Paint Protection Film vs Ceramic Coating

With the rise of information and technology, one industry that is rapidly growing in popularity is the world of automotive paint protection. It’s no news that ever since the invention of the automobile, man has become a fanatic for the culture and when huge leaps in culture are struck, roots of subcultures are born. We are far from the days of helping your grandfather wash his car with a single bucket and some tin wax though. Ingenuity and creativity has led us to know more about keeping the cars we love in pristine condition longer than ever before. Even if you haven’t dipped your toes into the ever expanding world of paint protection, there are two names you might have heard of, paint protection film and ceramic coatings. What are these products ? What do they do? Are they similar? Today We are going to shed some light on the matter in hopes you have a better understanding of what these are and what they do. Let’s dive in.

What is paint protection film?

Paint protection film, also known as clear bra or ppf, is a thin clear film that is applied on top of your car’s paint to protect it from everyday roadway hazards. Rock chips, & rogue road debris can cause potential damage to your paint everytime you drive your car. Paint protection film can be considered a shield of sorts, like a bullet proof vest or a screen protector for your phone. It adds a layer of security or stopping power before a scratch or stone impact can damage your car’s paint. Why is this good? There are many benefits to consider, like resale value, longevity of your vehicle’s paint, and even driving style accommodations. There is now a product to help you drive more and worry less.

What is a ceramic coating?

Ceramic coatings or paint coatings is another line of defense when it comes to protecting your vehicle’s paint. Unlike paint correction film, where you have a physical sheet applied on top of the paint, Ceramic coatings are a liquid that is applied by hand that chemically bonds itself to the paint. The appeal with ceramic coatings is its hydrophobic properties. Once a coating is applied water does not stick to the surface of the paint, it “beads”, allowing the water to roll off. Why this is a huge benefit is because the effects hard water has on your vehicle’s paint is extremely damaging. Hard water, such as the water that comes out of your garden hose has a hardness reading of 120 parts per million, where filtered “soft” water has a hardness reading of 15 parts per million. So in this case if the “bad” water can’t stick to your paint it can`t damage it! Other benefits include any contamination having a hard time sticking to the paint, bird droppings, dirt, grime will sit on the surface and not embed itself, making the washing process a lot easier.

How is paint protection film and ceramic coating different?

A common misunderstanding is that PPF & Ceramic Coatings are essentially the same thing. When in fact the only bond they share is the fact they are both paint protection products. Paint protection film is a transparent vehicle wrap designed to add a layer of protection from driving hazards that can cause knicks, chips, small dents & scratches. A ceramic coating is applied to protect your vehicle from the elements such as sun damage, water spots and other contaminants. A ceramic pro coating also makes exterior maintenance a breeze with its hydroponic properties. Ceramic coatings are sort of a clever science precaution, a way to understand the damages coming and adapt to best combat them. If rain water is the enemy, it simply will not allow the water to sit still. Both clear bra and ceramic coatings are protectors, but as you can see go about it in a completely different manner.

Which is the best? Clear bra or ceramic coatings?

When it comes to the subject of ppf vs ceramic coatings, here’s what to consider: what’s the application for? What do you wish to combat? If you asked us which one we would choose, truthfully… we choose both everytime. Now if this was a discussion of two items that are exactly the same, that wouldn’t be our answer. We would have to look at what dangers lie ahead and which product would we choose as our weapon. The truth is paint protection film and ceramic coatings protection your car in completely different ways, so why not double down on protecting your investment? What one lacks the other compliments, put them together and you have a personal paint bodyguard.

So which is better? Paint protection film or ceramic coating?

In conclusion both paint protection products are modern day marvels in the world of automotive paint protection. Both have great pros and little to no cons. The path for your vehicle’s paint really relies on its application, if you are one who enjoys the drive of a canyon and are worried about rock chips, road debris, or the sun on a long journey, perhaps paint protection film is for you. If you’re somebody who wants paint protection against the rain, or natural elements like bird droppings and mineral deposits, maybe ceramic coatings is where you should lean. Regardless of the choices you make, you can rest easy knowing these two products are state of the art in the industry.


Is Paint Protection Film worth it?

To find the answers of this common Paint Protection Film question we must first take a quick dive into the world of automotive paint protection. What is paint protection film exactly? Is it different from a clear bra? How do I know if I should apply this protection wrap to my car? At Polished Protection Signal Hill we strive to provide our customers with the best resources to make educated decisions when it comes to protecting their car. So, let’s take a look at some of the most commonly asked questions to get you a better understanding of this thing called paint protection film and if it is worth investing in.

What is Paint Protection Film?

Paint protection film is a versatile thermoplastic Polyurethane product with a special formulated adhesive built in… what the heck does that mean and how does that pertain to your car?  Simply put,  Paint protection film, also known as Clear Bra, is a thin clear film that is carefully applied on top of your car’s paint to protect it from the elements. You can think of paint protection film as your first line of defense when it comes to protecting your vehicle’s paint from damage. No different than applying a case to a brand new iphone, the idea is to take precautions against damage.

Where did Clear Bra come from?

Clear bra has been mainly associated with the automotive industry. Early on you might not have known what clear bra is unless you were in the motorsports industry. Clear bra was used by racing teams to protect their race cars. But before the automotive industry adopted clear bra, its conception came at a time of war. You can find products of all kinds on the market today that were designed for military use, clear bra fall in this category. During the Vietnam War in the 50`s the American military needed a way to protect their helicopter’s rotor blades from damage. Helicopter tape , also known as clear bra in today’s world, was the solution. This clear film could protect the blades from debris and other elements without affecting how the blades operated. Thanks to ingenuity, the technology would find itself being used in a more everyday practice.

What are the benefits of Paint Protection Film?

Like anything we purchase with our hard earned dollars, the question becomes “how can I care for this product to make sure it lasts as long as possible?” Paint protection film is the solution to keeping your car looking new. It adds a layer of security to your vehicle’s paint that can last up to a decade with proper care and maintenance. (check out Polished Car Care for PPF maintenance) Worry`s of rock chips or road debris damaging your vehicle’s paint are eliminated. One feature of Paint Protection Film is its self-healing properties. Like our body working hard to heal from a scratch or bruise, ppf does the same thing when scratched or scored. Once the film is hit with a rock chip or scratch, it has the power to heal itself in minutes through a process called microreplication. The best part is you don’t have to do anything to help the scratched surfaces, simply driving under the sun kickstarts the self healing process. Layers inside the Paint Protection Film work together to get rid of top level imperfections. Not only does ppf protect your paint but it looks good doing it! Besides the relief of stressing over your vehicle’s paint everytime you drive your car, paint protection film can add benefits you might not have thought about. Take paint fading for instance, the sun’s rays are constantly beating down on your car’s paint, with some not having the luxury of shaded car storage, this can be a major problem in protecting your investment. PPF can add a shield against harsh light. Unlike other films, paint protection film is specifically designed with normal vehicle use in mind. This means that it will not fog or yellow under conditions. 

Why invest in Paint Protection Film?

We find this paint protection film lives up to its name. If you`re somebody who plans on keeping your car for years to come, it can offer the ultimate solution to keeping your vehicle looking new. Maybe you`re somebody who loves the driving experience, but are worried about the damage roads can cause. For somebody who loves the thrill of buying and selling, it can protect your investment from exterior damage for a better resale experience. For any type of person, paint protection film has huge benefits. The great thing about paint protection film is its applicability. Any vehicle can have ppf installed on it and we do this with precise large format plotters and cutters. Xpel Clear Bra is run through a machine that cuts pieces to fit your vehicle’s exact shape. This means that no matter what kind of car you have, paint protection is available for you.

The million dollar paint protection film question:

Is Paint Protection Film worth it ? In simple words, YES we sure think so. Many paint protection products have a list of cons, but we found none when it comes to Xpel Paint Protection Film. With its long list of protection benefits we find it a sure match for any vehicle. Not only that, any driving experience can be insured. You never know what harsh aspects the elements bring and depending on where you live, these elements can be twice as abrasive. The ” less worry, less stress” attitude protection wrap offers is why we consider this paint protection product to be a no-brainer. Here at Polished Protection in Signal Hill, we like to think of paint protection film to cars, as clothing is to our bodies. A small price to pay for the ultimate protection against the unpredictable ways of life.