Car Paint is thin. How thin?

Car Paint is thin. How thin? The majority of cars being manufactured today and starting since the 1980’s use what’s called a basecoat/clearcoat paint system. With this system, a clear layer of paint is sprayed over the top of the basecoat which is also the color coat or the layer of paint that has pigment in it. If the car has a metallic finish then the metallic flakes are also in the basecoat. The basecoat doesn’t offer any gloss or shine and in fact it’s dull or matte looking after it’s sprayed. The basecoat gets it’s gloss, shine, depth and reflectivity by the spraying of the clearcoat layer of paint over the top of it. This is why if a person removes too much clearcoat when buffing and they expose the basecoat it will appear to be a dull round or oval spot on a body panel. The part of the paint system that adds beauty has been removed revealing the dull or matte basecoat layer of paint. Just how thin is the clear layer of paint on a factory paint job? The factory clearcoat on a new or modern car measures approximately 2 mils or 50 microns thin. Very-Shallow-Paint-Depths-Mazda-CXIf you look carefully at this picture you will see that this BRAND NEW Mazda CX-9 has less than 50 microns of paint on the bonnet. Careful sleuths will also pick up the other significant damage of circular scratches on the paint. Clearcoat_Paints_Are_ThinThe average post-it note is around 3 mils thin. What does this mean? This means the factory clearcoat on a new or modern car is thinner than a post-it note. The next time you have a post-it note in front of you, feel a single post-it note between your fingers. Like this… adelaidepaintprotectionThis experience will drive home the point as to just how thin the clear layer of paint is on modern car with a factory paint job. It should also drive home the importance of using the least aggressive pad, product and even tools to get the job done. When I say, get the job done, the context of this usually means someone is polishing a car to remove paint defects like swirls, scratches, water spots and oxidation to make the paint and thus the car look better. By using the least aggressive products you “get the job done” while leaving the most paint on the car to it will last over the mechanical service life of the car. So this is top of mind when we are working on our customer’s cars. We take this professional approach on each and every customers cars. If you’re reading this and you’re going to do the work yourself or hire a detailer then do some research and make sure you hire a detailer that knows this type of stuff because the factory clearcoat on your car is thin. Big picture? At 2 mils or 50 microns thin I treat it all like it’s precious because it is… Dr. David Ghodoussi (the chemist behind Opti-Coat Ceramic Coating) said that the UV protection used in car paint has a half-life of 5 years! This means if you bought your car in 2010 – by the year 2015 half of the UV protection originally used to make the clear layer of paint is now non-functioning. To me, this is why you should always install a Ceramic Coating. Don’t install just ANY Ceramic Coating. Install the industries recognised most durable. Coatings that have a 10H pencil hardness. There are currently 3 products on the market, and YES Adelaide Paint Protection is the only place you will find them in Adelaide. You should also use the least aggressive product and process to get the job done because by doing this YOU LEAVE THE MOST PAINT ON THE CAR Remember… 1. Sanding removes paint. 2. Compounding removes paint. 3. Polishing removes a little paint. You only have a limited amount of paint on the car and even the best in this industry, sooner or later will sand or buff through a factory clearcoat finish. Crazy huh? And if Dr. David Ghodoussi is correct, that is – if the long term testing the paint companies have conducted have shown that in order for the entire paint job to hold up over time the clear layer needs to be at least 2 mils in thickness, (actually thinness is a more accurate word), then the car manufacturers have gotten the science of the ecoat, primer and color coat down to less than 1 mil according to your readings. To conclude… Have your car prepared by experts like Adelaide Paint Protection.


Your new Tesla is a beautiful vehicle. But will it stay that way? What will it look like a year from now after bug splatter, bird droppings, tree sap, UV rays, acid rain and a host of other environmental contaminants get a shot at marring your car’s paint. Thankfully, there are powerful aftermarket Ceramic Coating products to defend against the hazards of the road and keep your Model X, Model S, or Model 3 looking like-new.

Tesla Paint Protection

Durable Ceramic Coating Paint Protection for your Tesla Model S, Model 3 and Model X, providing excellent depth of gloss, stunning looks.

Tesla Paint Protection Specialist

Based in Flinders Park, Adelaide Paint Protection are perfectly located to offer Tesla owners the industries recognised leader in Ceramic Coating Products.

We offer stand-alone Paint Protection installations as well as our very popular Packages consisting of Paint Protection, Window Tint and Interior Protection.

Tesla Ceramic Paint Protection Specialist

Tesla paint has been heavily criticised as being fragile and inconsistent in application. Tesla cars are manufactured in south Fremont, California, where the environmental requirements are quite strict. This results in the Tesla’s paint being not as “hard” as the paint finishes of some other premium manufacturers.

Some owners of Tesla Cars have been disappointed with the finish of the paint even only after a couple of months or as little of a 1000 km’s. Reports of swirl marks, light scratches and a grey haze over the paintwork which has dulled the true colour of the Tesla’s paintwork.

Adelaide Paint Protection have a solution to this problem is to install a Ceramic Coating Paint Protection treatment. The ceramic coating when cured to your cars paint, transforms into a transparent ultra hard glass film on top of the paintwork.


Tesla Paint Protection Specialists
Tesla Paint Protection Specialists-1

The ceramic paint protection will easily outperforms and outlast older products like wax, sealants and paint protection films (PPF).  Unlike the older generation of paint protections like wax and sealants, the ceramic paint protection forms a permanent bond with the coating of your Tesla paintwork which can only be removed by machine polishing.


  1. High gloss shine, scratch resistant layer that cannot be matched by premium waxes.
  2. Offers superior protection compared to paint protection packages offered by car dealerships.
  3. Protects not only paintwork, but alloy wheels, plastic trim, glass.
  4. Self-cleaning abilities means your car will stay cleaner for longer.
  5. Protects against swirl marks / light scratches.
  6. Superior gloss levels compared to car wax.
  7. Chemical resistant, can not be washed away like car wax and can only be removed with machine polishing.


Treat your Tesla to the ultimate in Paint Protection.

Protecting against harmful acid rain, bird droppings, light scratches and UV damage. Our Ceramic Coatings are installed on your Tesla’s paintwork, plastic trims, bumpers and wheels ensuring a minimum of 9 years durable nano ceramic coating Paint Protection for your Tesla.

The ceramic coated surfaces gain a highly-hydrophobic surface that results to an easy-clean surface requiring little to no time and effort for a superior shine. Your Tesla stays cleaner and shinier for longer with the ceramic coating paint protection. Always with a better than showroom look!

Hi there! Vini Ferrari here from Adelaide Paint Protection.

Today I thought I would try to dispel some of the myths out there about Ceramic Coatings. I will discuss the four big ones I hear all the time. There are some coating companies that have an “As Seen On TV” type of marketing campaign. This can leave consumers with a warped sense of what a coating is, and its limitations. I’m going to explain what a coating is, and more what a coating is not. My goal is to provide you with information, so you have a realistic expectation of what a ceramic coating is.

Myth number one is that coatings are scratch proof. 

This is the biggest myth in ceramic coatings!

If you get a coating on your vehicle, you won’t have to worry about scratches anymore.

You will see a lot of this on ceramic coating websites.

Then there is the MOHS scale, where some companies and their representatives claim that their product is one level removed from Diamond Hardness! If this were true you should be able to scratch Glass with a dried sample, I guarantee you this is not the case. We should simply assume that they don’t understand their product well enough, nor have the ability to understand the difference between Pencil Hardness and the MOHS scale.

Stop it please….

ceramic coatings

There are some exceptional coatings that are scratch resistant. Don’t confuse this with scratch proof. Pro detailers and consumers will often see scratches quite differently. I see it daily where a customer will believe that their paint is scratch free. They may be looking at their car in the garage or in a shaded area. You won’t see the true condition of your vehicles paint, unless you’re in direct sunlight.

If you have seen the inside of our studio, you begin to understand why we have over 100 x 6000 kelvin LED, Cree and diffused lights. What we are endevouring to do is ensure enough inspection light to find the deep scratches. Smaller scratches that you can see in direct sunlight are usually called swirl marks. They tend to be very small scratches in your paint that you see will form a spider web like pattern. With the reflected light coming off the surface, these fine scratches appear.

Anytime you touch the vehicles paint there is an opportunity to add swirl marks. Proper washing techniques are vital to keeping your coating in good condition.Dirty towels, brushes, dirt getting trapped between the wash mitts are simple ways to add swirl marks.  Something as simple as brushing the paint as you walk by, could develop swirls. Professional grade Ceramic coatings offer real protection. They will help prevent some of these marks. Yet you must always remember, Ceramic Coatings are not scratch proof.High Quality Coatings offer a sacrificial layer that can be polished and reapplied if necessary.

Myth number two I’m not going to have to wash my car.

After one of the very first coatings that we did, a customer asked us, “is it true I never have to wash my car again?”Ceramic Coatings definitely make the car much easier to wash.The vehicle is going to stay cleaner for longer.But your car is still going to get dirty, even with the coating.

Myth number three is that coatings are permanent.

If you do enough research into ceramic coatings, you’re going to find information that is not true!Some will tell you the coating will form a permanent bond to the clearcoat. And come with a lifetime warranty……My problem with this one is the word permanent.It leads you to believe that once you have this coating on your vehicle that it’s going to be there forever. This is simply just not true. Think about it like this. You can put wax on a car, leave it for five years in a climate control garage. Come back the wax is still going to be on that surface after five years.


 Technically you can say it lasted for five years. The reality is washing the car, the sun, and environmental Fallout are breaking down the vehicle’s protection. Nothing is permanent. The paint under the coating is not permanent. Everything on this earth has a life expectancy and will break down with time. Have a closer look at their warranties. They are riddled with holes and fine print that include many things that will void your warranty..

Myth number four is that coatings will peel off.

High Quality Ceramic Coatings form a strong bond on the top of your clearcoat. People think that when it fails, it’s gonna feel like a clear coat separating from the base coat.

When a coating degrades, like when wax fails, you’re not going to see peeling off. It wears away, and you’re only going to see that the beading and the dirt shedding qualities are poor.There’s also no worry if you get a stone chip. There’s no risk of the entire coating being compromised.When you take delivery of your newly coated car from Adelaide Paint Protection we include detailed instructions on how to maintain your car.We have Professional Car Wash specifically manufactured for Ceramic Coatings. Drying towels large enough to dry your bonnet without you laying a hand on it!

Thankyou for staying with me if you got this far! If you’re looking for the  most durable, highest gloss Ceramic Coating on the market, give us a callor email. Guarantee we will get back to you shortly have a solution for your car.

One of the most common questions I receive is, “Will this really prevent scratches like they claim”? When it comes to ceramic coatings, many companies make claims of how durable and long lasting their product is.

The answer to that is yes, in a way, but no coating will prevent stone chips, prevent a key scratch, etc. Paint protection Film or PPF is almost twice as thick as the thickest coating claim, and the only way to prevent damage is for the sacrificial layer (ceramic coating or PPF) to absorb that impact.

The claims of 9H Hardness is a little misplaced as well as it is not stated upon which scale, so many think to the more commonly known Mohs scale, which would mean it is almost as hard as a diamond. While that would be amazing, it is tested on the Pencil Hardness scale, meaning it is as hard as the most durable pencil lead. Still very durable don’t get me wrong, but that deliberately left out piece of info can be pretty misleading.

So how does it prevent scratching? In a very specific way. A ceramic coating will make the surface of the paint extremely slick and create high water contact angles. What this does it allow the dirt and debris on your paint to be less embedded in the paint, meaning it takes less effort to remove, thus less chance for that debris to damage the paint when removing. Also, less debris will stick the paint overall, again reducing the change for scratching.



So does it help prevent scratching? Yes absolutely. But the key work is help. Coatings are still an amazing protection option for your vehicle but they have their place and their limitations.

For further information or to discuss options for your new vehicle, please call us to discover how we can provide the best protection available.

2005 HSV GTO Build #442

Paint Correction & Ceramic Paint Protection Coatings

We were asked to return this GTO to its former glory. A self confessed user of the dreaded brushes at the pay car washes, the before video demonstrates the damage incurred.

From the outset the task was to be a lengthy process:

Endless hours of wet sanding

Heavy Water stain removal

Swirl marks


Paint touch-ups

Wheels & brake calipers cleaned, which we then coated in a high temperature ceramic coating.

Comment from the owner, “I didn’t hold out any hope that you could repair it. Instead it is better than new”

Check out the video to see the transformation.

Its our pleasure –

Vini & Anna Ferrari

Adelaide Paint Protection

A collection of interesting photos of vehicles we have had the pleasure of applying Paint Protection Coatings. Enjoy….

2008 Porsche Cayman S

Paint Correction & Ceramic Paint Protection Coatings

We had the privilege of treating this stunning little Porsche to an Intensive Correction followed by the installation of our Signature Multi-Layer Ceramic Coating. ‘The Black Series’.

From the outset the task was to be a lengthy process:

Heavy Water stain removal

Swirl marks


Paint touch-ups

We also wanted to give the owner a gift in the form of decontaminated & cleaned wheels & brake calipers, which we then coated in a high temperature ceramic coating.

Comment from the owner, “I’m not sure how you did that, but I am blown away. Thank you”

Check out the video to see the transformation.

Its our pleasure –

Vini & Anna Ferrari

Adelaide Paint Protection