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How To Easily Remove Ceramic Coating High Spots

We often talk to car detailing enthusiasts that would like to ceramic coat their paint but are hesitant because we have all heard the stories of ceramic jobs "gone wrong". The car gets coated in the garage, it looks great, then you pull it outside only to notice some cloudy areas or rainbow streaks.

These are caused by either totally missing an area while wiping (levelling) the coating or you allowed the coating to flash too long (it hardened too much for towel wiping to remove the excess and smooth out the coating).

Often high spots dont get noticed during the application for one of 2 reasons; poor lighting, or too bright a lighting. Shining bright LED lights on your paint while applying a coating does not mean you will see high spots. High spots show up most in natural light, but not direct sunlight i.e. outside in the shade.

The trickiest part of installing a coating is determining the "sweet spot" of exactly when to start levelling the coating. If you wipe too soon you will remove the coating not just smooth it out. If you wait too long to wipe the coating has already hardened, won't level out, leaving high spots.

Even pros that have installed coatings for years will get high spots occasionally. This is because it is not always a specific time period you wait before starting the levelling. The flash time for coatings varies greatly not only by the heat, but humidity in the air. When you apply a coating almost instantly the Si02 particles start to bond to the paint and the added solvents start to evaporate. The hotter the temperature the faster this process occurs. So unless you are working in a constant climate controlled environment flash times (how long you need to wait to wipe) can vary greatly from one application to another. High spots happen to everyone so do not be discouraged.

The good news is that high spots are actually quite easy to remove. No there is not a "high spot remover" chemical that you just wipe on. Remember that one of big attributes of ceramic coatings is their resistance to chemicals. Taking an all purpose cleaner and rubbing like crazy on that high spot is probably only going to make things worse. The high spot will still be there but now you have also scuffed the coating by rubbing so hard.

A high spot just is excess of product. All we need to do is remove this excess and the project is saved. Unless the whole car is one big rainbow mess you DO NOT need to polish the whole car and start over again if you have a few high spots.

Here is a simple easy way to get rid of high spots...

  • Get any kind of car polish such as Sonax 04-06, Griot's Garage Complete Polish, Meguiar's Ultimate Polish etc.

  • Take a low pile microfiber designed for use on car paint such as Mothers Polishing Cloth, Gyeon BaldWipe, Meguiar's Supreme Shine Microfiber, Microfiber Madness Yellow Fellow etc.

  • Make sure you are working outside in the shade so you can best see the problem area(s).

  • Fold the towel until it is just a bit bigger than the size of your hand.

  • Take the polish and liberally wet one side of the towel with the polish.

  • Gently wipe the polish side of the towel over the high spot. Try to keep the towel as flat on the surface as you can when you wipe. Do not put a lot of pressure on the towel. We want the abrasiveness of the polish doing the work, not pressure on the surface. After about 5-10 seconds of wiping turn the towel over and wipe away the polish residue to inspect the results. If the high spot is still there just repeat the process until the high spot is no longer visible. You are better to do this in stages. Don't try to eat the elephant in one bite. What we are doing is wiping just hard and long enough to remove the high spot while saving the coating underneath.

  • For tight areas such as under a mirror, close to an emblem etc. just wrap the wet towel around your finger and follow the same process.

Problem Solved. Enjoy your coating!

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