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Ceramic Coating on Vette

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Here is a write up of my recent ceramic coating experience.  I spent multiple days working on it, as others have shared.  I started with a car that won its class at a car show based on “Show and Shine” the prior weekend, so I started with a pretty clean car.  Even with that, I did a full detail and spent many hours on prep work.  I will try to share some tips throughout that may help others -  most of which I received or read here in the forums.  I am relatively new to detailing, and not a professional. 

 

Day 1 - Rinsed car, foamed, rinsed, then did the 2 bucket wash with CS.  Dried using great white drying towels.  Clayed using DS and Visco Clay.  I used a liberal amount of DS and really took my time hitting all painted surfaces.  The car had fine scratches in the clear coat that were difficult to see in sunlight, but could be seen with bad garage lighting (more on the lighting later).  Therefore, I used the SK Mini with orange pad and orange correcting polish over the whole car, after doing a test in a small area.  The SK mini is awesome, and much easier to use in the tight areas of a C7.  I had to perform 2 passes on a couple of areas to completely correct the finish.  I would say this did about a 97% correction.  I can still find a few very fine and shallow scratches in certain light, but the correction is pretty solid.   I did this in the garage with the door closed (to minimize dust) with two overhead household light bulbs - evening and night.  Not ideal lighting to say the least.  These steps took 4-5 hours total.

 

Day 2 - Checked the car over one more time for correction quality.  I actually did one more pass on an area on the hood.  I then got ready to coat.  Per advice here on the forum, I decided to use Coating Prep spray on a section of the car, then coat, then spray prep, then coat, and so on.  I did this to minimize dust, and specifically pollen as it is in season right now and difficult to keep off the car.  I would suggest to others without a dust/pollen issue just to use coating prep spray on the whole car, and be thorough.  I feel like doing a section, then coating almost caused me to miss the coating prep on a section or two as I got interrupted or distracted.  I used the rubber gloves and started working in small 2x2 areas as suggested in the videos.  I put four or five drops on the applicator at a time.  My lighting was so poor, and my car is a dark metallic gray, that I never saw a rainbow effect.  I just waited 30-40 seconds then wiped off the coating.  I did touch the surface once to see if it was tacky.  I wiped that area off, but I actually left a fingerprint in the coating! If I had personal advice here, it would be to follow what others have said and use a couple of MF towels and be thorough knocking it down and removing the residue.  Lighting played a role in me not leveling a couple of areas evenly.  I did get greedy on some areas and tried to do a couple of larger sections - not a great idea as the residue was more difficult to remove in that case.  Anywhere I got coating on the glass or vinyl stripes, I simply wiped them off immediately - no issues.  This took a few hours.

 

Day 3 - After 24 hours, I applied Ceramic Boost.  I followed what I saw on the videos, where Adam sprayed the small area a few sprays.  Too much Ceramic Boost is a problem.  It is not the easiest stuff to work with and leaves streaks when over used.  Shane here on the forums in another thread gave advice to use one or two sprays per panel - I totally agree with that.  I used too much and made my life difficult.  I was very happy with the results, but had not pulled the car out of the garage yet during the day to inspect in better light.  

 

Day 4 - drove the car to work, and immediately noticed high spots and streaks in the coating, and found the fingerprint in the coating I mentioned above.  I will say that BG is now one of my favorite Adam’s products.  Based on advice here, and on the theory of using the least abrasive first to fix something, I used BG on several streaks and what appeared to be high spots on section overlaps, and a few spots that I just missed taking off the residue.  It did a great job.  On two or three other small spots I used the SK mini with a very small amount of Finish Polish and almost no pressure on the machine.  This removed the finger print and a couple of other high spots with no problem.  

 

My one big bit of advice would be to use excellent lighting when doing this.  If I had better lighting, I could have saved some after the fact work and done a better job the first time through.  All in all, I am very happy with the results.  

 

 

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1 hour ago, VetteDream said:

 

Yes it is!

Can we see it, if you get a chance? 😬 Love me a tahoe!  I have a 2016 Black LTZ

 

 

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Lighting is important, before I polished and coated mine I went to rural king and they had a nice size led tripod type light with two big led lights on it.  Roughly $70 I think.  They had a smaller cheaper one but worried it wouldn't light up the area as well.  It worked great, if anyone is considering a setup like that. 

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I really like this car. I mean. REALLY like it. Beautiful job, Todd. I have family in the Charlotte area, up near Lake Norman, so next time I'm there may have to get a ride...or a drive! :2thumbs:

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I always liked that Watkins Glen gray paint.  But I guess GM said it was time to go and are replacing it with a "new" gray.  They really need to get someone with some imagination in their deciding paint colors. Glad you got one of the "good grays". 

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