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Shelf Life of Universal 4000 Clear Activator - Unopened

TWO

New Member
#1
I have a question regarding unopened activator. Found two quarts of unopened activator and a gallon of opened Universal clear. I had a lot of paint and clears of various manufacturers that have been sitting for quite a while. I was just going through it all and came across this SPI clear. Odd that I never used it since I have sprayed gallons of the best clear on the market (in my opinion) since then, the famous Universal 4000. It has been sitting in a climate controlled shop with a low temp of 55 and a high of 85. I had called tech to ask about shelf life, I thought the clear and activator were a couple years max. However, upon looking at the tags on the bottoms of the cans, I find they are nearly 5 years old! Would the unopened activator and opened clear possibly be good? Any way I can test other then spraying them out? I read Barry's comment from several years ago: "Best thing would be to open one and mix and see if gelled in 7-9 hours @70 or higher. Say a teaspoon of clear and activator." Would that still hold true for my case? Thanks!
 
#2
as long as the ratio is 1:1, you should have no probs testing it out. i personally would get a medicine cup and pour it out and then spread it thin on a pice of metal or plastic to see if it hardens. if u leave it in a cup it would be hard to tell if it fully hardens or not
 
#3
I have some UV clear that has been sitting about that long as well. Been saving it for that special car but now you got me thinking I better use it soon.
Maybe Barry or Andy could look it up in my order history? It may be longer than 6 years for all I know. Maybe it will be the ultimate test for shelf life? LOL
 

Barry

Paint Fanatic
Staff member
#4
The clear is fine, the activator unopened and stored at stable temp should be just fine.
Two notes here! before use give clear and activator two quick shakes in hand.
also, remember once activated you have 4-5 hours post life so shoot one coat on the test panel and in 15 minutes, you should be able to slide hand lightly over it if good start painting. 99% odds in your favor but we must protect against the 1% that would be a mess.
If the activator had been opened before, it would be very hit or miss if good.
 

Barry

Paint Fanatic
Staff member
#5
I have some UV clear that has been sitting about that long as well. Been saving it for that special car but now you got me thinking I better use it soon.
Maybe Barry or Andy could look it up in my order history? It may be longer than 6 years for all I know. Maybe it will be the ultimate test for shelf life? LOL
Bottom of the can is date made. say 01/12/12, all our cans are like this but some of the other things we print on a sticker.
 

EddieF

Top Banana
#8
Someone on here gave great storage chest tip. A cooler. I bought big one at home inprovement store, fits a couple gallons, few qts of activator, gallon of reducer, couple cans of base, mixing jars.
Darn near airtight cause you know it when you open lid. Keeps temps stable.
 

Barry

Paint Fanatic
Staff member
#9
Barry would it change anything if the clear was subject to temperature extremes? Especially cold temps?
The worst thing for the clear itself is condensation with a lot of temperature changes.
Activator opened or unopen the condensation can kill them fast.
 

TWO

New Member
#11
Forgot to update on how the clear sprayed. The 5 year old Universal Clear worked flawlessly! Barry, thank you for making such an outstanding product! Actually, all your products are outstanding! Attached are a couple of pics of a Sportster I sprayed with SPI black base and the 5 year old Universal Clear. Amazing depth and DOI, and SPI black is far and away the nicest black I ever used! The pics do not do it justice. They are after I had sprayed the parts, before buff. Did not even need to buff, that cleared layed flat. That barn in the reflection was about 40 feet behind me. You can actually count the boards in the barn easily. I put the parts out in the sun for a little baking. (Oh, those small speckles on the paint are literally dust from the parts sitting out all day.) Thanks again Barry!
 

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