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What Is Better Ceramic Coating or PPF?

Ceramic coatings and paint protection film (PPF) are two aftermarket products that can be applied to a vehicle's exterior to protect the paint and improve its appearance. Both have their own set of benefits and drawbacks, and which one is "better" will depend on your specific needs and preferences.


Paint protection film (PPF) is a clear, plastic material that is applied to the exterior of a vehicle to protect the paint from damage. It is made of thermoplastic polyurethane, which is resistant to many types of contaminants, including acid-based substances, road grime, and bird droppings. PPF is also resistant to UV rays and can help prevent fading or oxidation of the paint. In addition to protecting against scratches and other types of damage, PPF is also self-healing, meaning that it can repair itself if it suffers light scratches or swirl marks. It is an effective way to preserve the quality and appearance of a vehicle's paint job and can be easily removed if necessary. PPF protects your vehicle by providing:

  1. Oxidation (fading) from exposure to UV rays

  2. Chemical stains or etch marks from acidic contaminants

  3. Scratches caused by debris and dirt on the road

  4. Swirl marks from car washes

  5. Hard water marks caused by mineral deposits

  6. Dings, and minor impact paint damage

  7. Shopping cart damage

  8. Track wear and tear

  9. Key damage or key vandalism


Ceramic coating is a product used in the automotive industry to protect a vehicle's paint job. It is a liquid-polymer made from silica and other ingredients that bond with the clear coat of the paint to create a protective layer. This layer is hydrophobic, meaning that it repels water and other contaminants, making it difficult for them to stick to the surface of the vehicle. As a result, ceramic coating can help keep a vehicle's paint job looking clean and new for longer.

Ceramic coatings also protect against:

  1. UV Exposure

  2. Chemical etch marks

  3. Chemical stains

Ceramic coating is a great entry level protection to help keep the paint glossy, free from UV damage, easier to wash and more chemical resistant.


Both paint protection film and ceramic coating can help extend the lifespan of a vehicle's paint job and keep it looking new. These products also share some performance characteristics, including:

  • Protecting the paint from harsh environmental elements

  • Preventing fading of the paint

  • Maintaining the fresh appearance of the paint

  • Blocking chemical stains from damaging the paint

Regardless of which product you choose, you will be adding value to your vehicle


Although paint protection film and ceramic coating have some similarities, they also have some significant differences. One key difference is thickness: paint protection film is much thicker than ceramic coating, with a thickness of 8 thousandths of an inch compared to a thickness of 10-20 microns for ceramic coating. Additionally, paint protection film has the ability to "self heal," meaning that it can repair itself if it suffers light scratches or swirl marks. This ability is not present in ceramic coating. In terms of protection against rock chips? PPF is King and the ONLY true protection you will receive for this physical damage.

However, ceramic coating does have its own strengths, such as its hydrophobic surface, which makes the car easier to clean and enhances the shine.

PPF or Ceramic Coating for Your Vehicle?

Looking to protect your car's paint and improve its appearance? Consider applying both paint protection film and ceramic coating for the ultimate protection. We recommend starting with paint protection film to protect against scratches and chips caused by road debris. Once those vulnerable areas are covered, you can add ceramic coating for an extra shine. Keep in mind that ceramic coating requires a full paint correction and polishing process before application, so it can be added at a later date if needed. Combining both paint protection film and ceramic coating is the best option, but we understand that every customer has different needs and budget constraints. Contact us here at Shade9 today to learn more and schedule an appointment. We look forward to helping you keep your car looking its best.

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