Clear coat is a clear layer of paint typically applied to protect the colored layer of paint beneath it from UV rays, rust and dirt. The clear coat can wear off with time, but there are some things that you can do to protect it.
Things that wear down the clear coat finish:
- Sun’s UV Rays - Keep your artwork out of the sun as much as possible. Over time, the powerful UV rays in direct sunlight can wear down the clear coat. To protect the clear coat and lengthen its lifespan, place your artwork shade whenever possible.
- Dust and Dirt - Dirt will quickly wear down your clear coat if left on your artwork, so removing the dirt frequently will protect the clear coat and lengthen its lifespan.
- Bird Droppings - Bird droppings are highly acidic and can erode the clear coat layer, if they are left on for a period of time. Rinse artwork off immediately with water from a hose.
- Salt - salt will corrode the clear coat on your artwork, rinse it off with a hose if it gets salty spray on it.
- Tree Sap - Tree sap can soak into the clear coat finish and damage it or it can attract dust and dirt, forcing it into the clear coat. Scrub sap off your artwork with water and a clean rag. It is best to avoid placing your art work under sap-filled trees.
Maintaining your Clear-Coat Finish
- Wash Artwork every 3-4 weeks - To remove dust and dirt that stick to the artwork’s clear coat. Use gentle soap/water mixture and a soft cloth to wipe down your art. Microfiber cloths are not recommended as they have negative environmental impacts. Rinse with water from a hose. Once you’ve washed the full surface, spray it with water from your hose. Do not use a spray nozzle on the end of your hose as it may damage the clear coat. Dry the paint with a soft cloth. Take 2 or 3 clean, dry cloths and rub them along the surfaces to remove water from the surface of the paint.
- Wax a Clear Coat Finish every 4-6 months in the late spring and the late fall using a wax made for clear coat finishes. Wax your artwork in the shade in moderate temperatures. Follow directions on the manufacture’s label. It is best to apply the wax shortly after you have washed your artwork.
- Apply a clear-coat protection product.Many automotive companies sell special clear-coat protection products that seal and protect your clear coat. Follow the directions printed on the bottle, and apply the clear-coat protection. You can purchase clear-coat protection products at any large automotive-supply store.
Photo courtesy of Pexels.