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  • Base coat-clear coat paint application requires only one coat of paint versus the multiple coats that high-solids paint requires, allowing for more capacity.
  • The drying time for base coat-clear coat paint is as little as 2 hours compared to the traditional 5 to 10 hours.
  • Base coat-clear coat paint is a lightweight finishing solution that increases fuel efficiency and cuts down operating costs.
  • Clear coat offers more durability, color retention and cleanability than direct-gloss application.
Base coat-clear coat paint application has been one of the preferred application methods of the automotive industry, but if applied to the aerospace field, it can offer some major benefits as well. This method only requires a single colored base coat versus the typical two to three color coats that other methods entail. Once dry, a glossy clear coat is applied for a smooth finish.


Determining the appropriate paint application for aircraft is a delicate balance of multiple factors. Many airlines require complex designs with multiple colors. The paint application has to meet the design specifications while keeping operational costs and ease of application in mind. In this article, we’ll look at base coat-clear coat technology as it applies to the following aerospace requirements:
  • Decrease Total Paint Mass
  • Reduce Maintenance Requirements
  • Accelerate Paint Application


Decrease Total Paint Mass

  • Fuel efficiency is one of the biggest concerns for airline operators, so every material used for the aircraft needs to be chosen with weight in mind, including paint.
  • Base coat-clear coat technology can reduce an aircraft’s paint mass by up to 15 to 35 percent.
  • According to a report by Boeing, airlines typically require intricate designs of up to 14 to 15 colors, presenting significant challenges in terms of keeping the paint mass relatively low.
Base coat clear coat paint applications can help resolve the issue that aircraft finishers face, by offering a more lightweight application that can be completed in a shorter amount of time. That means better fuel efficiency and more time up in the air. Furthermore, designs that feature darker colors can save up to 35 percent in paint mass. This is because lighter colors often require multiple coats. If weight reduction is your aircraft customer’s biggest concern, they may want to reconsider their color choices.

Reduce Downtime And Maintenance

Most airplanes are repainted every four years, says Boeing. The lengthy process of stripping and repainting can hold up an aircraft for days, and every day out of service is a loss in revenue for airlines. So just how much downtime can base coat-clear coat technology save?
  • Base coat-clear coat applications are far more durable than direct-gloss applications and can extend the life of a paint job for several years beyond the 4-year threshold.
  • The clear coat retains color longer, keeping it from fading as early as traditional methods do.
  • Clear coats offer easier cleanability, cutting downtime on regular maintenance washes.
  • Using fewer coats of paint reduces the amount of build-up over time that can hinder efficiency and require a longer stripping process down the road.

Faster Dry Times

Applying paint can be a time-consuming process in the production line. Base coat-clear coat technology can improve your capacity and lower your operational costs by providing faster drying times and fewer flaws. Here’s how it compares to its high-solids counterparts.
  • High-solids paint often takes 5 to 10 hours of dry time and multiple coats of paint, whereas base coat-clear coat application can usually get the job done with one coat in as little as 2 hours.
  • With base coat-clear coat technology you can apply the clear coat in as early as half an hour after painting the placards and logos.
  • Base coat-clear coat application gives you a flexible window of up to 5 days before the clear gloss coat needs to be applied.
Painting applications are only one component of a high-quality finish. It also takes a quality spray booth and effective processes to show your expert craftsmanship. Regardless of the painting application you choose for your aircraft, Spray Systems has the high-quality spray booths that will allow for the finest of finishes while providing ample efficiency to your production processes. Request a quote today!


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