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How Do You Apply a Ceramic Coating Like Armor Shield IX?Updated 6 months ago

Applying Armor Shield IX is a super simple procedure. Sure, the required prep work is a tad on the time-consuming side, but once that’s knocked out, the ceramic application process is smoother than a lubed-up slip-and-slide.

Here are some main points to consider:

  1. Always apply to a freshly prepped surface. Regardless of what sort of prior prep work has been completed, always wipe surfaces clean with an isopropyl alcohol prep spray 10 minutes prior to applying a layer of ceramic coating. We recommend a dilution that’s between 15-30% isopropyl alcohol to 85-70% distilled water, respectively. Just be sure to thoroughly towel the prepped area you plan on ceramic coating with a microfiber cloth in order to guarantee that every last bit of this solution has been safely removed.
  2. NEVER apply in direct sunlight. We recommend applying Armor Shield IX to vehicles that have been parked inside a garage or in a safely shaded area. NEVER apply a ceramic coating in direct sunlight or onto a hot surface, as it will make it incredibly difficult to remove any excess product. We also suggest avoiding direct sunlight for at least 2 hours after application, with a full 48 hours being the preferred duration of downtime.
  3. Wait for Ideal Temps. Armor Shield IX works best when it is applied in an environment with temperatures ranging between 50° Fahrenheit (10° Celsius) to 80° Fahrenheit (26.7° Celsius). It’s also best applied in a low humidity environment, so avoid application if you are expecting more than 60% humidity.
  4. Work in small sections. When applying Armor Shield IX, you should tackle one small section at a time. Apply a single coating in a cross-hatch pattern, and after letting the product sit for 1-5 minutes, buff the coated area with the supplied microfiber cloth. You’ll know it's time to buff when you see a rainbow-like haze begin to form on the surface.
  5. Watch the video below BEFORE applying Armor Shield IX.

Supplies You’ll Need to Ceramic Coat a Vehicle

(1) Bottle of Armor Shield IX: Each 30ml bottle is enough to cover a small car or motorcycle. Two bottles are suggested for coating mid-sized sedans and larger coupes, while three bottles should be enough for most large vehicles like trucks and vans.

(1) Applicator Sponge: The applicator sponge is used to provide a flat "paintbrush" for evenly applying the ceramic coating on surface areas.

(3) Suede Applicator Cloths: These suede cloths are designed to wrap around the supplied applicator sponge. You’ll apply the ceramic coating directly to this suede, replacing it when the liquid begins to harden on the cloth. We provide three cloths per kit, which is plenty for most ceramic coating applications.

(1) Pair of Nitrile Gloves: While a ceramic coating is not harmful to the human epidermis, it does dry extremely hard once cured. So protect your paws, rock that supplied set of nitrile gloves, and don't mistake that tiny bottle of Armor Shield IX for your eyewash or aftershave.

(1) Microfiber Buffing Towel: When it comes to buffing the “flashed” coating from the vehicle once it begins to dry, the microfiber towel is ideal for removing this excess. If, for some reason, you misplace this super-soft towel, grab a microfiber cloth of comparable fluffiness in order to finish the job.

Yes, we just said "comparable fluffiness" purely because it seemed like the right idea at the time.

The Application Process

The process of applying Armor Shield IX is a triple-stage operation, just like what you'd expect to find in an action film trilogy from the 1980s. 

Simply apply the liquid to the cloth with glistening pectorals firmly flexed, and spread it across the surface in a firm yet surprisingly charismatic back–and–forth motion.

Regardless of how you prefer to flex in the mirror, the superhero-sized instructions below are your ticket to properly applying Armor Shield IX. 

Remember, the best results occur when you follow the instructions and apply Armor Shield IX to one piece of a panel at a time—no need for complex equations. Just split the job up into a handful of manageable areas and knock it out.

Step 1: Wrap It Up

Wrap the supplied suede cloth tightly around the application sponge, tucking one end into the slit on the side. This will keep the cloth from coming off during application and discourage the formation of folds and wrinkles in the fabric.

Step 2: Drop It Like It's Hot

Shake the bottle of ceramic coating with vigor prior to applying 6–10 drops across the surface of the cloth. Since the amount of product you will need to use can vary depending on the surface being coated, keeping the cloth moist at all times is vital in guaranteeing that it glides across the surface with ease.

Quick Tip: Don’t be afraid to add more drops as needed in order to keep the applicator cloth damp and smooth at all times. If the coating begins to crystallize, toss the hardened fabric and break out a fresh cloth.

Step 3: Spread It On

Droplets applied to the applicator cloth wipe a thin layer of ceramic coating across the surface in a horizontal pattern. Repeat this procedure in a vertical motion in order to ensure an even application on each section. 

Step 4: Micromanage

Focus on coating one section of a body panel at a time until the entire fender, door, hood, bumper, etc., has been completely ceramic coated.  

Quick Tip: Inspect each section you coat from multiple angles before moving on in order to ensure that the entire area has been coated.

Step 5: Sit Back and Get Buff

Once you’ve finished coating a complete panel, let it sit for about 1–5 minutes, using the chart below as a point of reference. Once this drying time is complete, you’ll then proceed to the final buffing phase, which takes place when you see a rainbow-like sheen appear on the surface, almost like when you mix oil and water. The formation of this rainbow haze is called "flashing," and to remove it, all you'll need to do is buff the area with the supplied microfiber cloth.

Temperature Range
Length of Drying Time

50°F (10°C)

4–5 minutes 

60°F (15°C)
2–3 minutes

70°–80°F (20°–25°C) 

1 minute

Step 6: Coat Carefully and Consider a Second Layer

After coating and buffing a complete body panel, move on to the next area of the automobile, always working one small section at a time until the entire vehicle has been coated. After that, allow the vehicle to dry for 1-2 hours before deciding whether or not you need to add a second layer of Armor Shield IX. While not necessary, a second pass does help guarantee that every square centimeter of the vehicle has been coated.

Quick Tip: As you buff the vehicle, inspect your work to ensure you don’t have any high spots or missed residue. And remember, while it is perfectly fine to apply a second layer of ceramic coating to a vehicle once the first coating has cured for a couple of hours, anything beyond that is a waste of resources and man-hours.

Looking to learn more about the rock-hard world of nano ceramic coatings, as well as DIY car detailing tips, automotive quick fixes, and various other forms of nerdy garage information? Head on over to the AvalonKing blog, where you will find a deluge of useful automotive advice.


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