Here at Ming Shine a very common question we come across is what is the difference between a Paint Coating, and a Paint Protection Film. Consumers who are interested in protecting their vehicle are often confused about the 2 products. Paint Protection Film (PPF) and Paint Coating are actually 2 very different things and serve their own purposes. In this blog we will go through what the differences are, weigh in their pros and cons, and hopefully help you decide which option is best for you.
Paint protection film (PPF) is a clear polyurethane film that was originally developed to protect military vehicles. Eventually, the high-end performance car industry began using PPF and now it’s used in the consumer market to protect cars from rock chips, scratches, and contaminants. The self-healing properties of some PPF products make them an attractive option since some scratches will dissipate over time or with heat. Paint needs to be thoroughly decontaminated to remove all defects, and sometimes polished prior to application of the PPF in order to have a quality installation.
Ceramic coatings are the next step in the evolution of paint protection. They bond to the surface of the paint, creating a permanent layer of protection. Ceramic coatings offer substantially more scratch resistance, chemical resistance, UV protection and heat tolerance than wax or polymer sealants. Environmental damage and scratches are unable to penetrate the coating, leaving the paint in pristine condition.
PPF Film PROS
Very resistant to rock chips.
Very resistant to scratches sometimes it may pierce the film but not damage the paint.
Premium films such as Xpel Ultimate have self healing properties from minor scratches, and are guaranteed to never fade or yellow.
If the film is damaged it can be replaced by a professional installer without any damage to your actual paint.
PPF Film CONS
Can be difficult to install.
If it is not removed correctly it can damage paint.
Low quality films can discolour and turn yellow over time.
Low quality films can be very textured or orange peely which minimizes shine.
Ceramic Coatings PROS
Great Repairability (can be polished or buffed to fix minor damage)
Increase shine and luster.
9H hardness so it is less susceptible to getting mars and scratches.
Greatly enhances UV protection and chemical resistance.
Ceramic coating Cons
Will not stop rocks chips.
Will not stop anything that causes deep gouges or scrapes.
It is tricky to install, and can look very improper if not installed properly.
Finally PPF and ceramic coatings work together for optimal protection. Ideally, you will install PPF on the areas prone to rock chip damage and then install a ceramic coating over the top of the PPF and on the rest of the vehicle, this will give added shine, slickness, and protection on the PPF. This may seem extreme, but if your average daily drive includes navigating terrain that is going to assault your car with rocks, you will be glad you have the added protection.