1K vs. 2K Clear Coat – Which is better?

1K vs. 2K Clear Coat

At ERA Paints, we pride ourselves on offering our customers the best products on the markets, and our 2K clear coat paint is no exception. When it comes to your vehicle, it’s essential to use the best products to extend the car’s longevity.

Alongside the variety of industry-leading information we provide and our range of clear coat repair products, we are excited to offer our own 2K clear coat spray. We feel that our product not only matches market leaders like SprayMax 2K clear coat but goes above and beyond.

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

Mini Cooper Clearcoat Peel

What is clear coat spray paint?

Clear coat is essentially a transparent paint that is used to cover the colored layer of paint underneath. When completing the touch up paint process, the clear coat is the last layer of paint applied to your vehicle. It follows the base coat’s application, which helps the paint bond to the metal, then the spraying of the paint itself.

The clear coat seals off the paint and adds an additional layer of protection, helping prevent scratches and scuffs. The actual thickness of the clear coat can vary from 30 microns to 80 microns thick, depending on the manufacturer. Generally, the coats underneath the clear coat, the base, and paint layers are matte, whereas the clear coat is glossy. It means that the clear coat has functional and aesthetic purposes because it makes your car shine and protects it.

Not all paint jobs require clear coat repair, single-stage paintwork is not covered with a clear coat layer.

What is 1K clear coat?

Most clear coat repair work uses 1K clear coat. It is the standard product that comes with many OEM touch up paint repair kits. It is generally used for touch up paint repairs where owners are looking to give their fix a flawless factory finish.

1K clear coat doesn’t require activating and can be used directly out of the spray canister or paint jar.

What are the advantages of 1K clear coat?

There are several advantages to using 1K clear coat that has made it wildly popular among car enthusiasts and professionals alike, these include:

  1. Cost – 1K clear coat is up to half the price of a 2K clear coat spray can.
  2. Quick-drying – 1K clear coat dries fast.
  3. Ease of use – 1K clear coat doesn’t require any additives or activators to work. Simply apply it to your vehicle, and it will dry.
  4. Weather resistance – 1K clear coat is relatively durable and will protect the paint underneath even in adverse weather.
  5. Polish Ability – Once the clear coat layer has dried, you can get a great shine off it by polishing it.

What is 2K clear coat?

2K clear coat is used in the same way as its 1K cousin. It’s applied once the colored paint layer of your vehicle has dried. The major difference is that a 2K gloss clear coat needs either a catalyst, an activator, or a harder. Generally speaking, most 2K options come in the form of a polyurethane clear coat as it is much more robust.

After activating the hardener, the 2K clear coat must be applied in a timely manner, usually within a few hours. After this point, it can’t be used anymore as the hardener reacts with the clear coat to form a hard finish.

We recommend using gloves, goggles, and a mask when using 2K clear coat spray as it uses an isocyanate hardener.

What are the advantages of 2K clear coat?

Using a 2K clear coat solution for protecting the underlying painted layer of your vehicle has several advantages:

  1. Incredible resistance to scratches and scrapes because of the extra firm finish and is perfect for areas of your car that are prone to surface damage.
  2. Long term sealing of paint repair work compared to other top coat products.
  3. Great for large surfaces.
  4. It works well even in higher temperatures.
  5. Lasting glossy finish
  6. UV protection

How to Repair Peeling Clear Coat

What’s the difference between 1K and 2K clearcoat?

The significant difference between 1K and 2K clear coat is the need for a catalyst to dry. 1K can dry without any additives, whereas a 2K clear coat needs a catalyst to harden. Otherwise, it won’t fully dry.

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. If your vehicle is ever exposed to extreme conditions in the form of off-roading or even gravel roads, then a 2K clear coat prevents scratches and scrapes. So, while the initial outlay is higher, long term, you avoid the need for additional paint repairs.

How to activate your 2K clear coat

Remember that once your 2K clear coat has been activated, you must use it within 24 hours, or it will permanently harden in the can. Spray Max 2K clear coat instructions are the same as most other brands, to activate it:

  1. Shake the can vigorously for 2 minutes
  2. Take the button from the cap and attach it to the pin on the underside of the can.
  3. Place the top of the can onto something firm.
  4. Push the red button into the pin.
  5. Remove the button and dispose of it
  6. Shake the 2K clear coat can again for two minutes.

How do you apply a 2K clear coat?

Applying a 2K gloss clear coat isn’t difficult, but we have a few tips and tricks to make the process even easier.

  • Ensure the base of your vehicle is smooth before applying paint or clear coat. This avoids a bumpy finish. Use sandpaper to get a smooth finish.
  • Practice applying the clear coat on card or paper before, so you get a feel for the flow rate and how the clear coat spray handles
  • Apply three layers of 2K clear coat. Always start out with a light coat and get heavier with each layer.
  • Spray from around 6-8 inches away. Any closer, and it may drip or bubble. Any further away, and it may not be smooth, especially if it’s windy.
  • Aim to paint on a day that is around 72ºf as it means the clear coat will dry evenly. Also, to get a great finish, never paint in direct sunlight.
  • We offer triggers that attach to the spray cans, and they are a lifesaver in terms of the application process.

If you haven’t got that original factory finish you were hoping for, we have a few tips to improve the clear coats look.

  • With any 2K clear coat that has turned out dull, we recommend polishing it. It is robust, so you can rub it a lot and are unlikely to cause any damage. Giving the area a good polish once it is dry usually solves the issue.
  • If the 2K clear coat paint has turned out coarse or there are drips, you may need to try wet sanding. Only ever lightly sand the area, we never want to affect the base color. So, work with caution. Once the roughness has been smoothed out, clean the area, and add another coat.

When trying to correct any uneven areas or iron out the smoothness, work slowly. You don’t want to rush it and erode the color underneath. If you are having trouble, get in touch with our expert who can help you.

2K Clearcoat: Single-stage vs. two-stage paints

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

Two-stage paint jobs always use a 2K clear coat or the 1K alternative to guarantee the protection of the colored paint and provide a great finish. When done professionally, most paintwork is finished with 2K clear coat spray as it offers maximal protection.

How long does 2K clear coat take to dry?

We regularly get asked, how long does 2K clear coat take to cure? Waiting the right amount of the time to dry prevents any unnecessary damage to the top layer. It also makes it more likely that you’ll achieve a flawless factory finish. Driving too soon, polishing, or waxing the clear coat when it isn’t dry can negatively impact the finish.

If you are completing the full touch up paint process, you will have to wait around an hour to dry before applying the 2K clear coat. We recommend using three layers of clear coat to get full and even coverage of the area. Between each coat, wait at least ten minutes before applying the next.

It takes 24 hours to dry thoroughly; after this time, you can polish the 2K clear coat to bring out that extra shine. However, it can take up to seven days for it to fully cure.

How long does 2K clear coat last?

Most car waxes and other sealants last only a few months, and getting that shine back onto your vehicle requires another round of polishing or waxing.

However, 2K clear coat is likely to last an indefinite amount of time until it is worn away or chipped off by debris. If you live on unsealed roads or regularly take your car off-road, the clear coat isn’t likely to last as long.

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 any harmful debris and stops it eroding the quality of your 2K clear coat.
  • * Avoid unnecessary exposure to the sun by parking your vehicle in a shaded area.
  • * Use detailing clay to get rid of pollutants that attach themselves 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’s paintwork. It is especially important in areas of your car that interact with chemicals from the roads or are bombarded with debris.

The exceptional protection that it provides keeps your car shining for longer, so it pays for itself in the long run despite a higher upfront cost. On top of that, it’s the stuff that manufacturers use on your vehicle in production, so you know you’re using the best stuff available on the market.

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

ERA Paints offer a range of industry-leading products that help people across the country take control of their vehicles’ clear coat repair work.

Our helpful guides and outstanding prices have meant customers can repair their vehicles at exceptional prices and avoid costly trips to auto repair shops.

The 2K clear coat we supply is the best quality and will allow you to protect your vehicle’s paint for even longer. Check out our selection of touch up paint products and get fantastic value when purchasing your 2K clear coat paint. On top of that, receive free delivery with every purchase!

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

If you are interested in ERA Paints and our strive for vehicle care, follow us on our social media:

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DIY vs Autobody – How Much Does Paint Repair Cost?

DIY vs Autobody – How Much Does Paint Repair Cost?

Nobody likes dings and scratches in their car. In fact, they become a big pain for you. Just imagine, you parked a car. When you come back later, you saw a scratch. It is not only frustrating but also ruins the car’s look. Not to forget that you will be also paying the cost to paint a car.
You can hire some professionals for paint repair or you can carry out yourself. There are many pros and cons to both methods.

Cost to Paint A Car Yourself

If we talk about the supplies then you will be happy to know the cost to paint a car will be under $100. They are also easily available but the biggest problem is the painting job. It takes a lot of time as well as energy such as add dozens of coats of paint and many more.
That is not all, you will also require some machinery such as a paint gun. You can rent these machines but remember it is not available everywhere. You can also count on brushes and paint trays.
Another problem is ventilation. When you are painting, make sure that the area is well-ventilated. The reason is that the dust or dirt can ruin the new paint job while it is drying.
You will also require some extra things which are sandpaper, mineral spirit, and masking tape. Sandpaper is used to remove the grime or rust. To clean your car, you will require mineral spirits. Masking tape will surely protect the area from the paint.

Cost to Paint A Car by Hiring a Professional

If we compare it to the DIY method then the cost to paint the car will be higher than $100. Every painting company charges different rates for different level. You need to analysis your budget first then choose the one that fits.
If you are looking for a basic paint job then it will cost you under $1,000. In basic paint, you can have

  • Few coats of enamel paint (synthetic)
  • Less attention to detail

A standard paint job will cost more than the basic paint job. Approximately, you will be spending around $1,000 to $3,000. What you can expect from standard paint job is

  • Last Longer
  • Will make your car look better
  • Smooth surface
  • No impurities

Last but not least, if you like to show off your car then it is advisable to invest in a showroom quality job. This one is better than the above two paint jobs. It will cost you around $20,000 but on the other side, you will be getting a high-quality paint job. This process will

  • Remove the whole paint on the metal frame
  • Clear out any dents
  • Carefully add dozens of layers of paint

Not to forget that you will also be getting all the benefits of a standard paint job as well.

Which one to choose?

You must be thinking then which one to choose? If your car doesn’t need specialized tools and you are a very patient person then you can easily do it. Another factor might be that you don’t want to spend a lot of money so you consider doing it yourself.
If you have no idea of how to paint a car or you are looking at something which is very hard for you then consider hiring a professional for this job. These people are very good at their work and they will guarantee you that the final product will be amazing then you can expect.

What’s the Best Touch Up Paint?

When it comes to touch up paint, you’re probably looking for the best, that’s also affordable. Like many, you’re probably typing into google “best touch up paint”. In fact that’s why we labeled this article in hopes that you’ll find it and read what we have to say.

Touch Up Paint Manufacturers:

There are a lot of misconceptions on what the “best touch up paint” is. In fact, most companies order from 3 different manufacturers which are PPG, Sherwin Williams, and BASF. With each manufacturer there are 3 tiers of automotive touch up paint from which car touch up companies can buy from. You have low quality, medium, and high. From there each touch up company will have to choose which tier to use in their touch up paint.

A QUICK NOTE: The best touch up paint will be the paint that is mixed when you order and then shipped to your house. The best touch up paint can go bad within 6 months! When you see it sitting on shelves in stores, you’re getting very low quality with a lot of additives/preservatives that aren’t meant to be in car paint. You also can’t get a perfect color match, there are hundreds of thousands of colors and only 15 on the shelf. How could ever expect an even remotely close match? That’s why the best option is to buy touch up paint online.

What Touch Up Paint Businesses Buy To Create Their Paint:

The issue is that businesses, even ours, can buy any tier and call it whatever they want. So, you never know what the quality is until you get it home and put it on your car. The general rule of thumb in almost all cases of commerce is that you pay for what you get. Just because a product is high priced doesn’t automatically mean it’s the best touch up paint either. Luckily for our day-in-age we have something called reviews. Always check the price, if it’s less than 10 dollars most likely it’s too good to be true. If it’s extremely high compared to others, then you’ll want to check the reviews in more than one place or check YouTube to see the product in use.

Application Is Just As Important As The Paint You Buy:

What also needs to be understood about touch up paint is that companies can create very high-quality paint for you. But if it’s not applied correctly, or you skip over clear coat or even primer, then the results can vary. I’ve seen great car paint companies get horrible reviews because the user did not follow the instructions and blames the paint. It’s also extremely important to make sure you got the right color and understand that if your paint is badly faded, you will never get a good match. Even if the car touch up company you ordered from gets the EXACT PERFECT match to your car paint color from OEM specifications it will NOT match. And you can’t blame the company for that.

What do we strive for?

At ERA Paints, we are never the type of business to talk bad about others. There are a lot of great car paint companies out there, some that call themselves the best (almost all), and why would you not? If you don’t believe in your own product how can others believe in it?

The best option is to do what you were probably already doing, look at prices, check reviews and make your best educated guess. What we have said in articles before is something we learned from our fathers before us. There’s a story behind it.

“Dad, why are you spending a $100 (that was a lot for boots back then) dollars on your boots when we can barely afford rent?”
“Son, sometimes you have to buy nice, so you don’t buy twice”

You probably brushed it off and didn’t think too much of it. I was sad he couldn’t get me some more video games to play with. I didn’t realize the importance of what he said until 10 years later when I had a very rough blue-collar job. In 5 years at the job I went through 2 pairs of boots. I was trying to save money and buy cheaper boots for around $60. I ended up spending more money than he did 10 years later.

Of course, I want to go tell my dad about this and enjoy the story together. When I get to my parents’ house, I go to the back to find my dad clearing blackberry bushes. I look down at his boots and start smiling. My father still had his boots he bought 10 years ago. I tell him what my experience was, and he laughs at me and now were both smiling. I should have listened to him. Whether you’re looking for the best touch up paint or some other product, remember that it’s not always about price, but it can show the quality behind the product.

Why buy high quality paint?

Buy a high-quality touch up paint so you don’t have to keep retouching the same area multiple times and end up spending more money in the long run. Take the 10 minutes to learn how to properly apply the paint or you will have to keep retouching every year.

In the end, at ERA Paints we may have competitors that offer the same premium quality we offer. But we also separate ourselves through our customer service and no shipping costs with exact paint color matches. We offer help and guides to get the best results. We truly believe we have the best overall experience for the customer and were still getting better every day.

We’re small enough to care about each customer, but large enough to care of you in any aspect.