The 10 Best Automotive Clear Coats

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This wiki has been updated 8 times since it was first published in March of 2018. Whether you're completing a frame-off restoration of a vintage car or just removing evidence of a shopping cart accident, every paint job needs a good clear coat. There's a wide selection of highly effective second-stage automotive finishes that will add depth and shine to colors, emphasize metallic inclusions, and keep your car looking pristine for a long time to come. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki. Skip to the best automotive clear coat on Amazon.

10. POR-15 Direct to Metal

9. Rust-Oleum Automotive

8. SpeedoKote Glamour

7. KBS Coatings Diamond

6. Color N Drive Ceramic

5. House of Kolor Flo-Klear

4. Toyota Touch-Up Pen

3. USC Spray Max

2. Gyeon Q2 Synchro

1. SpeedoKote SMR-130

Editor's Notes

May 12, 2019:

There's a wide range of different products you can use to give your car (truck, bus, RV, tractor) a shiny protective coat that will last a while. Some of them are easier to apply and some last longer than others. Rust-Oleum, for example, is incredibly easy to apply, but it's not the shiniest and doesn't hold up to the more advanced options. KBS Coatings Diamond is an extremely popular option that's also a simple one-step application, though be aware that it doesn't last very long in the carton, and once it's opened, it will demonstrate its strength by promptly sealing itself shut after several hours. So make sure you get most of the job done at once.

We included a couple excellent spray-on options. USC's Spray Max is a self-mixing two-part mix, and it's ideal for those who want the quality of a 2K process but don't want to mix the chemicals themselves. POR15 is a little bit different choice; it's a one-part option that's more akin to high-thickness protective lacquer than it is to a show-quality wax replacement, and is therefore suitable to heavy-duty use cases.

As far as traditional, multi-step products go, SpeedoKote is immensely popular for both their standard clear line and their high-gloss Glamour selection. Between those two, it mostly depends on what kind of look you're going for. In a similar vein, House of Kolor is the one to choose if you're looking for a deep, candy-like shine on your hot rod.

We also included a handy touch-up pen that you can use to repair blemishes in any of these products. And, finally, we highlighted two of the most popular and effective ceramic coatings. These are a little different than traditional clear coats. Color N Drive has been around for a while and it's relatively easy to apply, and as long as you're not looking for an ultra-bright shine, it's a great choice. Gyeon's Q2 Synchro is one of the most difficult to apply, but its dual-layer formulation repels water, grease, and dirt like nobody's business. In the right conditions it will keep your car looking like it was waxed just last week for many months at a time.

Christopher Thomas
Last updated on May 15, 2019 by Christopher Thomas

Building PCs, remodeling, and cooking since he was young, quasi-renowned trumpeter Christopher Thomas traveled the USA performing at and organizing shows from an early age. His work experiences led him to open a catering company, eventually becoming a sous chef in several fine LA restaurants. He enjoys all sorts of barely necessary gadgets, specialty computing, cutting-edge video games, and modern social policy. He has given talks on debunking pseudoscience, the Dunning-Kruger effect, culinary technique, and traveling. After two decades of product and market research, Chris has a keen sense of what people want to know and how to explain it clearly. He delights in parsing complex subjects for anyone who will listen -- because teaching is the best way to ensure that you understand things yourself.

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