Top 7 Cerakote Clear Coat Problems And Their Solution!

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Ceramic coating provides phenomenal long-lasting protection from contamination and UV rays along with a fantastic glossy look. Cerakote Clear Coat is one of the most popular brands in the market when you think of ceramic coating. Nevertheless, this particular coating brand can sometimes be difficult to work with.

So, what are Cerakote Clear Coat problems

Cerakote Clear Coat can get separated from the surface layer which looks like peeling. You need to repair it and use wax for added protection. The coating often appears to have bubbles or air pockets underneath. Flaking and delamination may occur as well. Cleaning the surface before a single wet coat can resolve these issues. 

Only knowing the problems is not enough to get over the situation. Therefore, keep reading to find out the solutions and reasons for every problem.

Cerakote Clear Coat Problems, Reasons, And Solutions

Cerakote Clear Coat is a ceramic clear coat designed to protect against external paint damage, corrosion, and other abrasions. Also, it provides a fantastic glossy look. Cerakote clear coat provides a high-quality protective coating that can withstand harsh environments and heavy use. 

Additionally, it protects automotive parts from wear and tear. Cerakote Clear Coat also encounters some problems, just like any other Ceramic Clear Coat. Let’s list below the problems that Cerakote users face along with their causes and solutions. 

Problems Reasons Solutions 
Coating gets separatedSunlight exposureHarsh chemical use RepairAvoid aggressive solvents 
Bubbles and crackingHeavy coatingSingle wet coat
Flaking appearancePresence of oil, grease on the application surfacePerfectly clean the surface before usage
Highly glossy despite low usageManufacturing issuesOpt for other products
Thin consistencyManufacturing issuesFollow proper applying procedures or, use different brand
No safety instructions providedBrand’s unawarenessVisit official website

Let’s discuss the common problems in a detailed manner now along with the reason and solution. You will be able to resolve the issues with the help of the solution provided below. 

Problem 1: Get Separated

The first big issue that can happen to your Cerakote Clear Coat is getting separated from the surface layer. This happened to many users. It could be due to a variety of factors.

Cerakote Clear Coat

The primary culprit of paint separation is the sun’s ultraviolet rays. It slowly degrades the outer layer of paint protection. The solar radiation of these UV waves is invisible to our eyes, but they can burn the coating white and rough over time.

Also, if you apply the clear coat in a place where the whole thing is getting extreme sun exposure, it can have a chemical reaction. That reaction can be responsible for separating the clear coat from the surface. 

A secondary reason is having a chemical reaction. For Example, strong solvents, acids, or alkalis can react with the clear coat and weaken its adhesion to the paint surface when exposed to harsh chemicals. It can potentially take off the clear coat.

Solution: Repair the Clear Coat 

Regular waxing can add protection layers. But once the peeling starts happening, repairing is the feasible solution. So follow the steps below.

  • First, clean the surface with a degreaser to remove any remaining wax. With a good car-wash soap, clean the entire body panel. Degreaser residue and foreign contaminants that could tarnish the clear coat can be removed this way.
  • Using painter’s tape, mask out the damaged area about 1 inch outside.
  • Sand down the rough coating with 800-grit sandpaper. Use isopropyl alcohol and a microfiber cloth to clean any residue left by sanding.
  • Apply a single layer of Cerakote coating, following the section of our application guideline discussed at the end.
  • Wait a few minutes, then pull the tape off slowly, at an angle away from the repair. 
  • To blend the new clear with the older clear coat, wet sand with soap, and grind down the repair’s border with 2,000-grit sandpaper once the fix has fully cured.
  •  Rub with rubbing compound, then polish with a high-quality polisher. Slowly rotate the wheel from new clear to old clear using light pressure.

After a few weeks of the repair job, use a light wax for added protection and longevity. Also, don’t use strong solvents on the coated surface for cleaning. Always takes help from the experts for applying the clear coat properly.

Problem 2: Bubbled and Cracking

Cerakote Clear Coat get bubbled and cracked quite often. In this kind of situation, the Clear Coat layer appears to have air pockets or bubbles underneath it. That eventually leads to cracks in the clear coat layer.

Bubbled and Cracking

The most obvious reason could be applying Cerakote Clear Coat too heavily. Also, excessive humidity and heat can cause bumps when spraying. In fact, if you’re applying Metallic colors, you are going to get more bubbles and cracks.

If the clear coat is applied over a dirty, wet, or contaminated surface, bubbles can form. The clear coat will not adhere properly to the surface because of this, and air pockets or bubbles will form.

Solution: Apply a Thin Layer

If you don’t want to get your clear coat bubbled up and cracked, stay away from applying a thick coat. If you think applying a heavy coat will do a perfect job, it’s wrong. Rather, it is enough to destroy the whole process. 

So, make sure to apply a thin layer on the surface. The company’s official application guide recommends a 0.8-tip HVLP spray gun. A small tip ensures a thin layer of the material being applied.

Also, you should not do the clear coating procedures under the sun. The Cerakote Clear Coat will eventually remain intact if the car is kept in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight.

Problem 3: Flaking

Cerakote Clear Coat also gets flaking quite often. Whenever a clear coat flakes and delaminates, it means it is separating from the base coat or the layers beneath it. It can result in visible cracks or flakes in the clear coat, which can be unsightly and compromise its protective properties.

Reason 1: Dirty Surface 

Flaking can happen if you don’t clean the oil, grease, dirt, and excessive moisture from the surface before applying the Cerakote. 

Solution: Prepare the Surface Before Clear Coat Application

Always you need to make sure to clean the oil, grease, dirt, and all kinds of contamination before applying the Cerakote clear coat. It will reduce the chances of getting flaked off the Clearcoat. 

The company recommends using TBAc (tert-butyl acetate) for cleaning the surface of polished metals. Alcohols, MEK, and other organic solvents that contain moisture should be avoided. You should know ceramic coating aftercare and maintenance for future-proof durability

Reason 2: Thick Ceracoat Layer

A poor sand-blasted profile may also occur if Cerakote is applied too thick, Because, it has pushed past its thermal stability. 

Solution: Apply a Thin Layer

The solution is obvious. You should always apply a thin layer to get rid of the flaking issue. A single coat is recommended for a 0.50 to 0.75 mil dry thickness.

Apply a Thin Layer

Problem 4: Highly Glossy Despite Low Usage

Cerakote Clear Coat also comes with some manufacturing faults. Some users complain Cerakote Clear Coat appears too glossy even after applying a small amount. An advanced reflective additive or filler is often used to enhance the appearance of the coating.

Cerakote Clear Coat could incorporate such additives or fillers to create a finish that appears highly glossy despite its actual low gloss level.

In fact, the glossiness of a clear coat is determined by a number of factors, including the binder type and quality. Some binders are naturally more glossy than others, Cerakote is formulated with extra glossy binders that make it a high gloss. Unfortunately, the official SDS document doesn’t specifically state the exact chemicals used in the making.

Solution: Choose Alternatives with Less Amount of Binder

You can buy Clear Coat with less binder and fewer additives responsible for making it less glossy. 

Here, I am providing you with some amazing alternatives which are going to give a flat dead finish. Not everyone is a gloss freak, so let’s find out about them. 

Sherwin Williams Finish 1 Ultimate Overall Clear Coat SHERWIN WILLIAMS Finish 1 Ultimate Overall Clearcoat, FC720, 1GAL with Hardener
Speedokote SMR-130SpeedoKote SMR-130 75-K-M - Automotive Clear Coat Fast Dry 2K Urethane
KBS Coatings 8304 DiamondFinish Clear Coat KBS Coatings DiamondFinish Clear Coat

Problem 5: Thin Consistency

Some users also complain about the consistency of Cerakote Clear Coat. According to them, it’s too thin and one layer is not enough to bring protection. If a clear coat is too thin, it is less likely to protect the underlying surface and may wear or fade more rapidly.

Maybe the solid properties inside the Cerakote Clear Coat are too low. Also, if the clear coat is mixed with too much solvent during the application, it can cause the clear coat to be too thin.  


Check our application guidelines discussed in the next section for proper procedure steps. Also, if you want to have a thick consistent Clear Coat you can try some other products suggested earlier. 

Problem 6: No Safety Instructions Provided

Another big issue users have experienced is that there are no safety recommendations that have been provided with the product. 

Whether it requires the reducer or not and how much you need to add, there are no guidelines. So, users pointed out it as a serious and irritating issue.   


The manufacturers should have provided proper instructions for everything. The mixing ratio with the reducer and applying method should be provided with the product. To obtain the proper information, you need to visit their official website.   

Cerakote Clear Coat Application Guidelines

Most of the issues people face are because of their ignorance as they do not know exactly what to do or miss the details. So, you may not know the dos and don’ts of applying Cerakote Clear Coat for a perfect result. Let’s see some proper application guidelines that won’t cause you any unnecessary hassle. 

  • First you should disassemble the coating item fully. It is possible to ruin the finish if pins or parts remain in it.
  • Always make sure to remove the dirt and other contamination before applying since it can cause substrate.  You should avoid any solvent that contains Acetone or denatured Alcohol for the car surface.
  • You need to hang parts with hooks to make sure the application access is smooth enough.
  • Don’t thin the spray. Shake the container and pass the fluid through a 325 mesh filter into an HVLP spray gun (e.g. IWATA LPH-80)
  • A single wet coat will provide the surface with 0.50-0.75 mil thickness of the protective layer.
  • You should allow the coating to dry in the air. Check the following data for a better understanding.
    Cure schedule:
    Tack-free in 45 – 60 minutes
    Dry after 24 hours
    100% cure after 5 days
  • Always work in a well-ventilated area while wearing proper safety gear. After everything is done, clean the tools with tert-butyl acetate or acetone.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

How to apply Cerakote Clear Coat?

1. Ensure that the surface to be coated is clean, dry, and free of contaminants such as oil, grease, and dirt. 
2. Then, prepare the coat and fill it with a spray gun. 
3. Apply the coating in thin, even coats, using a back-and-forth or circular motion. 
4. Finally, allow the clear coat to cure according to the manufacturer’s instructions

What causes dry spray with Cerakote?

The way you spray the Cerakote can also affect the outcome. If you’re spraying too far away or too close to the surface, it can cause dry spray. You should also ensure that the air pressure, nozzle size, and distance from the surface are all correct. If the Cerakote components are not mixed correctly, it can cause a dry spray. 

How permanent is Cerakote?

Cerakote is actually permanent, it endures for a long time. However, reversing it is so easy. The Cerakote coating is considered a permanent coating, meaning it will last for many years and provide superior protection for the surface. This product is designed to withstand extreme temperatures, UV radiation, and moisture without chipping, cracking, or peeling.


Hopefully, you’ve come to know Cerakote Clear Coat problems with reasons and solutions through this article. 

Most of the problems are easily fixable which you can do just by going through the article. On the other hand, some silly issues haven’t been considered by the brand itself which can destroy the whole painting. Hence, solving the issue properly requires the company to address them.

Best wishes!

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I am a professional automotive and car mechanic. I have been in the industry for 15+ years. At the moment I have 3 garages. Every day dozens of cars come to our repair shops that are damaged in a very short period of time. The main reason for this is not taking a proper care of the car.

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