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Choosing the Best Vehicle Surface Protection: Paint Protection Film or Ceramic Nano Coatings? (Part 3)


As a professional detailing shop in Northern New Jersey, Signature Detailing retains many clients who are car enthusiasts and therefore take their car care very seriously. Often these owners routinely ask our advice on “what is the best means of surface protection for their vehicle”. Since this is such a common inquiry for detailing services, I thought it’s important to devote a series of three articles, which will highlight the strengths of each type of vehicle surface protection dependent on the owner preferences, driving habits, and viability of the protection type. These articles will serve as a guide for those who are searching for the best protection for their vehicle based on their situation.

The first article will explore Paint Protection Film and its general protection options. The second article will delve into Ceramic Nano Coatings and the type of surface protection they provide. And the final article will discuss how a hybrid approach of combining Automotive PPF and Ceramic Nano Coating could possibly be the best choice for a vehicle. To view all of the articles in this series, click here!

In this third and final part of this series, the benefits of a hybrid approach – combining both the protection aspects of Paint Protection Film and Ceramic Nano Coatings will be discussed in order to offer yet another automotive surface solution which might suit your vehicle needs best.

BMW M3 for Xpel Ultimate PPF & Glass Coating at Signature Detailing Hillsborough Township NJ
This BMW M3 has combine full Front end protection with Xpel Ultimate PPF and a Ceramic Nano Coating for both front-end impact resistance and full body beauty and ease of maintenance.

Combining Paint Protection Film with Ceramic Nano Coatings Meets Most Driver Surface Protection Needs

Typically for a combination of this sort, the PPF is applied to either the full front clip: hood, bumper, fenders, and side view mirrors. However, depending on the type of vehicle and finish, sometimes an enhanced front clip is protected with PPF. This would include the full front clip, A-pillars, rocker panels, and partial or full roof.

With these areas protected by the PPF, more than ~80% of potential road impacts will be avoided. Next, a ceramic nano coating would then applied over all painted surfaces AND also over the PPF in order to impart an even finish to all surfaces and to help create that hydrophobic effect of the coating from the high surface tension environment. Note: Some coating manufacturers have coatings which are specifically engineered for paint protection film while others advocate a certain coating to be used on film.

Benefits of the Hybrid Protection Approach with PPF + Ceramic Nano Coatings

  • PPF is costly; so, by protecting only the most vital impact areas the overall cost can be kept down.
  • If all services are performed by one detailing business, they can be taken care of in a single trip.
  • Also, if done by the same shop paint correction can precede PPF, making for a better finish.
  • A Vehicle protected by both PPF & Ceramic Coating has the best of both worlds when it comes to Impact, UV, Chemical, and Environmental Protection, not to mention the simple maintenance aspects of the coating.

Signature Detiling NJ - Mustang GT530R PPF & Ceramic Nano Coating Service
The rear badge area of this Mustang GT530R was protected with PPF & Ceramic Nano Coating because this high traffic area has a ridiculously soft material.

How to Choose Between Paint Protection Film, Ceramic Nano Coating, or Both

So, while there is no substitution for PPF as the best type of surface protection for impacts, Ceramic Nano Coatings do provide some durable and impressive types of protection for vehicle surfaces while also helping to keep them cleaner longer and reduce the time and effort of maintenance washing.

Therefore, when choosing vehicle surface protection a vehicle owner first needs to know the type of protection, they want for the specific areas of their vehicle.

Here is a quick checklist to see where your vehicle surface preferences lie.

For your vehicle surface do you want or need:

  • Impact Protection? If YES –  PPF should strongly be considered.
  • Chemical, UV protection, with a more durable protective ceramic layer on areas without PPF that will also be simpler to clean? If yes, then Ceramic Nano Coatings are a viable option.
  • BOTH Impact Protection, Ceramic Coating Protection & Ease of Maintenance? If Yes to BOTH, look into Impact Protection with PPF and then coating the remainder of the vehicle and the film with a coating.

Hopefully, this article has proved useful to help explain the protection benefits of both Paint Protection Film and Ceramic Nano Coating technologies.

  • Vehicle Owner Tolerance for Paint Chips, Nicks, and Normal Driving Wear
  • Overall Budget for Surface Protection
  • Overall Goal for the Vehicle (leasing, buying, show car, track car)
  • Love for the Vehicle in Question
  • Vehicle Owner Meticulousness Level
  • Hopefully, some of these examples have helped clarified preferences in the reader’s minds throughout this series. No matter which surface protection option(s) are chosen, remember it is as important (if not more) to seek a highly skilled and customer service oriented craftsman to do the work as it is to find a quality product. If you can find a detailing shop that provides both services, talk to them about the options as well. More information is always better for any sort of decisions.

    Gregory Gellas
    Signature Detailing
    Hillsborough, NJ 08844
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