The best part about top coating a paint job with clear coat is the depth and shininess you get with it. But there are many different types of clear coats on the market and they all have their place. Flow coats, intercoats, european clears, high solids clears what do they do? We often get asked why our high solids clear is good and why would you choose a high solid clear coat when you want the paint to be smooth right? Well not exactly.. we cover why below!
All clear coats are made up of solvents and some sort of “solids”. These solids are what gives the clear coat substance and actually builds on the surface of the panel. The more solvents in a paint the thinner it may be but it will cover less and tend to have less depth of shine when cured. Cheap clear coats will be heavy on the solvents and low on the solids to save money and while they may save you some money they usually won’t last as long or give you as professional of a job.
High Solids clearcoats generally are thicker out of the can and can be harder to spray. In order to get a high solids clear to lay smooth you need to change your technique and spray heavier or “wetter” coats. This can cause issues for beginners as you need to be on your A game when applying the clear as to put plenty down on the surface so it flows out but not so much you have large runs or sags in the clearcoat. We suggest adjusting your flow on your gun to allow more material to flow out and moving quicker to get high solids clear to lay nicely.
Low solids clear coat is definitely more user friendly but it takes a lot more coats to get adequate clear coat build for wet sanding and buffing. With a a high solids clear you can put almost half the coats on to get the depth and build to safely cut and buff a panel. If you can get the technique down for laying high solids clear you will have the ultimate in clear coat depth while using less material and actually saving money in the long run.