Clear coat paint contains no pigments, ensuring that the layer of paint simply offers protection, but no color to the car.
Choosing the best clear coat spray paint helps you protect your car and repair minor damage. We review the best auto clear coat spray paint options on the market.
Considerations When Buying a Clear Coat Spray Paint
Finish and Durability
Clear coats produce a glossy finish measured in units from 0 to 100, with 0 signifying the lowest gloss level. You want to find a gloss clear coat spray paint that provides longevity and plenty of protection.
Resistance to Damage
An exterior clear coat spray paint provides a scratch-resistant surface that prevents abrasion and chips. Some also come with UV protection to prevent the rays from discoloring the vehicle.
Ease of Application
Paying for a professional paint job can become expensive, but not every paint is easy to apply. Look for a spray application that can be done at home or opt for the best automotive paint gun.
Automotive clear coat spray paint has varying drying times, depending on what type you choose. If you get a fast-drying option, you could buff the coat within an hour of applying it. Otherwise, some formulas can take days to dry.
Size and Coverage
Choose clear coat spray paint for cars that will provide enough application for your vehicle. You want to look at how much coverage it provides and factor in how large your vehicle is.
Clear coats are sensitive to temperature and humidity. When possible, it’s best to apply the paint in a garage. If that’s not possible, you want to choose a formula that can be applied in accordance with your local weather situation.
7 Best Clear Coat Spray Paint Reviewed
1. Rust-Oleum 327862 American Accents Spray Paint
- Ideal for interior/exterior use on virtually...
- Provides long lasting protection with...
- Dries to the touch in 20 min and covers up to...
- Superior durability with smooth, full...
Best Matte Clear Coat Spray Paint
Plastic + metal, wood, wicker, plaster, and unglazed ceramic
12 sq. ft.
Rust-Oleum is a reputable brand that is known for providing plenty of protection to your automobile. That's why we've chosen this option as the top choice, as well as the best clear coat spray paint for plastic. You can also use this on virtually any surface, including metal, wood, wicker, plaster, unglazed ceramic, and so much more.
This clear coat spray will work on your automotive surfaces, as well as a variety of interior and exterior applications. You can apply the long-lasting coating with the any-angle spray comfort tip that makes it simple to reach tough places and reduces finger fatigue.
In just twenty minutes, you can expect the clear coat to be dry to the touch. If you plan to apply more than one coat, wait a few minutes in between each. Plus, one can will cover up to 12 square feet.
With the matte finish, you can’t expect a glossy, new-car look. However, it does provide a low-sheen appearance that is also desirable. With the Ultra Cover application, you can expect to spray less than with other brands but receive a better finish. Plus, you can use any leftover product on items lying around the house for even more versatility.
2. Dupli-Color BCL0125 Clear Automotive Spray Paint
Best Automotive Clear Coat Spray Paint
Plastic + metal
10-12 sq. ft.
If you want the best clear coat spray paint for cars, you go to the brand that the professionals trust. Dupli-Color is a high-quality option for touch-up for your vehicle, accessories, and motorcycle. You can choose to apply it over the factory finish for more protection or complete a new paint job with the spray. This premium auto paint is versatile and offers a high gloss finish.
Additionally, you won’t have any trouble using this spray. It comes with an adjustable EZ Touch 360-degree nozzle that offers a wide spray pattern, so you spend less time trying to achieve a smooth and even coating.
There are so many ways to use this spray, from a vehicle touch-up to simply protecting your vehicle accessories. Yes, the can itself is smaller than most, but the company claims it will still cover between 10 and 12 square feet. Choose this bestseller if you want a professional clear coat product.
3. Maxima 78920 SC1 High Gloss Coating
Best Gloss Clear Coat Spray Paint
Plastic + fiberglass
If you want a clear coat spray paint for plastic, it helps to look beyond options specifically meant for automobiles. In fact, this choice is the best clear coat spray paint for fiberglass, as it was specifically created for the Powersports industry.
The high-gloss clear coat works well on plastic, fiberglass, and any painted surface. This large, 12-ounce can should provide plenty of coverage for any job, but it's unclear how many square feet it is rated for.
However, the application and cleanup process couldn't be any easier. Plus, the clear coat prevents dirt and mud from adhering to plastic, which is why it's often used for off-road vehicles. The spray is water-resistant, leaving behind a beautiful shine and luster that helps you stand out.
Unlike some other products, there isn't a chemical smell during application. Instead, this company manufactured the product with a fresh, clean scent.
4. Spraymax 3680061 2K Clear
- 2 component aerosol clearcoat that is easy to...
- Easy to use aerosol. Activate, shake and...
- Dries to a high gloss finish. Excellent...
- For use over all basecoats
Best Clear Coat Spray Paint for Headlights
Plastic + fiberglass
10 sq. ft.
You can also choose a 2k clear coat spray paint, especially if you are looking to spray your vehicle headlights. This high-end option provides a two-component aerosol clear coat that is simple to apply, flows out smoothly, and dries to the touch quickly.
What you are left with is a high-gloss finish in the end. The finished product also provides chemical and weather resistance over your basecoats. As an 11.8 ounce can, you can expect to cover about ten square feet. Looking at the price, you likely notice that the cost is much higher than other comparably-sized sprays.
However, this special formula isn't like anything else you've used.Just take a look at those exceptional customer reviews that prove that statement. When you are finished using it on your headlights, consider moving on to the automotive accessories, rims, and more. There's no limit to the ways you can use this superior spray product.
5. Dupli-Color General Purpose Acrylic Enamel Crystal Clear
Best Clear Coat Spray Paint for Metal
Metal + plastic and fiberglass
12-14 sq. ft.
Do you need a clear coat spray paint for metal parts and protection? We had to choose an option from Dupli-Color as the best clear coat spray paint for metal.
Not only is this one of the most reputable brands on the market, but also the one professionals trust. What sets this option apart is the all-in-1 touch-up tool that’s provided with an abrasive prep tip. If you are looking to repair small scratches, this kit will help.
Additionally, you can use the bestselling clear coat on more than just metal. It's the ideal formulation for many interior and exterior projects you might be working on. The 12-ounce can go a long way, providing between 12 and 14 square feet of protective coverage. You will spend a little more to get this can in your hands, but the exceptional product reviews prove that it’s worth every penny.
6. Deft 037125017132 Interior Clear Aerosol Spray
- This product adds a great value
- The fastest drying finish available
- Ideal for enhancing interior wood surfaces...
- This clear wood finish brushing spray is...
Best Clear Coat Spray Paint for Wood
Wood + metal
60 sq. ft.
You can also find a high-quality clear coat spray paint for wood. There might be times when you need this clear coat for wooden accessories on your vehicle. Not only will it enhance the wood surfaces with a deep and rich finish, but it can also be used on your furniture if you have leftover spray. Plus, it’s rated for metal surfaces too. This product will dry quickly, so you won’t have to wait to use your vehicle.
Unlike some of the other choices, this spray provides a satin finish, which is great for the car interior. Plus, the crystal clear lacquer provides a non-yellowing finish for a professional appearance.
This brand might not be as well-known as some of our other choices, but it shouldn’t be overlooked. The company suggests that one 11.25-ounce can covers up to 60 square feet, which blows away the other options in terms of how much product will be used.
7. Krylon K05130107 ColorMaster Acrylic Crystal Clear
Plastic + wood, metal, more
16-20 sq. ft.
Krylon is another top paint brand when it comes to clear coat spray. This particular clear coat formula will work well on various surfaces, including metal, wood, plastic, and more. Once you are done using it on your vehicle, it's also great for all your indoor and outdoor projects. With a drying time of just ten minutes, you won't have to spend a lot of time waiting around during your application.
This gloss coverage helps to accent and protect the automotive paint and accessories. However, there are other options available, from a flat to a satin finish.
One 11-ounce can should cover between 16 to 20 square feet, allowing you to purchase less product than with some other brands. As with the other options, this premium coverage is a top choice with excellent reviews. That's what makes it so difficult to choose between all of the top sprays.
Types of Clear Coat Spray Paint
Tips on Before and After Application of Clear Coat Spray Paint
If you want to paint your car like a pro, it's essential to know how to use clear coat spray paint. Here are a few tips.
- 1Spray the clear coat on a clean surface. Vacuum your workspace and wet the floor to reduce debris in the air.
- 2Wear a respirator and properly ventilate the area.
- 3Prepare your tools and equipment in advance.
- 4Wear lint-free clothing and latex gloves for the application.
- 5Degrease the surface to remove any oil and contaminants.
Here’s a helpful video that shows how to spray clear coat on a car.
People Also Ask (FAQs)
Can I wax a clear coat paint?
You can wax most clear coats; just make sure you are using a high-quality brand. If you wax too hard, it's possible to wipe off thin layers of the clear coat, so use caution.
Will car washes damage a clear coat paint?
The car wash won’t damage your automotive clear coat, but dirt and debris can. That’s why it’s more important than ever to keep your vehicle clean. However, it’s best to use caution when utilizing a pressure washer.
What causes the clear coat flaking?
The flaking could be caused by a low-quality product or manufacturing defect. It might also be that you waited too long to apply the base coat to put on the top coat. Additionally, debris might have landed on the vehicle while driving, which can also cause the top coat to peel.
Can you put a clear coat over paint?
Yes. The bigger question is - when can I apply clear coat after spray painting? You want to wait at least thirty minutes after applying the base coat before putting on the clear coat. Then, if you need to apply multiple layers, wait 15 minutes in between. Each coating should be dry when you touch it before putting on a new layer.
How long should a clear coat dry before sanding?
Before you buff the car, you want to wait at least 24 hours, if not longer, for the clear coat to fully cure.
How many layers of clear coat should I apply?
It’s best to apply two to three coats, with the first layer being the thinnest of them all.
How do you remove a clear coat without damaging paint?
There are several ways to remove the clear coat without causing damage. You will need to use sandpaper, a buffer, wax, and a clean cloth.
Does buffing a car remove the clear coat?
Yes, buffing a car can remove some of the clear coat, which is why buffers are used in auto body repair.
What is the best clear coat spray paint for your car? We recommend the Rust-Oleum 327862 American Accents Spray Paint as the best automotive paint if you want a matte clear coat spray paint.