and After Car Polishing

Does the car need polishing before you apply the paint protection – even if it’s new?

If the car has rolled off the factory floor and is brand new chances are it won’t (hopefully!) need any swirl or scratch removal. However it’s always best to still prepare the paint before applying any car paintwork protection. How a business does this will vary depending on the product and the business, always ask this question. The paint preparation is an essential process which will dictate how the paint protection product will lock in a shine and gloss, as well as how well the protection will adhere to the car… this applies to any car paint protection. If there are imperfections in the paint and it is not prepared properly all you are doing is sealing and coating those imperfections – not ideal. The best paint protections out there will always look ten times better if applied to properly prepared paintwork.

Second hand cars will generally need some level of scratch and swirl removal from years of washing, environmental pollutants, dirt and grime build up… the list goes on. Do keep in mind this will make the paint protection service more expensive as it is an additional cost. If you do ask for a quote with a second hand car it helps to attach photos of the paint work, then the polisher knows what they are dealing with and what level of paint correction is required. It might not be as bad as you think, always ask.

Check out reviews

People don’t lie and neither do their reviews. Always make sure you check out any company’s reviews before you go ahead with their services. This applies for any company and any service you may be using. Perhaps check out reviews first before even making a phone call.

So which Paint Protection does Whitworth’s use?

We provide both ceramic and acrylic paint protection service. We also provide wheel, interior and glass protection as well as window tinting

So to sum up:

  • There is essentially two types of paint protection an acrylic, wax/teflon or a ceramic, glass or quartz coating.
  • Check out the company applying the product – their reviews, reputation and what their paint protection process is.
  • Car dealer’s paint protection will have a commission on top of the cost and they usually outsource so you might not know who is applying it.
  • Wax/teflon/acrylic sealant will last anywhere from 3 months to 10 years or longer.
  • Ceramic paint protection, glass or quartz coating can potentially last the lifetime of the car, depending on how you treat it.
  • How do I choose? Let a professional walk you through what they are offering, how much it costs, how they prepare the car and what all that can do for you, your car and your particular situation.
  • New cars wont generally need polishing to remove swirls and scratching, but second hand cars generally will need some level of polishing.
  • Ensure the cars paint work is properly prepared before applying any paint protection. We always high glaze polish the car so it has super shine and to aid in optimal coating adhesion.
  • Always check out a company’s reviews – they don’t lie.
  • Whitworth’s provide either an acrylic or ceramic paint protection. Along with wheels, interior and glass. 

Thank you for reading. Stay tuned for our regular blog posts coming up in future.

For more information on paint protection or what services we can provide you give Lee Whitworth a call on 0404 010 956 or you can check out our web page on ceramic paint protection or acrylic paint protection.