How to Remove Ceramic Coating from Car Paint (3 Best Ways)

A ceramic coating, as we know, is a perfect shield that our car exterior needs to protect itself from environmental contaminants. The ceramic coated layer of the car protects the car paint from damages caused by the sun’s harmful UV rays, bird droppings, acid rain, snowstorm, and hosts of other similar contaminants.

And when it has such a positive impact on your car, thinking of removing ceramic coating might look like a weird idea to most of us. But well, if you have come to this page, you probably have been thinking about how to remove ceramic coating from car paint off late, right?

As weird as it may sound, sometimes removing the ceramic coating of the car becomes necessary for the car owners. There may be varied reasons for doing the same, which we shall discuss in detail in the next section.

how to remove ceramic coating from car
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Besides that, you will also figure out some of the best methods for removing ceramic coatings from your car if and when you need to remove them for good. So, let us not waste any more time here and head straight on to the next sections to find out details about the reasons behind ceramic coating removal, how to do it, and lots more! Keep reading.

5 Major Reasons to Remove Ceramic Coating from a Car

The exact reason for the removal of ceramic coating from a car depends from person to person, and we can not always anticipate it! But as discussed above, we are going to discuss the 5 major reasons for removing ceramic coating from your car in the section below. Take a look…

An Improper Ceramic Coating Installation

One of the most significant reasons why you would want your ceramic coating to be removed is when you do not like the previous coating. Are you wondering why your car’s ceramic coating gone wrong?

There can be multiple reasons why the ceramic coating can go wrong, which include improper installation due to the presence of contaminants or un-cleaned surface, forgetting to wipe off, not giving enough time to dry, or applying too much or too little coating!

And these mistakes can bring forth unwanted errors like high spots, reflection hazing, uneven thickness, dirt-trapping, etc. Hence, removing ceramic coating in such an instance is the best option you can have so that you can reapply the coating again and get rid of these errors easily and effectively.

Your Ceramic Coating Has Failed

Your car’s ceramic coatings do come with an expiry date, and thus, when it starts to degrade, you must know that it’s time for a change! So, the next time you ask yourself why do you need to remove ceramic coating from a car, consider that the time has come for the change!

The most common signs of a failing ceramic coating include:

  • More dirt and dust accumulation on the surface.
  • The car starts losing its shine and glow.
  • Water doesn’t bead off easily, and the car surface remains wet for a longer time.
  • The car surface becomes tacky as it loses the slippery and sleek feel.

When you notice these signs, you must know that ceramic coating removal is the next best thing you can think of to give your car exterior a fresh look again!

Your Car Need Some Bodywork Repair

Before you roll up your sleeves to know how to remove ceramic coating from car, you must know some more reasons why you need it in the first place! And the next in the line is the reason that is a significant one!

Over time, your car (and every other car) might need body repair work that is long due. You might be wondering, if the exterior surface is already ceramic coated, why would it need any repair?

The ceramic coatings do provide resistance against chemical damages, UV rays, water erosions, etc., but what about the mechanical attacks?

The coating cannot protect the surface from scratches, dents, or other types of damages caused by mechanical attacks. And thus, if you are wondering why would you want to remove ceramic coating from your car, you know the answer already!

You Want to Apply a Different Paint Protection Product

Besides the ceramic coatings, several other paint protection products are now available on the market that do not only run longer but are also a bit light on the pocket! And who would not want to cut off their expenses a little while ensuring the car paint’s safety for the longest time?

Well, in that case, opting for a ceramic coating remover procedure seems to be the best fit for most car owners. The latest nanocoatings last for a good one or two years, and you may not regret removing the previous ceramic coating to get it!

You’re Going to Repaint Your Car

As much as the reasons mentioned above are justified, this one also makes sense; wanting to repaint your car! And why not?

You may not like your car paint after a while, it may get damaged due to adverse weather conditions, or it may fade away while being driven under the sun daily. Or for instance, you may not like your car’s existing paint color and may want a change in the color.

Therefore, changing the car paint would gradually require you to remove the ceramic coating first. And for that, the best few methods for removing ceramic coatings are mentioned in the section below.

So just go through it and decide which one you can rely on to get your car’s ceramic coating out if you want to repaint it again!

You might also like: 13 Best Ceramic Coating for Cars and Trucks on the Market

How to Remove Ceramic Coating from Car Paint (3 Best Ways)

Now comes the most significant part of the article. This section will help you know how to remove ceramic coating from car paint using three simple and effective ways. We will discuss every method in detail so that it helps you to understand the ceramic coating removal process better.

So, do not wait any longer and start reading below now!

Chemical Removal of Ceramic Coatings

When you opt for removing ceramic coating from car paint, the first process that comes to mind is the chemical removal process. As it is considered to be the most sustainable and effective method of all, car owners prefer choosing this method over the other ones. However, most of them are unaware that the chemical removal process has certain drawbacks that may make their experience more bitter!

For instance, you can find any chemical ceramic coating remover to be resistant to the ceramic coating, and their performance may be affected due to the alkaline products. But there is also a drawback associated with this type of coating. The chemical alkaline products may deteriorate the car exterior surface coating quality, which will eventually toss the attractiveness and performance of the vehicle.

Now moving towards the actual process of how to remove ceramic coating from car paint using the chemical removal method. Follow the given steps to get a general idea of the process:

  • Limit the product to 20-30 drops when applying to the applicator.
  • Do not carry out the removal haphazardly; start from one side.
  • Keep the body lines and boundaries on focus.
  • Root for long and smooth strokes for better results.
  • Wrap up the leveling and clean up the excess after one side is done.
  • Wipe the section using straight lines and firm pressure starting from the edges and ending there too.
  • Again wipe in small circles, but flip the towel before proceeding.
  • Go for a 3rd wipe using shorter fiber towels.
  • Do not mold your fist; keep it flat for better cleaning.
  • The 1st four stokes that you apply must spread the product entirely to the selected portion.
  • Start with the next section after you are done with the first.

Things to remember for ceramic coating removal using chemical products:

  • Longer stokes works great along with consistency and balanced pressure.
  • You must not delay spreading the chemical product after putting the drops.
  • Do not overlook a crack or spot; press it with your fingertips to get an even layout.
  • Check the chemical on clear coats before using.
  • Take a patch test if necessary to avoid big damages.

Hopefully, now you know how to remove ceramic coatings from cars using the chemical removal process!

Clay Removal of Ceramic Coatings

By looking at this method, you may think, will clay bar remove ceramic coating? Well, it might not be that effective as compared to the chemical removal process, but it definitely does the job, with some exceptions, though! The clay bars are sticky and slippery, and the contaminants of the coating get attached to them, which in turn helps in removing the ceramic coating from the car surface.

This works well if the car surface coating gets a bit eroded or tacky over time. The principle with which removing ceramic coating works goes as follows. When the clay bar is rubbed on the surface, the friction increases, and with increasing friction, the adhesive property of the coating decreases. Therefore, the bonds become weak, leading to breaking off the coating easily.

But like the other methods for removing ceramic coatings, this one also has its own drawbacks; it does not work well if the car coating has iron contamination! The iron gets attached to the original ceramic coating and makes it harder for the clay bar to remove it.

Nonetheless, as it is one of the best methods for the removal process, let us discuss the crucial steps in achieving it. Follow the given steps:

  • Using a traditional clay bar for the process is suggested.
  • The car surface can get damaged if there is dryness on the bar or the surface as well. So, it would be best to keep either of them slippery and wet to avoid damage. It can be done using lubricating sprays that come with the ceramic coating remover kit. Once it is slippery, it will help in removing the contents easily.
  • Rubbing/sliding the clay bar from left to right will increase the chances of better removal.
  • Keep sliding, and you will notice the coating coming out. Once it is fully done, wipe the surface with a clean cloth.

Important things to remember:

  • Do not overuse the lubricating spray as it may also lead to scratches.
  • A lubricating spray can also be made at home using shampoo and water (it’s cheap and easily made).
  • Look for traces of debris after you are done and if found, clean it immediately before you apply a new coating.

Well, this was all about knowing how to strip ceramic coating using a clay bar!

Polishing Removal of Ceramic Coatings

If you are still wondering how to remove ceramic coating from car paint, then you might not have gotten well with both the given methods! Well, worry not! We have a 3rd one for you! The polishing removal process is certainly one of the most popular and prioritized processes across the world.

Know why? Because it has fewer drawbacks and higher effectiveness than the other two methods for removing ceramic coatings. Also, it takes a bit of more time and a lot of tools (and knowledge) to comprehend the task. Anyway, we will start with the procedure now!

Follow the given steps:

  • Cool down the car by parking it in a shaded area.
  • Wash the vehicle thoroughly using two bucket method and remove all contaminants properly
  • Gather the required tools. You may need a high-grade, medium grade, and light grade polishing cutting compound, an electric polisher, different types of polishing pads, low pile microfiber towel, damp pad, etc.
  • Use the damp pad to polish the vehicle surface continuously. Start with spinning one section and moving to another for better results.
  • Avoid the swirl marks, apply constant pressure, and keep the pad tidy.
  • Rinse the pad whenever it seems to be dirty
  • After you are done polishing, wash the car properly as you need a clean surface before you work with the cutting compound.
  • Start with the high-grade cutting compound and go on to the lowest grade depending upon the severity of the ceramic coating presence.
  • Once you are done, wipe off the surface with a clean piece of cloth to avoid any kind of damage.

Things to remember:

  • It is not easy to say that you are done with the removal process. So, you must have a concrete idea as to when the surface is free from the coating already.
  • The car surface looks more tacky and sticky after removal, so you are wrong if you think it will be shiny and slippery.
  • It takes proper knowledge to carry out the task; if you lack self-esteem, take help from a professional.

This was all about knowing how to remove ceramic coating on car using the polishing method.

You might also like to see: 12 Best Ceramic Coating for Black Cars and Trucks

Removing Ceramic Coating from Cars [FAQs]:

Even though you know the best methods for removing the pre-existing ceramic coating on your car, you might still need some additional information on it, like does alcohol remove ceramic coating or can you put ceramic coating on top of ceramic coating, etc. And to answer these queries, the following FAQs section is formed. Get all your queries answered below:

How to Tell If Car Has Ceramic Coating?

So, the first question that may come to your head; how to tell if your car has ceramic coating?

The best way to find it out is to spray your car with water while you take it out for a drive. With the increasing speed of the car, you will find out that the water beads start gathering into the stream and roll down the car surface sooner.

If this happens, you can be sure there is a ceramic coating on car. But if the water drops remain clinging to the car surface, then you must understand that it doesn’t have a ceramic coating on it.

Does Isopropyl Alcohol Remove Ceramic Coating?

There is a common perception amongst car owners about using isopropyl alcohol for removing ceramic coating from a car. Using isopropyl alcohol for removing ceramic coating is not a feasible option as it is not a traditional remover.

It is more like a polishing agent that is used before applying a coating to the car paint. Besides, it is also considered harmful for any kind of pre-painting job as it may leave behind unclear or impure residues that might not go well with the paint or coating that you apply soon after.

Thus, it is suggested to avoid isopropyl alcohol for any kind of ceramic coating removal procedure.

Can You Apply Ceramic Coating Over Ceramic Coating?

How will it feel to apply oil on your hair when it is already oiled? The same principle is applied when we ask; can you put ceramic coating on top of ceramic coating?

Well, putting a ceramic coating on top of an already firm ceramic coating will not only go useless but can also lead to certain damages that you may not see coming.

For instance, it can harden the layer of the car’s exterior surface, thus making it unsuitable for the next coating or painting. So, it is better to avoid applying new layers of ceramic coating if you already have it on your car surface.

How Long Does It Take for Ceramic Coating to Wear Off?

This is a question that many car owners ask- how long does ceramic coating last on a car? Well, the short answer is it can last anywhere between 1 to 5 years. But it does not end here!

The lasting of the ceramic coating depends on what type of coating you have used on your car and how well you maintain it.

With good coatings and proper maintenance, it can last 5 years or more in some cases, while if you opt for cheap coatings and don’t maintain well, it can come down within a year or so!

And what happens when ceramic coating wears off? Remove it and Get a new coating again! Simple!

What is the Best Way to Remove Ceramic Coatings from Cars?

By now, you have learned in detail how to remove ceramic coating from car without having to take it to a professional. It is indeed a tough task to carry out the removal on your own as it requires a lot of detailing and timing to complete. But with proper instructions and knowledge, it can be executed well. And that is the exact knowledge that has been described in the article above.

But as there are 3 best ways to remove ceramic coatings from cars mentioned here, you might want to pick one or two amongst these, which shall earn you better results. And if you are confused about which procedure is good for the purpose, I might help you with figuring it out. From the top 3 methods, the ones that I liked includes the

  • Clay Removal of Ceramic Coatings
  • Polishing Removal of Ceramic Coatings

I avoided the chemical procedure as chemicals are not too good for our health anyway. And likewise, it can somehow damage the car exterior also if proper measures are not taken! No wonder the remaining two, in my opinion, are the best methods for removing ceramic coatings in case you need perfection and want to avoid further damages as well. However, if you like the chemical removal procedure, you can go for it also!

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About Amy Cuban

I am an automotive enthusiast who loves to be around cars. I enjoy working on cars in my spare time and love anything related to automobiles. I like using different types of car accessories, car gadgets, and innovative car care products.

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