Do you need to polish before ceramic coating? What you need to know:

We ALWAYS take into account what the client wants with their vehicle. We polish vehicle all of the time - but only for people who need/want it!

Something that’s very important to understand is that you don’t HAVE to polish before ceramic coating. We used to polish every single car regardless if the client wanted it or not. And then, with automative paint often as thin as ever, we realized that polishing every single car for clients that don’t need or want it, was actually doing more harm in the long run.

TO BE CLEAR: you should absolutely polish before ceramic coating IF you want the car to have the BEST shine out there. However, you should not polish before ceramic coating just because the internet says you should. Polishing is often incredibly important and almost necessary to remove oxidation or other imperfections (such as automatic car wash swirls or similar). We simply do not require it – many people do not see all of the imperfections.

Polish before ceramic coating summary:

In this video from Harker Heights Ceramic Coatings, the topic of whether or not paint polishing is necessary before applying a ceramic coating is discussed. The presenter argues that polishing is not required and provides four key reasons for this perspective.

First, the presenter suggests that ego often drives the belief that paint must be in perfect condition before ceramic coating. However, many clients are not concerned about minor imperfections, and the pursuit of perfection can actually harm the paint by thinning out its protective layer.

Second, the argument that paint needs to be polished for ceramic coating to bond effectively is challenged. The presenter questions why other surfaces like wheels or glass are not polished before coating, suggesting that it doesn’t make sense to single out paint.

Third, the presenter speculates that the belief in mandatory polishing may have originated as a way to increase costs and profits for detailing companies. However, this practice may not be scientifically supported.

Finally, the presenter argues that incorrect polishing techniques and failure to use proper panel prep sprays may actually increase the chances of ceramic coating failure. Without thorough removal of polishing residues and contaminants, coatings can’t adhere properly.

The main message conveyed is that polishing should be done based on the client’s needs and desires rather than being seen as an obligatory step. By focusing on what the client wants and providing services accordingly, detailers can build trust and offer more tailored solutions.

Harker Heights Ceramic Coatings emphasizes that they love polishing but only do it when the client requests or requires it, aligning their services with the client’s best interests and budget.

What choices do you have to get paint correction before ceramic coating/PPF?


PPF Ceramic Coating
Rock Chip Protection:
Scratch Protection:
UV Protection:
Enhances Gloss:
Easier clean up of bugs/dirt/bird poop:
Warranty: Lifetime 3 & 5 years most popular
Where installed: Most popular: front of car Entire car
Best installed on: New cars (2021+) Any car
Cost: $$$ $
Automatic car wash safe?

our most popular PPF packages:

Full Front:

Starting at $2300

most popular PPF package full front

  • All or most trim pieces covered
  • Full hood
  • Front bumper
  • Full fenders
  • Mirrors

Track Pack:

Starting at $2900

Track Package Left C8 Corvette PPF
  • All or most trim pieces covered
  • Full hood, fenders, mirrors, & front bumper
  • Leading edge of roof & A-pillars
  • Rocker panels or half doors, as applicable

Full Body:

Starting at $7200

C8 Corvette Paint Protection Film Harker Heights TX

  • Almost all painted surfaces covered by clear bra/paint protection film/PPF

Add Ceramic Coating for Easier Cleanup!

$699 3yr / $999 5yr

Do you need to polish before ceramic coating? - Copperas Cove/Killeen/Harker Heights

Hey fellow detailers how’s it going I want to
talk to you today about a controversial subject

and that is you do not need to conduct a paint
correction paint enhancement or polish prior to

installing a ceramic coating and I’m gonna tell
you all the reasons

why you don’t need to do that and then back I’m
gonna tell you at the end why I think polishing a

vehicle prior to installing a ceramic coating will
actually likely increase the chances that your

ceramic coating will fail so stick around for the
full video because I’m gonna talk to you about

that at the end

today to explain why polishing is not
necessary and why it doesn’t make sense for him

before applying a ceramic coating so if you agree
or disagree please put in the comments or if

you’re seeing this video via Facebook in one of
our detailing groups by all means agree or

disagree in the comments point by point there and
I can always a copy and paste it into the video

alright Number one is ego all right and that’s
gonna bother people

but fortunately

Yvan Lacroix

kind of turned me onto this sometime ago and that
is we as detailers let ego get in the way we say

you know the paint has to be a certain level of
perfection it doesn’t not everybody thinks it has

been 100% perfect before they install ceramic

but there is a degree of ego in play where people
think that the paint has to be a certain way you

know they don’t want their name on it etc. etc.
listen I’m here to tell you that many people do

not care about swirls they don’t care about
defects in the paint they only care that their

vehicle is easy to clean up and that’s not a
knock on them

that may be some thing that is you know that’s
our our problem as detailers is we are so

concerned about our how something looks that’s
all we see but that’s not what

9 9% of the population sees

defects that we are seeing that we think we need to
be corrected prior to applying a ceramic coating

they don’t they don’t at all and I are in the
reality is

our ego actually damages the paint so if your
polishing some thing where the client doesn’t

feel ithat’s necessary but you’re doing it
just to do it

because you have some preconceived notion of what
the paint looks like prior to installing ceramic

coating what you’re doing is your reducing the UV
protection your reducing the longevity of the

coating and you are actually increasing the chance
of the coating could scratch or a sorry that the

paint will scratch in the future because we’ve
thinned out that protective layer know if the

customer doesn’t want swirls removed or defects removed
then the risk is worth the gain

if the client is

unconcerned about the appearance of their paint we
are actually doing a lot more harm than we are

doing good so don’t let your ego get in the way

All right so point number two and this is what I
tend to gravitate towards when I’m talking to

detailers insist that I was in the paint is a
requirement prior to installing a ceramic coating

it doesn’t make sense it doesn’t make sense at
all if you think about it so the usual arguments

are you know the paint needs to be you know kinda
leveled out or you know it needs to have defects

removed so the coating

can bond to the service that argument doesn’t
make sense

a lot of wheels on the market a lot of calipers
on the market there painted they’re high temp

paint maybe but they’re painted that’s why you
can still polish many painted wheels so are those

detailers are they polishing the ins and outs
backsides in nooks and crannies of every single

spoke on the wheel before they’re applying a
ceramic coating are they polishing the brake

calipers the answer to that question is probably
not and if they say they are I have to question that

Validity but

you know if you don’t have to polish the wheel
prior to applying a ceramic coating why do you

have the polish the paint if there’s surfaces that are even
is the argument you know we’re not polishing

textures plastic most people are not polishing the
glass from prior to installing ceramic coating

most people are polish chrome nobody’s polishing
painted fake chrome plastic pieces that you see

in all these things are not being polished by 9 9
. 9 9% of detailers prior to applying ceramic

coating so why do you have to polish it before
you put it on the paint it doesn’t make sense the

level you know defect thing that doesn’t make any

you know from a commonsense standpoint it just
doesn’t make sense that you would have to polish

paint but no other surface so it doesn’t make
sense that point number two point number three is

I believe

At one point in some money grab that turned into a

in facts and in other words it’s
been repeated so many times

you know this is the way we always do it that
sort of thing that it turned into

really it was you know an opportunity for money
grab which I don’t believe in

so what what I mean by that is you know if I is a
coating company or I is a company in general I

want my installers to make more money I want them
to be successful because of their successful

they’re spending more money with me right so I
tell them you have the polish paint prior to

installing ceramic coating and how is that a
money grab that means that they’re gonna pass

that onto a client they’re gonna charge the
client more their tickets are going to be higher

they’re gonna get more money back

and they’re gonna reinvest that into whatever
company they’re with

so I don’t think

you know I am I firmly believe that It was some
sort of you know money grab or promotion

that has just turned into facts like you must do
this and nobody has been able to show me the

science behind why you must polish so that’s
point number three all right point number four

number four them and talk to you about it it’s
probably gonna be someone controversial but this

is what I think I think that polishing by and
large by the numbers of detailers statistically

is causing more coating failures and not can you
save yourself that doesn’t make sense and I agree

it’s done correctly doesn’t make sense but what
I’ve seen on Facebook message groups you know

what forums

people insist on polishing paint but nobody
mentioned using the correct solvent base panel

prep I don’t say nobody but there’s a lot of
instances where solvent based panel prep is not

mentioned or mentioned correctly as the final
step after polishing prior to applying to ceramic

here we use SB3 eady panel prep here but
we’ve also use Maguires M1 2 2 americana


but what happens is what I’ve seen

insist that polishing required but then you know
maybe they use isopropyl alcohol wipe afterwards

which is an sufficient to get the polishes
residues oils or they don’t mention a panel prep

spray as the final step at all which leads me to
believe that they’re not doing it or they’re not

doing it correctly it’s so

if your polishing but you’re not doing that step
correctly in the polishing will increase your

chances of a ceramic coating failure and I
actually did a video on this of the proper

application of a panel prep spray and the reason
is because you’re applying the ceramic coating to

a service that has fillers contaminants oils
whatever from the polishing and the compound the

polishes ompound so

that will increase your ceramic coating failure
if you don’t remove those so if you’re not Panel

prep correctly how are you’re using isopropyl
alcohol or you’re just washing the vehicle

afterwards you’re going to increase your chances
of failure alright I gave you my four reasons as to

why I think

polishing is not a requirement and or

why people believe that it is a requirement

the key take away here is what does the client
want what does the client need not what do you

need what do they need what do they want they don’t
care about swirls and scratches why are you

polishing the paint there’s no need to do it
you’re just harming the paint

long-term or something that they may be don’t
care about it’s not about

you not giving the client

perfect product or being a superior detailer it’s
about being in business and if you are giving

away hours of your own labor

and material product you name it you’re not gonna
be in business very long to help that client

going down in the future Or you’ll not be able to
expand your business to help more clients until

you know we love polishing here at Harker Heights
ceramic coatings I love it I do it all the time I

take hammered vehicles and I bring them back to
life and it’s probably my favorite type of job

far more than your bra for more than the
application process of ceramic in general because

it elicits the best reaction from the clients
that want it but the clients they don’t want it

they don’t need it maybe it’s not in their budget
but they want that clean up and that is a clean

up on ceramic coating

that’s where we come in to play and we knew gain
more trust from the client looking out for their

best interest in their best

you know financial than you do just giving them a
service that they didn’t ask for and they didn’t

pay for it it’s actually harful

you don’t need to polish your vehicle prior to
installing a ceramic coating let me know what you

think in the Comments

Last updated on September 16th, 2023. First, all Autobahn clear bra and ceramic coating (and paint correction) content is copyright of Harker Heights Ceramic Coatings, LLC (HHCC). Of course, unless specifically cited otherwise. So that you know, HHCC does not authorize the content on hhceramiccoatings.com. Obviously, specifically within the Lampasas/Copperas Cove/Killeen/Fort (Ft.) Hood/Harker Heights/Nolanville/Belton/Temple/Salado areas. Lastly, selective reproduction may be authorized for other geographical areas (outside of the traditional HHCC service area) only with the express written consent of HHCC.