Sunday, 24 April 2016

Clear Coat Finishes for Your Exterior and Interior Surfaces

A clear coat is the best way to protect a painted surface, and ensure that it retains its look for an extended period of time. It can be applied to almost any painted surface to enhance its life and look. A painting work done without applying a clear coat is an incomplete job.

Venetian Plaster is the only case in which a clear coat is not used. This is because the product, with its waxing and burnishing, has all the gloss it needs; it requires no additional protection. Listed below, for your benefit, are the basics of clear coats.

What is a clear coat?

A clear coat is a clear varnish, applied on top of a painted surface. It dries into a hard transparent shell that is invisible, and serves to protect the paint from damage and wear. The clear coat, when used on a faux finish can make it look richer and deeper. Any imperfection in the clear coat can affect the appearance of the paint finish.

Polyurethane varnishes

Polyurethane clear coats are tough and long lasting, but they have a significant drawback. They tend to develop a yellow or amber tinge over time that can change the look of the paint applied below. This type of clear coat is typically used for exterior surfaces, which are subject to harsh conditions; it is often applied over darker shades where any yellowing will not be noticeable.

Acrylic or water-based varnishes

Acrylic clear coats are water based; they are not as strong as polyurethane varnishes. However, they do not develop any tint with passage of time; so, the look of the paint under the clear coat remains unaffected. These are most commonly used indoors, and are especially good for light colors; any tinting of the varnish will change the shade of the painted surface.

Different sheen levels

Acrylic clear coats are available in various sheen levels. In general, satin and low luster sheens are the most popular. However, there is no reason why a higher gloss varnish cannot be applied, if that is the look desired.

The amount of sheen is a matter of personal taste: it does not affect the protection that the clear coat provides. If no shine is required, dead flat clear coats would be the choice.

The antique look

The idea of not having a shine may seem strange, but it is useful when a faux finish is required for an aged or old look. For example applying a dead flat clear coat to a wooden bar can give it an antique look.

The clear coat is an integral part of the painting process: if it is not done properly, the quality of the finish will be adversely affected. At the same time, even the best of clear coats cannot cover up any painting defects: it can only protect the paint that has been applied.

It is possible for you to paint and apply clear coats yourself, but the results will not be a good as those of the works of professionals. This is simply because the professionals have the experience and expertise to identify exactly what type of paint and which clear coat should be applied to a given surface; they know for sure that is what would get the kind of finish, the client wants.

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