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How to Mix Clearcoat Car Paint

by Robin Neorr

The final step in protecting your car's paint job is applying a clear coat. The clear coat protects your paint job and provides the desired level of gloss to your car. Your clear coat is made up of two different parts, the clear paint and the hardener. Mixing your clear coat needs to be done in the correct proportions; incorrect proportions will cause your clear coat to thicken before you are done using it.

Mix Clearcoat Car Paint

Decide between an overall clear coat or a spot clear coat. Overall clear coats are used for painting an entire car. Spot clear coats are used for touch-up work.

Pour a ratio of 4 to 1. You will be using 4 oz. of clear coat for every 1 oz. of acrylic hardener. Once you pour in the acrylic hardener, the chemical reaction will begin to activate the paint. Plan on making 20 percent more clear coat car paint than you will need.

Pour in the same amount of acrylic reducer as you did acrylic hardener. The acrylic reducer will keep your paint thin enough to go through your paint gun.

Stir the mixture. You need to use this mixture within a few hours. If left out for several hours, the mixture will harden.

Place your filter cone on top of the paint gun's opening. Pour the mixture into your paint gun and you are ready to begin to clear coat your car.


  • The clear coat paint needs to be used within a few hours or else it will harden. Always use both acrylic hardener and acrylic reducer. The higher the level of hardener, the faster your paint will dry. If you are looking to have a quicker-drying clear coat, add additional hardener. Always use clear coat with a paint gun.

Items you will need

About the Author

Robin Neorr has been working as a full-time freelance writer since 2007. She has written for various websites including The Frisky. Before she started her writing career, she spent 10 years in media marketing. She has a bachelor's degree in communications and a master's degree in communications management from John Carroll University.

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Photo Credits

  • Michal Zacharzewski