The real appearance to what your finish will look like is already done. Clearcoats seal and enhance the basecoat, provide gloss, and to a certain extent in most cases, increase the depth of the finish.

Prior to clearcoat application, consider if you want to perform any detail painting, shadowing of panel lines, application of foil trim or decals, etc. If applying any type of paint or decal, let your finish dry overnight before proceeding with the clearcoat application.

Patience is critical! Clearcoats applied heavily too early can cause etching, mottling, or lifting of metallic and pearl colorcoat components, running or distortion of detail paint, and bubbling of decals.

Make sure you have proper ventilation in your work area and / or a chemical cartridge face mask. Your health and safety should always be your first and foremost concern.

Agitating the clearcoat prior to any application is not of significant importance. Make sure only that the clearcoat is well mixed with the thinner.

Apply 2 or 3 mist coats. Let dry for 20 or 30 minutes. Airborne contaminants must be sanded off at each coat application or they will forever be sealed in and visible.

Gradually apply 2 or 3 more moderate coats. Let dry for about an hour.

Begin applying heavy coats, two at a time if desired. After each 1 or 2 coat application let dry for at least 2 hours. Repeat this for a total of 6 to 8 coats, or more if desired. 6 coats generally provides enough protection to prevent rubbing through the clearcoat into the basecoat while working with a polishing kit later on.

Apply one final heavy coat. Identify areas that you anticipate will be difficult to rub out and polish later on such as extractor vents, engine bays, deep recesses, etc., and spray these areas last to help minimize the texturing of the surface from paint overspray. Allow a drying time of the completed clearcoat finish of about one week, particularly if you plan on rubbing out the finish.

Again, remember to spray the underside of edges to prevent chipping and flaking during later stages of polishing and assembly.

Remove surface contaminants between applications by sanding only. Using the tip of a hobby knife or other sharp object to pick these off of the surface will most likely result in a permanent pockmark depression flaw.

Remember to apply enough clearcoat to sufficiently protect the basecoat from sanding if you will be using a polishing kit to rub out the finish. If you sand completely through a clearcoat into a metallic or pearl colorcoat you most likely will have to reapply additional colorcoats. Reapplying more clearcoat over this type of sanding flaw on a metallic or pearl finish will not repair this problem. Sanding into a candy coat could result in an unbalanced finish. Sanding into a solid colorcoat is generally not noticeable.