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Before applying a ceramic coating to your boat or vessel, there are a few things you should know and questions you should be asking yourself. Here are some things you should be thinking about.
Is the ceramic coating marine grade?
What type of ceramic coating are you looking to apply? Permanent or degradable?
How long will the coating last?
Does my paint or gelcoat have to be corrected before I apply the coating?
How does the surface have to be prepared before I apply the coating?
What type of conditions can I apply the coating in?
Do I spray or wipe on the material?
How long does the coating have to dry for?
How long do I have to wait before I get the surface wet after I apply the coating?
Do I have to layer the coating on to get better results?
These are all great questions. At Marine Nano Shop, we intend to provide you with valuable information so that DIYers can successfully apply ceramic coatings if you choose to do so on your own rather than hiring a professional detailer. Many coatings on the market today have not been designed specifically for the marine environment. Well, what does that mean? That translates to poor performance, significantly shorter life span and a complete let down, waste of money, time and energy.
All of the coatings that we offer at Marine Nano Shop were developed specifically for marine application. In addition, they can also be used on automobiles, airplanes, commercial fleets, machinery/equipment and indoor/outdoor stainless steel appliances. So before applying any type of ceramic coating to your boat, make sure it was designed specifically for gelcoat or marine paint and that the formula was developed specifically for marine application.
Several providers of ceramic coating state that they offer permanent coatings. Be weary of these claims. In many cases, you will have to shell out a large sum of money for this so called "permanent 9H coating" only to be let down when it starts to fail after a couple of years. The truth is, this technology is so new for marine applications, that there has not been enough time to validate this claim. The coatings that Marine Nano Shop offers are degradable coatings. After a certain period of time, depending on the lifespan of the specific coating, the material begins to diminish and wear down. They are not bulletproof. Once the coating is showing signs of fatigue, simply buff the surface with a medium to heavy cut buffing compound, polish surface, reapply coating and your're good to go for another 12+ months.
Marine Nano Shop offers 2 grades of coatings. Each coating has a different lifespan. Depending on how well the coating is maintained over this period will also dictate how long the coating will hold up. We recommend cleaning the boat with a non-abrasive high foam content soap designed specifically for ceramic coatings. We also recommend applying Activate, a marine grade silica surface spray to help replenish the coating every 3-6 months.
Yes, with the coatings we offer, the paint or gel coat has to be corrected and in near perfect condition before the coating is applied. Applying the ceramic coating over an oxidized surface will not remove oxidation or make the surface look great. However, by leveraging this type of coating, you will achieve a higher level of gloss and protection than traditional waxing techniques.
If you are restoring the surface by buffing and polishing or if you have a new boat that just needs some minor polishing, it is very critical that the surface is decontaminated before applying the coating. This can be done with a combination of soap and solvents. We recommend using Dawn Soap, Prep All (100% virgin solvents), 50/50 denatured alcohol water solution or our surface wipe. It is imperative that this step is executed flawlessly and all polishing residue is removed because you are essentially preparing the surface so the coating can bond well to the gel coat or paint.
Ceramic coatings should not be applied in direct sunlight or where the surface is baking under the sun. The surface should be out of direct sunlight an in a cool dry area. Some coatings require infrared heaters to help cure the product. The coatings MNS offers do not. Once the coating has been applied, it is safe to expose the coating to sunlight. This will actually help cure the coating quicker.
The coatings we offer are applied with an applicator pad. While others are spayed on, we believe gliding the material on with a suede applicator pad is the most efficient method of applying the coating.
Allow 8 hours for the coating to fully cure. A second coat can be applied after the first coat has cured, if desired.
Wait 24 hours before applying water to the coating. You should wait a minimum of 7 days before applying any soap or cleaners.
When applying ceramic coating to a gel coat surface, we recommend two coats. The porous nature of the gel coat soaks up the first coat. While one layer will provide a high level of protection, A second coat on the first layer will fill in anything that was missed by the first coat (which isn't much).