Product group tests

Best ceramic sealants

Protect your paintwork with the best ceramic sealants

There’s no doubt ceramics are the hot topic in car care, with the technology being applied to everything from trim protectants to shampoo.

But the biggest news is ceramic paintwork sealants, with firms claiming protection for years rather than the months achieved by waxes. Once the preserve of professional detailers and used only after meticulous preparation plus often cured with infrared heaters, the tech has spread to the DIY sector. 

Ceramic sealants for home application are roughly split between those that go on like a spray wax, and those that are more like professional products, which require more effort and preparation.

So are the claims of protection lasting years justified? We tested them to find out.

How we tested them

Durability is key here, so we put together our longest ever test, running for just under six months. 

Every sealant was applied following the maker’s instructions to a bonnet that was then left outside, while beading was regularly assessed. We also looked at ease of application, what you get for your money, and the price using maker’s or online sources.

Verdict

With one or two exceptions, the more cash and effort you put in, the better the durability. Despite the big names involved, our winner comes from a relative, albeit experienced, newcomer in Scottish-based Shelby.

  1. Shelby Ceramic Coating

Shelby Ceramic Coating

BEST BUY we’Ve been impressed by Shelby’s waterless wash, which is licensed by the US car maker, and now its ceramic coating is our pick of the emerging crop. Application is quite simple, but you have to ensure surfaces are as clean as possible for the best results. 

Just a small amount of the sealant is required – Shelby says the bottle is good for four cars – and curing takes 20 minutes or so before buffing. Originally designed for marine use, it topped the beading test throughout. A great performer. 

Buy now from Clansman Scotland

Autoglym Rapid Ceramic Spray

This is one of the more conventional products on our list. The instructions ask for the paint surface to be clayed to remove any fallout, but the difference here is the coating can be applied to a wet car, removing the need to dry after washing. Either way it is used sparingly, giving it an advantage over these rivals. 

On a dry panel it is spread with a microfibre cloth. On wet paintwork it is done with Autoglym’s InstaDry drying towel. The final step is to buff with a clean microfibre cloth. It was strong compared with rivals early in the test and it held that advantage for around four months before some others showed a touch more resilience.

Buy now from Amazon

Gtechniq EXOv4

  • Price: around £50
  • Rating: 4.5
  • Contact: www.gtechniq.co.uk

RECOMMENDED Thorough preparation is needed for EXOv4, with imperfections polished out of paint before degreasing with a panel wipe. You also need to keep your car indoors for at least 12 hours after EXOv4 has been applied. 

The solution goes on with the help of the (supplied) small applicator pad, which slips over your fingers, tackling small areas at a time. On our test bonnet there was little between EXOv4 and the Race Glaze (below), but the latter is the better overall package. 

Buy now from Amazon

Race Glaze 9H-Ceramic Paint Protection System

  • Price: around £80 
  • Rating: 4.5
  • Contact: www.raceglaze.co.uk

RECOMMENDED You want for little with this comprehensive kit from Race Glaze. As well as the sealant there’s also a powerful pre-cleaner – a respirator is recommended in poorly ventilated spaces – to remove any existing waxes and coatings. The kit is completed by two edgeless microfibre cloths, an applicator and protective gloves. 

Application needs care and time, but the results are worth it. The sealant was clearly working at the end.

Buy now from Race Glaze

Gyeon Q2 Can Coat

  • Price: around £33 
  • Rating: 4/5
  • Contact: www.gyeonquartz.com

Among the top performers this gets closest to a spray-and-wipe application but, even here, preparation is key and not the work of a moment. The car needs to be washed with a strong degreaser to ensure it is free of oil. 

Once the car is nice and clean, simply spray Can Coat on to the included large, edgeless microfibre cloth, wipe on, then immediately buff to a shine. The nozzle needs to be cleaned after application. The sealant was clearly a touch behind our top three, but still working at the end.

Buy now from Amazon

Gtechniq Crystal Serum Light

  • Price: around £85 
  • Rating: 4/5
  • Contact: www.gtechniq.co.uk

Having two products in the top five demonstrates Gtechniq’s expertise in this sector. Crystal Serum Light is what Gtechniq dubs a ‘prosumer’ version of its accredited detailer-only Ultra version. 

It claims 80 per cent of the pro version’s performance, but can be put right with a machine polisher if application errors are made. Preparation and application are the same as for EXOv4 (left) and its performance is similar, with the latter just having an edge in the last weeks.

Buy now from Amazon

Gtechniq Easy Coat

This comes with a neat quick-release hose attachment. Simply rinse a clean car, switch the attachment to spray on the Easy Coat then back again to rinse. Drying completes the job.

With such little contact, it’s hard to believe any coating had been applied but it certainly had. Not quite as vigorous as Autoglym but it was clearly working and it lasted through the six-month test. 

Buy now from Amazon

Dodo Juice Supernatural Infinity Sealant Kit

  • Price: around £50 
  • Rating: 4/5
  • Contact: www.dodojuice.net

There are some pretty intimidating instructions with this nano-ceramic coating from the Dodo Juice team. Preparation includes claying and using a traffic film remover, isopropyl alcohol, and strong shampoo to ensure no previous coatings remain on the car. 

As with others, care needs to be taken when applying, with the solution going on with an applicator, then being buffed level with the included microsuede cloth. It then needs to be kept dry for at least 24 hours. It matched the best for much of the test, but faded in the final weeks, with water beading slowing.

Buy now from Amazon

Angelwax Enigma Legacy

  • Price: around £60
  • Rating: 4/5
  • Contact: www.angelwax.co.uk

Part of the Angelwax Enigma range, this titanium ceramic coating is designed for easy application. It might be easier than a coating that needs an infrared heater to cure, but preparation is key. 

All contamination on the paintwork needs to be removed, and the panels degreased with a panel wipe before application. A few drops are then applied to the included small suede cloth, wiped on, left to cure, then wiped and buffed. Like Dodo Juice, Angelwax faded as the test got close to six months.

Buy now from Amazon

Auto Curators Signature Sealant

  • Price: around £25
  • Rating: 4/5
  • Contact: www.autocurators.com

If extensive preparation and expenditure on additional cleaners are not for you, then this is the sealant to check out. It does away with clay bars and panel wipes, and can be applied to a wet car – simply spray and buff dry. It can also be misted on to a microfibre cloth, and used on wet or dry surfaces. 

We’ve been impressed by Signature Sealant in our wax tests, and it is a relatively inexpensive option in this company, but beading started to slow at around the halfway mark.

Buy now from Auto Curators

Autoglym Ultra High Definition Ceramic Coating

  • Price: around £60
  • Rating: 3.5/5
  • Contact: www.autoglym.com

Typical of Autoglym’s kits, this comes with pretty much all you need. There’s a preparation solution to remove any existing waxes and coatings, although you do need to wash the car and use a fallout remover or clay bar first. There’s  a microfibre cloth for each solution, as well as a foam applicator for the coating. 

Once they’re applied and buffed, the car needs to be kept dry for at least four hours. Well thought out, but beading started to slow at around three months and was barely perceptible at the end.

Buy now from Amazon

Autobrite Direct Ceramic Ultra Spray Wax

  • Price: around £22 
  • Rating: 3.5/5
  • Contact: www.autobritedirect.co.uk

You get a massive 500ml for your money with this spray wax, which is part of the Autobrite Ceramic Shield range. It has elements of its Ballad ceramic wax plus Blendz wheel sealant, and needs no extensive preparation. Just prime the applicator, mist on the car, and spread until it begins to evaporate, then buff. 

For the best results, you should keep the car dry for 12 hours. Results were good at first, but beading slowed after two months or so and was hard to detect at the end.

Buy now from Amazon

Autobrite Direct Ceramic Magiseal

  • Price: around £22
  • Rating: 3/5
  • Contact: www.autobritedirect.co.uk

For the preparation-phobic, this is well worth checking out because the car needs to be little more than clean. It doesn’t even need drying because diluted Magiseal (100ml to 400ml water) goes on through a foam lance and needs thoroughly rinsing straight after spraying. Then dry, ensuring no drops are left in the door shuts and similar areas. 

It works and pretty much lived up to its two-months’ protection claim. Larger cars need more of the mix, but you should get at least two treatments out of the bottle.

Buy now from Amazon

Meguiar’s Hybrid Ceramic Wax

  • Price: around £23
  • Rating: 3/5
  • Contact: www.meguiars.co.uk

The US producer has been at the forefront of rolling out ceramic technology in multiple products, and this wax is aimed at those who want the protection without the prep. 

We’ve got used to Meguiar’s fiddly instructions that need to be peeled open, but this version defeated us for a fair few minutes. Armed with the knowledge, you can apply the wax by hand or dual-action polisher, make two passes to ensure coverage, then let it dry for a couple of minutes before buffing. Like similar rivals, it faded after around two months. 

Buy now from Amazon

Turtle Wax Ceramic Spray Coating

  • Price: Around £18
  • Rating: 3/5
  • Contact: www.turtlewax.co.uk

Much like its fellow US producer Meguiar’s, Turtle Wax has been busy applying ceramic SiO2 (silicon dioxide) protection to a number of its products. And this Spray Coating falls into a similar easy-apply mould to Ceramic Wax. 

Sparingly spray on a panel, spread, then buff with a second cloth. If needed, polishing or claying first is recommended. Performance was similar, but we noticed the beading slowing a few weeks earlier with the Turtle Wax.

Buy now from Amazon

Mothers CMX Ceramic Spray Coating

  • Price: Around £20
  • Rating: 3/5
  • Contact: www.motorgeek.co.uk

US producer Mothers has combined silicon dioxide and titanium dioxide in this easy- to-apply coating. The car just needs to be clean and cool before spraying the coating on to a wet or dry panel. Spread over the surface, allow to bond for a few minutes, then buff with a second microfibre. 

Additional layers can be applied for extra protection and it can be used over existing coatings. But with just one application, it was among the first to slow, at around six weeks.

Buy now from Amazon

Diamondbrite Ceramic Blast

  • Price: around £16
  • Rating: 3 stars
  • Contact: www.diamondbrite.co.uk

Ceramic Blast’s water-beading coating is added almost as a by-product while loosening grit to prevent scratching during the wash process. It needs to be mixed 1:5 in the lance and is just sprayed, left to work, then rinsed.

While it was a step behind these rivals, it impressed with just how much protection it left behind. 

Buy now from Diamondbrite

Diamondbrite Ceramic Glaze

  • Price: around £9
  • Rating: 3/5
  • Contact: www.jewelultra.com

Talk to the chemists creating these ceramic coatings, and it’s not long before the cost of ingredients comes up. They’re not cheap. So you have to ask how much ‘nano-ceramic’ tech is in this Diamondbrite Glaze, which was the cheapest on test by some margin. 

Application is on dry, clean panels, with the Glaze sprayed on, then buffed. In the same way as similar products, it started well before running out of steam at around six weeks in to the test.

Buy now from Amazon

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