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15 comments on What Coating Should I Buy?

  1. Jon says:

    Zach, your comment, ‘ I have yet to use a coating that did not provide better durability and protection from environmental contamination than a traditional wax or sealant.”

    What do you mean?
    The coating will generally last much longer than ANY wax or sealant. I agree

    Lets say, for a 3 month period… is it safe to say that there is no real difference in protection? Taking out the longevity factor, will any GOOD wax or sealant protect as much as a coating, on a WELL maintained vehicle?


  2. Jon says:

    Also, to clarify…
    Are you saying that you have not found a coating to outperform a traditional wax or sealant…or you have not used a coating that HAS NOT been better than a wax or sealant???

    • Hey Jon – thanks for the comment, I’ll be happy to clarify what I meant… durability aside, coatings will provide better all around protection when compared to traditional waxes or sealants. The layer of protection that a coating provides is considerably thicker and much more chemical resistant than a wax or sealant. This would prove beneficial in the event that a vehicle is often subjected to bird bombs, bug guts, etc. The thicker, harder, more chemical resistant coating will make it more difficult for these types of contaminates to penetrate the protection and damage the clear coat.

      For daily driven vehicles that are subjected to these types of contaminates, I am very much a supporter of installing a coating. Aside from the protection benefits, a coating will also offer longer durability, lasting gloss, and better resistance to dirt and grime which makes maintenance even easier.

      Some people do enjoy waxing their vehicles regularly, and there is certainly nothing wrong with using a traditional wax or sealant instead of a coating, however the protection simply isn’t as good in terms of chemical resistance, and more upkeep is required to maintain the vehicle.

      In the end, as long as some sort of protection is applied to the vehicle, and reapplied as needed, you’re going to be in pretty good shape since you mentioned you do take good care of your vehicles.

      Hope that helps. Please let me know if you have any further questions.

  3. David G. says:

    Thanks for posting Zach,

    This article would’ve came in handy when DI had the 20% off coating sale last week.

    • David – sorry for the bad timing… I unfortunately don’t have any input on when these articles get published after I write them 🙂 In any case, I am sure coatings will be on sale again here in the future. Thanks for reading!

  4. Kevin says:

    Really love your articles Zach.Especially when knowing just how much time it takes to write them.I did a lot of reading and trying several paint coatings.One pf the comments and also in my experience was they shine and look great but wasnt slick when cured like wax or sealants. To me that is one of the major benifits to using them is so that things tend to slide of as opposed to scratching. I have found the answer to be Dr.Beasleys NANO-RESIN. Amazing shine no difficulty in application or flash time, knowing when to wipe off. And it is as slick as any paint sealant out there.It is definately worth trying.

    • Hi Kevin – thanks for your comments. While it is true that most coatings don’t have the same slick feeling as a wax does when you slide your hand on the paint, that doesn’t directly translate to less slickness while washing/drying. You see, when you’re washing, your wash mitt or sponge slides across the paint it is suspended on a layer of soap and water. Since coatings are extremely hydrophobic, the sponge/wash mitt will easily slide along the paint. It is also worth noting that the tactile slickness of most waxes & sealants will degrade rapidly after washing. Slick feeling can be restored with a quality quick detailer if desired.

  5. Terry Kendrick says:


    If price is not a factor, which coating would you put on your personal car. Also, do you know what the difference is between 22ple V2 and V3? (Other than price)

    I suspect you have a coating on your car, if so, would you make the same choice again?

    • Hi Terry, at this point in time I do have 22ple VX Pro 2 on my vehicle, but am also testing one panel with VX3 signature for comparison. So far both are performing great!

      There are considerable differences between VX Pro2 and VX3 signature, mostly regarding the quality of materials used in the chemical. I think that would make a great article highlighting both products… in the meantime, I’d be happy to provide you with more details if you wish to email me as the response would just be too long to post here. you can get a hold of me at

  6. rlmccarty2000 says:

    The coating market is becoming full with manufacturers making claims of their coatings lasting over 3 years. I want someone to hold these companies feet to the fire. When are they going to start backing these claims with a money back guarantee? As an installer I can’t promise 3 years to my customer because it just does not make good business sense unless the manufacturers back their own claims with something in writing. I’m getting tired of the hype and Joe Blow on the street expects 3 years if you tell him 3 years and I don’t mean topping it with a product from said manufacturer and washing the coating with some special expensive coating saver. The industry needs to police itself before it gets a bad name.

    • Hi – while I do understand your concerns, try to put yourself in the position of the manufacturer. Listing a durability claim on any product (detailing or not) is a gamble for the manufacturer because there is so much variance in the real world that they simply cannot account for. Sticking to the detailing theme, many of these coating products fall into the hands of first time users (vehicle owners). It is not a long shot to say that many of these first time coating users have also never machine polished a car, or perhaps even used a clay bar, and are maybe even just learning about proper washing and drying. As you know, proper prep is absolutely critical with these coatings, so assuming everyone has done it right and guaranteeing excessive durability because of this would simply be a bad business decision.

      Future maintenance of the coating is just as important as the install itself, and assuming a vehicle owner will maintain their vehicle properly is another risk that a manufacturer shouldn’t be willing to bet money on. As a professional, if you were to offer a bi-weekly or monthly maintenance plan for your customers with coated vehicles, it would make some sense to also include (or have an option for) a warranty in which you could guarantee the performance of the coating. This is much less of a risk since you know how to properly care for the vehicle and would be doing so regularly. Just an idea. There are professional coatings that DO offer manufacturer warranties, but even those can have restrictions due to customer neglect.

      Another point that I will touch on, but not go into too much detail at this time, is the fact that water beading… or lack thereof… does NOT indicate that a coating has disappeared. This association with hydrophobic properties equaling protection is an incorrect association. Water beading simply indicates a high surface tension. Surface tension can be effected by many, many things and therefore beading can be reduced or diminished simply by surface contamination or the use of a heavily concentrated shampoo. The chemical properties of these coatings form a crystalline lattice structure among molecules which are bonded together. It takes a great deal of energy to break these bonds, and while it is true that over time these can break down, the reality is that a coating will need to be replaced due to scratches, swirls, etc long before these bonds are broken. In this case, the coating will be abraded using compounds and/or polishes which will remove or at least degrade the crystalline structure.

      I’d be happy to discuss this further if you’re interested. You can always reach me directly through my website. Thanks!

    • Ryan L. says:

      I feel your pain, but unfortunately, that is the way things have always been! Coatings are just the “hot” thing now. Waxes have always, notoriously overestimated, real-world, longevity. At least with Coatings, you don’t need to worry about it getting stripped off, by going through an automatic car wash 1 time. Most of the “professional” grade coatings do offer warranties. But yeah, the devil is in the details……READ THE FINE PRINT!! They require multiple layers, and annual “toppers” to satisfy requirements, at customer expense (except 1 brand). People will believe anything if your marketing budget is high enough. I can think of 1 or 2 very popular “professional only” brands that are JUNK!! But have absurd advertising budgets.

  7. Bryan says:

    Zach, if the ceramic coating will eventually get swirls and scratches anyway, then what is the point? I thought they were to prevent swirls.
    I am considering professionally applied Crystal Serum for my Porsche GT4. Does it last appreciably longer than Crystal Serum Light? Is there something else that I should consider?

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