Best Clear Coat for Cars: Making The Right Choice

The clear coat determines the final physical appearance of your car. It is considered as one of the most important parts of your car’s finish. Clear coats don’t only add shine and gloss to your car, but also add another layer of protection. With this, it is very important that you choose the right one for your car.

To help you decide, we will be discussing some of the factors to consider when choosing the best clear coat for your car. We will also identify some of the best options available on the market and details about each. We hope by the end of this article, you can decide on which clear coat is best  for your car.

What is a Clear Coat?

Before we talk about the best clear coat for cars, let’s define what a clear coat is. The clear coat is a layer of transparent paint you apply over the colored paint on cars. Simply put, it is a type of car paint or resin that has no color. Almost all of the vehicles manufactured at present have a clear coat lacquer.

Applying clear coat to your car not only makes your car shiny, but also has other advantages aside from that. Clear coats add depth to the car’s color and your car is likely to appear new for a longer time.

It also offers sun and ultraviolet ray protection that can cause fading and damaging the paint. It protects from spots on the surface caused by bird droppings, acid rain and dirt. These can be washed off fairly easily.

Why do I need it?

If you are looking for someone to purchase your car, applying clear coat is highly recommended. It is because you would not want your car to look ugly.

Clear coats can increase your car’s level of attractiveness and we all know that appearance sells. Recent studies have proven that the biggest factor buyers take into consideration is the car paint finish.

Contrary to popular belief, frequent maintenance is still required even though your car has been painted with a clear coat.

Maintenance includes waxing, polishing and even washing the car’s surface. You may also use a paint sealant for physical enhancement, as well as protection.

Top Picks for the Best Clear Coat for Cars

If you are still having a hard time choosing the best clear coat for your car, then you are in luck. In this section, we’ll discuss the top five picks for the best clear coat for cars available on Amazon. 

We will also discuss their features as well as their advantages and disadvantages. Hopefully, after you read this section, you'll find the right choice for you.

1. USC Spray Max 2k High Gloss Clearcoat Aerosol (2 PACK)

This type of clear coat already has the two components needed for clear a coat, so you don't need to do any mixing. It has a special nozzle and valve technology, which guarantees an even spraying. This type of clear coat has two internal chambers that will make sure that the right ratio is mixed. The nozzle ensures a spray gun like results. The spray is broader than traditional aerosols and is easier to clean up.

The USC Spray Max 2k High Gloss Clear Coat can be applied over any base paint. When you use this type of clear coat, drying time will be more or less 12 hours. The flow will be smooth and it delivers a long lasting shine. Another advantage of using this clear coat is that it is very resistant to contact with chemicals, fuel, and weather. It should be noted that this clear coat only has 48 hours of pot life once the components are mixed.

This type of clear coat is very easy to use and apply. You just have to activate, shake and spray over the base paint of your car.


  • Easy to use
  • Well-designed nozzle
  • Can resist external elements


  • Short pot life after mixing
  • Drying time takes a while

2. Sherwin Williams Finish 1 Ultimate Overall Clearcoat, FC720, 1 GAL /with Hardener (Hardener Medium - FH612)

The Sherwin Williams Clear Coat can be used on any vehicle. Use this type of clear coat to attain a professional and durable car paint finish. It also UV protection, which means that is protect paint from fading.

This type of clear coat ensures long-lasting durable shine that also provides good protection. Another advantage of using this clear coat is that it has excellent gloss. 


  • Excellent gloss
  • Medium drying time
  • UV protection


  • Takes about 
  • A bit more difficult to buff after drying.

3. SpeedoKote SMR-130/75-K-M - Automotive Clear Coat Fast Dry 2K Urethane, 4:1 Gallon Clearcoat Kit w/Medium Act.

The SpeedoKote SMR-130/75-K-M Automotive Clear Coat is usually used in the car repair industry. This type of coat is a 2k acrylic urethane clear coat that has outstanding ultraviolet ray and sun resistance. It also has been proven to provide superior chemical and dirt resistance.

This type of clear coat has been specifically formulated to deliver fast curing time after application. It is very easy to apply and you can buff it easily in four to six hours. Like other brands, it can also be applied to any vehicle. When you use this type of clear coat, estimated time of drying is about two hours.


  • Has superior UV, sun, dirt and chemical protection
  • Fast cure
  • Very easy to apply


  • Some users had issues regarding the nozzle

4. Finish 1 2K Urethane Automotive Clear Coat: 32 oz. Quart Clear Coat + 8 oz. Activator

The Finish 1 2K Urethane Automotive Clear Coat is also a great choice if you are looking for a clear coat. The technology used for this clear coat is 4.23 VOC high solids urethane. The chemical used is best for multi-panel and spot repairs. While it aids in reparation, it also exhibits long lasting gloss and shine.

The 4.23 VOC high solids would guarantee superior durability and buffing characteristics. The chemical mixture consists of 4 parts clear coat and 1 part hardener. Aside from that, application should be fairly easy. If you decide to buy this clear coat, drying time can be up to 24 hours.


  • Made from excellent ingredients
  • Exhibits long lasting shine and gloss
  • Very easy to apply


  • Drying time may 24 hours
  • The clear coat painted surface may not withstand alcohol

5. Dupli-Color EBCL01257 Clear Perfect Match Automotive Top Coat - 8 oz.

The Dupli-Color protective clear coat finish is used to make touch ups on parts of your cars painted surface. It works well with all OEM painted surfaces. 

When using the Dupli-Color protective clear coat, there may also be some disadvantages. The nozzle sometimes sprays in irregular patterns. This may become very inconvenient for the user, as uneven paint could be discharged from the can. Thus, leaving blotches that create problems.


  • Spray gun nozzle makes application very easy
  • Effectively restores the appearance of an old car
  • Dries very quickly - 1 hr


  • The nozzle has issues at times
  • The paint requires extra work to get the shin to come out.

Types of Clear Coats

Clear coats play a big part for modern car finishes as it determines the final appearance of your car. There are many clear coat options in the market right now. Knowing the right one might be challenging, but this is important to decide which is the best for your needs. In this section, we will discuss some of the types of clear coats to help you decide.

  • Topcoat: This type of clear coat is intended to be the final coat that is applied to your base car paint. To be regarded as effective, performance should be outstanding with regards to depth and ease of polishing.
  • Turbo Clear Coat: Collision repair owners usually use this type of a clear coat to increase their production. Turbo clear coats require more polishing to arrive at the glossy look. With its name, turbo clear coats dry faster than any clear coats around.
  • Glamour Clear Coat: This type of coat dries slower than the turbo clear coat but might be good for leveling and chip protection. Since they dry slowly, they can also be less sensitive to moisture.
  • Higher Solids Clear Coat: This type of clear coat contains more additives, which results in thicker film after evaporation of the solvent. Because it’s thicker, higher solids clear coats often dry slower and are more expensive than other clear coats.
  • Euro Clear Coats: Euro clear coats often require heat to accelerate drying. The name may suggest a more superior product. However, there has been no evidence proving that.

Essential Factors to Consider

When choosing the best clear coat for cars, here are some of the factors that you should look for:

  • Transparency: This might be considered as the most important characteristic that you should look for in a clear coat. As we’re talking about the car’s appearance, it’s vital that you choose what’s going to make your car look new. As discussed in previous sections, clear coats are the additional coat that has no color or pigment. From that, you should buy a clear coat that will not have a yellow tint that covers up your base paint.
  • Gloss Level: Like transparency, gloss level is another important factor to consider when choosing a clear coat. Since you’re improving your car’s appearance, it is ideal that you choose a gloss level that’s more than 90 units. That way, your car will look shiny and as good as new one.
  • Ease of Application: Applying clear coat to your car should not be difficult as you’re only adding another layer of coating. You have to choose a clear coat that has a nozzle that allows you to evenly spray on the surface. Buying this type of clear coat will ensure that no blotches will happen on the surface of your car.
  • Scratch Resistance: We all know that cars are vulnerable to scratches. Adding another coat will ensure that another layer of protection is added to the surface of your base paint. You should buy one that has a feature like scratch resistance, as well as UV protection for maximum defense.
  • Price: The last thing you have to think about is the price of the clear coat you are going to purchase. It doesn’t always mean that the less expensive clear coats do not perform well. In addition, it doesn’t always mean that the more expensive ones have better performance. You have to analyze carefully which clear coat delivers more value for your money.


Choosing the best clear coat for your car may seem a little confusing at first. But once you know what characteristics to look for, choosing the best in the market will be an easy task.

The best clear coat must have a high level of transparency and resistance to scratching. It also should be easy to apply and can protect your car’s surface from UV damage and harmful chemicals.

We gave you the five best choices available on Amazon right now. We hope that you will now be able to choose what clear coat is the best for your car.

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