Best Automotive Clear Coats in 2020



Speedokote Clear Coat 2K Acrylic Urethane, SMR-1150/1102-Q 4:1 Gallon Clearcoat Medium Kit Review:


Let me start off by saying that I have been painting cars since 1994 and have sprayed so many different clear coats it would make your head spin. I paint now as a hobby and have been looking for a budget clear to shoot the many vehicle and motorcycle parts that people keep throwing at me. Let me be stern with this bit of advice..do not reduce this clearcoat ever. It's so thin the viscosity is close to water. With that being said you will need to go for a third coat allowing the clear to get slick to the touch between coats. I use an old SataJet NR95 as my gun of choice with a 1.3mm fluid nozzle, needle and aircap. Typically with heavier clears I use my 1.5 setup but not with this clear..it's too thin. However I was able to make a very inexpensive clear look like it's on par with the big name manufacturers with no buffing. I'll be curious to see how long it holds up to the elements but so far I'm happy with the results. Anytime you shoot clear you should make sure the area your painting in has good airflow. Once you apply your last coat let it breathe before shutting down any fans. I made a booth in my garage out of PVC tubing and plastic sheeting with filters in the back and a 4000cfm fan at the front. This setup produced the results you see in the pictures...have a look.



SEM Paints SEM15243 Satin Black Color Coat Aerosol Review:


My Miata came with tan interior. I wanted to switch to black but the lower half of the dash is tan (the dash contains the VIN plate so not a great idea to swap that out). I was able to source all the other black interior pieces but decided to give this stuff a try on the dash. I removed it completely from the car, made a plastic sheet paint booth, and used all three steps recommended by SEM (prep, adhesion promoter, color coat). The color is so close that nobody will ever notice that my dash wasn't always black! Removing 1 star because it's not quite as durable a finish as I had hoped (I realize that is asking a lot from a spray paint). I will have to repaint the glove box handle soon due to it chipping from normal use. I was able to install the dash and all the components without scratching the finish. Great stuff!



Cquartz Dlux Wheel and Trim Coat 30mL Review:


Very easy application. As with CQuartz UK Ceramic, you need to take the time to prep the surface for best results. This may include use of soap, Iron X, and an IPA wipe down first. It went on very smoothly. I’m not sure why some commenters say it was “tacky”, unless they let the product sit too long. I found it worked well focusing on 1/3 or each 22” rim at a time. There is enough for two coats on a full set of wheels. After one month, I find it really helps clean up brake dust much easier. Even on the brake calipers.



Nanoskin NA-IPR128-M MEDIUM UNIVERSAL REDUCER - 1 Gallon, 128. Fluid_Ounces Review:


This was for painting my 2005 Scion xB, compact wagon, using Omni paint. . . I got lots of runs in paint, first time ever, but may have been fault of the Omni Gloss Enhancer. . .this was an acrylic enamel single metallic paint with hardener job ; but no clear coat. . . I plan to repaint in November or December when the bugs are non existent, as I do not have a good paint booth anymore, retired and 78 years old; but did custom painting years ago, and expect better of my paint jobs.



USC SprayMax 2K Glamour High Gloss Aerosol Clear Review:


What a great product. I recently built a guitar and wanted a good non-yellowing clear with no ambering of the base color (front) or wood (back).
The back and neck are mahogany. I first filled the grain with a polyester resin (same stuff you use laying fiberglass), then sanded to 400 grit.
the top (or front) is maple which I used a very thinned-out version of the resin to fill the grain (maple has much tighter grain to begin with) and sanded to 320. after masking, I primed the top, then sanded to 400. then laid a silver base, then alternating layers of silver metal flake and red candy clear so the metallics come through in varying shades of red.
once the final color had cured, I LIGHTLY wet sanded to 600 and put about a dozen coats of this 2k front & back, about 10-15 min between.
super easy to use... just wear gloves and a good respirator and work with good ventilation. Actually, I don't know exactly how many coats I put - I got 2 cans and used them both fully.
after about a week to fully cure, I wet sanded down to 5000 grit, then hand buffed - something this size wasn't worth getting out the buffer.
the SprayMax 2k is GREAT for small projects like this, for motorcycle tins, or for individual panels on a car... but I wouldn't do a whole car in this as it would be quite expensive to do a whole car with 2k spray bombs like this - I'd get a large can of a 2k clear with hardener and use my HVLP... but for those small projects, sometimes it's not worth setting up the gun (or have to worry about cleaning it after).



LODY Car Scratch Remover Cloth, Upgraded Version Scratch Removal for Cars, Nano Technology to Repair Car Scratches and Car Surface Polishing, Used for Light Paint Scratch Remover to Repair Scratches Review:


I bought this cloth to use on my son's car that he was selling. It had many scrapes and scratches. One was a long strip where he had side-swiped something blue. I spent several hours with an expensive compound wax trying to buff it out and was not successful. This cloth took it out completely and it was about two feet long. There was also a deep scratch that had dented the car and left black lines. The cloth took out the black lines and the dent was no longer visible, even though it could still be felt if you rubbed your fingers over it. My son's car was white, but the product can be used on any color vehicle. I highly recommend this product and you can't beat the price.



USC Spraymax Matte Clearcoat 3680065 Review:


I airbrush goalie masks. For most of my projects I use the Spraymax 2K gloss, but in some cases I need a matte finish. I find this a great product for smaller jobs. I typically use 2 cans for 4-6 coats on the goalie mask and back plate. I get that it's cheaper to use your own spray pistol, but I find cleaning my clear coat spray pistol such a pain, that for smaller projects this is a great product. The key to a good clear coat is thorough paint preparation: sanding, priming, base coat. That avoids a lot of problems. The other thing is to make sure the paint is thoroughly dry before clear coating. I tend to let it sit for a day or overnight. Also, be patient. Start with a very light coat, let that dry, then you can do several more wet coats of clear. Always leave a lot of time between coats. I typically do 20-30 minutes. These are 2 part clear coats, they are very strong after it's fully dried and that's why I can use it on hockey goalie masks. The pot life is 48 hours, but I find that even the day after using it already behaves differently. Make sure you plan to do the whole project in one day and you'll be fine.



SEM 15013 Landau Black Color Coat - 12 oz. Review:


I had heard about this product before from SEM. Multiple people online had referenced it. I even had a local upholstery shop tell me they use this stuff all the time and especially dealerships use it to touch anything up on cars. It is definitely something you have to try yourself to believe. Yes the cost is more expensive but it's worth it.

I will say that there was not as huge of a difference in shades/gloss between the Landau black and satin black. I tried both. The Landau must be more popular given it's about $2 per can cheaper. It does give a slightly glossy look to it but not in a blind you, reflect the light kind of way. I put the satin right up next to it and couldn't tell a huge difference but on a vinyl or plastic surface it is more flat colored than the Landau.

If you look at the ingredients on the back of the can it has colorant, however that is processed, probably in a liquid dye type form and also titanium dioxide. Other than those two things and some petroleum, it's all various alcohols in the can. You can definitely tell once you start spraying it. Do so with open ventilation and if you plan to do very much more than a piece or two do yourself a favor and get a respirator because this will cause cancer. Other than that, it smells like really strong nail polish and takes a little bit to air out. Given the contents mostly being alcohol it sticks to what you are spraying, lays out evenly, and drys very quickly. It doesn't bunch up on carpet or headliner to give it that tacky paint kind of feeling. Just brush the carpet after you are done.

I will say that if you plan to do a color change on a light to dark color don't do so if you have thick carpet. It takes 2-3 times more material just because it needs to cover any light color that would show through. You can only get it to penetrate maybe 1/4" to 3/16" of the carpet threads. It may look ok but if the threads get folded over or you spread it with your hand you can see the original color. Even head liners that are a light shade going to a dark color like black took quite a bit more material. It looks amazing when done still.

This product works best when you use it over vinyl or plastic. Light to dark color changes don't see to be a problem on these materials. Spray multiple light coats and then the last one basically double it up to make it a little wetter. That has worked well for me and it actually takes a lot of material to get it to run. You essentially have to sit in one spot for a second or more to get it to run.

I did find out for application that it only likes being sprayed with the can fully upright for the most consistent spray pattern that is smooth. Holding the can horizontally you can only spray maybe 5-6" sweeps at a time because the spray pattern will go from full to half and anything inbetween. It just seems like it doesn't get as much constant pressure so hang up your parts and spray them with the can upright. Also, spraying it not in the upright position it will tend to spray out some little blobs here and there very minute maybe a pencil head thickness in diameter.

Those are basically considerations for application. It's an easy product to use. The nozzle is a little harder to depress and can fatigue your finger if you are spraying a large part 10-12 sq. ft. in size. I haven't had any adhesion issues yet but time will tell. I know others that use this for muscle car restorations and they swear by it. Clean your part thoroughly. I use a degreaser like simple green and a brush. Wipe it off with a microfiber towel. Wipe it down with a wet microfiber if you are worried about residue. It's ready to paint after that but if you want one more step wipe it down with acetone. I have not had any issues with dirt so I usually don't have to do that last step but it is part of SEM's prep products.

Overall, if you are tired of the color of your interior and want to change it without going to an upholstery shop, you need to make something look more like new(it won't cover up a worn surface just change the color), or want to spruce something up to get it sold, then this is a product for you. I was very amazed at what it could do over vinyl and plastic. Nobody can tell it was coated. Even with the carpet and headliner I had many compliments. You can't lose much so give it a try.



KBS Coatings 8304 DiamondFinish Clear Coat Pint, 16. Fluid_Ounces Review:


I tried this finish to replace polyurethane. I have to admit that the finish is much more beautiful and glossy than polyurethane. However, this product dries very quickly. As I was applying it with vinyl gloves, I could feel the product harden. I have learned that once open, the product doesn't have a super long shelf life. As this product is very expensive, you may want to buy the smallest amount that you need. Just my 2 cents...
** Update- This is still the most beautiful finish you can buy however once open, it expires in about 6 months.
*** Once you open the can, make sure that you put some plastic wrap over the can between the can and lid. If you do not, the finish will glue the can shut!



KBS Coatings 8404 DiamondFinish Clear Coat - 1 Quart Review:


I tried this finish to replace polyurethane. I have to admit that the finish is much more beautiful and glossy than polyurethane. However, this product dries very quickly. As I was applying it with vinyl gloves, I could feel the product harden. I have learned that once open, the product doesn't have a super long shelf life. As this product is very expensive, you may want to buy the smallest amount that you need. Just my 2 cents...
** Update- This is still the most beautiful finish you can buy however once open, it expires in about 6 months.
*** Once you open the can, make sure that you put some plastic wrap over the can between the can and lid. If you do not, the finish will glue the can shut!