Results 1 to 7 of 7

Thread: Applying a Ceramic Coating to wheels

  1. #1
    Work in Progress sm1ke's Avatar
    Donated: $25

    2018 Mazda CX-9 Signature

    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Location
    MB, Canada
    Posts
    986

    Applying a Ceramic Coating to wheels

    This is a DIY How-To for applying a ceramic coating to a set of wheels. I decided to document this process just to provide my own experience with the ceramic coating and share some tips, as well as receive feedback from others who may have used a ceramic coating in the past.

    This process was documented/photographed by myself, using an old P+S camera and my wheels (22x10.5 Vossen VFS-2) as the "demos". This DIY is provided as a learning aid and reference guide. I assume no responsibility for any warranties this process may void, or damages you may inflict on yourself or your wheels.


    Here's some background info on Ceramic Coatings:
    Wiki description: What is a Coating?


    The multi-spoke wheel design that I chose has the unfortunate property of being hard to clean. I chose to apply a ceramic coating for the sole purpose of making them easier to clean due to the hydrophobic qualities of the coating. Technically I could have also used a wax or sealant, but these are typically not as durable as a ceramic coating, and I would prefer for this coating to last for the entire summer season (a good 6-8 months).

    You can use these instructions with virtually any ceramic coating available, and there are plenty to choose from. CQuartz UK is a brand that is both durable and well-reviewed in the detailing world, but for my purposes I chose to go with a cheap ceramic coating that I found on eBay for $6. The goal is to practice and learn with the cheap coating, test it for the first season, and if it works well enough, I'd upgrade to the more expensive CQuartz UK for the wheels, and possibly look into coating the entire vehicle as well. There are videos on YouTube that actually test the durability and effectivity of different brands of coatings, and CQuartz UK seems to be one of the most durable, lasting well over a year, while others, like the cheap coating I bought, would last for a month or two.


    What you'll need:

    • A bottle of isopropyl alcohol
    • Some soapy water (preferably with some dish detergent)
    • A bottle of ceramic coating (usually comes in 30ml bottles)
    • An applicator block/sponge (comes with the coating)
    • Microsuede applicator cloths (comes with the coating)
    • Two clean microfibers (one for the alcohol wipe, another for the soapy water)
    • Clean microfiber buffing cloth



    EDIT: It's also important to note that the coating does have a smell to it as it is drying, so I would recommend working in a well ventilated area. Also, use nitrile gloves if you have them handy (I didn't when I took the pics for this guide).

  2. #2
    Work in Progress sm1ke's Avatar
    Donated: $25

    2018 Mazda CX-9 Signature

    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Location
    MB, Canada
    Posts
    986
    Prep the wheel

    Like detailing a car, prepping it is half the battle. You wouldn't wax a car that hasn't been washed or clay barred, because if you did, all the dirt and imperfections in the paint would get trapped underneath the wax. The same principle applies here. You want to clean all surfaces of the wheel to prepare it for the coating. This helps to ensure that it adheres properly to the wheel.

    1. Wipe down the wheel with the soapy water mixture to get any grime or caked on dirt off, then wipe it dry.

    2. Give the wheel a final wipedown with the isopropyl alcohol. This step gets rid of hand oils and fingerprints and ensures that the surface is nice and clean.

    Attached Images Attached Images
    Sigs are visible only in your first post on a page. To change your thread display preferences, click here and enable 'Always Show Signature'.

  3. #3
    Work in Progress sm1ke's Avatar
    Donated: $25

    2018 Mazda CX-9 Signature

    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Location
    MB, Canada
    Posts
    986
    Apply the coating



    Try to keep the bottle sealed at all times. If left uncovered for long periods of time, the coating may crystallize inside the bottle. When applying the coating, you don't need much. A few drops at a time worked well for me. It also helps if you have a wedge block or soft sponge of some kind to wrap the applicator cloths with. Because I only had the block, I wasn't able to get into the tighter areas of the wheel hub, where the spokes meet.

    1. Wrap a clean applicator cloth around the applicator block, then carefully apply 4-5 drops of the ceramic coating.



    2. Wipe the surface of the wheel barrel using even, steady pressure. Work in small sections. I did 1/4 of the barrel at a time.



    3. After each application, I waited 10-20 seconds for the coating to flash a little bit, then gave the section a quick wipe with the microfiber buffing cloth.

    4. After each section, remember to apply 2-3 more drops of the coating to the applicator to keep it saturated.

    5. When you're done with the barrel, flip it over to do the face.

    6. Again, work in small sections. I did 3 or 4 spokes at a time, making sure I coated as much of the surface as I could reach with the applicator (the playing cards are just there as markers). Toss out the used applicator cloth when you're done.



    7. Give the face a final wipedown with the buffing cloth, making sure there is no streaking or hazing - these are "high" spots, and they are left to cure this way, the wheel will always look streaky until the coating wears off or until you strip it by polishing it off. Carefully move the wheel and set it aside to cure.



    The wheel should cure in a day or two (faster if it is in the sunlight). If you were to touch the wheel before the coating cures, it would feel slightly tacky, but it's almost not noticeable.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Sigs are visible only in your first post on a page. To change your thread display preferences, click here and enable 'Always Show Signature'.

  4. #4
    Work in Progress sm1ke's Avatar
    Donated: $25

    2018 Mazda CX-9 Signature

    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Location
    MB, Canada
    Posts
    986
    So far, I've only coated one wheel and prepped one more. I'm doing it bit by bit and taking my time with it as a cold virus makes its way through my house and family, lol. I also noticed that applying the coating helped to hide the very, very slight marring in the paint from the tire mounting shop. This is a picture from right after I had prepped the wheel:



    The only visible imperfection after the application is the single hairline scratch running horizontally. Ceramic coatings are not designed to fill in imperfections like these, so I'm not sure what happened here, but hey, I'll take it :P


    If anyone else has any useful tips for me or others who are planning to tackle this, please feel free to comment!

    - Mike
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Sigs are visible only in your first post on a page. To change your thread display preferences, click here and enable 'Always Show Signature'.

  5. #5
    Work in Progress sm1ke's Avatar
    Donated: $25

    2018 Mazda CX-9 Signature

    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Location
    MB, Canada
    Posts
    986
    Ok, so I tested the hydrophobicity of the wheel I just coated, and its non-existent, lol. Either I didn't let the coating sit long enough before wiping with the buffing cloth, or the coating I'm using is just really poor. Going to try it again with a longer flash time this time. Will report back.
    Sigs are visible only in your first post on a page. To change your thread display preferences, click here and enable 'Always Show Signature'.

  6. #6
    Registered Member

    2014 CX-5 GT

    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Lansdale, PA
    Posts
    1,864
    Quote Originally Posted by sm1ke View Post
    Ok, so I tested the hydrophobicity of the wheel I just coated, and its non-existent, lol. Either I didn't let the coating sit long enough before wiping with the buffing cloth, or the coating I'm using is just really poor. Going to try it again with a longer flash time this time. Will report back.
    Interesting. I do wonder how you can tell if these coating were even applied and how well.
    2014 Silver Mazda CX-5 GT
    2017 Eternal Blue Mazda 3 Touring
    2018 Machine Grey Mazda CX-9 Signature



  7. #7
    Work in Progress sm1ke's Avatar
    Donated: $25

    2018 Mazda CX-9 Signature

    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Location
    MB, Canada
    Posts
    986
    Quote Originally Posted by dougal View Post
    Interesting. I do wonder how you can tell if these coating were even applied and how well.
    All ceramic coatings will boast some level of hydrophobicity. The differences between a poor coating and a good one are durability and hydrophobicity. A good one like CQuartz UK will last through many washes, and the water will sheet off of the car much quicker than something like the coating I'm using.

    As far as how you can tell whether it's coated or not, well you really can't just by looking at it. It would look just as good as it was prepped. This is where carnauba waxes have an edge, the wax adds a level of depth and gloss that you just can't get with a ceramic coating. If I had the option and money/time weren't deciding factors, I'd do a full paint correction, followed by a full PPF car wrap, topped with a ceramic coating on my daily car. My show/weekend car would get a full paint correction, followed by a wax with a high carnauba concentrate like Pinnacle Souveran.

    Alas, I only have the CX-9 and a 2006 Civic, with an 11-month old and bills to pay, and that's why I stick with paste and spray waxes and this cheap ceramic coating, haha!
    Sigs are visible only in your first post on a page. To change your thread display preferences, click here and enable 'Always Show Signature'.

Similar Threads

  1. Ceramic Coating
    By mgerst1 in forum Global
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 12-20-2008, 09:48 AM
  2. Ceramic coating????????
    By LX_StreetGlow in forum Global
    Replies: 26
    Last Post: 04-15-2007, 03:10 PM
  3. ceramic coating or jet-hot?
    By whitemp5seattle in forum Global
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 04-12-2007, 08:15 PM
  4. Ceramic Coating in the NE US (NY, NJ, PA)
    By Pretzellogic in forum Mazda How-To
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 07-09-2004, 07:19 PM
  5. Ceramic coating?????
    By Cirielle in forum Mazdaspeed Protege
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 07-30-2003, 05:37 AM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •