Will a Ceramic Coating Protect Your Car Against Scratches and Swirl Marks? Here’s what you need to know

A ceramic coating is often the best way to protect your car from many different kinds of damage, including minor scratches and swirl marks. Offering more protection to your vehicle than wax or other sealants, if you want to ensure that your car has the best surface protection available, then a ceramic coating is the way to go.

This article will go into some depth about what a ceramic coating is, what it offers protection against, and what you should do before you apply it. 

Swirl marks and scratches

Scratches and swirl marks are often the biggest things that bring down the look of any car.

Scratches are thin etchings on the surface of the clear coat. Deeper scratches cut through the clear coat down to the paint itself.

Swirl marks are also scratched, usually caused by drying your vehicle with towels or wash mitts with particles of dirt or dust on them. To prevent swirl marks, make sure you are washing your car with clean microfiber towels and that you rinse your car before washing. Automatic car washes are also a haven for swirl marks.

Without a ceramic coating, dirt and pollutants can sit inside the scratches and attack the clear coat and paint.

With a ceramic coat, pollutants and unwanted dirt won’t penetrate and are much easier to clean. While a ceramic coating is not 100% scratch-proof, it will significantly reduce minor damage potential.

Will a ceramic coating fill in swirl marks and scratches?

Do not apply a ceramic coating without first polishing and repairing your scratches, swirl marks, holograms, and other kinds of damage. Ceramic coatings have one purpose only, and that’s to offer a hardened and protective barrier on top of the painted surface of your car.

If you apply a ceramic coating before dealing with those things, the coating will seep into those damaged spots and make your scratches, swirl marks, and other blemishes more prominent after it has hardened and cured.

So what is a ceramic coating, why is it beneficial, and when should you apply it?

What is ceramic coating?

Detailing technology has evolved a lot over the years. The materials used to protect your car’s paint have become far more advanced, and clear differences between things like waxes, sealants, and ceramic coatings have emerged. Each type of coating has its use, but here we are only concerned with ceramic coatings.

Unlike wax sealants, ceramic coatings will create a curing property after applying it to the surface of your car. After curing, the ceramic coating will offer resistance to many different substances and pollutants, including micro-marring.

It is a much more durable barrier than wax and has several protective features that waxes and other sealants do not have. This is because ceramic coating does not just sit on the paint’s surface as wax does. Instead, ceramic coating forms a chemical bond with the paint.

Paint and clear coats are porous materials. If you take a microscopic look at the surface of your car, you’ll see that it is not a smooth flat surface, but full of pores. Everyday debris and dirt can quickly build up into those pores and are not always effectively removed by washing.

However, the nanotech involved in ceramic coating provides a flat, virtually impenetrable protective seal on top of that porous surface. The coating acts as a sacrificial layer from dings and minor scratches, and things like dirt and mud will have nothing to cling to when they encounter your car. 

With a bit of know-how, you can apply it yourself. The application process varies depending on the product, but its important to remember the following:

  • Read the application instructions carefully.
  • Work in a shaded area.
  • Use two soft clean microfiber towels, one to distribute the coating, the other to dry.  

The benefits of using a ceramic coating

We have learned that ceramic coating helps protect the paint after repair from daily wear and tear, exposure to the elements, and road debris. It will also amplify a car’s shine and paint gloss and ultimately make it easier to take care of your car.  

Ceramic coating will help with the following:

  • UV Protection: ultra-violet light is paint’s worst enemy. UV light is radiation emitted by the sun that heats your car’s surface and eats away at both the clear coat and the paint surface below. Ceramic coating will give you added protection from UV rays.
  • Salt Damage: it’s well known how corrosive salt is, and if you live in a place that uses salt in abundance on winter roads, you’ll need to make sure it is regularly getting washed. A ceramic coating will help minimize the damage caused by winter road salts.
  • Scratch Resistance: while it is not scratch-proof, a good quality ceramic coating offers some protection from minor dings and scratches. You’ll be able to buff out minor scratches easier than if you did not have a ceramic coating.
  • Corrosion Resistance: a ceramic coating will offer protection from things with a high PH level, such as chemicals, acid rain, bird droppings, and even bug splatters that can eat through both clear coats and paints.
  • Ulta-Hydrophobic: ceramic coatings are hydrophobic, meaning they repel water with ease. Not only does this mean no streaks or water spots, but removing debris, bird droppings, and bug splatters will be much easier. 

Preparing your car for a ceramic coating

Because the ceramic coating bonds to your car’s paint, it’s crucial to remove any surface imperfections from your vehicle.

Polishes and cutting compounds will remove blemishes such as wash marrings, stains, acid rain marks, minor scratches, swirls, and holograms, giving your clear coat a very flat finish.

After you have removed all the imperfections, you’ll want to spray your car with an IPA spray solution or a paint prep to remove any wax or grease that may be leftover from your polishing or compounding.

Once you’ve taken care of your car’s imperfections and you’ve removed any remaining wax or grease, then you can apply the ceramic coating to your vehicle following the product’s instructions.


For many cars, a ceramic coating is the best way to protect them from many different damage opportunities. It not only protects against many contaminants, minor scratches, and swirl marks, but it also makes the car easier to clean and maintain.