Everything You Need To Know About Clearcoat!
The TouchUpDirect Clearcoat FAQ
Clearcoat is a vitally important step in the modern automotive paint system. One of the very last things to go on your vehicle’s coat, this finish acts as both a protector and enhancer. It keeps your paint safe and gives it shine. But how much do you know about this wonder coat? We’ve put together a few commonly asked questions to let you know everything you need to know about Clearcoat.
What is Clearcoat?
Clearcoat is a thin layer of plastic that is applied over the Colorcoat. It is transparent so you can see the color layers beneath. Invented in the 70s, Clearcoat wasn’t perfected and adopted until the 80s and 90s. Moving on from a single stage paints to a multi-step paint process utterly transformed the world of automotive paint.
What does Clearcoat Do?
The Clearcoat layer has multiple uses. First, and most importantly, it provides all manner of protection. It acts as a shield for the Colorcoat layer, providing UV protection from the sun that will help your colors fight fading. Clearcoat is also chemically resistant to small outside detritus like tree sap or bird droppings and protects the metal body of your vehicle from rust and corrosion.
Is Clearcoat Just for Protection?
No! Clearcoat also has a more cosmetic purpose. It provides the gorgeous finish that makes the paint job complete. Clearcoat takes the pressure off the Colorcoat, allowing it to focus on giving your vehicle a vibrant and unforgettable shade. Clearcoat comes in gloss and matte, and while both reveal the color underneath, the finishing effect is very different. Matte comes in Flat, Matte, Eggshell, Satin, and Semi-Gloss finishes. Don’t worry about getting the right Clearcoat finish. TouchUpDirect’s system will automatically find your paint finish’s perfect match using its color code.
Can Clearcoat be Damaged?
Yes. The Clearcoat itself is there to protect the other layers and it can be damaged by a number of things.
What’s The Difference Between 1K Clearcoat and 2K Clearcoat?
In this case, 1K and 2K refer to the number of components included. 1K Clearcoat has one component, the paint. 2K Clearcoat has the paint and the hardener. 2K Clearcoat dries harder and faster for a more professional finish. The downside to this is that the Clearcoat itself has a very short pot life because it hardens in the bottle after it has been activated. TouchUpDirect touch up paint kits traditionally come with 1K Clearcoat but we offer 2K in both Aerosol and Professional sizes.
What Kind of Things Can Damage Clearcoat?
The most common way that your Clearcoat sustains damage is just everyday wear and tear from driving your car. Things like the scratches you get from someone parking too close or detritus from the road chipping your coat are examples of more immediate damage. These quick and nasty dings happen fast but there is some damage that works its mischief over time. Long term damage to the finish can be caused by UV rays over the course of many years. Contaminants like dust, gasoline, tree sap, and bird poop can also take their toll over a long period of time.
How Do You Fix Damage To Your Clearcoat?
First, gauge how extensive the affected area is. If it is around the size of a pencil eraser, you’ll want to use a Touch Up Paint Pen. If it’s about the size of a quarter, you’ll want to use a Touch Up Brush. If your coat’s problem is a little more extensive, we’re looking at Aerosol. Once the Colorcoat is on the vehicle, you’re ready for Clearcoat. Make sure to wipe down the area with a tack cloth before you apply Clearcoat.
- Pen: Use a soft cloth to prime your Clearcoat Pen, pushing the tip down on a soft surface until you see Clearcoat saturate the tip. Lightly dab the Clearcoat on to the target area. Drawing or rubbing will not have the desired effect. You have to dab. You’ll want to apply 2-3 coats, waiting 15 minutes in between coats. Once finished, allow the Clearcoat to dry for 48 hours.
- Brush: Apply the Clearcoat in even, steady strokes until the area is covered. Apply 2-3 coats, waiting 15 minutes in between coats. Once finished, allow the Clearcoat to dry for 48 hours.
- Aerosol: Shake the Aerosol Clearcoat can well. Apply a light, even coat, periodically shaking the can between sprays. Wait 15 minutes before applying the second coat. This layer can be slightly heavier than the first. You can apply up to 4 coats of Clearcoat. Wait 15 minutes in between coats. Once finished, allow the Clearcoat to dry for 48 hours.