The 10 Best Automotive Clear Coats

We spent 26 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. Whether you’re completing a frame-off restoration of a vintage muscle car or just removing evidence of a shopping-cart accident, every paint job needs a good clear coat. The ideal second-stage automotive finish adds depth and shine to colors, emphasizes metallic inclusions, and keeps your car looking pristine for years to come. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work.

10. Rust-Oleum Automotive

Rust-Oleum Automotive is the least expensive way to preserve a finish, and its one-step process means almost anyone can use it with ease. It creates a transparent barrier that offers the reliability of this household name in protective compounds.

  • Low volatile organic compound blend
  • Works on most acrylic enamels
  • Less durable than self-mixed options

Brand Rust-Oleum
Model pending
Weight 4.8 pounds
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

9. POR-15 Direct to Metal

Those who live in wet, cold, or acidic environments should consider POR-15 Direct to Metal. It’s specially formulated with a mix of solvents and adhesives that chemically infiltrate and bond to rusted and corroded metal, preventing the spread of oxidation.

  • Great for buses and farm equipment
  • Applied the same as normal lacquer
  • Not a very glassy finish

Brand POR-15
Model 45718
Weight 1.1 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

8. 3M Scotchgard Pro

Adding 8 mm of polyurethane on top of a gloss coat, 3M Scotchgard Pro protective film is widely considered to be the ultimate in paint preservation. It’s completely invisible, incredibly long-lasting, and keeps rocks, bugs, and radiation away from your auto’s body.

  • Comes in 1-ft by 6-ft rolls
  • Can be polished and nano-surfaced
  • Application takes a lot of skill

Brand 3M
Model CPP3653
Weight 7.2 ounces
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

7. SpeedoKote Glamour

SpeedoKote Glamour is perfect for custom builders who are proud of their work, but don’t want to break the bank to make it bling. It offers show-level shininess, as well as variable hardening speeds for application in any weather.

  • For single panels or whole bodies
  • Flash-hardens using a heat gun
  • Awfully pricey for the average car

Brand Speedokote
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 3.7 / 5.0

6. Color N Drive Ceramic

Color N Drive Ceramic is the leader in a new class of protectants that put a microscopic nano-film on the outermost high-gloss layer. It’s a bit like a hybrid of lacquer and wax, and it stays bright and radiant for multiple years following application.

  • Repels harmful moisture effectively
  • One kit can cover up to 2 cars
  • Doesn’t replace the primary lacquer

Brand Color N Drive
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

5. House of Kolor Flo-Klear

Frequently found at car shows, House of Kolor Flo-Klear has the perfect fluid properties for leaving a thick, glassy layer over any inter-coat. Its three-dimensional results help to bring out custom graphics as well as a vehicle’s natural lines and curves.

  • Becomes water-clear when polished
  • Kit includes proprietary additives
  • Far more expensive than others

Brand House of Kolor
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

4. Toyota Touch-Up Pen

Compatible with a wide range of makes and models, this Toyota Touch-Up Pen is a handy way for the attentive consumer to keep their top coat in pristine condition. It’s a single-stage lacquer that adheres well to any type of paint.

  • Hardens nearly right away
  • Hides moderate blemishes
  • Best results when sanded and layered

Brand Toyota
Model 00258-0000C-21
Weight 0.3 ounces
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

3. SpeedoKote SMR-130

While it does require a bit of mixing, SpeedoKote SMR-130 is an affordable way to put a top-quality shine on any auto. Experts and DIY mechanics alike praise its excellent flow capability and strong adhesion, which make it one of the easiest to apply.

  • Buffs easily and effectively
  • Great image distinction
  • Cures quite rapidly

Brand Speedokote
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

2. USC Spray Max

USC Spray Max activates when its tab is pulled, combining the two chemical components as it’s discharged from the aerosol can. It’s perfect for finishing entire body panels without the hassle of touchy spray guns and hardeners.

  • Remarkably inexpensive
  • 48-hour shelf life after activation
  • Gloss comparable to new cars

Brand U.S. Chemical ; Plastic
Model 3680061
Weight 1.4 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

1. KBS Coatings Diamond

No stranger to the race track, KBS Coatings Diamond is a go-to for performance enthusiasts, due to its ease of application and rock-hard finish. It’s not the cheapest, but it’s worth every penny, thanks to its incredible chemical resistance.

  • Provides permanent uv protection
  • Won’t discolor over time
  • Dries relatively quickly

Brand KBS Coatings
Model 8504
Weight 9.3 pounds
Rating 4.5 / 5.0