How Much Ceramic Coating Do You Need? (All Vehicle Sizes)


For most small-medium sized cars, a 30 mL bottle of ceramic coating will be enough for two layers, with the exception of large SUVs and pickup trucks where a 50 mL bottle will be required.

How Much Coating Do You Need?

Here are the approximate amounts of ceramic coating required for different sized vehicles:

Vehicle SizeAmount of Ceramic Coating Required for Single Layer
2-Door Convertible e.g. MX-5 RF8-12 mL
3-Door Hatchback e.g. Ford Fiesta8-12 mL
5-Door Hatchback e.g. Audi A39-13 mL
Coupe e.g. Mercedes C-Class Coupe9-13 mL
Saloon/ Sedan e.g. BMW 5-Series Saloon11-15 mL
Small SUV e.g. Volkswagen T-Roc11-15 mL
Large SUV e.g. Range Rover13-18 mL
Pickup Truck e.g. Dodge RAM21-25 mL

This is for a single layer of the ceramic coating, however some coatings will recommend using two layers for maximum durability and performance.

Check out my article on using multiple layers of ceramic coating for more information.

If you are using two layers of the coating, you will require the following amount:

Vehicle SizeAmount of Ceramic Coating Required for Two Layers
2-Door Convertible e.g. MX-5 RF16-24 mL
3-Door Hatchback e.g. Ford Fiesta16-24 mL
5-Door Hatchback e.g. Audi A318-26 mL
Coupe e.g. Mercedes C-Class Coupe18-26 mL
Saloon/ Sedan e.g. BMW 5-Series Saloon22-30 mL
Small SUV e.g. Volkswagen T-Roc22-30 mL
Large SUV e.g. Range Rover26-36 mL
Pickup Truck e.g. Dodge RAM42-50 mL

Keep in mind that these amounts are approximates. Always size up on the bottle if you are worried you might not have enough. It’s best to have too much coating instead of too little. Installation technique and the type of applicators used will affect how much coating is required.

The Variables

The reason there is a range in terms of how much coating is actually needed is because there are several variables that will affect it.

Installation Technique

Beginners in particular tend to put more coating on the applicator compared to professionals who have more experience applying coatings and know exactly the right amount to use.

This can make quite a bit difference as a pro may only need 10 mL of coating for the job, whilst someone else could use as much as 15-20 mL coating the same vehicle.

Applicator Type

The type of applicator you’re using also makes a considerable difference.

The two most popular applicator choices are:

  • Suede applicators
  • Microfiber applicators

Microfiber applicators are generally considered “safer” in that they are less likely to cause any marring if the conditions are dustier for example if the coating is being applied outdoors.

This is because microfiber has a deeper pile compared to suede so there’s more chance that any dust will be pushed into the applicator rather than sit on top of the surface. With suede, since the surface is very flat, there is nowhere for any dust particles to go so they risk being rubbed along the paint.

The disadvantage though, is that microfiber applicators soak up more of the coating, so you can end up using considerably more product.

If you go for a microfiber applicator, have a look at the ones that feature a barrier underneath the microfiber to stop them absorbing too much coating. For example, these Gyeon Coating Applicators.

Number of Applicators

Depending on the type of coating you’re using you may need to change the applicator (be it suede or microfiber) more frequently.

With some coatings, you may need to use a fresh applicator for every couple of panels. Whereas with others you may only need to do it a few times for the entire car. This is because different coatings harden at different rates and you don’t want to use an applicator which has hardened coating on it.

Every time you swap the applicator, you will need to use a bit more coating because it will not have been primed at all. For example, you may need to use 8-10 drops on a fresh applicator, and only 4-5 drops on subsequent panels.

If you’re working outside then you will need to change your applicators more frequently in order to ensure no dust is accumulating on them too.

Don’t Be Stingy

This is really important. Don’t be tempted to try and stretch your coating if you don’t have enough of it left as it will result in poor and uneven coverage.

If you think you might need about 25 mL of coating, and the options are a 30 mL bottle or a 50 mL bottle, I’d advise just going for the 50 mL bottle especially if you don’t have much experience using coatings. This will guarantee you have plenty and takes away the stress of running out midway through the application.

Check out my complete guide to applying a ceramic coating at home.

Heather

I first became interested in car detailing around 5 years ago and learnt all the main techniques on my very first car. I spend a lot of time detailing my current car, and trying to keep my family's cars looking presentable too!

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