How Long Between Clear Coats


When it comes to nail designs, one of the most important things is how long you leave between coats. The longer you can wait before doing a new design, the more creative opportunities you give yourself!

By having a few days or weeks in between treatments, you allow your natural growth processes to take place. New nails grow at a steady pace, so by leaving some time apart you let the nail go through its natural process.

This article will talk about the benefits of frequent coat changes and tips for staying organized with your nail art. We will also discuss when it’s okay to take a break and what colors look best when done frequently.

Right length

how long between clear coats

The second clearcoat is your best friend! This layer of protective coating comes after the first basecoat and can be anything from the same material, new paint, or a different style and color of coat.

The key factor when choosing how long to leave between coats is that you have to wait at least an equal amount of time before applying the next layer. You do not want to put too much coverage with the second coat because it would take longer for this layer to dry and protect the surface.

Too many layers may also cause negative effects such as water spots due to wetting of the surface. Also, if the second coat is very thick, it may not fully cure which could result in poor adhesion. Make sure there are no restrictions on what you can apply your second coat onto!

What about humidity?

Since clearcoats are usually one solid piece, they cannot breathe so make sure to apply yours in a well-ventilated area. If possible, let the painted part air-dry until it is completely dry before moving on to the next step.

Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions

how long between clear coats

It is very important to know how long you have before your next coat! The length of time between coats depends on the type of paint you are laying down as well as the surface you are painting.

As mentioned earlier, we always recommend letting the first coat dry for at least one minute before applying the second coat. This way, the two layers can really set up properly and bond together. If you rush this step, it may affect the final look and quality of the finished product.

With oil paints, especially water-based oils like acrylics, there is an additional setting process that must be done. As the painted layer dries, the liquid content leaves pores in the coating which then need to close or seal off. This is what allows the next color to stick to the old layer and not peel away like a thin film would.

The time depends on the type of paint

how long between clear coats

For example, if your painting project is to give your house a new coat of primer and then some colors for the walls, that would be considered one clear coat!

If you are doing an entire room design or mural-style painting, that would also count as one clear coat.

But what about when people say they painted their bedroom a certain color and it took 30 minutes? That’s two coats! They mean it takes twice as long because you have to let each layer dry completely before applying the next one.

Some paints require more than one clear coat

how long between clear coats

Not all types of paint are two coats– some materials go through drying processes that only need one. This is because they are already completed in their chemical composition when they come out of the manufacturing process.

Some examples of this include latex or gel based paints like those used to make automotive body panels, furniture upholstery, and bedroom interior covers. A second clearcoat can cause the material to peel, chip, or crack.

This isn’t too big an issue if you are careful with your painting project, but it will reduce the overall durability of your painted item.

There’s a science to it

how long between clear coats

When it comes down to it, how long you need between coats depends on two things: how thick your new coat is and what kind of hair you have.

With color-treated hairs, our best advice is to give yourself a good amount of time to let your newly painted locks dry before applying another layer. This way you don’t risk rubbing off too many of the first coat!

For thin layers like powdery colors, we recommend waiting one week because that’s enough time for all the paint to fully set. And speaking of setting, solid colors require only an overnight wait to feel stable.

Slightly thicker coverage takes slightly longer. The trick is finding a comfortable length of time for each type of hair and skin tone. – Bess Erickson, Product Architect at Revlon ColorStay Systems

I agree with this article completely! For people with very tight curls or even straight hair, letting their new hairdo air dry may be the better option as there isn’t much opportunity for the coating to be rubbed off onto other areas.

Clear coat finishes are not always better

how long between clear coats

There is an argument that says clear coats cost more than regular protective layers and therefore, you pay more for the same coverage. This seems like a solid reason to avoid using clear coats as your top coating!

However, there are some great brands of clear nail polish that are much cheaper than other professional quality products. Some companies market their product as being durable or long lasting, which may appeal to people who value longevity over perfection every few days.

Overall, it really depends on what you want from your nails. If you love the way a perfect clear coat looks and wants to keep doing that, then use one once in a while! Or if you are just looking to save a little money, go for it! It is totally worth trying out a couple of colors before deciding if they are okay for you or not.

You should try to reduce the time between coats

how long between clear coats

It is your best chance to see real results! This article will tell you why, and some strategies for doing so. Most professional nail artists limit themselves to one coat of gel per buffed natural nail.

That’s only one layer of gel coverage! Many choose to do just that due to this reason. Gel does not dry very well, and it can easily be picked up or spread in the process of taking a new coat.

By limiting yourself to just one gel coat, you are sacrificing the potential benefits of the product. The gel needs to fully dry before the next step, which is painting the nails.

If you have a lot of projects ahead, then waiting until later may make sense. But if you are trying to get into nail art as a beginner, you might want to invest in longer lasting gels such as flocked or sequenced designs.

Clear coats slow down the process

how long between clear coats

Another important factor in clear coat durability is how long your paint job needs to sit between clear coats. Technically, you can always re-coat!

Most professional automotive painting professionals will go for one full year before applying another clear coat. This helps ensure that there are no poor quality or thinned out layers of protective coating.

By waiting at least this long, you save yourself some money and you get better results! Most manufacturers recommend two to three months break time before applying the next layer.

But we would highly suggest investing in more durable clear coats if possible! Many brands have oxynitride coated paints which help prevent chipping and flaking.

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