APPLYING AUTOMOTIVE CLEARCOAT
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.
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.