© 2016 AIP Publishing LLC. The use of anti-relaxation coatings in alkali vapor cells yields substantial performance improvements compared to a bare glass surface by reducing the probability of spin relaxation in wall collisions by several orders of magnitude. Some of the most effective anti-relaxation coating materials are alpha-olefins, which (as in the case of more traditional paraffin coatings) must undergo a curing period after cell manufacturing in order to achieve the desired behavior. Until now, however, it has been unclear what physicochemical processes occur during cell curing, and how they may affect relevant cell properties. We present the results of nondestructive Raman-spectroscopy and magnetic-resonance investigations of the influence of alkali metal vapor (Cs or K) on an alpha-olefin, 1-nonadecene coating the inner surface of a glass cell. It was found that during the curing process, the alkali metal catalyzes migration of the carbon-carbon double bond, yielding a mixture of cis- and trans-2-nonadecene.