The Differences Between Ceramic Coating and Paint Protection Film

ppf installation on silver car

If you’re trying to choose between paint protection film and ceramic coating, there are a few things you should keep in mind. Here’s some information about each approach including details that should help you choose.

Overview of Paint Protection

Although there are others, ceramic coating and PPF are two of the major options you can use to protect your paint. It’s important to protect the paint on your car since this is one of the major ways the body of your car is itself protected from other kinds of damage.

That’s why it’s of significant importance to make sure you consider the differences between these two major options carefully to make sure that you feel confident in getting the kind of protection that you want for your vehicle. Good protection will mean that the condition of your vehicle will be maintained at the level that you want for a much longer period of time.

Ceramic Coating

Ceramic coating is made up of a liquid polymer. You pour this polymer on the outside of a vehicle, and after it’s been added, the coating bonds chemically with the vehicle’s factory paint job. This adds a layer of protection that repels water.

As a result, it can help keep the care cleaner for longer because now other materials will have a hard time getting inside your vehicle’s paint. What this means practically is that the car will often stay cleaner for longer.

It also means that the car is often easier to clean than it would be otherwise. On top of that, it’s less likely that the car will take damage from-

  1. Stains
  2. Oxidation
  3. Etch marks

Both stains and etch marks can be caused by anything acidic that gets into the paint. That faded paint job look from oxidation often happens due to an overabundance of exposure to UV. Ceramic coating can help reduce this as well.

Paint Protection Film

Paint Protection Film, or PPF, is a transparent film made of urethane that you put on the exterior of your car. The film then helps to protect the paint by making it harder to damage. Types of damage that PPF resists include the common chips and scratches that come due to rocks or random things in the road impacting the paint part of your car.

It also includes damage like-

  1. Washing marks
  2. Acidic stains
  3. Oxidation fading
  4. Etch marks
  5. Hard water spotting

When washing your car, it’s common for swirl marks to show up on the surface of a paint job. The PPF makes it so that this is avoided completely. It also resists the usual chemical marks and stains due to anything acidic reaching the paint, as well as resisting the usual fading from UV. On top of that, you also avoid the spots that can happen if you use hard water to wash your car by accident due to the mineral deposits it has.

Main Differences

One of the primary ways that PPF differs from a ceramic coating is that the PPF tends to be more resistant to chips due to errant rocks and debris. This happens frequently on highway driving especially. Any little hard thing on the road can be kicked up by your vehicle’s wheel or by another vehicle’s wheel to cause damage to the factory paint job. This damage can cause more contaminants to get in from a chip, so it’s ideal to have an approach that prevents it from happening in the first place.


Some PPF can actually heal itself to some degree using something called thermoplastic polyurethane or something similar. This means that small amounts of damage will seal up automatically up to a point without the need to go in there and manually repair every chip or other small bits of damage.

Scratch Protection

PPF is also known for being highly effective at preventing scratches of all kinds. When the hard edge of any object, such as a key or a rock, moves across the surface of a car’s paint, the object will tend to scratch the film itself instead of the actual paint of the vehicle, which helps to extend the vehicle’s paint life considerably.

Other Differences

PPF has more thickness than ceramic coating does. Ceramic coating has their hydrophobic surface that repels water, which is another difference, although sometimes a PPF can have a hydrophobic coating as well. The hydrophobic coating in PPF is often not as thick as the ceramic coating, however.

Ceramic coating technically has 9h hardness, which means it can sometimes be more resistant to scratches, though PPF is effective at this as well. Pro coatings for ceramic can have better resistance to chemical changes, although again, both options have this. Ceramic coatings can have more of a shine, can be polished for greater aesthetics, and also ceramic is permanent whereas PPF needs to be reinstalled sometimes.

In other words, while both options cover preventing similar types of damage, there are definitely specialties to take into account.

Making the Choice

It will all depend on what your preferences are. If you’re considerably worried about rocks causing chips in your paint, then PPF is often the better choice, for example. If instead, you’re more worried about something that you only have to install once and then not worry about, it might be a better option to go a different way.

This will certainly all depend on what sort of company you use to install everything, of course. It’s important to make sure that you use a company that will give you a free quote, for example, so that you can get the best information possible. It will also help to check reviews to find the company that best matches your expectations and the specific company that most matches your situation and your car.

That way, you can be confident when asking about their process for paint protection and choosing what exactly you want to make sure that your car will be usable the way you want it for the long-term.

At G-Force Films, we have extensive experience installing top-notch paint protection film and ceramic coating on all types of vehicles. If you’ve made a decision on which is best for your car, don’t hesitate to contact us at any convenient time.

G-Force Films