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Product Review: Optimum Gloss-Coat

by

Optimum Polymer Technologies is a well known and respected brand among the detailing community.  They are perhaps most known for their Opti-Coat product that has been one of the industry leading paint coating products for years.  Without going into much detail, this product previously existed in two forms – a certified professional only product which is most recently known as “Opti-Coat Pro”, and a consumer based product which was called Opti-Coat 2.0.  Recently, Optimum had decided to completely discontinue their Opti-Coat 2.0 and introduce a new coating called Optimum Gloss Coat.

ATD | Optimum Gloss Coat

Opti-Coat 2.0’s claim to fame was its durable protection, however there were several characteristics that were in need of some minor tweaking.  Perhaps the most common comments about 2.0 was that it felt tacky on the surface after it had dried and that it was not as visually appealing as some other products.  Gloss Coat has set out to resolve these concerns by increasing gloss and surface slickness while still maintaining an impressive layer of protection on your paint, and my first impressions indicate that it has certainly succeeded.

The application process of Gloss Coat is nearly identical to Opti-Coat 2.0.  Prior to applying the coating, the paint should be properly corrected and then wiped with isopropyl alcohol or CarPro Eraser to eliminate any residual polishing oils.  Next, apply Gloss Coat to the applicator of your choice by squeezing several drops of product from the syringe.  Note that you may need many more drops initially in order to prime the applicator, but will not need nearly as much as you continue with application as there will be residual product on the face of the applicator.

Spread a thin layer of product onto the paint, working on one panel or section at a time.  When the product no longer spreads evenly, it is time to add more to the applicator.  The following photo shows a panel that had just been covered with Gloss Coat roughly 45 seconds prior to taking the picture.  You will notice that some of the product has already disappeared.  This is the “self leveling effect” of the product.  Flash time will vary with ambient temperature and humidity, so be aware of how the product is reacting based on your particular environment.

ATD | Optimum Gloss Coat

After another minute or so, the majority of the coating had flashed away on its own (I have not wiped away any residual product at this point), and only the heavier spots at the top and bottom of my strokes remained.  This is common as these areas where you start/stop your wiping usually have more built up product as it is not being spread out.

ATD | Optimum Gloss Coat

After another minute or so, even more of the product had disappeared.   At this point I decided that it had been long enough and I would have to level the remaining high spots.   I chose to use a new microfiber towel to lightly spread the remaining product so that it would disappear.  This was noticeably easier than the previous Opti-Coat 2.0 as the residual product wiped away without any issues and was not grabby or tacky feeling at all.

ATD | Optimum Gloss Coat

You’ll notice that the panel is now free of any residual product after quickly and easily leveling the remaining high spots.

ATD | Optimum Gloss Coat

This application process was repeated until the entire car had been coated.  I used approximately 5cc of product on this vehicle, applying generously, therefore there should be enough product to coat even a large vehicle in the 10cc syringe.  Afterwards, the paint was very glossy and had a nice slick feeling to it.  I think you’ll agree this car looks great!

ATD | Optimum Gloss Coat

The coating was left to cure for 24 hours, prior to spraying some water on the surface to capture this excellent beading shot.  Obviously I do not have any true indication of durability at this point, however Optimum claims a 2 year life for this new Gloss Coat, which will offer great protection and ease of maintenance throughout this lifetime.

ATD | Optimum Gloss Coat

My first impressions of this product are mostly positive as I feel Optimum has succeeded in improving several characteristics of their consumer based coating.  Gloss Coat is very easy to use, looks great, and has a nice slick feeling, but my only concern at this point is the relatively high price.  There are many consumer coatings that are available at lower price points and provide you with similar durability claims, great gloss, and more volume of product per bottle.  Certainly everyone will value these characteristics differently, so only you can decide if this product may be the best choice for you.  Ultimately, Gloss Coat should be another great option for the car owner who is seeking an easy to use paint coating to protect their vehicle from the environment.

Zach McGovern
Zach McGovern
Attention To Detailing Peoria
Peoria, IL
DetailPeoria.com/

56 comments on Product Review: Optimum Gloss-Coat

  1. Jerry Burdick says:

    What an outstanding review – thanks! Terrific writing and wonderful photos. Well done.

  2. Stan C. says:

    As with all of your reviews, great job and very informative. Thank you for sharing.

  3. Joe Cox says:

    Great results Zach!

    I also recently applied Gloss Coat to my black 2015 GMC Yukon, after what turned out to be a 20+ hour new car prep. I’ll admit I was a little apprehensive going into it, having been my very first coating application. However, the process was also quite easy for me, and I didn’t have too many high spots needing to be leveled out. I only had enough product for the body, as I had to leave out the roof, but I think that’s a given considering I had that much sheetmetal to deal with.

    A month into it, so far so good, especially given that it’s on a truck that’s used as a daily driver in Minnesota. I will be giving it a “tune-up” this weekend with some CarPro Reset and CarPro Reload, so it will be nice to see my (near)perfect paint again!

  4. John Gallardo says:

    thank you zach ! this product caught my eye…price and durability but i don’t have a garage or covered space. any thoughts ??? thanks for your time..john.

    • Hi John – I’d be wary of applying this outdoors unless you can be absolutely certain the vehicle will not get wet for about 24 hours after application. Also, you need to be able to apply in complete shade where the vehicle is cool to the touch. Once the product is applied, you can move the car into direct sunlight to allow the coating to bake in the sun… this may help to speed up curing times. Hope that helps… good luck!

  5. Great results Zach!

    I have used opti-coat 2.0 had great results. I like the way the coating flash almost all the way needs very little wiping to remove the high spots. 2.0 was lacking in slickness so i will give gloss coat a try. Thanks for help with all your product reviews.

  6. Roger Carlson says:

    Thanks for the great review! Would it be correct to say that Gloss Coat is easier to apply than most, if not all, other coatings? I have never applied a coating before and I would like my first venture to be with an easy to apply coating.

    • Hi Roger – Gloss Coat is certainly a very user friendly coating. Another great coating that is a breeze to apply is 22ple VX1 Pro. Let me know if you’ve got any further questions.

  7. Joe says:

    Thanks for the review!

  8. Joe says:

    Thanks for the review. Looks pretty easy to apply. I’ll probably try it in a couple of months, thanks!

  9. Robert says:

    Hi Zach, I previously applied opticoat 2.0 to my metallic black BMW X5 and after this long winter in QC I will have to correct the paint again. What would you recommend to use. Priority is resistance to swirls, slickness and water beading. Money for the product is not a concern.

    • Hi Robert, any of the paint coatings available here at Detailed Image will help to provide the benefits you are searching for. I personally really enjoy the 22ple VX1 Pro coatings as they are very easy to use, look great, and provide good protection while making maintenance easier. If you desire the ultimate slickness, I’d highly recommend topping the paint coating of your choice with CarPro Reload once the coating has cured. Reload will add additional protection and a lot more slickness as most coatings are not nearly as slick as a traditional wax or sealant is.

      • Robert V says:

        Hi Zach I’ve been recently offered the new 22ple pro2 or the new vx3. Have you heard of those new products and what is the difference between those and the old pro and vx1. What to do? Old or new

  10. Memo says:

    Hi Zach, i was wondering what you do with the microfiber towel that you used to spread the remaining product ? do you throw it away since the product in the towel will cure too ?
    what do you recommend to use for application?

    • Hey – I haven’t noticed gloss coat hardening either the applicator or microfiber towels, however it is a good idea to wash them immediately after use to ensure the coating does not harden on them. Inspect them afterwards to ensure they’re not crystalized at all. Again, I haven’t noticed this happening with Gloss Coat. I use CQuartz applicator blocks and suede cloths for applying all coatings. Let me know if you’ve got any other questions.

  11. Mike G says:

    Hi Zach. Great review. I just purchased some gloss coat to use. Do you think 10cc’s would be enough for a 2010-2012 Camaro?

  12. Phil Houck says:

    What about this product’s resistance to bird bombs and bug splats?

    • Hey Phil – all coatings will provide better resistance to those types of contaminates than traditional waxes or sealants, however nothing is bullet proof. Bird bombs and bug splatter should always be removed immediately.

  13. James S says:

    From your experience how is this products scratch resistance abilities and how does it compare against other coatings such as Quartz UK or Gtechniq C1? I would like to place this on some of my cars which have rather soft paint, so my hopes with this is to reduce the chances of micro marring, but another of my concerns is the difficulty to apply as I have never applied any coating of sorts so which would be easier to apply and are how easy are they to remove? I understand some coatings may require wet sanding and etc if applied incorrectly or what not, and frankly that worries me.

    • Hi James – I will never consider any coating to make a noticeable difference in scratch resistance. In my testing, if there is any resistance, it is negligible. If this is your only reason for wanting to try a coating, you will likely be let down as a coating will still be susceptible to swirls, scratches, and marring. It might help a little, but not a lot.

      As far as application – Gloss coat is very easy. 22ple VX3 is another one that is very user friendly. Those would be my top 2 choices for ease of use. In my experience, no coating will require wet sanding. I believe that to be “marketing hype”… we have removed high spots from all types of coatings easily with a traditional compound or polish.

      Let me know if you have any other questions.

      • James S says:

        Then in regards to application, I understand some coatings you have to use suede cloths or etc and after using the microfibers or suede for buffing you have to throw them out because of crystallization. If this the case for Gloss-Coat? Haha sorry about all the barrage of questions, it just rather difficult getting direct responses in regards to coatings

        • Hey James – we’re here to answer questions, so no apologies needed!

          We often use 2 towels for most coatings. The first towel is used to level the coating (suede towels can be used, but are not at all required), and the 2nd towel may be used to follow up for a light final wipe if needed later. Many manufacturers recommend either immediately soaking the towels in cleaning solution or throwing them away just to be safe as the product could theoretically harden and leave tiny crystals in the towel. I personally haven’t seen this happen, but better safe than sorry.

  14. James S says:

    When applying the product did you use the supplied applicator or use the carpro applicator with suede cloth method or etc? Also I know the you said that this and 22ple are one of the easiest coatings to apply and use, in your opinion, but do you think that it is easier because of the self leveling aspect in the coating? Because for other coatings such as Cquartz Uk I feel like there is more of a need to wipe and buff the product off where for Gloss-Coat and 22ple there is really only the need to buff off the high points.

    • I used the CarPro Applicator with the 4″ suede towel. We use this applicator for every coating… CarPro, 22ple, Optimum, etc… I have found that this applicator wastes much less product and spreads very evenly, so it is my personal choice to use it for any coating.

      22ple does not self level like gloss coat does. Gloss Coat is the only coating that will flash away on its own leaving only high spots to wipe away. 22ple wipes away effortlessly though. Much easier than CQuartz or CQuartz UK.

      • James S says:

        But then in regards to how much product for a car, I understand that with the BMW 3 series you used about 5cc of the gloss coat. So then it would be almost impossible to used the given 10 cc on 2 large SUV’s such as Range Rover and LR4 size for either one? Then do you think for Cquartz I would be able to used the 50 ml to used it on both vehicles and have enough for the glass and rims still? I also want to try to see which would also be better for pricing and amount given.

        • The product usage cannot be directly compared as each product spreads differently and requires more/less product for the same area. Gloss coat happens to spread very thinly. We can coat 3-4 sedans with 30 mL of CQuartz. If you plan to do glass and wheels, I would purchase DLUX for wheels and fly-by-30 for the glass as they are specifically formulated for those applications, but if you wanted to keep it simple, 50 mL of CQuartz would likely cover all of that. CQuartz is much cheaper than gloss coat by volume, but it is also a little more finicky to apply, so you have to weigh all the pros and cons.

  15. Daniel says:

    Zach-

    I have an issue with my clear coat. A few months ago, I had my car detailed by a respectable car wash here in Chicago. At first I was really happy with the job until the wax wore off and I had the most ridiculous swirl marks known to man (It was a nightmare). I took the car back and they said “it can be fixed”, but clearly did nothing but placed another layer of wax. After a ton of researching I finally bought a Dual Action polisher and got really acquainted with my car (Black Audi S5). I can have the car look like a mirror and buff/polish any swirl marks out, BUT the car is extremely prone to swirl marks after a few car wash. I do not know what these people have done to my clear coat, but I can not keep it from getting “towel like” swirl marks from reappearing. I’ve tried a few different sealants and waxes, but come up short of stopping is issue. Is there any type of sealant, or options I can use to harden my clear coat. I do not have to time to buff this car every few weeks:/

    • Hi Daniel – you’re dealing with a situation that I like to call “owning a black car”. It can be a lot of work, but jet black paint will show every tiny defect much easier than say a metallic black or a lighter paint color because jet black has nothing to distort the reflection like a metallic flake. Therefore, any small swirl or scratch can be seen and unfortunately there is no way to keep the car perfect. Proper washing and drying technique with high quality products and towels should allow you to wash the vehicle carefully with only very light wash induced marring becoming visible over time, but you should be able to avoid major swirl marks. Nano coatings may technically harden the surface slightly, but they will not fix your problem. The real reason you may wish to consider a nano coating is with the hope of adding some thickness to the surface so that when you are polishing the vehicle, you are removing less paint as some of the superficial defects will reside in the coating. Long story short, you’re in for a long ownership with a lot of work, but there is nothing that compares to a perfectly detailed jet black finish… as the saying goes, “Black isn’t a paint color, it is a part time job”. Good luck! Let me know if you have any other questions.

      • Daniel says:

        Thanks for the rapid reply. My Audi isn’t jet black. The paint color is called brilliant black which has a metallic like twist to the black paint. I guess the only real way to avoid a lot of this is by washing the car myself. Living in the city and parking in downtown garages, dust is my Audi best friend. Can you give me a little more information on this Nano coating. I would like to purchase this and hope that it will (at the very least) slow this swirl mark problem down.

        • Hi Daniel – I was under the impression you were already hand washing your car. If not, then that is definitely part of the problem. If you are visiting an automated car wash with brushes or full service wash where someone else washes or just dries the car, there will be damage inflicted. If you are unable to wash your car at your residence, I would advise you to only visit completely touchless washes that utilize a spot free rinse rather than towel drying. This will not eliminate all of the dirt, but will help with general build up on the car in between detailing sessions.

          There is a lot of information on various coating options on the blog… for a general overview, check out this article: https://www.detailedimage.com/Ask-a-Pro/paint-coatings-why-you-should-give-them-a-shot/

          • Daniel says:

            Zach-

            I purchased a bottle of CarPro Cquartz UK Edition and will give this a fair try. I did some homework on a lot of these products and for the most part, they all seem to be very well liked. Carpro Cquartz prices was the most responsible and had a lot more reviews then others. Hopefully this would minimize the swirl marks, or at lease slow the process down. Thank you for all the information.

  16. Greg Lamming says:

    I understand that you can wax over the opti gloss any reason to besides liking to detail our toys?
    Greg
    Rageman

    • Hey Greg – instead of a wax, I prefer to use a synthetic product like Optimum Opti-Seal, CarPro Reload, GTechniq C2V3, or 22ple VS1. In any case, there are pros and cons to applying any sort of protection over top your coating. The pro is that you’re adding more protection from environmental contaminants while also enhancing slickness, hydrophobic properties (depending on what product you use), and even gloss. The con is that these products typically attract more dirt & dust than a bare coating will.

  17. Richard Manrique says:

    Dear Zack – I just purchased Gloss Coat from DI, but have not yet applied. The folks at Optimum stated that the cure time is only one hour before it can be exposed to moisture and that it can be applied in temps down to 40 degrees. Have you had any negative experiences when exposing Gloss Coat to limited curing?

    • Hi Richard – To be honest, I have never tried. To be safe, we always hold onto vehicles for 12-24 hours in a climate controlled area after applying the coating before releasing the vehicles to their owner.

  18. Richard Manrique says:

    Zack – different question, but I notice many smaller contour areas on the beautiful BMW pictured – amazing job! How do you approach polishing smaller contour areas, sharper edges, fender edges, deeper front grill inserts, etc. Do you use 2 or 3 in pads with a polisher, or drill? Can you share some tips&techniques, polisher/pad/polish combinations? Are the smaller polishers (3in) worth the price? If I lived in your area I would definitely bring my car to you – the Beamer looks amazing! But in rural Oregon I’m on my own. Have 2015 Nissan Rogue in Jet Black. Planning Optimum Hyper Polish on LC orange/white/black/blue pads with Torq FX in preparation for applying Gloss Coat. Thanks for any help.

    • Hi Richard – This vehicle was completed with Rupes LHR21ES utilizing 5″ backing plates and 5.5″ pads, as well as the Rupes LHR75e using 3″ pads. In my opinion it is absolutely necessary to have a machine that will allow you to use 3″ pads, or smaller. We have since picked up a Rupes nano that will allow us to use pads as small as 1″. The same product/pad combos are used with these machines as we use with the larger machines. The most budget friendly way to utilize all pad sizes is to have a machine like the Griot’s Garage 3rd Gen DA or Porter Cable 7424XP which allow you to switch between 6″, 5″, 4″ and 3″ backing plates… thanks to some custom aftermarket solutions you can even find extensions and backing plates which enable use of 1″ pads on these machines.

  19. Stewart Seale says:

    Is this a one time application or does it need to be done yearly? What is the lifespan of an application?

    • Hi Stewart – you will notice that in the article I mention that Optimum lists a 2 year durability on this coating. The true durability can vary greatly depending on how it is maintained and the environment the vehicle is kept in.

      Ultimately it will only need to be replaced “as needed”… so it is up to you to determine when the product needs to be replaced, and up to you to maintain the coating properly to get the most life out of it.

      Hope that helps.

  20. Tad says:

    Hi Zach

    Great review. I am worried about long term effects on my paint with coatings. in general, and specificly with regards Optimum Gloss-Coat, Do you have to remove the coating after say 2 yrs in order to reapply it. if so, how hard is it to remove?

    likewise, if I have an accident and need repairs, can the paint be feathered into the rest of the car as required?

    any other downsides to coating would be much appriciated.

    reagrds

    Tuan

    • Tad – whenever you would like to reapply a new coating (whether it be another layer of glosscoat, or some other coating all together) the steps are as follows:
      – Wash and decontaminate the vehicle fully
      – Perform a light polish to ensure the paint is completely clean and to restore optimal clarity (if defects such as swirls and scratches are present, perform the necessary paint correction steps rather than a quick, light polish)
      – Wipe the vehicle with a prep solvent (IPA)
      – Apply coating

      If you do a good job at maintaining the vehicle and do not have considerable swirl marks or other surface defects, and you only need to do a very light polish to remove minor haze/marring, this entire process can be done relatively quickly and easily.

      If a surface is going to be painted, the body shop should prep the surface properly… this would include scuffing the surface for optimal paint adhesion. This prep process would completely remove the coating so it is a non-issue.

      The only real concern to the average car owner is that once your car has been coated, you should not use a compound or polish on the surface as you will jeopardize the coating. This means that if you get a scratch or something that you want to take care of, if you compound & polish the area to remove the scratch, you will have to apply a new layer of coating to that area after you have finished repairing the scratch. This is no different than if you had a wax or sealant on your vehicle, as those would need to be reapplied as well, however the coating process is a little bit more extensive and not everyone keeps leftover coating on hand.

      I hope I have answered all of your questions. Please let me know if I can do anything else for you.

      • Tad says:

        Thanks for the advice Zach.

        Given that you only use 50% of the product on the car in the review. Can the left over be used when required. Or will it dry out?

        Otherwise it looks like a good solution to save some time in washing.

        Cheers

        • Store the remaining product indoors and make sure it is properly sealed. I believe it has a shelf life of ~1 year after opening when stored properly. I have not seen a coating dry up after this amount of time, but the manufacturers generally say ~12 months is the recommended max shelf life before a product might “go bad”. I have not tested a coating after this point, so I cannot add anymore detail to the subject.

          You can use the coating on your wheels, or add multiple coats to your paint if you wish to use up more of it.

  21. Dylan says:

    Hi there Zach.
    Awesome article, I have to say. I was wondering if you could give a new car newbie some much needed advise. I’ve recently purchased my first new car, and am brand new to the world of preserving and maintaining a new vehicle.
    On my previous vehicles I would just wash, and hand apply a buff-on wax coating. I’ve never even known about coatings,sealants, and the like. It would work alright, but after a time I would notice microswirls, microscratches, and so on.

    Could you give me a general step by step process for how to maintain a beautiful like new paint job? Possibly recommend a good guide? For example, how to initially wash/clean it, Which coating would be the simplest to apply for a newbie, would I apply a sealant over the coating, what/how should I wash the vehicle if it gets dirty so that I can preserve the coating?

    I would greatly appreciate any help you could offer, i’m completely in the dark and starting out when it comes to this.

    • Hi Dylan – the most important part of preserving and maintaining a vehicle is proper washing and drying techniques/processes. This is what will drastically reduce the amount of superficial defects that are instilled in the finish over a given period of time. One improper car wash is all it takes to create swirl marks in the finish, and unfortunately no wax, sealant, or nano coating will prevent this type of damage from happening. (https://www.detailedimage.com/Ask-a-Pro/how-to-properly-wash-and-dry-a-car/)

      Nano coatings do provide the most durable form of protection from the elements compared to traditional waxes and sealants. A coated vehicle will be considerably easier to maintain as there is no need to hand wax or seal a vehicle after it has been coated, and washing & drying is a breeze because less dirt sticks to the paint, and the surface is typically quite hydrophobic. Over time, it may be necessary to use spray on coating sealants (see CarPro Reload, GTechniq C2, Gyeon Cure, etc. for examples) to boost hydrophobic properties. (https://www.detailedimage.com/Ask-a-Pro/paint-coatings-why-you-should-give-them-a-shot/)

      I am planning to do a multi-part video series in the near future walking the AAP Blog readers through the new/used car prep process from initial wash, to decontamination, to paint correction, and paint protection application. For now, I would recommend reading through Detailed Image Detailing Guide (https://www.detailedimage.com/Auto-Detailing-Guide/), and there are also many, many great articles here on the blog that can help you learn more about the process.

      If you have any other specific questions, please let me know.

  22. Mike says:

    Hello Zach,

    I just ordered a 10 cc kit of Gloss Coat with applicator, towels, etc. It comes with a prep polish to use beforehand to get rid of oils and the like. Should I use an IPA solution after this? Or is the polish good enough? Also, is there a specific temperature range in which I should be applying the product? Thanks for your time!

    • Hi Mike – I am unfamiliar with the prep polish you are referring to. Each kit of Gloss Coat I have ordered in the past has not included a prep polish. I would follow the provided instructions, and if they are not clear, contact Optimum for more information.

      I tend to find most coatings behave best between 65-85 degrees Fahrenheit.

  23. Nick says:

    Hi Zach, thanks for this article, I’m very tempted to purchase Gloss Coat for my new car. Question for you though, how would this compare to one of the chinese 9H ceramic coatings. I’ve been tempted to try this one from aliexpress https://tinyurl.com/y9vvjeyu application looks fairly easy but its hard to find any reviews.
    The Gloss Coat is tempting as it comes from a reputable supplier but is significantly more expensive than some of these Chinese coatings. I guess the issue I have with coatings is that it is a long term commitment unlike a wax or sealant where you can try multiple products over time to find one you like.

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