Clear Coat for Water-Based Paint and Coatings

Clear Coat for Water-Based Paint and Coatings

Recently a customer contacted us asking if there was a way to make the latex paint he had just applied to his kitchen trim more durable. He said he wanted to protect high wear areas from getting scratched or worn through. We told him yes, DiamondFinish Clear is incredible for protecting latex and as a clear coat for water-based paint and coatings of other types.

What are Water-Based Paint and Coatings?

Water-based coatings are any surface coating or finish that uses water as a solvent. Their formulations could include as much as 80% water with small amounts of other solvents.

Water-based paints and coatings are increasing in popularity, mainly due to regulations regarding volatile organic compounds, otherwise known as VOC’s, which are emitted as gases from certain solids or liquids. Water-based paints or coatings tend to have lower VOC’s.

Water-Based Paints and Coatings Include:

  • Latex paint
  • Water-based acrylic finishes
  • Water-based urethane finishes

Advantages of Water-Based Coatings

  • Brushes can be cleaned in water
  • Low odor as compared to oil or solvent based coatings
  • Lower VOC's.

Disadvantages of Water-Based Coatings

  • Water-based is vulnerable to chipping
  • Slow cure time. Can take up to two weeks to fully cure.
  • Lower level of shine
  • Water based polyurethane may require more cleaning and recoating to maintain its appearance over time

Using Clear Coat for Water-Based Paint and Coatings

Now we get back to our customer’s question about increasing the durability of latex paint. Clear coat can be applied to water-based paints and coatings to provide a layer of durability and can also be a solution for the other issues water-based paints and coatings face.

Latex Paint Clear Coat

Increasing Durability of Water-Based Coatings with Clear Coat

Solvent based clear coat provides a hard, clear, protective layer that adds a level of impact resistance, durability, and abrasion resistance to water-based coatings. Helping to avoid chips and wear damage and keeping the paint or coating from peeling. Professional painters often choose to top coat latex paint and other painted surfaces with a clear coat for water-based paint to protect them from scratches and scuffs. Solvent based clear coat can also protect the base coat from damage caused by harsh chemicals and other contaminants.

Using Clear Coat to Adjust the Sheen of Water-Based Coatings

As previously mentioned, the sheen of water-based coatings can be a little dull compared to other types of coatings. Top coating with a high-gloss clear coat adds a higher level of shine. Consider modern automotive finishes that have an acrylic polyurethane enamel base that dries to a dull, satin finish. Here the use of a glossy clear coat for water-based paint is necessary to get a shiny finish. Alternately, a clear coat with a satin finish can be used to bring down the level of shine of water-based coatings. An added benefit is that a clear coat gives the base coat color more depth and the finish a rich appearance.

DiamondFinish Clear is an Ideal Clear Coat for Water-Based Paint and Coatings

DiamondFinish Clear is used to seal, protect, and beautify your fully cured water-based paint and coatings. DiamondFinish Clear is an easy to use solvent-based, single part, moisture cured formula performs in the toughest environments. The clear coat is available in aerosol spray, or in cans for application with a brush, roller, or spray equipment.

Crystal Clear

DiamondFinish Clear is crystal clear and is offered in high gloss and satin finishes. DiamondFinish Clear has a beautiful sheen as applied, but can also be wet sanded, cut, buffed, and polished to create a deep mirror finish as desired.


The main resin in DiamondFinish Clear is an adhesive for strong bonding, and the clear coat uses KBS’ Advanced Cross-Linked Coatings Technology to make DiamondFinish Clear both durable and flexible. This allows DiamondFinish Clear to perform great as a clear coat for water-based paint and coatings by remaining strongly adhered and having the ability to take impacts without cracking, chipping, or peeling. The hardness of the clearcoat makes it highly resistant to scratches and scuffing, which helps to maintain a glossy appearance.

UV Stable

DiamondFinish Clear is UV stable, so it can be used as a clear coat for uv stable exterior grade water-based paint and coatings that are exposed to sunlight without chalking, yellowing, or fading.

Self Leveling

DiamondFinish Clear is self-leveling. So, it flows out to smooth uniform finish that doesn’t show brush marks. Many consider DiamondFinish Clear to be clear liquid clear coat, but much more durable than a clear powdercoat.

Resistant to Chemicals

DiamondFinish Clear can withstand harsh chemicals like fuels, solvents, battery acid, brake fluid, ethanol, methanol, MEK, hydrochloric acid, fertilizers, and acetone.

Latex Paint Clear Coat

Tips for Applying DiamondFinish Clear as a Clear Coat for Water-Based Paint and Coatings

  • Be sure the water-base paint or coating is fully cured before applying DiamondFinish Clear. Otherwise, it can start to crack underneath the clear coat.
  • Thoroughly remove all dirt, grease, and other contaminants from the surface with a cleaner like KBS Klean that doesn’t leave residue.
  • Scuff with 600-1200 grit sandpaper and repeat the cleaning process.
  • Rinse and allow to dry thoroughly.
  • Detailed instructions can be found here.

DiamondFinish Clear works great as a clear coat for water-based paint and coatings, as well as other for surfaces and materials. Now you can have an incredible look and durable finish that will lasts a lifetime.