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Old 11-07-2012, 12:07 PM   #1
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$7.95 Spray Can of Clear Coat

For first timers without human guidance, can you get a freshly clear coated paint job to match up with the factory paint using the local auto parts store spray clear coat? The $7.95 can of clear coat I bought went on cloudy even after 3 coats. I tried to buff it clear with a cleaner and it still did not work. Should I purchase a higher grade clear coat?
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Old 11-07-2012, 12:25 PM   #2
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Re: $7.95 Spray Can of Clear Coat

If the product is 3M or DuPont or some other name synonymous in the automotive industry I would say probably.

Cloudiness in clear can also be attributed to temperature and moisture.
  1. What brand clear did you use?
  2. Was it an automotive clear or just clear paint?
  3. What was the temperature when you applied it?
  4. Were the conditions damp or very humid?
  5. How long was it applied before you buffed it?
  6. Can you post a photo?
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Old 11-07-2012, 12:53 PM   #3
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Re: $7.95 Spray Can of Clear Coat

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Originally Posted by BobbyG View Post
If the product is 3M or DuPont or some other name synonymous in the automotive industry I would say probably.

Cloudiness in clear can also be attributed to temperature and moisture.
  1. What brand clear did you use?
  2. Was it an automotive clear or just clear paint?
  3. What was the temperature when you applied it?
  4. Were the conditions damp or very humid?
  5. How long was it applied before you buffed it?
  6. Can you post a photo?
Factory paint and clear coat picture on the right, the rear door panel on the left was my paint job.
Automotive Touchup brand base color and clear coat in the spray can .
75 degree with 55 degree humidity in my garage.
I wet sanded and then buffed after one week and a half.
I buffed using Maguiar's medium cut cleaner, not compound. did not have any compound.
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Old 11-07-2012, 01:08 PM   #4
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Re: $7.95 Spray Can of Clear Coat

Well, 75 degrees and 55% humidity are certainly not the issue...

From the photo the paint doesn't appear to be cloudy. If anything I'd say texture is rather rough or what would be considered "dry". When paints are applied they're laid down wet in order to flow and level out. If the paint is laid on lightly and not wet it tends to dry before it has a chance to level out leaving you with the appearance in your photo.

Does the finish feel as grainy as shown in the photo?

If yes, you may need to wet sand the section starting with 600 to 800 grit in order to level out what looks like dry paint. Use a sanding block to avoid uneven pressure points..

Paint cleaner will not cut so I wouldn't waste to much time with it.

Most local stores carry Meguiar's Ultimate Compound and Meguiar's Ultimate Polish. These work very well and you'll need both with a few pads in order to buff out fresh paint after wet sanding...
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Old 11-07-2012, 01:28 PM   #5
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Re: $7.95 Spray Can of Clear Coat

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Originally Posted by BobbyG View Post
Well, 75 degrees and 55% humidity are certainly not the issue...

From the photo the paint doesn't appear to be cloudy. If anything I'd say texture is rather rough or what would be considered "dry". When paints are applied they're laid down wet in order to flow and level out. If the paint is laid on lightly and not wet it tends to dry before it has a chance to level out leaving you with the appearance in your photo.

Does the finish feel as grainy as shown in the photo?

If yes, you may need to wet sand the section starting with 600 to 800 grit in order to level out what looks like dry paint. Use a sanding block to avoid uneven pressure points..

Paint cleaner will not cut so I wouldn't waste to much time with it.

Most local stores carry Meguiar's Ultimate Compound and Meguiar's Ultimate Polish. These work very well and you'll need both with a few pads in order to buff out fresh paint after wet sanding...
The surface is smooth because I wet sanded before buffing and polishing. I think, I applied the base color OK, the problem after looking at your comments was my application of the clear coat. may be the base color had dried too quickly before I applied the clear coat. all I know the clear never appeared smooth and clear each time I applied it.
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Old 11-07-2012, 01:45 PM   #6
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Re: $7.95 Spray Can of Clear Coat

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Originally Posted by vtfreeiii View Post
The surface is smooth because I wet sanded before buffing and polishing. I think, I applied the base color OK, the problem after looking at your comments was my application of the clear coat. may be the base color had dried too quickly before I applied the clear coat. all I know the clear never appeared smooth and clear each time I applied it.
Then it sounds like you've discovered the root cause of the issue...

You can sand the clear smooth and reapply more clear. Sanding the clear to remove the high spots will even out the paint allowing you to finally achieve the gloss you're after....

Just don't sand to deep onto the color otherwise it'll look blotchy...
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Old 11-07-2012, 01:55 PM   #7
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Re: $7.95 Spray Can of Clear Coat

Believe it or dont but I used Rust-oleum crystal clear and automotive clear on the interior of my 57 after doing some touch up work and no clouds in all types of weather.
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Old 11-07-2012, 02:07 PM   #8
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Re: $7.95 Spray Can of Clear Coat

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Originally Posted by vtfreeiii View Post
The surface is smooth because I wet sanded before buffing and polishing. I think, I applied the base color OK, the problem after looking at your comments was my application of the clear coat. may be the base color had dried too quickly before I applied the clear coat. all I know the clear never appeared smooth and clear each time I applied it.
Awesome!!!! I will try again with a little better knowledge of what I am doing. Thanks so much. I'll post the results.
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Old 11-08-2012, 06:03 PM   #9
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Re: $7.95 Spray Can of Clear Coat

hello, im new and just came across this. probably not the right thread but i am wondering if automotive clear can be wiped on a surface instead of being sprayed. i ask because im restoring my headlights and really dont want to buy a gun and those little aerosol spray jars just arent my thing. i have worked with the urethane method before and did like it but it wont last for very long. (BTW, this is the jar im talking about)Preval Sprayer Spray Guns Wholesaler & Wholesale Supplier From Usa - Marks Paint Store Incorporated
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Old 11-10-2012, 02:46 PM   #10
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Re: $7.95 Spray Can of Clear Coat

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Awesome!!!! I will try again with a little better knowledge of what I am doing. Thanks so much. I'll post the results.
I applied the last coat of clear last night, woke up this morning and guess what? Ruff dust particles all over the clear. wet sanded and it is smooth again. Now what is next? Light compound buff my truck door and then reapply another coat or two of clear? Need help before I get started again. Humidity 29%, temp out side, 73 degrees.
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