1k clear coat vs. 2k: which is better? - colors of the era (2022)

Clear coverage 1K vs 2K

At ERA Paints we pride ourselves on offering our customers the best products on the market and our 2K clear coat is no exception. When it comes to your vehicle, it is important to use the best products to extend the life of the car.

In addition to our industry leading range of information and our range of clear coat repair products, we are pleased to offer you our own 2K clear coat spray. We believe our product not only matches market leaders like SprayMax 2K Clear Coat, but goes well beyond.

In this article, we cover everything you need to know about 2K spray clear, including how to use it, and answer questions like: Where can I find 2K clear coat near me?

What is clear coat spray paint?

Clear coat is essentially a transparent paint used to cover the colored paint layer underneath. After the touch up painting process is complete, the clear coat is the final coat of paint applied to your vehicle. This is followed by applying the primer, which helps the paint adhere to the metal, and then spraying the paint on.

(Video) The difference between 1K, 2K, and 2X clear coat

1k clear coat vs. 2k: which is better? - colors of the era (1)

The clear coat seals the paint and adds an extra layer of protection that helps prevent scratches and scuffs. The actual thickness of the clear coat can range from 30 microns to 80 microns depending on the manufacturer. In general, the coats under the clear coat, primer, and coats of paint are matte while the clear coat is gloss. This means that the clear coat has both functional and aesthetic purposes, making your car shine and protecting it.

Not all paint jobs require a clear coat repair, one step paint jobs are not overcoated with a clear coat.

What is 1K clear coat?

Most clear coat repair jobs use a 1K clear coat. It is the standard product that comes with many OEM touch up paint repair kits. Typically used for touch up paint jobs where homeowners want to give their repair a pristine factory finish.

1K clear coat does not need to be activated and can be used directly from the spray can or paint bottle.

  • 368 0061 2K SprayMax Car Spray Paint & Clear Coat


  • p.s72,99

  • Auto spray paint primer and clear coat


    (Video) Dupli-Color® How to: 1K Clear Coat

What are the advantages of 1K paint?

Die Verwendung von 1K-Klarlack hat mehrere Vorteile, die ihn bei Autoenthusiasten und Profis gleichermaßen sehr beliebt gemacht haben, darunter:

  1. Cost: 1K clear coat is up to half the price of an aerosol 2K clear coat.
  2. QUICK DRYING - 1K clear coat dries quickly.
  3. Easy to use - 1K clear coat does not require any additives or activators to work. Just apply it to your vehicle and it will dry.
  4. Weather resistance: 1K clear coat is relatively durable and protects the underlying paint even in inclement weather.
  5. Polishability: Once the clear coat has dried, you can polish it to a high gloss finish.

What is 2K clear coat?

2K clear coat is used in the same way as its 1K cousin. It is applied once the colored coat of paint on your vehicle has dried. The main difference is that a 2K gloss clear coat requires a catalyst, activator or hardener. In general, most 2K options come in the form of a polyurethane clear coat as it is much stronger.

After activation of the hardener, the 2K clear coat should be applied promptly, usually within a few hours. After that it can no longer be used as the hardener reacts with the clear coat to form a hard finish.

We recommend the use of gloves, safety goggles and a mask when using 2K Spray Clear as it uses an isocyanate hardener.

What are the advantages of 2K paint?

Using a 2K clear coat solution to protect your vehicle's underlying finish has several benefits:

  1. Incredible resistance to scratches and scuffs due to the extra tough finish and perfect for areas of your car prone to surface damage.
  2. Long term sealing of paint repair jobs compared to other top coat products.
  3. Ideal for large areas.
  4. It also works well at higher temperatures.
  5. Durable high gloss finish
  6. UV protection
1k clear coat vs. 2k: which is better? - colors of the era (5)

What is the difference between 1K and 2K clear coat?

The main difference between 1K and 2K clear coats is the need for a catalyst to dry. 1K can dry without additives, while a 2K clear coat needs a catalyst to cure. Otherwise it will not dry completely.

In general, the 2K clear coat costs twice as much as the 1K alternative, but for good reason. 2K clear coat aerosol cans offer a much higher level of protection. The extra strong paint has made 2K clear coat spray the first choice of professional painters for years. Should your vehicle ever be exposed to extreme conditions in the form of off-road or even gravel roads, a 2K clear coat will prevent scratches and scratches. So while the initial cost is higher, you avoid additional paint repairs in the long run.

How to activate your 2K paint

Remember that you must use your 2K paint within 24 hours of activation or it will harden permanently in the pot. Spray Max 2K Clear Coat instructions are the same as most other brands to enable:

(Video) 1k Vs 2k Spray Paint - Is 1k Paint better than 2k paint ?

  1. Shake can vigorously for 2 minutes.
  2. Take the button on the lid and connect it to the pin on the bottom of the can.
  3. Place the top of the can on something stable.
  4. Press the red button on the pen.
  5. Remove the button and discard it.
  6. Shake the 2K clear coat bottle again for two minutes.

How is a 2K paint applied?

Applying a 2K glossy clear coat isn't difficult, but we have some tips and tricks to make the process even easier.

  • - Make sure your vehicle's surface is smooth before applying paint or clear coat. This prevents an uneven finish. Use sandpaper for a smooth finish.
  • – Practice applying the clear coat to card or paper beforehand so you have an idea of ​​the flow rate and handling of the aerosol clear coat.
  • – Apply three coats of 2K paint. Always start with a light layer and increase the density with each layer.
  • – Spray from a distance of about 6 to 8 inches. The closer, and it can drip or gush. Farther out and it might not be smooth, especially if it's windy.
  • - Try to paint on a day that is around 22°C as this means the clear coat dries evenly. For an excellent finish, never paint in direct sunlight.
  • – We offer triggers that stick to aerosol cans and are life-saving in the application process.

If you don't have the original factory finish you expect, we have some tips to improve the appearance of clear coats.

  • – We recommend polishing if the 2K paint has become dull. It's sturdy so you can rub it a lot and it's unlikely to do any harm. Polishing the area well once it's dry usually solves the problem.
  • - If the 2K clear coat has thickened or is dripping, you may need to try wet sanding. Just lightly sand the area, we never want to affect the base color. So work with caution. Once the rough edges are smoothed out, clean the area and apply another coat.

Work slowly when trying to correct uneven areas or smooth out softness. You don't want to rush and erode the color underneath. If you have any problems, contact our expert who can help you.

2K clear coat: one-step paints vs. two-step paints

One-step painting is an older method of painting vehicles that has been all but superseded by the more modern two-step painting system. One step painting does not require a 2K gloss clear coat or any other type of clear coat as all the chemicals required for painting are mixed and applied at once.

Two step paintwork always uses a 2K clear coat or 1K alternative to protect color protection and give a great finish. When done professionally, most paint jobs are finished with a 2K clear coat as this offers the best protection.

How long does it take for the 2K clear coat to dry?

We are often asked how long does it take to cure a 2K clear coat? Waiting for the correct drying time prevents unnecessary damage to the top coat. It also increases the likelihood that you will achieve a flawless factory finish. Riding too soon, buffing or waxing the clear coat before it is dry can affect the finish.

When you complete the full touch up process, you will need to wait about an hour for it to dry before applying the 2K clear coat. We recommend using three coats of clear coat to achieve full and even coverage of the area. Wait at least ten minutes between each coat before applying the next.

It takes 24 hours to fully dry; After this time you can buff the 2K clear coat to bring out that extra shine. However, full healing can take up to seven days.

How long does 2K clear coat last?

Most car waxes and other sealants only last a few months, and restoring that shine to your vehicle will require another round of buffing or waxing.

(Video) A Spray Can Game Changer! (2K clear with unlimited shelf life?)

However, the 2K clear coat will likely last indefinitely until it wears off or is rubbed off by dirt. If you live on dirt roads or regularly drive your car off-road, the clear coat may not last as long.

How to extend the life of your clear coat:

  • * Wash and wax your car regularly. Once every four weeks should be the absolute minimum. This removes harmful residues and does not affect the quality of your 2K clear coat.
  • * Avoid unnecessary sun exposure by parking your vehicle in a shaded area.
  • * Use Detailing Clay to remove contaminants stuck to the clear coat.

Why use a 2K clear coat?

Using 2K clear coat is a must for anyone looking to extend the life of their vehicle paintwork. This is especially important in areas of your car that interact with road chemicals or are bombarded with debris.

The exceptional protection it offers lets your car shine for longer, so it pays for itself in the long run despite the higher initial cost. In addition, it is the material that the manufacturers use for your production vehicle, so you know you are using the best material available on the market.

Where is the best place to buy a 2K clear coat?

ERA Paints offers a range of industry leading products to help people across the country get a handle on their vehicle clear coat repair jobs.

Ouruseful guidesand exceptional prices have resulted in customers being able to repair their vehicles at exceptional prices and avoid costly trips to auto repair shops.

The 2K clear coat we offer is of the highest quality and allows you to protect your vehicle's paintwork for longer. Take a look at our selectionTouch up paint productsand get fantastic value for money when you buy your 2K clear coat. Plus, get free shipping with every purchase!

We pride ourselves on quality products, competitive prices and outstanding customer satisfaction.

If you are interested in ERA paints and our fight for car care, follow us on our social networks:

(Video) 👉 Can You Spray 2k Clear Over 1k? Clearcoat Tips: Tamco Clear



Which is better 1K or 2K paint? ›

1K – suited to interior use, low traffic areas, and places less prone to general wear and tear. 2K – suited to exterior use, heavy use areas, high temperature surfaces and other harsh environments.

Is 1K or 2K clear better? ›

Generally speaking, 2K clear coat is double the price of the 1K alternative, but for a good reason. 2K clear coat spray cans providers a far superior level of protection. The extra firm layer means that 2K clear coat spray has been the choice of professional painters for years.

Is 1K paint durable? ›

1K paint dries faster and is easier to use, offering excellent durability. 2K paint dries slower and is more difficult to use but is more durable. Most painters use 1K paint because it is tough enough to get the job done and significantly easier to work.

Can you put 2K clear over 1K paint? ›

2K clear over 1K car spray paint

You can put a 2K clear coat over a single-stage base coat. 1K base coat doesn't require a hardening agent, it just evaporates and dries. It might be useful to sand it a little bit when the paint is really dry.

What is 2K paint used for? ›

Introduction. Paints containing isocyanate are used extensively in MVR as almost all motor vehicle repair bodyshops use 2-pack or "2K" isocyanate-containing paints. Isocyanates are used in some water-based paints, most base coats and almost all lacquers.

What does 2K clear coat do? ›

2K clear coat with very high chemical, gasoline, and weathering resistance for high-quality and longterm sealing of repair paint jobs and new paint jobs on cars and motorcycles.

Does 2K paint fade? ›

2k paint tends to retain its colour better than 1k paint. It is resistant to UV rays so won't fade in the sun, and is also weather and chemical resistant.

How long does 2K paint last in a can? ›

2 component clearcoat containing hardener. After the hardener is activated in the spray can (this is done by pushing the red button at the bottom of the spray can), the shelf life of the clear coat is approx. 48 hours provided it is refrigerated.

How Long Will 2K clear coat last? ›

Shake again for two minutes to ensure activator is thoroughly mix with clearcoat. After activated, this product will last approximately 48 hours.

What is the strongest clear coat? ›

Cerakote, The World's Strongest Clear Coat, only at ClearCoating.com.

Can you polish 1k clear coat? ›

Caution: don't polish!

What is better than 2K paint? ›

1K paint has a faster drying time compared to 2K paint and will air dry. This means that the paint does not require an activator to dry, unlike the 2K/Pack alternative.

Which paint finish is best? ›

Flat, eggshell and satin paint are best for interior walls, whereas semi-gloss and gloss paint are best for trim and woodwork.

Which paint finish is most durable? ›

High Gloss

The most durable and easiest to clean of all paint sheens, high-gloss paint is hard, ultra-shiny, and light-reflecting. Think appliance-paint tough. High gloss is a good choice for area that sticky fingers touch -- cabinets, trim, and doors.

How many coats of 2K paint should I use? ›

Two to three coats are normally required, note 2K coverage is usually excellent. Spray gun set up will depend on your equipment. Normally a high pressure spray gun is used at around 45-50psi. In the right conditions the paint should be fully cured in about 20 hours when air dried, (leave overnight).

Does 2K paint need primer? ›

Generally I stick to 2K high build primer with 2k top coat or basecoat depending on what you are spraying. 2K doesn't always go over anything I have had on several occasions had a reaction with 2k over rattle can primer. (Panels prepped by other people) All wiped down with panel with etc,etc.

Do I need clear coat over 2K paint? ›

2K Paint is a direct high gloss paint if applied correctly, you should not require any 2K clear lacquer.

Does 2K paint need hardener? ›

What is two-component paint or 2K paint. Some of the paints used in bodywork, such as filler paint or clear coat, are 2-componentpaints. This means that these paints must be mixed with a hardener for them to work properly. The base and hardener mixture accelerates the paint's drying process.

What is 1K clear coat? ›

Dupli-Color® 1K Clear is a high-performance clear coat formulated to be used over most any Dupli-Color product and provides added protection, appearance and performance.

What removes 2K paint? ›

Owatrol DSP 800 Multi-Purpose 2K Paint Stripper

It is a very strong stripper that can even remove 2-Pack paints and powder coatings without damaging the substrate making it perfect for a wide range of applications.

Can you spray 2K clear on headlights? ›

Description. The SprayMax 3684068, SprayMax 2K 2 in 1 Headlight Clear is a protective coating that is designed to be used for fixing scratches on headlights or for foggy, yellowness headlights. SprayMax 2K 2 in 1 Headlight Clear increases protection against UV light, car wash, salt water, and more.

Can I polish 2K clear coat? ›

Runs should first be sanded with 1000 to remove 90% of the defect. Then move to 1500 in the final part of sanding to give a flat, smooth, and recoverable surface. Dirt should be sanded with 1500, 2000, or equivalent. Polishing is best carried out with an electric polisher at 1500 rpm, fitted with a firm sponge pad.

How soon can you polish 2K clear coat? ›

Clear coat should be allowed to harden for at least 24 hours before attempting to use a buffer. In most cases, you will be trying to remove “orange peel” when buffing a new paint job.

What causes orange peel in 2K paint? ›

What is the orange peel effect in paint? The name orange peel is given by the resemblance of the final paint finish to an orange peel. This problem is caused by the lack of stretching or levelling of the paint, resulting in a deformed surface and in an increased thickness of the final coat.

Is 2K paint acrylic or enamel? ›

2K (2 Pack) Acrylic paint is a very high gloss and durable automotive paint, avoiding the need for topcoat lacquer.

What type of car paint is best? ›

Urethane paint is the most durable auto paint and is also chip-resistant—when properly maintained, a coat of urethane paint will outlast most acrylic paints. Acrylic paints are generally water-based.

What's the best clear coat for cars? ›

5 Best Clear Coats For Cars
  1. Spray Max 2K Spray Paint ($25.76) ...
  2. Sherwin Williams Finish 1 Ultimate Overall Clear Coat ($117.49) ...
  3. Speedokote SMR-130 ($109) ...
  4. KBS Coatings 8304 DiamondFinish Clear Coat ($44.95) ...
  5. Duplicolor BCL0125 Perfect Match.
30 Aug 2022

Is basecoat 1k or 2K? ›

Most base coat/clear coat systems are also 2K coatings, but not all of them are. The base coat provides the color and coverage, while the clear coat, like the Eastwood Premium Show Clear, provides all the gloss and protection.

What is the best 2k clear coat for cars? ›

USC Spray Max 2K High Gloss Clearcoat Aerosol

This is highly recommended if you are looking for a durable clear coat for your car. The unique nozzle design makes it easy to apply. One must certainly not hurry for immediate results while using this product. It will take approximately 24 hours to harden.

At what PSI Should I spray 2k clear coat? ›

28-30 PSI spray pressure. Mix 2k Clear Coat with 2k Hardener and 2k Reducer to the recommended ratio. Strain thinned paint using a Paper Paint Strainer before use. If necessary, use a Tack Rag to wipe surface gently prior to spraying to remove any dust.

What clear coat does not yellow? ›

The best non-yellowing clear coat is Minwax's Polycrylic. It's easy to use, dries within a few hours, can be applied multiple times within 24 hours, dries completely clear, and doesn't yellow over time.

What is the highest gloss clear coat? ›

Almost all clear coats result in a glossy finish, but the level is measured in units from 0 to 100, with 0 being the lowest gloss level and 100 being the highest. You are better off with a clear coat with a gloss level of 90 units.

How many coats of clear should I use? ›

When it comes to applying the final clear coat, after having finished with the paint job, three to four clear coats are generally recommended.

Does buffing damage clear coat? ›

Buffing helps remove the scratched layer of clear coat off which results in a smoother, brighter and shinier finish. Think of it as sanding a rough piece of wood, which is the same type of process.

How do I make my clear coat shiny after painting? ›

Sand it with low grit sandpaper that can be used both wet and dry. Next, rub it out with a rubbing and polishing cream. This method gets clear coats to shine.

Does 1k paint need thinner? ›

Depending on the type of car paint you use (1k or 2k) chances are you will need to mix it with a thinner.

What paint do professional painters use? ›

By and large, most professional painters use either Sherwin-Willaims or Benjamin Moore paint products. In fact, 50% of painting contractors chose Benjamin Moore's Regal Select line as their favorite paint.

What paint gives a shiny finish? ›

High gloss paint is known for being super shiny and light reflecting, giving it an almost mirror-like look. Most designers would consider it a specialty finish, as it creates such a brilliant sheen.

Which paint finish is easiest to clean? ›

Eggshell Finish

"It is the easiest paint to wipe clean and is great for all areas of the home, including bathrooms and kitchens," she says. "I only use a gloss or semi-gloss paint on base, case, trim, and cabinetry."

Which paint finish hides imperfections best? ›

The more reflective or glossy the paint sheen, the more noticeable those imperfections will be. Conversely, flat or matte finishes absorb light, helping to hide bumps and bruises. So, paint with a flat finish is the most effective paint for hiding wall imperfections.

What paint finish do designers use? ›

High Gloss

Super light-reflective and statement-making, it's also the most durable. The look: Most designers would consider high gloss a specialty finish, as it has a glamorous glass-like effect, Barr explains. The Lowdown: It does show imperfections, but it's also extremely easy to clean.

What paint finish is most forgiving? ›

Flat paint

How long should you wait to clear coat after painting? ›

Allow 30 minutes after base coat color has been applied to apply the clear coat. Apply 4-5 wet (but not dripping) coats waiting 10+ minutes in between coats. Each coat should be dry to the touch (not tacky) before moving on to the next.

Can you paint over 2K primer without sanding? ›

(Q) Do I have to sand the 2K Urethane Primer Surfacer? (A) While this primer is super easy to sand smooth, you may shoot the Single-Stage Urethane Paint over it in a "wet on wet" application.

How long should 2K primer dry before painting? ›

Once entire surface area has been leveled, primer may be top- coated for up to 18 hours without any additional prep. After 18-hour recoat window has passed, surface of primer must be abraded prior to topcoat application.

What is 1k primer used for? ›

Recommended for repairing small damaged areas / spot repairs and painting parts, as an anti-corrosion primer or primer surfacer. Suitable surfaces: Steel, galvanised steel, aluminium, GRP, hardened old paint, spare part primer, polyester surfaces. (Do not coat with polyester or EP-products).

Is 2K clear coat better than 1K? ›

Generally speaking, 2K clear coat is double the price of the 1K alternative, but for a good reason. 2K clear coat spray cans providers a far superior level of protection. The extra firm layer means that 2K clear coat spray has been the choice of professional painters for years.

Can you paint 2K clear over 1K clear? ›

Yes, you definitely can!

You can put a 2K car spray paint over a 1K car paint. Furthermore, OEM car colours most commonly exist out of 1K and 2K automotive paint. You just need to make sure that you use car paint from the same brand. Otherwise, you might end up with a chemical reaction.

What happens if you put too much hardener in paint? ›

Incorrect mixing ratio: If too much activator/hardener is used, or if the correct ratio is not properly mixed, defects may appear in the finished dried paint film. Environmental conditions: Excessive heat or humidity during application and curing can cause surface imperfections such as cracking.

What kind of hardener do you use for 2K paint? ›

Isocyanate is a type of hardener used to cure the 2K or 2-pack paint.

How Long Will 2k clear coat last? ›

Shake again for two minutes to ensure activator is thoroughly mix with clearcoat. After activated, this product will last approximately 48 hours.

What is the most scratch resistant clear coat? ›

NANOCLEAR is an extreme high performance scratch resistant automotive clear topcoat built from some of the highest quality raw materials. This high quality urethane hybrid clear can withstand a vast array of punishment that would commonly destroy any other two componant polyurethane available today.

How do I know if my paint is 1K or 2K? ›

The simple answer is quite clear, 2K paint requires a separate hardener (sometimes called an activator) whereas 1K products do not. 2K products are also generally considered a tougher, more hard wearing finish.

Why is 2K paint better? ›

The benefit of a 2K paint is that the paint will have better properties in many cases. It will be harder and therefore more durable than a 1K paint. It will retain colour better and have better overall film integrity, making it last longer.

What clear coat should I use on headlights? ›

3M Quick Headlight Clear Coat Wipes are a fast, easy solution for adding a clear coating to slightly-yellowed headlights and other plastic lenses, improving and extending their clarity. Each box contains 2 coated wipes along with a Trizact abrasive disc.

Should I wet sand after clear coat? ›

The clear coat should be wet-sanded with 400 grit sandpaper. This is to replace the orange peel with finer and finer scratches, which will eventually be filled in with polish. The sanding steps help diminish the clear coat until the entire surface is smooth.

How long does it take for 1K clear coat to cure? ›

Waiting is a most! This product has to be applied in coats! Run a full coat and wait 12-24 hours remember paint has to breath and dry be for another one can be applied to form layers!

How many times can you polish a car before the clear coat is gone? ›

As a rule of thumb for my own cars – I usually limit any kind of harsh polishing (Medium Cut or Above ) to two times per year maximum. This allows me to keep my paint looking fresh while also staying within the limits of the paintwork.

What is 1K primer used for? ›

Recommended for repairing small damaged areas / spot repairs and painting parts, as an anti-corrosion primer or primer surfacer. Suitable surfaces: Steel, galvanised steel, aluminium, GRP, hardened old paint, spare part primer, polyester surfaces. (Do not coat with polyester or EP-products).

What does 1K mean on spray paint? ›

1K (or 1 Pack) is a term used to describe a paint coating that does not require any hardener, catalyst or activator to cure. This term can be used to describe paints that dry in the air (ideally at room temperature) and nearly all aerosol spray can paints.

Does 2K paint need a clear coat? ›

2K Paint is a direct high gloss paint if applied correctly, you should not require any 2K clear lacquer. 2K Paint and Clear Coats : Are direct high gloss materials and when applied correctly, you should have no need to cut and polish.

What paint do most professionals use? ›

By and large, most professional painters use either Sherwin-Willaims or Benjamin Moore paint products. In fact, 50% of painting contractors chose Benjamin Moore's Regal Select line as their favorite paint.

What is a 2K primer good for? ›

2K Advantages

A 2K system has two components that must be mixed together just before application. This allows crosslinking between the two parts for enhanced durability of the coating. These systems are a good choice for field applications where a higher degree of chemical resistance is required.

How long does 1k clear coat take to cure? ›

Waiting is a most! This product has to be applied in coats! Run a full coat and wait 12-24 hours remember paint has to breath and dry be for another one can be applied to form layers!

Can I put clear coat over 2K paint? ›

Adding clear will alter the curing of the paint usually making it softer and take longer to cure (hard) so yes doing this will give you the above results. a very very small amount wouldn't cause any major issues as the resins used in DG are usually compatible with clear coat resins.


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