What Makes a Good Clear Coat

June 2015

While painting an expensive class 8 commercial truck or a fleet of vocational vehicles, you want the best possible protection applied in the most efficient way. Here are some important attributes in selecting a clear coat for your use:


In order to get your foot in the door at a facility, you need a high-performing clear that will provide years of gloss and color-retention under harsh environments. The reason you choose a clear coat in the first place is because it provides maximum protection. This is non-negotiable. Therefore, choose a brand with longevity in the market and a reputation for quality.


Next, closely compare the volume solids of clear coats. This will be listed on the product data sheet and will indicate if you are buying a can full of evaporating solvents or high levels of film-forming solids. This will directly impact how much surface area you can paint. Do not be fooled by a low price-per-gallon coatings without understanding ready-to-spray volume solids.


Thirdly, how will the clear coat impact your paint process? Search for one with quick flash times, few required coats, and speed to cure. Even though the upfront costs of a given clear coat could appear more expensive, it could save you thousands on the overall job. Tally up labor savings, energy savings, and increased throughput in your process. You will find that what initally looks to be a higher gallon cost will save you in the long run.


Finally, you still want the units to look their best without cutting and buffing the clear coat. Find a clear coat that has minimal orange peel or surface texture, high gloss, and looks like a mirror. This will make your vehicles stand out from your competition and provide years of protection from the elements.

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