Removing a ceramic coating might seem a little bit challenging especially if you are not experienced with paint protection products or other similar protective solutions.
On our previous article, we explained the 4 most popular and safe methods on how to remove a nano coating and today we’ve decided to break down the most popular one, the polishing method.
See, a polisher unlike other coating removal options is the most efficient and safe way because you are the one to control the speed and depth of the cut, that’s why many professionals and amateurs suggest it.
The only problem with polishing is that you have to know what you’re doing, because a single deep cut can destroy your car’s paint and lead to various of other problems.
Anyhow, without further ado, let’s explain some of the most popular facts about ceramic coating removal with a polisher, and break down each and every step, from start to finish, on how to do it yourself.
How Ceramic Coatings Bond With Your Clear Coat
A Ceramic Coating (such as Armor Shield IX and Ceramic Pro) is a liquid polymer solution, infused with SiO2 (Silicon Dioxide) and TiO2 (Titanium Dioxide) while it is applied on the exterior surfaces of your car.
While most paint protection solutions, like Paint Protection Film or Wax are only superficially, and simply added on top of your vehicle’s clear coat, nanotechnological ceramic protection coatings penetrate the microscopic pores of the clear coat and bond with it, while forming a strong transparent semi-permanent layer.
After the coating is applied and cured for at least 24 hours, your vehicle will be able to repel liquids, prevent oxidation and beat off minor damages. The best part? – It lasts for a long time!
Now, the bonding process is a little bit different when it comes to professional-grade coatings, because they are more concentrated than DIYs.
Sure, the philosophy is the same, but because of their superior quality formula, Pro-Grade coatings offer the ability of multiple layering, meaning that you can apply more than one ceramic layer, thus increasing the overall durability.
Why Should You Remove A Ceramic Coating
You are probably wondering why would someone pay top coin and remove it. Well, to be honest there are 3 major reasons why should someone remove a nanoceramic coating and believe me, there are more common than you think. Here they are:
One of the most popular reasons why vehicle owners decide to remove their ceramic coating is because of a crash or a damage that’s been made on the body of their vehicle. In order for the auto body technician to repair the damages he must polish these parts, thus removing any paint protection product.
This mostly happens to those who decide to apply a DIY nanoceramic coating and lack of knowledge or experience. This occurs by skipping or falsely doing the prep work or not following the application steps correctly. A ceramic coating is unforgiving, that’s why most people decide to hire a pro for the job.
Finally, the only natural reason why you should remove a ceramic coating is because it’s time to. After an extended period of time, DIYs require total removal and reapplication, while pro-grade coatings offer warranty packages in which your professional-installer repairs the existing coating.
Are There Any Safer Alternatives?
Generally there are 4 most common methods to remove a ceramic coating:
First of all, using chemicals to remove your 9H nano coating is definitely not recommended, especially to those who are unexperienced, simply because they are highly acidic and a single wrong spray may cause serious damage on your clear coat and sometimes paint.
Now, a safer way but not so efficient most of the times is by washing your car with a wax-stripping shampoo and performing the clay bar treatment. This method only works in DIY ceramic coatings and can be achieved after an extended period of time of the estimated lifespan given by the manufacturer. See, after the coating’s abilities have weakened, the nano-protection begins to wear off and becomes easier to remove with simple washing and clay bar.
Finally, the most efficient and safest way to completely remove a nano coating without damaging your clear coat or the paint, is by using a polisher. It is more controllable but requires some basic training.
How To Prepare Before Polishing
So, before we start the polishing process we must first do some prep work. Here are the 3 essential prep steps before proceeding:
Firstly, you must park your vehicle in a shaded area or better indoors, in order for it to cool off. The temperature of the exterior surfaces must be considerably low for you to work without any problems. The last thing you want is for the liquid soap to dry on top of your precious surfaces and make your job harder.
Choosing the proper pad and compound for your car is one of the most crucial prep steps. Dark colored vehicles are generally more acceptable to swirl marks when polished, so make sure to use a really soft pad and ultra-thin compound. You can use harder pads and supercut compounds on lighter color cars with no issue at all.
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How To Remove Ceramic Coating Using A Polisher
Once you’ve done with the preparation process, next up is the application process. Basically, there are 3 main things you need to do:
- Prepare The Pads
Begin by taking the pad for your polishing wheel and wet it. Make sure that it is damp, but not soaking wet. Make sure that it will remain damp throughout the entire polishing process in order to eliminate any chances of damage. Apply some drops of the cutting compound and press the polisher into the selected panel. After that, adjust the speed to the lowest scale and evenly apply throughout the entire surface the compound.
You can increase the speed but you must always keep the polisher parallel to whatever body panel you are polishing. Maintain the same amount of pressure as you move it back and forth. Another important thing is to pay attention to the edges of the pad, while they can destroy your car’s clear coat. Be extremely cautious as you buff around trim components that may come into contact with the edges of the pad.
Through the polishing process, you remove a very thing amount of clear coat, that’s why any swirl marks or minor scratches are completely remove. You will start noticing that there are no imperfections left and the clear coat will shine. Then and only then, you are ready to continue to the next area. Another indication that the surface is ready is that it will be a little bit tacky. Either way, be careful not to damage your car’s paint.
What Happens After You're Done With Polishing
After the polishing process is over your vehicle’s paint will be vulnerable to oxidation and other damaging factors, that’s why you should shield the polished surfaces with a paint protection solution, such as a ceramic coating. Here are the steps:
WASH & CLAY
When the polishing process is over, you should wash the vehicle and clay bar it entirely in order to remove any compound residual and prepare the surfaces for the upcoming paint protection.
Dry the vehicle using microfiber towels and by leaving it for 24 hours indoors or outdoors. After a day or two, bring the vehicle back inside and clean it with Isopropyl Alcohol, in order to prepare it for the paint protection.
After the IPA panel wipe, grab your ceramic coating and apply it, or use another paint protection solution. Anyhow, the choice is entirely yours.
So, you’ve finally made it this far – Kudos!
Removing a ceramic coating using a polisher is a challenging and hard process that requires time and knowledge, but in the end the results are amazing.
If you are not experienced with auto detailing we highly recommend you to visit the nearest detailing shop and get the job done by a professional detailer.
The chances of making a mistake and damaging your car’s paint are extremely high if you don’t know what you are doing, that’s why most professionals and manufacturers suggest spending a little bit of coin and doing the job properly, rather than risking and paying an entire new paint job.
That being said, if this article was helpful make sure to share it with your friends so they can know how to remove their ceramic coating using a polisher!