Graphene Vs Ceramic Coating

No matter the price, class, or style of your vehicle, it's always a good idea to protect the exterior for a number of reasons.

No matter the price, class, or style of your vehicle, it's always a good idea to protect the exterior for a number of reasons. Whether you're looking to make detailing days easier, retain the resale value, or prepare for a road trip full of road debris and buildup - there's two options that are the best for your vehicle, and your wallet.

Ceramic Coating vs Graphene Coating

The best place to start with this discussion is to be educated on what these two types of coatings are exactly.

  • Ceramic Coatings: Consists of Silicon Dioxide, or Silica, which usually derived from quartz crystals.
  • Graphene Coatings: Consists of Graphene Oxide that forms a hard shell over the paint layers.

It's also good to know, that while we're comparing these two different types of paint protection coatings for your vehicle's exterior, that many Graphene Coatings are really Ceramic Coatings with Graphene or Graphene Oxide infused with it.

Ceramic Coatings

Ceramic Coatings need time to cure once applied, and once they are, it forms a super-clear, very hard coating. Ceramic coatings are considered the a big step up from traditional waxes and sealants. These traditional waxes and sealants don't perform well when it comes to lasting longevity and durability for protecting your exterior's paint.

Graphene Coatings

If the next step up to traditional sealants and waxes are Ceramic Coatings, then Graphene Coatings are a big leap-up from Ceramic Coatings. Why? Once cured, the hardness of the Graphene Coating, when expertly applied, is harder than diamond. This is also usually why you see the price point difference between the two.

Side by Side Comparisons

There's endless ways to compare the two coatings, especially when it comes to choosing the right brands. The experts at Forward, do the brand comparisons for you and offer the best within our services provided, we also talk with the companies that create these products for further detail. We've broken down our findings into categories: Application, Costs, Durability, Finished Look, Hydrophobicity, and Water Spotting.


There's no other better answer than a straight forward one. Both Ceramic Coatings and Graphene Coatings take prep work, professional application, and cure time. They also need to be applied in an indoor, debris-free space that's temperature controlled for the best results. All applications of both coatings should always preparation, this includes thorough washing, decontamination and polishing of the original paint layers, and a complete panel wipe down. Both are applied the same way, using a special applicator with attention-to-detail and working in small sections. Then comes leveling and buffing the coating, once it's "flashed."

Results: Both receive 1st place when it comes to applying the coatings.


Graphene coatings are relatively newer than Ceramic Coating as a product and on the market. You'll see less variety of brands and grades than you do with Ceramic Coatings. Because the hardness levels, thus protection levels, of Graphene Coatings are greater than those of Ceramic Coatings, these Graphene options are typically more expensive but well worth the upgrade if you're able to manage. When deciding on an option, it's not just about the price of the product, but the value you hold to your vehicle and its look.

Results: Graphene Coatings are typically more expensive, and with good reason that they're more durable, have a greater hardness level, and usually last much longer.


Briefly discussed already, Graphene Coatings are more durable. Simply because they are a further-formulated product from Ceramic Coating. Traditional sealants and waxes usually last months, whereas the two coatings we're comparing can last anywhere from 1-5+ years, depending on how many layers you're up getting applied by professionals. With the Graphene Coatings we have in stock, you'll get about 5 years of protection. Ceramic Coatings will give you less than that, down to a year's worth of protection for your exterior.

Results: Graphene Coatings come up at top.

Finished Look / Slickness

The "Slickness" of the coating not only dictates how the exterior paint looks afterwards, but also longevity and the relative easiness it is to maintain the coating. When the layer is applied by experts, cured professionally, and given the amount of detail it requires, the surface of the layer is slick. This allows dirt, grime and road debris to slide off the surface. It also makes cleaning the exterior much easier without having embedded contaminants or stuck particles to the outer shell.

Results: It really depends on the quality of the job and the application of the product. Also, some brands may do better than others.


Many people inquire about this specific performance aspect. However, both are very hydrophobic due to the way the coatings' atoms form around the paint. And again, it is also heavily dependent on the quality of the application. Graphene coatings claim to be better in this category since these coatings are usually ceramic coatings formulated with graphene oxide. One main factor that dictates the hydrophobicity level is "water contact angle." In layman's terms, it's measuring the ability of a liquid to wet the surface of a solid. To be more scientific, it's the angle of contact that is formed by a liquid at the three-phase boundary where the states of matter intersect and is geometrically measured.

Results: Graphene Coating

Water Spotting

An issue that often arises with Ceramic Coating. This is because Ceramic Coating's don't help reduce the temperature of the paint, like some Graphene Coatings do. As exterior paint temperatures increase, so does the evaporation rate of the water from rain, for example. When rain falls on, claimed-to-be-cooler paint temperatures, the water doesn't evaporate as quickly - allowing the liquid to stay in bead form due to the high hydrophobicity. This allows for the beads to roll off rather than evaporate. Water spots are a sign of deteriorating durability and corroding of your coating.

Results: Graphene Coating

Just Tell Me Which One I Should Choose!

Well, here's a summary that'll help answer any leftover questions in your head:

  • Ceramic Coatings are less expensive for a reason, but still do a good job at protection. They're also easier to find in your local market due to the fact they've been around longer than Graphene Coatings.
  • If rainfall and high temperatures are likely in your environment like they are here in Southeast Michigan and the Metro Detroit Area, graphene coating will give you yours money worth as well as more years of protection. Not months, but years more.
  • Both come out equal in terms of the glossiness/finished look as well as the slickness. Mainly due to these factors being depending on how well the coatings were applied or installed. Consider the products used and conditions of the environment when you choose where and how to get your vehicle protected by Ceramic or Graphene coatings

Booking a Ceramic Coating or Graphene Coating with Forward Detailing

Before you book with Forward Detailing, we're happy to help answer any questions and even take a look at your current exterior paint condition to determine which paint protection coating option is best for you to achieve the look and protection you want for your ride. Contact us or book today.