Clean paint gun in the workshop closeup photo

Pro Tip: Why Use a Separate Gun for Clear Coat?

Is there a benefit to using a separate gun for automotive clear coat? Is it true?  You have to buy multiple spray guns for applying different types of paint? Once you read below about the benefits of having a dedicated spray gun for clear coat, you’ll jump on the bandwagon…or not! 

Automotive Clear Coat and Dedicated Spray Guns 

Painters are in two camps.  In the first camp, they use one car spray gun with different nozzles to paint all their base, clears, enamels etc. Etc. cleaning out the gun after each use. 

In the second camp, painters are buying multiple guns.  One for base, one for clear and one for paints.  This mitigates the time and effort required to clean out the gun perfectly after each use. 


The ideal scenario is to have 3 spray guns, if it fits your budget. You should at least consider having a separate gun for automotive clear coat and one for base/solids/paints. This prevents paint/solids from getting into your clear coat and either messing up your paint job or clogging your sprayer.

Benefits of a Dedicated Spray Gun for Automotive Clear Coats 

Using a spray gun for clear coat only means that your gun never sees any metallics, colored paints etc.  It’s easier to clean and keep clean. 

Imagine spraying a nice metallic and then cleaning your gun thoroughly (or so you thought), then loading it up with clear.  You start spraying and randomly, some metallic that was somehow hiding in your gun comes out onto the clear.   

Like blue onto a white hood.  YIKES!  Now you’re back to square one wasting your time and effort to get your paint job back to beautiful.   

If you’ve got a dedicated gun for clear coats and a separate one for paints/solids, this never would have happened!   

With two guns you save yourself a ton of downtime between coats cleaning your gun: that’s just too time consuming for most pros. 

Drawbacks of Multiple Spray Guns 

Captain obvious says it’s the cost.  Instead of buying one gun for all coatings with multiple nozzles, your spending 2-3 times the cash on many guns. 

Folks that buy 1 gun will clean/rinse their gun out with thinner before moving onto laying down a clear coat.  Thoroughly cleaning does take more time and effort. 

Speaking from a more academic standpoint, some paints and clears just don’t mix.  A small amount of paint left in the gun by accident, if combined with clear, will make the paint coagulate (basically turn into a blob) and either clog your sprayer, or land right smack dab in the middle of your panel.  Not cool. 

Spray Guns for Clear Coat 

Each person and professional has their own personal recommendation for their favorite spray gun for clear coat. 

Every gun you can think of from the DeVilbiss GTI to the SataJet 5000. Whatever gets you your desired results is the best gun for clear. 

What is the Best Clear Coat Gun for Us? 

When looking to buy an automotive clear coat gun, there are certain things that you should absolutely have. Awesome results depend on not only your skill, but the quality of your gun and nozzles.  

You can always improve your skills, but your gun is your gun and cheap guns will give cheap looking results. 


Well there you have it.  Now, you have a choice to make.  Invest in 2-3 dedicated guns: one for automotive clear coat, one for base coat and one for paints. 

Or just grab one workhorse gun with 3 nozzles and clean like a maniac.  The choice is yours. 

Credit: Paint Spray Pro


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