Paint Care Protection Thread

Temerarius

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There are a variety of coatings out there that form a hard surface on your paint to protect it but at the end of the day I would say that is not a physical layer of protection like PPF. If you combine both PPF + Coating there is a good chance your paint will remain flawless but even then its not 1000% guaranteed as a rock went thru my Ceramic, PPF, Paint, down to carbon level of my hood so that was not fun haha.
100% this.

On my truck I have PFF and ceramic coat. The PFF protects it from door dings, rock chips, etc... the ceramic makes keeping it clean stupid easy (stuff just slides off).

As he points out, you need to have a maintenance program in place though and the ceramic is not a "forever" solution, it needs retouches/applications to keep it in peak condition. While it cost me a pretty penny to have both done, the maintenance program on my ceramic coating is about $150-$280 per year.

I also advise getting the interior ceramic treated (especially if you have a light colour interior). It has saved my white Tesla interior from the dreaded blue jean rub "blueing". It keeps stains, grease, gunk, and whatever else my children can find to track into the car from adhering to the surface and also applies the same UV protection to the surface.

Wraps, I think are a little higher on the maintenance scale, depending on the finish, there are specific things you need to watch out for/not do. For example, my Tesla X has a matte blue metallic finish, the worst thing I could ever do is buff it (would make it shiny). In general, you should keep it garaged if you can and out of long exposures of direct sunlight and extreme temps. I would strongly advise having a coating done on it as well (helps reduce the amount of UV hitting the wrap and helps keep it cleaner easier. Depending on where you live, a wrap can last a couple years, or several years with proper care and maintenance.

For those curious... this is a white car... (and makes for lots of fun going into the Service Center... when the tech spends 15 minutes roaming the parking lot looking for my White Tesla X...)
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tomis916

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Thanks to everyone for this thread. I have been wondering what the state of the art is. I wax with Meguiars every six months, don't drive much, and park in the garage and, as has been noted, the wax is good for maybe two or three months.
 

flabyboy

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There is also a difference between vinyl and PPF from what I have been reading. With vinyl being more used to change the appearance of a car, but is thinner and less durable over time. I still wonder how well a wrap will hold up in a MN winter with salty slush splashed up on the edges. I’m going with the ceramic as it’s cheaper and I have a trusted installer.
 

DuckTruck

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DuckTruck.
I was told by the guy who does it that it would probably cost a little less than a grand to get the truck done. Maybe more if I wanted to do glass, trim and wheels. I do live in the Midwest where things tend to be cheaper. He told me the materials would cost a couple hundred and that the rest was labor. There is a lot of stuff on YouTube regarding the IGL products. I think the Kenzo with graphene is the newest one
Thank you! That's helpful info. I'm a Neanderthal and still wash and wax occasionally, when I'm not so busy that I'll opt for a drive-thru. Now, after learning much in these forums, I'm looking for a much more serious approach to protecting this and one other vehicle.

Thanks again!
 

Temerarius

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Yeah... I'd expect around a grand in this area (PNW) for a basic treatment, however, I recommend making sure that whatever coating you get has a 9H hardness in the mix (it will bump the price up by about 50%). The more 9H layer you add, the more it will cost, but, also the more durable the ceramic coating will be.

PPF tends to be pretty spendy, I think all in, it was just slightly less then the wrap on my X to do my Ram (keep in mind, I did almost the entirety of my Ram, not just the bra, but everything except the tailgate). I think that was around the $3,500 marker (it's been awhile).

The nice thing is if you do the combo of PPF and Ceramic, the PPF will save you from door dings and rock chips, and the Ceramic will not only keep it cleaner (and WAY easier to clean if she gets dirty), but also will enhance the lifespan of the PPF as it blocks a bunch of UV from hitting the PPF/paint (it won't yellow) and other areas of the vehicle (like the headlights). That's not to say that modern PPF yellows like the older stuff used to, it is way more resistant to it these days, but... anything that enhances the lifespan of an investment, I'm down for.

I'm opting for the black mountain interior on my R1T, and will be having the interior treated with ceramic (again, easier to clean), but also cuts down on how hot they get (less UV absorption).
 

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Just for a frame of reference regarding PPF and both it and wraps being a pain. PPF is basically the clear "self healing" phone screen protectors that feel like a rubber where you spray the phone with a liquid solution and then squeegee the air bubbles out (not to be confused with the glass screen protectors).

So if you have spent 30 minutes making sure you don't have bubbles for your 6" screen protector or "skin", imagine doing that for an entire car. You get good at it with practice, but it's still tedious.
 

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Yeah... I'd expect around a grand in this area (PNW) for a basic treatment, however, I recommend making sure that whatever coating you get has a 9H hardness in the mix (it will bump the price up by about 50%). The more 9H layer you add, the more it will cost, but, also the more durable the ceramic coating will be.

PPF tends to be pretty spendy, I think all in, it was just slightly less then the wrap on my X to do my Ram (keep in mind, I did almost the entirety of my Ram, not just the bra, but everything except the tailgate). I think that was around the $3,500 marker (it's been awhile).

The nice thing is if you do the combo of PPF and Ceramic, the PPF will save you from door dings and rock chips, and the Ceramic will not only keep it cleaner (and WAY easier to clean if she gets dirty), but also will enhance the lifespan of the PPF as it blocks a bunch of UV from hitting the PPF/paint (it won't yellow) and other areas of the vehicle (like the headlights). That's not to say that modern PPF yellows like the older stuff used to, it is way more resistant to it these days, but... anything that enhances the lifespan of an investment, I'm down for.

I'm opting for the black mountain interior on my R1T, and will be having the interior treated with ceramic (again, easier to clean), but also cuts down on how hot they get (less UV absorption).
Temerarius,

I may have to call it a day. My brain is now full, thanks to you and SeaGeo. Now I need to go home, do more research, and find a protection option that fits my needs and my budget.

Yeah....who am I kidding? I just need to find the right protection package and pull a Nike, and tell the shop "Just do it". But before that, I need an R1T. Phone still fully charged...... Still willing to save Rivian the shipping expense........

Thanks for educating me! 👍
 

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Just get a bottle of 303 Aerospace Touchless Sealant and call it good. They have a graphene version too if you need to tell your friends your car is graphene coated. Stuff is super easy to use. For a new car the Ceramic coating should be cheaper. The coating and application. is not rocket science. With a "not new" car the cost is in the paint prep. Our shiny new Rivian's shouldn’t need a bunch of paint correction. Ceramic is like golf clubs. If they spent their marketing budget on R&D they all would be good.

PPF and Ceramic are not a great comparison on some level. PPF offers protection from scratches and rock chips and such. Ceramic basically just keeps stuff front sticking to your car in my experience.
 
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Jemel

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This has been an informative thread! It’s been a while since I did research in terms of detailing and protection. I haven’t really taken much care of my Model 3 since it came from the factory needing a repaint on 4 panels, which turned me off from doing anything major in the first place. And then the drive home from the paint shop resulted in 4 chips from the Model 3’s uncanny ability to attract all rocks and debris within a mile radius, but I digress…

I installed an Xpel kit on my 4Runner when I first got it. The hood came out great because it was fairly flat, even with the hood scoop. The rest, well, let’s just say I’m leaving it to the professionals next time! In spite of the less than perfect installation I did, it held up incredibly well in the six years and countless highway miles I had in it. No discoloration, no scratches, not even a ding in the protected areas. Doing just the hood and facade myself ran me $800 in materials at the time, I believe. Not cheap but I think it’s worth the investment. I’m definitely having Xpel professionally installed on my future R1S. The hood and facade for sure, possibly also the rocker panels.

Now, the ceramic coatings being mentioned are very intriguing. On my 4Runner I was using Klasse, which is a polymer sealant. It did a great job at keeping things off the paint (and worked well with the PPF), though it had no physical barrier. Traditionally on older vehicles I had used a high quality carnauba wax, which does provide a slight physical barrier but breaks down fast (like one month). It sounds like ceramic is the next step up from the polymer. It wasn’t really an option when I was researching 8 years ago.
 

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Presuming we all get new Rivians with paint that is well done and not needing corrections, a DIY ceramic goes on quasi similar to a hand wax at less than $200. Have used 22PLE, Gtechniq, Cquartz.

I’ll pay a shop to do PPF on front, first portion of hood, A pillars, mirrors, and lower rockers aft of each wheel. Then DIY ceramic with carnuba coat after curing.

Depending upon hardness and with indoor car storage, I’ve gotten 2-3 years out of most decent ceramics.
 

HikerTom

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Yeah... I'd expect around a grand in this area (PNW) for a basic treatment, however, I recommend making sure that whatever coating you get has a 9H hardness in the mix (it will bump the price up by about 50%). The more 9H layer you add, the more it will cost, but, also the more durable the ceramic coating will be.

PPF tends to be pretty spendy, I think all in, it was just slightly less then the wrap on my X to do my Ram (keep in mind, I did almost the entirety of my Ram, not just the bra, but everything except the tailgate). I think that was around the $3,500 marker (it's been awhile).

The nice thing is if you do the combo of PPF and Ceramic, the PPF will save you from door dings and rock chips, and the Ceramic will not only keep it cleaner (and WAY easier to clean if she gets dirty), but also will enhance the lifespan of the PPF as it blocks a bunch of UV from hitting the PPF/paint (it won't yellow) and other areas of the vehicle (like the headlights). That's not to say that modern PPF yellows like the older stuff used to, it is way more resistant to it these days, but... anything that enhances the lifespan of an investment, I'm down for.

I'm opting for the black mountain interior on my R1T, and will be having the interior treated with ceramic (again, easier to clean), but also cuts down on how hot they get (less UV absorption).
Seeing that you are from Kirkland, WA, where do you go for your PFF and Ceramic, or do you do it yourself?

Why are you opting for the black mountain interior? Looks, show less dirt, etc?
 

Temerarius

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Seeing that you are from Kirkland, WA, where do you go for your PFF and Ceramic, or do you do it yourself?

Why are you opting for the black mountain interior? Looks, show less dirt, etc?
So I use APC Auto Spa. They were based in Woodinville, but shifted out to Monroe (so a bit more of a trek now).

As for why Black interior: I have a Model X with a White interior and blue jeans are the enemy. Even through the seats are resistant to staining and colour transfer, it still happens. Using baby wipes does remove a good deal of the transferred colour, but there is still a tint left. And I will note, I did have the interior treated with a ceramic coating which also helped, but that will still break down over the year (so I do an annual renewal on the seats).

I can't speak to the resistance of the Rivian material, and it may well be better than the Tesla, but... I also like the darker interior, so that combined with my experience with the white interior in my X leads me to go for the "Black Mountain" option.
 
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