Clear coat is not exactly clear. When you apply it, it changes the look of the paint, so it’s just as important to be careful and follow our instructions when applying this final, crucial layer. Clear coat is similar to the colored paint you use on your car; it’s a resin, too, but it has no pigment, so it goes on clear. It serves to increase the shine of your vehicle’s paint job while simultaneously protecting it from smaller scuffs, UV light, and the elements.
Use a respirator: If you don’t own, rent. You can’t buy new lungs and car paint can be very bad for you if inhaled.
Sand Primer: But nothing else! Wet sand the filler or primer to ultra-smooth using 1,000 - 1,500 grit. But your base coat should never be sanded. If it goes on chunky, sand it down and reapply.
Don’t Be in a Rush: Think about it this way. Taking a few extra hours to do it right means the job will last years. Pretty good tradeoff, no?
Let it Dry Between Coats: Stacking wet coats on top of one another can give you the dreaded drips or a tacky finish. Let each coat dry at least 10 minutes.
Don’t Sand Clear Coat: Unlike filler or primers, clear coat does not need to be sanded! The point of clear coat is to get a nice gloss. Sanding would remove that. If the clear looks glossy and smooth - leave it that way. Wet sanding and polishing is optional.
Watch the Temperature: For optimal results, you want it to be fairly warm while the clear coat dries! Somewhere in the neighborhood of 70–80 °F
Do Wash and Wax: After your clear coat has dried, you should get in the habit of washing your car every week and waxing once a month to maintain a healthy clear coat.
And that should be a good guide to keep you out of trouble! Remember, there’s a lot to learn about car paint application and maintenance, so check back often for new articles, or dig into our blog for great information that never gets old.