Hi Guys
With regard to the issue of Clear Coats, there are options you have, other than application of numerous coats to achieve a high gloss & DOI. application is critical in getting that showroom finish, if the first coat is not laid down correctly twenty coats won't improve it. Clearcoats telegraph so what's below will just be compounded by additional coats.

Basecoats also play an important role in how your clearcoat will lay down, a basecoat laid down very dry will suck in the clear when it is applied causeing a orange peel image to the clear, this is where a body shop will add extra coats to try and improve the image. Good DOI (distinction of image) can be achieved with one coat of clear, if applied properly. The best guidelines I can suggest here are:

1) Find out which products, the shop uses, cheap paint cheap finish guaranteed.

2) If your planning to go with a solid colour IE solid red , black , white. scrap the clear and go with a monocoat. Dupont Centauri line of monocoats are excellent products, they have superior Gloss & DOI, they also have a high solids level and viscous nature so when applied they will often heal some minor surface imperfections. Trust me on this one, I work for PPG

I wouldn't suggest my competitions product unless I thought it was Superior. I've used the Centauri line and have only praise for it.

3) Look for reference when choosing the place to have your car painted, 95 percent of the time there is never anything wrong with the paint , it's the way it was applied. I was talking to a guy one time about fogging (transitional shading by manipulation of the hand gun) I agreed to have him do my car, I went down to his shop looked at the jetta he was just finishing nd decided this guy aint touchen my car.

4) If you know the guy who is going to paint your car, or it's a friends shop. Talk to him about using  a 2K Clear Coat this is about as close to an OEM finish you can get, using an air dry product. the draw back here is that they require a 24 hour cure time at ambient temperature, or they can be cured  in a shorter time in an enclosure with a temperature of 140F. It for this reason that they are seldom used in refinish centers or body shops. I painted a friends jeep with this clearcoat last fall WWOE was he impressed.   he has the only Prowler Purple jeep I know of, and talk about wet look. :-)

Best thing to do when your talking to the guy about painting your car is arm yourself with a little technical lingo, this lets him know that your not going to settle for a so job.

Key Questions

a) What line of products he uses:

Dupont Excellent solid colours, Excellent monocoats.

BASF Don't know them very well in refinish but they make the highest gloss black I know of.

PPG Makes very good Metallic's & Mica coats & has a very good clear system,   They are numerous others but I believe these are the Major players in the refinish game, I work in an OEM environment so all the products I use are high solids baking elastomerics, nothing in refinish can ever  compare to a  bake finish. not our current technology anyways.

b) what flash times they use between basecoat and clearcoat, the longer the flashtime, the less chance of clearcoat soakin and the better overall appearance of the paint job. the bare minimum should be 20 minutes, at this point the solvents have just flashed and the basecoat is very soft, if the clearcoat is applied wet it will guarantee to soakin, The longer the flash the better.

c) ask them what film builds they target, an OEM finish usually has .8 - 1.0 mls of basecoat & 1.5mls clearcoat, at these builds you have a good margin of chip resistance and a good overall hiding and appearance.

I could go on & on about steps to achieving a good paint job, but I know  it already been written and on the net somewhere, if you have any specific questions regarding paint I'll be more than happy to answer them for you or point you in the direction of someone who can.

signing out.


<< Does anyone know of a good way to remove small nicks in the paint job of your car. When I bought my car there was a lot of rock damage to the front bumber and a little on the hood...nothing major, just a lot of white marks and discolorations, no real deep gashes or nothing. Is there a certain product anyone can recomend...I've tried a Turtle Wax polishing compound but it did little or no good. I'm getting kinda desperate now cause I really don't want to dish out the money for a new paint job. >>


Wash car - Serious wash job. Dry.

I usually use a matching bottle of enamal paint, I use a dremel to rough-up the nick, and a toothpick to add a good daub of paint. Let dry. You want the paint to do three things 1 match. 2 dry higher than the factory job. 3 stick.   Then use "scratch out" for clear coats and a buffer on the whole car. Dont use  other buffing compounds unless car is a total mess - too abrasive.  Use a good wax and a buffer. Looks like new. Almost.  By having the new paint dry "high" it wont collect wax residues - looks really bad  on a 127,000 mile black car. 91 Super black (still) 240SX