A clear coat is the layer of transparent paint applied over the car’s base paint to give it more depth and shine. It gives an enviable glossy finish to the car, which makes it look brand new!
A car with a clear coat not only retains its color longer but is also protected from untimely fading. Also, clear coats can be used to provide a full makeover to your car as well as for small touch-ups to reduce the appearance of minor stains and marks.
The best clear coat for cars is one that provides an exceptionally glossy finish to your car’s paintwork, which does not wear away easily. Additionally, it needs to protect the paint from minor spots, scratches, and marks, as well as from harmful sun rays, acid rain, and other unfavorable environmental conditions.
Due to the varied options available in the market, you may find it difficult to decide which clear coat to buy. To help you make your decision for proper exterior car care, here we have listed down some of the best car clear coats that are popular in the market. Take your pick from the list below!
Top 8 Best Clear Coats For Cars 2021
1. USC Spray Max 2K
The USC Spray Max 2k High Gloss Clearcoat is one of the best clear coats for cars if you are looking for a budget-friendly option. It is easy to use and gives a highly glossy finish that is sure to last for a long time!
You don’t need to mix different products to obtain the perfect results, as this aerosol spray bottle already contains the required two components. All you need to do is activate the components, shake the bottle thoroughly, and spray it over your car.
For applying this product, you would not need an additional spray gun to get an even layer as the nozzle is especially designed for this task. The smooth flow is guaranteed to provide an even coat throughout the surface without any patchy areas. After application, it is recommended to wait for around 12 hours to let the coat dry completely before using the car.
With this spray, you can expect a long-lasting shiny finish keeping your car protected from any damage caused by chemicals or environmental conditions. Additionally, it makes your car’s paint resistant to scratches and abrasions.
The contents of the bottle will remain usable for up to 48 hours after activation, after which it becomes ineffective. So, it is suggested that you use it up within the stipulated time for the best results!
- Super easy to use
- High gloss and durability
- Unique nozzle for perfect spraying
- Becomes unusable after 48 hours of activation
- Longer drying time
2. SHERWIN WILLIAMS Finish 1
The Sherwin Williams Finish 1 clear coat offers long-term protection to your car’s paint from the harmful UV rays of the sun, which makes it less prone to fading. This ultimate overall clear coat is undoubtedly one of the best things you could get for your car!
Being one of the best clear coat paints for cars, it ensures that you get such a superb shine on your car that it seems totally brand new! Also, it is quite easy to apply.
For the best effect and protection, it is recommended that you apply two coats of the product over the base coat of your car. This will ensure that you get an enviable gloss along with long-term durability.
Also, it comes with a medium hardener that not only assists in the process of curing but also offers additional protection to the paint. You can start buffing after around 24 hours from the time of application to give your car the desired finish.
- Shorter drying time
- High gloss
- UV protection
- Buffing can be difficult in some cases.
3. Speedokote SMR-130/75-K-M
The Speedokote SMR-130/75-K-M is an acrylic-urethane based clear coat that comes with an activator as part of the kit. It is clear in color, making it perfectly suitable with almost all hues of car paints.
For getting an unmatched glossy finish, you need to mix the clear coat and the activator in a ratio of 4:1. The application process is fairly simple; you just need to ensure that you spray it in an even layer all over your car’s base coat. It may take up to 6 hours to dry and cure properly after application.
The result you get is sure to meet your expectations with its finish and durability. It forms a highly glossy protective layer on your car that is resistant to chemicals and unfavorable weather. It also protects against UV rays, ensuring that the paint remains new for longer.
It forms a smooth layer over the paint that can be easily buffed after drying. It is perfect for applying a full-body coat to your car. Also, the product has a remarkably long shelf life, so you need not worry about the unused portion being wasted!
- Easy application process
- UV protection
- Long shelf life
- May become ineffective if mixed in the wrong proportions.
- Comparatively expensive
4. Dupli-Color BCL0125 Perfect Match
Looking for the best clear coat for cars that is easy to apply and doesn’t take too much time to dry? The Dupli-Color BCL0125 will surely be the ‘perfect match’ for you!
It comes in an aerosol spray bottle that is great for small touch-up jobs on your car. The acrylic lacquer-based spray is perfectly suitable for all OEM painted car surfaces, and it forms a layer that protects the base coat from damage and discoloration.
The EZ Touch 360-degree nozzle ensures that you can spray over a wider area at once to get a smooth finish. The sprayed layer is super quick to dry and is dry to touch within as little as 30 minutes. The paint becomes ready to handle within an hour of application, which makes it an ideal option for some quick fixes while you are running low on time.
It creates a high-quality shiny layer that adds depth to the color of the base coat. Due to its quick-drying formula, it is easier to apply multiple coats till you get the ideal finish!
- Comes in an easy-to-apply spray bottle
- Shorter drying time
- High-quality shine
- The nozzle may sometimes fail to discharge an even layer
- You will need to apply several coats to get the desired level of shine
5. Acme Finish 1 FC710
This wonderful product from Sherwin Williams is the perfect solution to all spot and multi-panel repairs. With a 4.23 VOC high solids urethane formula, the Finish 1 FC710 gives your car a long-lasting glossy finish.
The kit consists of a can of the clear coat and a bottle of a medium hardener, which needs to be mixed in the ratio of 4:1 before applying on your car. Application is quite easy, but you may require additional equipment such as a spray gun for the best results.
This product is often used by professionals to give the perfect finish to a car. It forms a protective layer over the base coat of the paint that gives it a smooth satin finish. The coat is highly durable but can get damaged by too much buffing.
On the downside, it has a longer drying time. So, it may be a bit annoying to wait for each layer to dry when you are applying multiple coats.
- Gives a professional-looking satin finish
- Easy to apply
- Highly durable
- Longer drying time
6. Auto Paint Depot Touch Up Paint Clear Coat
If you are searching for the best clear coat for cars that are ideal for small repairs or minor touch-ups, then here is the perfect product for you. The Auto Paint Depot Touch Up Paint Clear Coat is sure to meet all your expectations with its incredible performance.
The product is crystal clear, which makes it suitable for almost all colors of car paint and reduces imperfections in a variety of different surfaces. The formula is free from Isocyanate and gives an exceptional shine to the surface.
It is quick to cure and harden and adds more depth to the base color. Also, it is highly durable and offers unmatched protection from UV rays to reduce color fading. The clear coat is also resistant to gasoline, thus lasting longer in comparison to some other clear coats.
The clear coat is super easy to use, especially as it comes with brushes that are perfect for touch-ups. It has a good flow for ensuring that you get a smooth and even coat that doesn’t look blotched. The coating does not take much time to dry and protects the car surface from all weather conditions.
- High-quality glossy finish
- Excellent durability
- UV resistance
- Easy to apply
- Not as suitable for all-over application
7. Spraymax 2K Clear Glamour
The Spraymax 2K Clear Glamour is one of the best clear coat spray paints for cars that can help you get that professional-looking finish on your car! One of the top choices by professionals, this product can be used by everyone due to its easy application procedure!
With this clear coat, you don’t need any extra equipment to get that perfect finish on your car. It comes with a Moshify spray trigger that can be attached with the spray bottle to get the effectiveness of a spray gun!
It is non-messy and easy to apply, and the spray trigger ensures that you get a smooth and evenly-spread layer over your car’s paintwork. It is a 2k clear coat that is known for its faster drying and curing time.
The coating protects your car’s surface from scratches and chemicals. It is also resistant to harmful environmental conditions, which ensures that your paints last longer without discoloration or fading. You will get a highly glossy finish along with more depth of color that will surely make heads turn!
- Easy to use
- Comes with a non-messy spray trigger
- Long-lasting protection
- High gloss
- The product remains usable for only 48 hours after activation.
8. Speedokote SMR-1150 Clear Coat
Looking for an economical product that will give your car a showroom finish? Checkout the Speedokote SMR-1150 clear coat!
This awesome product is clear in color without any tint; thus it won’t alter your car’s base color. This makes it perfectly suitable for a wide range of cars. Also, it increases the depth of the base coat, giving you a brighter and more eye-catching finish.
The kit consists of a one-gallon can of clear coat and a clear medium activator. The two components need to be mixed in a 4:1 ratio to achieve the perfect results. It has a good flow and spreads in an even layer to give a great looking finish.
For the best results, it is recommended that you apply two coats while allowing for enough drying time between coats. The clear coat forms a protective layer that safeguards your car from environmental conditions and chemicals. Also, it has a long shelf life.
- High glossy finish
- Easy application
- UV protection
- Long shelf life
- The coat may not give the desired results if mixed in incorrect proportions.
Factors To Consider When Buying The Best Clear Coats For Cars
Choosing the best clear coat for cars can be difficult, especially if you have no prior experience buying or applying it to your vehicle. This is trickier since a wrong application can damage the overall look of your car and can lead to more expenditure for repairing or repainting it.
To ensure that you do not have to face any such unfavorable situation, you need to keep a few things in mind while looking for a suitable clear coat.
To help you select the perfect product for your car, we have listed down some of the important factors you should consider when buying a clear coat to ensure that it matches your requirements. Take a look below to know more.
The first thing that you need to consider while choosing the best clear coat for cars is its transparency. While most clear coats are transparent, some may have a faint tint that can alter the base coat color of your car.
This may not be much of a problem if you are fine with modifying the car’s color a bit, but usually, it is better to go for a completely clear coat as it makes your car shine just like new.
2. Drying Time
This is another factor that you should look for while buying a clear coat. Depending on their formulations, different clear coats may need a longer or a shorter time frame to dry and cure completely.
While the drying time may not have much to do with the final finish of the clear coat, waiting for a longer period might seem like a hassle when you are applying multiple coats.
This is also the case when you are short of time and want to do some quick touch-ups on your car. Therefore, make sure that you choose the right clear coat depending on your preferred drying time.
3. Application Process
It is extremely important that your chosen clear coat is easy to apply. Otherwise, you might end up with a blotchy layer that makes the paint look ugly.
The application will not be much of a hassle if you already have the required equipment, such as a spray gun. But if you don’t, it is a good idea to go for an aerosol spray-based clear coat. This will ensure that you get a smooth and even layer with remarkable ease.
4. Gloss Level
Just like transparency, gloss level is also an important consideration when choosing the perfect cleat coat for your car. While all clear coats do offer a glossy finish, the level of gloss varies.
A highly glossy clear coat will make your car shine like new, making others think you just bought it from the showroom. A low gloss, on the other hand, may offer protection to your car’s paintwork but may not do much to enhance its look. While buying a clear coat, make sure to select one whose gloss level matches your needs.
Different clear coats offer different levels of protection to your car. To make sure that you make the right choice, look for one which protects against scratches and abrasions. This will ensure that you don’t have to engage in frequent repairs to maintain the appearance of the car.
Also, it is a good idea to go for a clear coat that can shield against UV rays, as this makes your paint last longer without fading.
Last but not the least, price is an important factor when you are choosing the best clear coat for cars. Clear coats come in both high and low price ranges, and there is no fixed rule that a more expensive clear coat will have to be better than a lower-priced one.
There are numerous good options in every price range, and all you have to do is select the one whose features match your requirements.
Benefits Of Applying Clear Coats
Applying a clear coat is not free from hassles – it takes quite some effort to apply an even layer, and you also cannot use your car until it dries completely. If you are wondering why you should go through all the hassle of applying a clear coat, take a look at some of the benefits you get.
1. Improves Appearance
Applying a clear coat on your car gives it a highly glossy sheen and makes it look just like new. It also adds more depth to the base coat to make the color seem more bright and shiny. It is a great way to enhance your car’s paintwork to give it a high-quality finish.
2. Minor Repairs
It is unavoidable to get a few small scratches on your car’s paintwork when you take it out on the road. Applying a clear coat can help reduce the appearance of minor scratches through the buffing process.
Additionally, it helps hide small spots and imperfections on your car that may be caused by acid rain or insect or bird droppings.
UV rays from the sun can damage the paintwork of your car and make it fade faster with time. Many clear coats are UV resistant and thus protect your car from the harmful rays of the sun to keep your car looking vibrant for longer.
Moreover, some clear coats can also protect against environmental pollutants, chemicals, dirt, and debris, contributing to the car’s overall longer life.
Best Clear Coats For Cars – Conclusion
It can be difficult to choose the best clear coat for cars, especially when you look at the huge number of products available in the market. To ensure that you make the right choice, you need to know what to look for while buying a clear coat.
The ideal clear coat will be transparent, have a high level of gloss, and offer effective protection against minor scratches, chemicals, and UV rays. It should also have a simple and easy application process, along with being within your preferred budget range.
To help you make an informed choice, we have identified some of the top clear coats available in the market and have described all their features. To make your choice easier, we have also included the advantages and disadvantages of each product so that you know exactly what you are getting.
While all the above products are carefully chosen and great in their own right, we suggest that you select the one most suited to your requirements after going through the above descriptions.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What Is The Best Clear Coat For Automotive?
A clear coat helps you enhance the appearance of your car without spending much money. Choosing the best clear coat for cars can seem tough because a wrong choice can damage the car’s look. Some of the top clear coats you can select from to give your car a wonderful long-lasting shine include the Spraymax 2K Clear Glamour Clear Coat Spray, Dupli-Color BCL0125 Perfect Match Clearcoat, and the USC Spray Max 2k High Gloss Clearcoat.
What Is A Clear Coat Used For?
A clear coat is a layer of transparent paint applied over the paintwork of a car to give it added shine and durability. A good quality clear coat can not only add a glossy finish to the car but also protect it from scratches and harmful rays of the sun.
How Many Coats Of Clear Coat Do A Car Need?
While the number of coats you apply depends on your discretion, it is better to apply 2 coats to get the best results. It is recommended that you apply the first coat lightly when going for multiple coats to prevent cracking. Also, make sure you let the previous coat dry completely before applying a new one.
Does A Clear Coat Wear Off?
While a clear coat can protect against minor scratches, it does tend to wear off with time. Harsh weather conditions, chemicals, and accidents can cause the clear coat to peel off or become damaged. In such cases, you can opt to remove the previous clear coat by sanding and then reapply a new layer.