AbstractThe present work explores effects of shelf-life, temperature and the presence of cerium nitrate additive on the protective performance of sol–gel coatings applied on AA2024. These are important parameters when industrial applicability of coating formulations is considered. The studied sol–gel system is based on a combination of metalorganic precursor titanium(IV) propoxide and hybrid epoxy silane 3-glycidoxypropyltrimethoxysilane. The synthesized sol–gel formulations without or with addition of 0.007 M Ce(NO3)3 were aged during different times at temperatures 25 °C or − 6 °C. FTIR results show that the intensities of the bands associated to Sisingle bondOsingle bondSi increase with respect to Sisingle bondOH groups during the aging process as a result of extended condensation. However, such transformations occur less rapidly at low temperature. The electrochemical impedance spectroscopy measurements clearly show that sol–gel coatings corresponding to the sol–gel aged at low temperature exhibit similar corrosion protective capabilities compared to the coating obtained without sol–gel aging. It is also observed that the protection performance of the sol–gel coatings with cerium nitrate obtained after two weeks of sol–gel aging is lower compared to the coatings without cerium additive. This effect is attributed to the enhanced reactivity of the sol–gel due to cerium(III) presence.