If you’re looking for a do-it-yourself clear coat product that still looks professional, you’ve come to the right place: from Spray Max to Sherwin Williams, these are the top five brands to choose from for your car’s clear coat.
The process of picking a clear coat for your car can feel overwhelming. There are so many brands promising different kinds of protection—from UV resistance to chemical-proofing—so it can be hard to narrow down your options. Ultimately, the one you choose depends on your wants and needs.
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car insurance savings, is here to help make that decision easier. From professional-grade to working-on-a-budget, we’ve compiled a list of the top clear coat products to use on your vehicle.
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Why do you need a clear coat?
A clear coat adds more than just shine to your vehicle—it’s a protective barrier against damage to your car’s exterior, including things like debris (like rocks or sticks that can bounce off your car from the road), scratches, dents, and fading from UV rays—it even can make buffing out bird poop easier!
Clear coats are an easy aspect of
car maintenance that can add a high-quality sheen to your car’s paint that enriches color vibrancy and can make even an old car seem brand-new. Ultimately, applying a clear coat is in your vehicle’s best interest—and your wallet’s, too.
Top 5 clear coats for cars
USC Spray Max 2k High Gloss Clearcoat Aerosol
Amazon, $41.99 for two aerosol cans
With a 4.7/5 star rating on Amazon and nearly 5,000 customer reviews, the USC Spray Max 2k High Gloss Clearcoat is at the top of our list for its high-quality application made simple. Its user-friendly aerosol spray design makes applying product to your vehicle easy, and once dried, it leaves a high-gloss, chip-resistant finish that makes your car look brand-new.
Although this clear coat takes a full 24 hours to cure, it’s durable enough to stand up to tough weather and exposure to other chemicals. Before using, make sure to read the instructions carefully for the highest-quality outcome!
POR-15 Low Sheen Protective Clear Coat
If you’re looking for a matte finish clear coat, try POR-15’s Low Sheen Protective Clear Coat. Safe to apply on any vehicle, POR-15 uses silica-free, waterborne polyurethane technology to promise durability against scuffing and burnishing.
The clear coat comes with a universal hardener to seal your finish but requires at least two coats to achieve the desired look. Additionally, you’ll have to cure the clear coat at 90 degrees Fahrenheit.
Sherwin Williams Finish 1 Ultimate Overall Clear Coat
Amazon, $95 per gallon
With a full 5-star rating on Amazon, the Sherwin Williams Finish 1 Ultimate Overall Clear Coat is a top-performing clear coat that’s DIY friendly for essentially any skill level. It comes in a kit that includes a universal hardener for added protection and can be used for either spot repair or an all-over finish.
Added UV protection and a wet-gloss finish are among this product’s many perks, but users should be aware that achieving their desired look will likely require multiple coats, and curing time can take up to 48 hours.
KBS Coatings 8504 Diamond Finish Clear Coat
Amazon, $196 per gallon
If you’re looking for a professional-grade finish that’s still easy to use, the KBS Coatings 8504 Diamond Finish Clear Coat is probably the choice for you. It’s highly durable and can withstand corrosion from harsh chemicals and temperatures up to 300 degrees Fahrenheit—but don’t be intimidated by KBS’s advanced tech specs!
This clear coat requires little prep before usage, but it can be easily applied over your car’s existing paint or clear coat. It also has a relatively fast cure time. However, it is prone to dry out and harden quickly as a result, making it harder to fix mistakes or re-use any leftover product.
Speedokote SMR 130 Automotive Clear Coat
Amazon, $99 per gallon
Speedokote’s Automotive Clear Coat is a fast-drying blend of acrylic and urethane with added UV protection. In as little as four to six hours, you can achieve a high-gloss finish on your vehicle—and from there, you’re ready to buff!
While Speedokote’s clear coat boasts weather and chemical resistance and sun protection, you must apply it properly: for the best quality, you’ll want to use it when the temperature is between 65 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit (or 18 to 26 degrees Celsius). Cold temperatures can cause the clearcoat to clump and thicken, making for a less attractive cure.
If you’re looking to do your DIY clear coat job on a budget, we recommend the following products:
Dupli-Color Clear Exact Match Automotive Top Coat
Amazon, $14.95 per 8 fluid oz. can
For a high-quality finish that doesn’t break your bank, use the Dupli-Color Clear Exact Match Automotive Top Coat. Suitable for big projects or small touch-ups alike, this clear coat spray has a user-friendly spray nozzle for easy application, and cures in as little as 30 minutes.
Home Depot, $7.98 per can, $63.93 per case
If you’re going for a high-gloss finish that looks expensive but feels affordable, use Rust-oleum Auto Body Clear. Its acrylic-based coating formula not only restores a high sheen to your vehicle’s exterior but also protects against rust and weather. It cures quickly, and you don’t have to wait between applying coats—ever.
Mother’s CMX Ceramic Spray Coating
Amazon, $19 per bottle
For an affordable and user-friendly clear coat, consider using Mother’s CMX Ceramic Spray Coating. It is as simple to apply as spraying it on and wiping it back off—and you’ll wind up with long-lasting protection from weather of all kinds.
You can apply this clear coat on its own or on top of your current coating for added sheen and protection—and with 4.6 out of 5 stars on Amazon and a #9 rating in Automotive Sprays, you can trust that cheaper doesn’t always mean lower quality!
Finding affordable car insurance
Whether you’re completing your clear coat job with the top-of-the-line materials or on a budget,
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