Protecting painted horse shoes

19 Oct 2014
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United Kingdom
Some advice please.
Bit of a project, but I am painting horse shoes.
I'm cleaning them, scrubbing as much rust/dirt/grime off them as I can etc.
Then I'm using a primer, then 2 or so coats of coloured spray paint.
Now I want to find something to paint over the top, preferably clear, to protect the paint from any chips from knocks or drops.
I've tried a spray on lacquer, but that seems to leave a slightly soft surface which is stocking to things.
I was thinking maybe a varnish? If so what type should I search for. Or maybe that rust-oleum clear protective top coat?
Any suggestions or recommendations would be very appreciated.
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