Finding The Best Clear Coat For Cars
Ever notice how a professional car washer gets your car to look just that little bit shinier?
Notice how cars in a car dealership always sparkle when you walk in?
It’s not an accident. Grooming a car so that its coat shines is one of the many tricks of professional car care. How can you repeat this at home?
To keep a your car’s brand new shine after you drive it off the lot, you’ll need to make an effort to protect its base-coat. We’re all good at washing our cars, but taking care of the coat is just important, and requires you to invest in a good clear coating product.
Once you’ve got a quality automative clear coat, you will easily be able to give your vehicle’s paint job a beautiful finish. There are many different types of automotive clear coats, so in this buyers guide, we’re not only going to help you find the best clear coat for cars, but also give you some insider tips on what to look for, such as drying time, longevity, and coverage.
**[Editor Top Pick]**
If you’re after the best, our first recommendation for coats is always the same; the SpeedoKote Automotive Clear Coat. This product is designed to deliver a smooth, shiny finish that will make your car look like you bought it yesterday! If you’re going to spend the day grooming your vehicle you obviously want to invest in the best clear coat protection for cars, or at least one that’s proven to work. This is one of the best reviewed coats on Amazon, and it wasn’t hard to see why.
The great benefit of the SpeedKote Clear Coat is it dries and cures super quick, so it is ready to buff within 4 to 6 hours. Each application goes on smoothly to ensure a streak-free finish. After the clear coat is buffed, the end result will be an ultra-high gloss.
SpeedoKote utilizes an activator medium that activates, when the temperature reaches 75 degrees Fahrenheit. This means it is perfectly okay to apply the clear coat, while the temperature range is between 65 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. The precise temperature will speed up the drying process, so you will not have to wait longer than the guaranteed dry time to start buffing.
Vehicles spend most of their time outdoors, exposed to the elements that can damage the paint and clear coat. However, SpeedoKote has a superior UV resistance to prevent fading, even when exposed to extremely high temperatures on a daily basis. This protection is extremely important and it is recommended to never invest in a clear coat that does not have some level of UV protection. If you don’t have a garage to keep your car under cover, this is doubly important.
- Chemical and UV resistant
- Buff within 4 to 6 hours of last application
- Ultra-high gloss finish
- Activator medium – 65 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit
- Extremely use to apply
- Higher solids than other versions
If you’re after the best clear coat for cars, we can’t recommend this highly enough. This clear coat dries so fast you can sand and recount it within 24 hours. The end product will be a high gloss, streak-free finish that will last. Click here to order directly from Amazon
#2 USC Spray Max 2k High Gloss Clearcoat Aerosol (2 PACK)
[Best value for money]
Whether its your rims, your panels or even your dumbbell plates, a clear coat is a great way to protect from wear. However, one of the biggest issues with coating is that clear coats can be expensive and some people find them intimidating to apply at home, preferring to leave it to the professionals. If you’re after a coat that’s inexpensive and won’t break your bank account, a good choice is the USC Spray Max High Gloss Aerosol. This innovative product offers users the best automotive clear coat at just a fraction of the price of other clear coats, and is the best aerosol clear coat in this price range.
Easy To Use With No Cleanup
Using a clear coat spray is intuitive. All you have to do is shake the can, point, and press the trigger. There are no precise measurements required, no mixing, and best of all no messy cleanup afterwards. When you are done, simply store the can for later use or properly dispose of it.
No Messy Tip Build Up
Have you ever noticed that with spray can products after you use them once and go back to use them again the tip gets all clogged up? This makes it virtually impossible to reuse the product, so you have to go out and waste money on another can. However, with the USC Spray Max High Gloss Aerosol and its unique design, when you are done simply turn it upside down, press the trigger, and hold it until only air comes out. This will clear the tip and prepare it for the next time you use it.
- Very simple to use
- The tip doesn’t gunk up after storing
- Suitable for higher ambient temperatures
- Works great over any basecoat
Clear coating is a great method to protect paint, chrome, and other products. The only downside was that it used to be incredibly expensive, and had to be applied by a professional, but now average Joes like you and me can achieve the perfect clear coat with a simple spray can. Very handy product to keep around the garage, and not expensive at all. Click here to order directly from Amazon.
#3 Rust-Oleum 262178 Gloss Clear Automotive Auto Body Clear Coat
Whether you are a professional auto painter or just painting your spare vehicle on the weekend, you might want something a little more heavy duty. A good reliable and durable clear coat that is capable of protecting your vehicle in the harshest conditions. That is exactly what the Rust-Oleum 262178 Gloss Clear Coat is capable of, plus so much more. Possibly the most durable automotive clear coat on this list, this is a great option if you really want to get your hands dirty.
It doesn’t matter what type of vehicle you have or the paint that is on your vehicle. The Rust-Oleum Clear Coat is an extremely versatile product that can be used on any vehicle type as well and vehicle paint. Simply just make the proper mixtures in your paint gun, point, and spray.
Fast Drying Time
When painting something, the drying time is always the biggest drag. You usually end up waiting hours for the paint or clear coat to dry. However, the Rust-Oleum Clear Coat has an extremely fast drying time of 30 minutes.
No Recoat Limitations
Another great feature that you will find that comes included with this clear coat is that it does not have a recoat limitation. This means that you can apply as many clear coats as you want without worrying about overpainting.
- No recoat limitations
- Fast 30-minute dry time
- Can be used on any vehicle or vehicle paint
- Protects against the elements of the weather
- 1 can is capable of covering 75 square feet
It doesn’t matter if, you are a professional auto body painter or you just like tinkering on the weekend. The Rust-Oleum 262178 Gloss Clear Coat is a great resource to have in the garage for any paint enthusiast. With its versatile capabilities and fast dry time, it’s a great option for the auto enthusiast or hobbyist.
#4 Sherwin Williams Finish 1 2K Urethane Automotive Clear Coat
If you’ve been dealing with coats 20 years or 20 minutes, there is a good chance that you have heard the Sherwin Williams name. Sherwin Williams has been creating tough paints for petrolheads for years now. Over the years, they’ve built themselves a reputation for durability and reliability. There automotive clear coat is no different. The same hard work and innovative thinking that goes into all their products gave us the Sherwin Williams Finish 1 2K Urethane.
Comes Ready To Use
When it comes to clear coating a vehicle, it’s necessary to have a hardener or medium to get the results that you desire. The usually means that you have to buy the clear coat and the hardener separately. However, that is not the case with the Sherwin Williams Finish. When you purchase this product you not only receive the clear coat, but you also receive the hardener at just one low price. With this kit you get a two in one which should make your coating session(s) a breeze.
Protects Against UV Rays
Not only does this product offer the ultimate protection against abrasions and scratches, but it also protects against the sun. Vehicles spend a great deal of time in the sun and the sun can do a major amount of damage to paint over time. We highly recommend getting an automative clear coat with UV protection, and the Sherwin Williams Finish 1 gets a big tick in that department.
- Protects against UV rays
- Comes ready to use with the clear coat and hardener
- 23 VOV high solid
- Easy to apply
Sherwin Williams is one of those brand names that should give you peace of mind, as they are well known for creating durable and reliable paints over the years. The Sherwin Williams Finish 1 2K Urethane is no different and offers customers a very high quality clear coat for cars and vehicles.
#5 KBS Coatings 8404 Diamond Finish Clear Coat
Our final pick of high performance clear coating products is the KBS Coatings Diamond Finish Clear Coat.
This product is designed to provide a high gloss, streak-free finish that will last for many years. Each application goes on smoothly and can be applied with a brush, spray gun or roller, without leaving roller or brush marks.
The chemical resistant protection ensures your vehicle is protected from all kinds of damage, and the coat won’t disintegrate is sprayed with anything sinister. Good for cars that might be exposed to industrial environments, or anything where chemical exposure might be possible.
Applies Over Painted Surfaces
Whether you are looking to update an older automobile or starting from scratch, the KBS Coatings Diamond Finish should work just fine. This product can be applied to painted surfaces that have only been minimally prepped. The clear coat will stick to most surfaces, so it does not matter if it perfectly prepped or not, before the first application.
Will Not Yellow Or Crack
If you do not have a garage to park your vehicle, the sun, rain and snow can lay havoc to an automobile surface The KBS Coatings Clear Coat is designed to endure long exposure to the toughest environments, without cracking, peeling or yellowing.
- Apply over surfaces that have not been prepped to perfection
- Will not yellow, peel or crack, even when exposed to the elements
- High gloss, water clear finish
- Can be applied with a roller, sprayer or brush
- Designed to resist graffiti
The KBS Coatings DiamondFinish Clear Coat is the key to a high glossy shine that will last for years. A hardener is not required for this high solid formula, but you can thin it down if you feel it is too thick. The fact that the clear coat goes on so smoothly, even with a brush or roller will make your job so much easier.
If you want your car to remain beautiful and sleek for many years to come, a clear coat is one way to give it that extra bit of love. Protect it from the elements, and give it that professional shine as well.
Our top choice is definitely the SpeedoKote Automotive Clear Coat, which is a fast drying and easy buffing coat suitable for all types of cars.
For something at a lower price range, we’d recommend going with the USC Spray Max Aerosol Clear Coat, which is not only inexpensive but also extremely easy to use and great value overall.
Whichever you choose, make sure you get your coating done after your next wash. Your car will love you for it.
Dealing with something bigger? Check out our reviews of best trucks undercoating.