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Clear Bra: The Defect Masking Effect


atlanta clear bra Detailed Designs Auto Spa

If you’re reading this now, there’s a good chance you are a fan of beautiful paintwork. For us at Detailed Designs Auto Spa, we strive to improve or perfect the surface condition of the paint by leveling the clear coat and removing swirl marks, hazing or other superficial surface defects. As professionals though, at times we find the best solution for clients may not be spending many hours correcting paint and working up a large bill. For us, it’s about good communication, understanding the real needs of our clients and educating them about their options.

Clear bra has proved to be an amazing technology that appeals to a broad range of automobile enthusiasts and average owners alike. But how does clear bra fit into the theme of good communication, understanding client’s needs and educating them about their options while discussing surface defects?

Wait…it does what?

Clear bra provides awesome rock chip and road debris protection, but it has another benefit too. Between the clear bra’s adhesive, protective middle layer and topcoat, it will mask many defects and provide a high level of gloss. What defects will clear bra mask? In our experience, swirl marks, minor oxidation and even some thin, but deep, scratches will practically disappear. What will it not mask? Clear coat failure (shredding, chipping or tearing clear coat) or rock chips you already have. Please view the image at the top of the page to get an idea of how a small piece of clear bra has an impressive impact on how surface swirls look.

There aren’t absolutes and what’s best for one may not be best for another!

Let’s say your new car has heavy swirl marks but you only plan to keep the car for a couple years before selling. You have the option to have full paint correction performed and then clear bra installed over the perfected paint. But does this really make sense? After all, your film should last you about 5 years and it will not be removed for inspection by the next owner. Do you want to pay for paint correction you won’t see? Some owners want the comfort of knowing the paint is in as good condition as is possible while having the protection clear bra provides. If the film is ever removed, they know the paint will be perfect. We’ve done more full correction and clear bra wraps than I can easily count, but for some owners, they aren’t as much interested in perfected paint as they are in a ‘here and now’ look along with protection that meets their needs.

It’s good to understand that unqualified clear bra installers may cause serious damage to paint during their prep work to install the clear bra as well. The clear bra film may look perfect after installation but once the film is removed in years, you may find you have an expensive repair job on your hands.

As a company that offers paint correction, detailing, coatings and clear bra, we are ethically obligated to educate our clients about how clear bra, paint correction and coating systems work together. This will mean that our clients aren’t spending more than needed to reach the results they are looking for and that the service is a good long term value.

Instead of only speaking about the subject, I wanted to provide a real-world example of how clear bra masks surface defects on paint. I hope you enjoy our video:

What do you think?

Is clear bra a quality option for owners who want beautiful paint and great protection but at the same time does not permanently repair surface defects?

Jean-Claude Corcoran
Jean-Claude Corcoran
Detailed Designs Auto Spa
Atlanta, GA

7 comments on Clear Bra: The Defect Masking Effect

  1. Sandra Groeschel says:

    I have special ordered a Porsche Panamera to be delivered next month. I aminterested inhaving the clear bra installed on the front end of the car. Is reading up on the benefits and it was suggesed to use a product 22PLE on the film to maintain the gloss and clarity of the bra. Are you familiar with this product and if so, do you recommend it?
    Thanks for your great was very helpful.

    • Jean-Claude says:


      While we do not personally use 22PLE, there are a number of fine detailers who do. Do your due diligence in terms of searching for the best installers. That is the biggest wildcard when it comes to being satisfied with the end results and the longterm ownership.

      If you’re near Atlanta, feel free to call us and I am happy to discuss some options with you. Otherwise, make sure to more or less interview your installers and discover if they are qualified to make your satisfied.

      Thanks for the kind words and I am glad I can help.

  2. Don Sturn says:

    Had one installed after poor results with fitted, stretch bra. Did a 6k vacation run thru Yellowstone and beyond to California under rain, sleet & hail conditions – not to mention some bad roadways. Not a scratch or blister.
    The clear bra is incredible – 4 other vette owners in my club also had them installed. The installer is as important as the product – it is a slow laborious process – my Corvette Grand Sport front end took a full 4 hours with two installers. Black cars take even longer but it is worth the time and price. Highly recommend.

  3. Drew says:

    A clear bra protective finish on you car will ensure that your cars paint job remains intact. It is certainly worth the price when it comes to how easily paint can chip. Thanks for the tips.

  4. KF says:

    Sorry to dig up old thread, starting to look into PPF for new arrival this Spring. Had no idea that it masks some defects.

    Came up when discussing with installer regarding full paint correction necessary on new car before PPF install. Interesting.

    Thoughts are to focus on the best partial disassembly PPF install and forgo full on paint correction and at first I was a bit skeptical. Not a $$ or budget concern but it sounds like full correction on new car before PPF may indeed be overkill and not necessary aside from ‘peace of mind’ aspect of knowing underlying paint has been corrected.

    Also, with the latest film having inherent hydrophobic and self-healing capabilities, coating over PPF may not bring much functional advantages either, but rather just maintain going forward with only a SiO2 booster such as Polish Angel Cosmic Spritz, Kamikaze Overcoat or similar.

    Do you have any thoughts on the benefits of coating over PPF vs letting the PPF do its job on own?

    I’m a big coating junkie but PPF is new to me…

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