How long should car paint cure before adding ceramic coating?

I’m a graffiti artist custom-painting my car and I want to protect my work as soon as I’m finished. How long after painting should I wait before adding a ceramic coating?

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Answer provided by
Laura Salvas
Answered on Apr 21, 2022
It sounds like your car is going to look spectacular! You definitely don’t want to mess up your artwork by rushing into a ceramic coating. How long paint needs to cure before adding ceramic coating depends on the type of paint you use, but expect to wait 30 to 90 days before applying a ceramic coat.
You are correct that the best time to add a ceramic coat is when the paint is fresh, as you want to protect the paint job from any scratches. While new cars are good to coat right off the lot, their paint jobs have been baked on and thus cured faster than a custom job.
How long a paint takes to cure depends on whether the paint is water-based or solvent-based and the curing method used. Even if the paint has dried, you want to ensure a long enough off-gassing period to avoid the coating looking cloudy due to trapped gasses.
You can contact the manufacturer of the paint you are using for a precise answer in your situation, as some paints can fully cure in 30 days. The safest bet is to wait 90 days after a fresh paint job if it hasn’t been baked onto your car.
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