Metal is usually prone to rust, corrosion, and tarnishing. Applying a clear coat on the surface of a metal is an excellent way to protect it from these effects, extend its life, and give it a new, better look.
There are several clear coat brands in the market; therefore, you must choose the right one that will serve your needs.
The best clear coat for metal should be transparent for the base paint, and its gloss level more than 90 units to achieve a shiny look. It should also be easy to apply, resulting in no coat irregularities evenly. Additionally, the clear coat should be scratch and fade resistant.
Clear coats also prevent metal from fading, oxidizing, and protects it against the effects of UV rays. In helping you find the best clear coat for your project, this article covers into details, eleven best clear coats for metal.
Continue reading for guidance when shopping for the same.
1. EVERBRITE Clear Coating
EVERBRITE clear coating can be used on painted or unpainted metals to give long-term protection or restoration. This protective metal coating can protect the metal from fading, chalking, corroding, and tarnishing.
EVERBRITE clear coating also seals rusted metals. Additionally, you can use this clear coat to protect your valued metals from oxidizing, UV rays, mildew, bleach, acid rain, chlorine, and saltwater.
The clear coat restores color to faded or oxidized metal, giving it a new look. EVERBRITE clear coat’s fade and scratch resistance characteristics will help improve your metal’s durability and protect it from scratching, chipping, and peeling. This protective clear coat is durable, long-lasting, and self-leveling.
You can use it to recoat both the interior and exterior parts of metal, leaving it with a smooth glossy finish. The coat is perfect for metallic materials such as roofs, doors, and sidings. One quart of this coat can be used on approximately 250 sq ft (27.8 sq yd) of metal.
An EVERBRITE protective coating kit comes with Nitrile gloves, an applicator, and coating instructions. The instructions are easy to follow. You can use a lint-free cloth, paint sprayer, sponge brush, or an applicator pad to coat.
All metallic surfaces must be thoroughly cleaned and not bear any dust or debris to avoid unfavorable results. For long-lasting results, it is recommended that you apply two coats of this clear coat. Leave it to dry up after application completely.
Keep left overcoating in a tightly sealed container for future touch-ups or use. When put in a properly sealed container, the coat can last indefinitely.
- The application procedure is easy to follow
- Perfect for both restoration and protection of metal
2. KBS Coatings DiamondFinish
KBS Coatings DiamondFinish is a tough clear coat that is perfect for all types of metal. This clear coat for metals is permanently flexible, durable, and can withstand the effects of harsh environments such as corrosion.
Moreover, this clear coat can withstand harsh chemicals, including fuel solvents, Battery acid, Ethanol/Methanol, Hydrochloric Acid, Fertilizers, and Acetone. No matter the weather, this water clear high gloss clear metal coating will not peel, crack or yellow.
With its self-leveling capabilities, this clear coat can seal metals without any additives or hardener. Just one single layer is enough to give sturdy and durable results than a two-part coating. Because of its transparency, the clear coat will not cover your metal’s base paint but give it a shiny new look.
The coating process is quick and straightforward. You do not even have to clean the metal before application. However, to avoid the possibility of having streaks left behind after use, you need to clean the metal surface. Use a brush, roller, or a conventional spray gun for application.
After applying KBS Coatings DiamondFinish on your metal, let it sit for 30-45 seconds, then wipe off. The result will be a beautiful waxy finish.
- Results to a shiny and waxy finish
- Just a single layer is enough for great results resembling the original paint
- Perfect for metal restoration
3. ProtectaClear Coating
ProtectaClear Coating creates an impermeable finish that preserves all types of metal. A single quart bottle of this clear coat can be used to coat up to 250 sq ft (27.8 sq yd) of metal. ProtectaClear Coating gives metal protection from the effects of corrosion, rust, oxidation, and tarnish.
This clear coat also offers protection from potential damage that can be caused by bleach, environmental pollution, acid rain, chlorine, and salts.
Before you apply this coat on a metal, clean the metal surface with soap and water. Remove any residual coatings with alcohol. Once the metal is clean, apply a generous amount of ProtectaClear Coating. Give it between 24-48 hours to completely dry off.
The result will be a transparent, flat layer of protective coating. Your metal will regain its shiny, newly polished look.
This clear coat can also be used to preserve the shine of mirror-polished metals without distorting images.
Before using ProtectaClear Coating, clean the metal surface with soap and water to remove dirt or any grime that could be present. You can sand-polish the surface if necessary. In case a polish containing acid was used on the metal before, or you suspect so, neutralize the acid first before coating.
Use a neutralizing solution then rinse with clean, fresh water. Any acid present will react with this clear coat’s solvents, which will darken the metal. Remove any residual coatings with alcohol.
When you are about to start the coating, the solvent wipes the metal surface with either Xylene or Denatured alcohol. This procedure will ensure your clean surface of the metal is to stay dry for a smooth, clear coat application. Always ensure you double-check for dryness and cleanliness before proceeding with the coating application.
Apply ProtectaClear Coating by either rolling, wiping, dipping, or spraying. Ensure the applicator is saturated but not dripping. One or two coats will be sufficient, depending on the metal surface.
Have an hour interval between coats to ensure the previous coat has completely dried off. Do not rework when applying the second coat. Glide the coating as fast as possible to avoid disturbing the previous one.
The coating will take about 4-5 days’ cure time. However, you can speed up this process by using heaters, fans, or even placing the metal in an oven at 180°F (82.2°C) for about an hour.
In case you make a mistake during the coating process, or the final results are not pleasing, use solvents such as xylene to remove the clear coating.
- Easy to use and long-lasting product
- Protects against rust, corrosion, and tarnishing
4. Spraymax 2K
Compared to its competitors, Spraymax 2K gives more exceptional UV and weather protection. This clear coat offers a two-part Urethan Aerosol Clear Coat. This Aerosol clear coat features a new propellant technology in combination with an innovative nozzle design.
The nozzle, a flat jet valve, is both adjustable and convenient. You can, therefore, spray this aerosol coat with much precision, and a broader even pattern. The nozzle design also makes the application process easy, leaving no blemishes on your metal surface.
Spray Max 2K Urethane Coat is perfect for both metal repairs and long-lasting sealing. This capability is because this high gloss coat is very resistant to scratching and any other form of abrasion. Furthermore, it is highly resistant to chemicals, gasoline, acid, and harsh weather. Spray Max 2K Urethane Coat can also be used in hot temperatures without causing any color deviations.
For a glossy finish, ensure you apply Spray Max 2K Urethane Coat on a clean metal surface. Apply this clear coat approximately 10 minutes after the base coat is used for excellent adhesion. Shake the Aerosol for about two minutes before activating. The shaking is to allow the components to mix and for the hardening process to begin.
To activate, you need to remove the red button from the cap. At the bottom of the can, you will see a pin. Attach the red button to this pin. Look for stable ground and place the top of the can, then push the red button firmly while pressing the pin into the can. Ensure the activator is well mixed with the clear coat. You can shake the can once more for two minutes, if not sure.
This clear coat lasts for only 24 hours after activation. Use it within that time for quality results. However, you can preserve it in the fridge to use at a later time only that its quality shall have gone down.
Stand at a distance of 10-15 cm (3.9-5.9 in) away from the metal when spraying. One or two layers of this coat will be enough and wait for 10-15 minutes before applying the second layer. 2K SprayMax works just like a conventional spray gun; hence, you will take a short spraying time.
After application, let it dry for 24 hours before using the metal. However, depending on the temperature of the environment, drying could take a longer or shorter time; 12 hours if the ambient temperature is at 68°F (20°C), 35-45 minutes at 140°F (60°C) metal temperature.
The final finish will look like a professionally painted surface that is completely clear. It is recommended that you use this clear coat in a well-ventilated area and have on your protective wear.
With this Aerosol coat, there’s no cause for alarm when mixing paint, cleaning a spray gun, solvents for cleaning, or a compressor.
- Provides excellent resistance to scratching and abrasion
- Has an even and smooth flow
- Has no color deviation even when used in sweltering temperatures
5. Krylon COVERMAXX Spray Paint
Krylon COVERMAXX Spray Paint is a general-purpose aerosol paint and primer. This clear coat comes in several trendy colors and a broad range of sheens and finishes. They can have a push spray tip that is easy to use from any angle.
Krylon COVERMAXX Gloss Spray Paint is a smooth application paint that offers long-lasting adhesion and rust protection. This spray paint is also fade-resistant, making it one of the most durable clear coats in the market. This all-purpose aerosol paint can transform your old metal into brand new and protect it from rust.
Before using this paint, you need to carry out a proper metal surface preparation to achieve a smooth and professional finish. Clean the metal surface with soap and water to remove dust. If covered in grease, use a degreaser or denatured alcohol to clean the surface. If the metal was painted before or is covered in rust, use a wire brush, sandpaper, steel wool, or chemical rust remover to clean the metal until the surface is smooth.
After cleaning, the metal surface will have a dull or matte look. Use two to three layers of Krylon COVERMAXX Gloss Spray Paint to restore its appearance. The coat will dry fast, in ten minutes or even less, and you can handle the metal after an hour. The final result will be a new colorful, glossy, and shiny look. Your metal will also be protected against rust and corrosion.
- Comes in a variety of colors
- Has a short dry time
- Gives a beautiful shiny finish
6. POR-15 Clear Rust Preventive Coating
POR-15 Clear Rust Preventive Coating is perfect for a permanent repair, restoration, and protection of metal against rust and corrosion. This coating is also highly chemical resistant because of its dense, non-porous nature and cross-linked molecular composition.
Because of its non-porous nature, POR-15 Clear Rust Preventive Coating can seal and protect metal surfaces from water, salt, chemicals, and corrosive contaminants. You can also paint this coat over rust.
This clear coat is very tough and does not easily chip, peel, or crack. This feature can be attributed to its curing process. While most clear coats dry because of evaporation, POR-15 Clear Rust Preventive Coating needs moisture to dry faster. This curing process, combined with the general hardness and flexibility of POR-15 Clear Rust Preventive Coating, results in an indestructible metal coat.
POR-15’s thorough breakthrough formula makes it super-efficient at the protection and restoration of metals. You can even coat over rusted surfaces, unlike many other preventative coats.
POR-15 has a three-step application process that entirely does away with rust and permanently protects the metal from rusting. The three steps are an easy-to-follow guide that ensures you correctly apply the formula to improve the metal’s durability and protect it from both acids and alkali. Below are the three steps:
- Clean the metal surface and remove any loose rust. Use a Cleaner Degreaser to remove grease. The Cleaner Degreaser should be water-based and non-flammable. Unlike other degreasing chemicals, Cleaner Degreaser doesn’t emit unpleasant or offensive odor. Use this Cleaner on painted surfaces as well.
- Once you have cleaned the metal, neutralize any present rust and prep the metal with Metal Prep. The metal prep formula will form a good base, thereby making it possible for POR-15 rust preventive coating to cover every part of the metal that has rust.
- Now that the coat is clean and dry, use POR-15 Clear Rust Preventive Coating to coat the metal.
The POR -15 Top Coat paint is sensitive to UV. Therefore, if your metal was exposed to sunlight, you need to apply a top coating to protect the metal from corrosion.
- Has three easy to follow the application process
- Provides more extended protection against rust
- The formula is lead-free.
7. Dupli-Color General Purpose Acrylic Crystal Clear
Dupli-Color General Purpose Acrylic Crystal Clear is a general-purpose paint that ensures maximum coverage when used on metal. The formulation provides long-lasting protection, color retention and gives your metal a glossy look, thus, restoring it to an out of factory finish appearance.
Dupli-Color General Purpose Acrylic Crystal Clear is an easy-to-use solution as the can comes with an EZ Touch Fan Spray Nozzle. This solution quickly repairs scratches and chips on your metal surface and even on the automotive. To use this clear coat, you first need to test it on old paint before proceeding to a bigger surface.
One can of Dupli-Color General Purpose Acrylic Crystal Clear can be used on up to 12 to 14 sq ft (1.3 to 1.6 sq yd) of a metal surface. Apply two coats for maximum results. Apply in light layers so that the clear coat can dry faster. Standard dry time is usually 30 minutes, and you can handle the metal after one hour of the coating. This clear coat comes with a thirty-day replacement warranty if you find it defective within that period.
You can also use Dupli-Color General Purpose Acrylic Crystal Clear on trailer projects. After applying a regular paint on your trailer, use Dupli-Color as an extra protection measure. Trailer paint jobs usually fade fast. Apply Dupli-Color after your trailer paint job to make it last longer. This product is sensitive to gasoline. Therefore, it is recommended that you do not use it for gas tanks as the clear coat will get ruined immediately.
- The product is both a primer and paint
- Offers long-lasting protection against rust
- Perfectly restores color to factory finish
- Easy to use with a short drying time
- You don’t need to prep or sand the metal surface before application.
8. Rust Bullet Clear Shot Protective Coating
Rust Bullet Clear Shot Protective Coating is UV, chemical, and Acid Splash resistant. This preventative coating does not chip, crack, peel, or yellow when used on metal. Rust Bullet offers a durable protective coat against rust, thus, ensuring your metal lasts longer.
This coating formula can also restore your faded or rusted metal surfaces, giving them a clear-glass finish. Rust Bullet Clear Shot Protective Coating works perfectly to prevent rust even in high humid environments.
Rust Bullet Clear Shot Protective Coating can be applied over painted or unpainted metal or car hood surfaces. Paint your surfaces either by brushing, spraying, or rolling for a shiny look. Rust Bullet is self-leveling; hence, it will not leave a mark after drying.
For best results, follow the application instructions provided in the container. Read and understand the guidelines well before you start using this clear coat. Remove any loose undercoating from the metal surface before you coat.
To ensure your metal or car hood is well protected, apply two coats of Rust Bullet. When the coating is dried, it will become rock solid. If you used Rust Bullet on your car hood, you might need to carry out some minor body works once the coat dries.
You can also use Rust Bullet Clear Shot Protective Coating on gasoline tanks to make them resistant to chemical elements and fuel solvents. After use, shut the lid tight because if not properly stored, Rust Bullet can harden rendering it useless for another application.
Rust Bullet Clear Shot Protective Coating is available in three sizes as follows:
- Quart – Weights 2.5 lbs (1.1 kg). You can use this on to coat about 100 sq ft (11.1 sq yd) of a metal surface.
- Pint –Weighs 1.5 lbs (0.68 kg). and can coat approximately 50 sq ft (5.6 sq yd) of metal surface
- 1/4 Pint – Weight is 0.5 lbs (0.23 kg)—coats about 12 sq ft (1.33 sq yd) of a metal surface.
- Easy to follow application procedure and guidelines
- Provides long-term protection against rust
- Resistant to chemicals, UV, and fuel
- Does not chip, crack, or yellow
9. Krylon Colormaster Metal Spray-Paint
Krylon Colormaster Metal Spray-Paint is moisture resistant and can withstand any type of weather condition without cracking. Because of its moisture resistance nature, Krylon Colormaster Metal Spray-Paint is perfect for both indoor and outdoor metal coating. The result is a shiny metallic protective coating.
Krylon Colormaster Metal Spray-Paint is very transparent. You, therefore, need to make more than one application. Because of its EZ Touch 360° dial spray tip, you can achieve precision and even application with less overspray. This spray paint will dry in 15 minutes, leaving a smooth, perfectly leveled coverage and bright color.
- This product is available in a variety of colors
- Results in a brilliant and smooth finish
- It dries fast. In about 15 minutes and you can handle in one hour
- Moisture and all-weather resistant hence perfect for both indoors and outdoor
10. Sculpt Nouveau Clear Guard
Sculpt Nouveau Clear Guard has excellent adhesion to metal and can be used by all types of clear coat application equipment. You can also use sprayers, but Sculpt Nouveau Clear Guard has to be thinned first. The application of Clear Guard on metal surfaces results in a hard, bright, durable, and tarnish resistant coat. For the best results, it is recommended that you apply two coats of Sculpt Nouveau Clear Guard.
Clear Guard is UV stable, can withstand harsh weather, and resistant to water, salts, chemical damage, marring, and perspiration. Clear Guard is made in three formulas; Normal, environmentally friendly, and pre-thinned formula ready for spraying. The Normal and Environmentally friendly formulas come in 12oz spray cans.
These two formulas can also be found in 8 oz (236.6 ml), 32 oz (946.6 ml), 1, and 5-gallon containers. The ready-to-spray formula, on the other hand, comes in 32 oz (946.6 ml), 1, and 5-gallon (3.8 and 19 L) containers.
- Tarnish, chemical, weather, and water-resistant
- Can be used in all types of metal
- Can be used with all types of application and sprayers
11. Speedokote SMR 1150
Speedokote SMR 1150 is an affordable acrylic urethane clear coat. This coat is, therefore, resistant to ultraviolet rays, sunlight, chemicals, corrosion, and dirt. The original paint is, thus, protected, and the surface retains its original good look.
Speedokote SMR 1150 is easy to apply because of its excellent flow capability and strong adhesion. This clear coat also utilizes resin formulation technology that cures fast and produces a high gloss and bright appearance.
- This product is affordable
- Easy to apply and dries fast
- UV, chemical, and corrosion resistance capabilities
Handy Tip for Clear Coat Application
Transparency of a clear coat ensures that the coating does not cover the metal’s base paint. A clear coat is meant to restore or give the metal a shiny new look. Sufficient gloss level, which is recommended to be 90 units and above, ensures the metal achieves a bright, brilliant, and fresh look.
Easy to apply clear coat will allow for a smooth and glossy final appearance. A clear coat with a nozzle will make the application process easy, leaving no blemishes on your metal surface. The scratch and fade resistance characteristic will improve the durability of your metal as metals are often prone to scratching, chipping, and peeling. The coat should also be able to protect against rust, corrosion, UV, and the effects of harsh weather.
Choosing the Right Clear Coat
There are a variety of clear coats. You must understand the differences in these clear coat options to find one that best meets your needs:
- Topcoat: Topcoat is usually meant to be the final layer applied to paint.
- Turbo Coat: Turbo Coat is a fast-drying clear coat meant to give your metal a glossy and shiny appearance.
- Glamour Coat: Unlike the Turbo Coat, this clear coat dries slower, allowing for more leveling of the coating. Glamour Coats are usually less sensitive to moisture.
- Higher Solids Coat: Contains more additives and higher solids than the other types of clear coats. Once the solvents evaporate, Higher Solids Coat forms a thicker film. This clear coat dries slowly because of its thicker film.
- Euro Coats: Euro clear is a fast-drying clear coat.
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