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Thread: How clear is 'ClearCoat'?

  1. #1
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    Default How clear is 'ClearCoat'?

    This is sort of paint related and sort of off the wall but I have a question and thought this might be the place to get an accurate answer.
    I have a large kerosene lamp shade that I have polished the underside/reflective side to project as much light from the wick as possible. But I want the underside surface to NOT tarnish as it is a real chore to disassemble the lamp to get at it. So I want to coat it with something that is as close to glass clear as possible. Regular lacquer almost always leaves a 'dulling' finish that is not visible on wood but would not be desirable here. I got to wondering if automotive 'clear coat' would be better but only if it is truly 'clear' (like glass).
    So, that's my question: Is 'clear coat' truly transparently clear? If so, is there a particular brand that is best or is any suitable?
    There is a TCP dealer pretty close; are they a good source? This would be a one shot application so I'm going to brush it on (don't have a spray system).
    Would appreciate any comments/suggestions/replies.
    Thanks so much.
    Jim Bigger

  2. #2
    Veteran Painter chopolds's Avatar

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    Automotive clears are pretty clear. You can see the bottom of a quart or even a gallon can. Not like varnishes for wood that are tinted amber. The problems you'll face are
    1. getting the clear to stick to your shade. What is it made of? Most clears are not designed to go onto a surface without a primer/paint base. A polyurethane like Imron will do the job, even on polished metal. Any clear ( like Diamond Clear from KBS Coatings) made for preserving aluminum, or mag wheels will stick, too.
    2. getting a decent finish with a brush. Automotive clears aren't made to be put on like that, so they don't flow out as good as paints that are. There used to be a 'brushing additive' Dupont made for enamels like Centari, but I don't know if it's available any more, and if it will work with other type paints.
    I think a wheel paint would be your best bet, as they are available in spray cans, as is Diamond Clear.

  3. #3
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    Just some feedback about the 'clear'. After some other feedback, I tried KBS DiamondFinish Clear. Although it has some stringent rules, I used a small foam brush and applied two coats to the polished brass underside of the lampshade; one coat per day. I could not see any signs of dulling from the coatings, just the same bright polished surface - so I would say it was a 'win'.
    Thanks for all the insight and comments.
    Jim Bigger

  4. #4

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    Heard good comments about KBS DiamongFinish as well, I might give it a try as well.

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