Does ceramic coating hide scratches?
No. Quite the opposite, actually. Much like our question and answer where we talked about all of the false information surrounding ceramic coatings and whether they protect against rock chips and scratches, we also see a lot of false information saying they FILL scratches.
Ceramic coating, unlike clear bra (which fills minor swirls), is more likely to amplify imperfections (or lack thereof) due to the nature of the material drying/bonding like a glass surface.
This is why it is key to ensure your paint is how you would like it to look prior to having us install ceramic coating. That goes for anything from having your panels repainted at an auto body shop, or having us conduct paint enhancement/paint correction/detailing of your vehicle.
We will always ask you how you feel about your paint when we are discussing pricing, packages, and ceramic coating options, as well as your overall goals with ceramic coating (usually we want to make sure you are looking for ceramic coating and not clear bra, and make sure that you are not hoping to get clear bra benefits from ceramic coating).
It is true that ceramic coatings can enhance or deepen paint colors, but typically the biggest change in the appearance of the paint is due to the preparation prior to installing the ceramic coating (polishing, compounding, clay bar, decontamination, etc). In the same manner, lack of preparation before ceramic coating, or not attending to scratches/swirl marks prior to, could also highlight them.
That doesn’t mean that paint enhancement is required for everyone.
Many purists or detailers may be shocked to learn that paint enhancement is not for everyone. Conducting paint correction before we install ceramic coating adds a certain cost to the service, more time, and frankly – may not be necessary for everyone.
Some clients, for example, just need their work vehicle to be easy to clean to present a professional appearance. They don’t need the vehicle be scratch-free, but they don’t want to arrive at a job site with a dirty vehicle.
Other people simply are not concerned with scratching or swirling. They want their vehicle to be clean and easy to clean, but may not see or care about the swirling.
There is nothing wrong with that! We can ceramic coat your vehicle without conducting paint correction.