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What Is The Best Clear Coat

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  • Member since
    March 2008
  • From: West Palm Beach, Florida
What Is The Best Clear Coat
Posted by mic53mlb on Thursday, September 23, 2021 7:06 AM

I have three autos in the works, one at a time. I forget where I read it and forgot the product but the big question is ... what is the best clear coat ?? It can be spray can (preffered), airbrush, or bottle. I really would like a final product, no sanding or polishing. All advice and opinions welcome, thanks guys.

  • Member since
    May 2004
  • From: Land of Lakes
Posted by cbaltrin on Thursday, September 23, 2021 7:45 AM

That depends on quite a few things... what paint are you using for your color coat? I would stick with same brand personally... you can always polish the clear coat...

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  • Member since
    June 2021
Posted by rocketman2000 on Thursday, September 23, 2021 9:33 AM

Personally I am a big fan of Testors lacquer clearcoat.  It has a really good sheen, works over both enamel and acrylics, dries fast.  I have been using it for about half a century.  I think I will be stocking up.

Since I fear for the loss of Testors paints, I am trying other things.  Quite a while ago I tried polyurethane clears.  Work okay but they go on awfully thick.  I used spray cans.  The stuff is available in regular cans but I have not yet tried it in my airbrush.

I also found Rustoleum has clear acrylic sprays.  I bought both gloss and matt.  They do seem to work okay, and will be my backup if Glosscoat does disappear.

 

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    April 2020
Posted by Eaglecash867 on Thursday, September 23, 2021 10:12 AM

For a gloss clearcoat, I have been using Intermediate Gauzy Agent Shine Enhancer lately with excellent results.  Shoots beautifully from my Paasche H airbrush with no thinning necessary.  I clean the airbrush parts afterward with Windex.  Not sure what its long-term durability is though (things such as cracking and yellowing a few years down the road, which are a problem with some of the acrylic clearcoats out there) since its so new.  I also use MRP lacquer clearcoats of various sheens (they have 4), and they cure much quicker and harder than anything else I have tried.

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  • Member since
    April 2012
Posted by nearsightedjohn on Thursday, September 23, 2021 10:18 AM

Here's a summary of my experience, others may differ and may have better ways of clear coating glossy auto subjects:

I've had my best luck with Tamiya TS-13 lacquer clear coat rattle can over either a Tamiya lacquer gloss color base coat or airbrushed matte base coats from Scalefinishes or Zero paints. The Tamiya lacquer works best when sprayed with multiple light coats in 5-15 min increments with a final heavier wet coat after 2-4 light coats. Lacquers can be guite hot (chemically reactive) so test whatever you try first on scrap plastic and be careful with lacquer clear coat over enamel or acrylic. Also avoid wet coats over decals unless you have multiple light coats that have fully dried and cured. If spraying the TS-13 clear coat over a gloss Tamiya lacquer base coat, try to spray the clear coat within an hour of the base coat (or wait a month minimum to apply the final clear coat), otherwise the base coat may crack or craze (particulary metallics).

The two-part '2K' urethane clear coats are amazingly glossy and cure super hard/ non-sticky but are very toxic/ carcinogenic so I would avoid them unless you have a "closed ventilation" breathing set-up (filters on a 3M face mask are not enough protection!!!).

  • Member since
    March 2008
  • From: West Palm Beach, Florida
Posted by mic53mlb on Thursday, September 23, 2021 10:23 AM

Having a tough time finding Testor's Gloss Coat in a spray can, Amazon has a kit with four cans but I'm not spending $35 plus shipping, I only need a can. Is it Testor's Lacquer Glosscore in 3oz. can ?? Everyone else please keep sending recommendations/advice.

  • Member since
    April 2003
  • From: USA
Posted by keavdog on Thursday, September 23, 2021 10:59 AM

I hear great things about Testors Wet Look.  I have some but haven't tried it yet.  What every you try, be sure to test.  And be sure to let your paint's fully dry/gas out before clearcoating.  This was Tamiya primer, Tamiya blue and Tamiya Clear, apparently too soon

I have had some success with Future floor wax as well

Thanks,

John

  • Member since
    April 2020
Posted by Eaglecash867 on Thursday, September 23, 2021 12:20 PM

mic53mlb

Having a tough time finding Testor's Gloss Coat in a spray can, Amazon has a kit with four cans but I'm not spending $35 plus shipping, I only need a can. Is it Testor's Lacquer Glosscore in 3oz. can ?? Everyone else please keep sending recommendations/advice.

 

Looks like Hobby Lobby has them.

https://www.hobbylobby.com/Crafts-Hobbies/Model-Kits/Paint-Brushes/1260T-Dullcote-Spray-Enamel/p/1045

"You can have my illegal fireworks when you pry them from my cold, dead fingers...which are...over there somewhere."

  • Member since
    July 2008
  • From: Albany, NY
Posted by jeffpez on Thursday, September 23, 2021 12:53 PM

I'll second two previous suggestions, Testors Clear Cote and Gauzy

  • Member since
    March 2020
Posted by Faux fisherman on Friday, September 24, 2021 3:47 AM

You should have a look at Liquatex high gloss varnish it's the smoothest highest gloss I have ever used, except for auto clear.

  • Member since
    August 2021
Posted by tom99 on Friday, September 24, 2021 7:10 AM
On my last two models, I used Krylon Gloss Clearcoat. I haven't tried it on all paints, but so far so good.
  • Member since
    February 2003
  • From: East Bethel, MN
Posted by midnightprowler on Friday, September 24, 2021 7:12 AM

In all honesty your best clears are going to be 2 part automotive clears, but they are not the most user friendly, a bit caustic as well, and you are limited to what paint you can shoot them over. I've never used it, but aas far as hobby paints, I hear much good about Tamiya clears. Testors enamels yellow alot, the laquer not so much.

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  • Member since
    June 2021
Posted by rocketman2000 on Friday, September 24, 2021 7:22 AM

Eaglecash867

 

 
mic53mlb

Having a tough time finding Testor's Gloss Coat in a spray can, Amazon has a kit with four cans but I'm not spending $35 plus shipping, I only need a can. Is it Testor's Lacquer Glosscore in 3oz. can ?? Everyone else please keep sending recommendations/advice.

 

 

 

Looks like Hobby Lobby has them.

https://www.hobbylobby.com/Crafts-Hobbies/Model-Kits/Paint-Brushes/1260T-Dullcote-Spray-Enamel/p/1045

 

That is their enamel version. i tried one can and did not like- very slow dry.  I still love the lacquer version, though.

 

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    April 2020
Posted by Eaglecash867 on Friday, September 24, 2021 7:38 AM

"You can have my illegal fireworks when you pry them from my cold, dead fingers...which are...over there somewhere."

  • Member since
    November 2018
Posted by oldermodelguy on Friday, September 24, 2021 8:33 AM

Ya the Liquitex is quite good, goes over about anything. I tend to use the Satin more than the gloss, I feel it flows as good if not better and has quite a gloss itself and if you want more gloss just buff it up.. But in thin coats it's good over flat paints to gain a luster to interior parts. With acrylic paints you cam mix it right in, very versatile. Not cheap,look to get on Michaels coupon program, sometimes you get a 40% off coupon code.

Another clear shiny coat is Rustoleum lacquer . Test first what you put it over. I don't get the acrylic laquer and haven't tried their 2x clear yet but others are doing well with those in another forum I vist.. I get the lacquer with the big black chair on the label, which if you need to buff at all it's easy to buff up. I've used that for years and in wood working. I suspect it's nitroceluous lacquer which always did buff easy.

All that said many people like the Testors lacquer mentioned in another post, we don't know how long they will be around for but people like it. Decades ago I used the clear enamel which was great but yellowed over light colors.

Spray cans I mostly decant and airbrush these days though. That Rustoleum lacquer goes well from the can in relatively low humidity days. Dog days of Aug aren't your friend anyway with clear coats generally speaking.

  • Member since
    June 2014
Posted by bluenote on Friday, September 24, 2021 10:39 AM

I keep it easy and use Tamiya TS-13 spray can.  Works perfect everytime, and I'm happy with the amount of gloss.

I find the 2k stuff too shiny, and way to toxic for my liking.  

  • Member since
    March 2020
Posted by Faux fisherman on Saturday, September 25, 2021 7:39 AM

I use the liquatex gloss, satin, and matt and have not had any bad reactions at all over many types of finishes. The Matt is interesting in light coats it gives a dusty look to my 1/72 aircraft wet coats give a matt apperance.

  • Member since
    September 2021
Posted by B. Sherwood on Thursday, September 30, 2021 6:42 PM

See this article right here in FineScale.com; it covers several of the best clearcoats for scale model cars.....

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