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Learned by do'n twice
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
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3 Stage Paint: First timer Needs Advce

I'm hoping the pros can provide a little guidance/advice to a first timer applying 3 stage paint. I'm no professional painter but I've painted a dozen or so cars and dozens more panels over the past 20 years and EVENTUALLY, I get a pretty decent job.

I'm repairing a 2007 Lexus IS250 salvage car with a existing factory finish of 3 stage Glacier Frost Mica (code 074...kind of a pewter/very light silver color. I will be reshooting the fenders and front bumper cover after minor body work on them and a brand new factory hood. I intend to shoot them all off the car.

I've tried using an HVLP setup twice this year for other jobs ( 86 Porsche 944 total respray and Dodge something or other hood) with poor results and reverted to my old siphon guns with good results.

I've done a few nice urethane base/clear jobs with my siphon setup but know nothing about a 3 stage, base/mica/clear. My 2 local suppliers can provide either DuPont or Lessonal. Do I need a 4th "ground coat" to ensure even color between the hood and fenders?

Thanks for any advice/suggestions you can provide.

jmd_forest
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86 944 NA - Brought back from the dead

Last edited by jmd_forest; 01-15-2009 at 07:03 AM..
Old 01-15-2009, 07:00 AM
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If you spray for a living and are trying to match three stage you should understand the value in a test panel. The color is very sensitive to both base color and midcoat color. If one or the other is off the panels simply won't match. I would do a 4 x 4 grid over your ground/sealer coat (yes, seal and prime the panels), clear it and take the best matching base and mid (prob 3x2, 3x3 range) Easier than stripping and respraying your panels.
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Old 01-16-2009, 09:50 AM
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Thank you for your reply. Unfortunately, I don't understand your answer. I don't understand what you mean by a 4x4 grid or 3x2 or 3x3. Any details you could provide would be appreciated.

I do not paint for a living but I do understand that the 3 stage color matching is affected by both the ground/base coat as well as the mid coat.

I plan to reshoot both entire fenders, the entire hood, and the entire bumper cover. I'm expecting my matching issues to be the fenders to the doors and the 4 panels to each other.

My current plan is to apply primer-sealer to all 4 panels before finish shooting. The fenders and bumper cover have the original factory finish with some minor body work. The hood is brand new factory primer.

Any help would be appreciated.

jmd_forest
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Old 01-16-2009, 05:02 PM
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He means paint a small 4 inch by 4 inch square with the primer and all three coats of paint. After it is dry, see how well it matches up to what you want. So paint a few different test squares so you will hopefully find a good match. If i understand what he means...
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Old 01-16-2009, 06:44 PM
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I was thinking he might mean 4 coats base/4 coats mid, 3 coats base/3 coats mid, 3 coats base/2 coats mid.

Then see which matches up best

jmd_forest
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86 944 NA - Brought back from the dead

Last edited by jmd_forest; 01-17-2009 at 12:10 PM..
Old 01-17-2009, 06:01 AM
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Its always good to ask questions. My short answer has to be couldn't you prepare and respray the entire vehicle for best results.

Regards,
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Old 01-17-2009, 10:13 AM
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Prepping a whole car "correctly" (remove door handles, trim, rubber, door sills, wet sand, etc, etc, etc) is an enormous amount of work, especially for an amateur using only hand tools. The car is only 2 years old, 20K miles, and the rest of the paint is in beautiful factory condition. Also, I been quoted $600 just for the paint I'll need for the hood, fenders, and bumper cover.....I'd need to add at least another $600 to do the whole car.

Additionally, not being the best painter in the world, it just gives me more opportunity to screw up.

I realize that 3 stage paint is difficult for an amateur to apply well, I'm just looking for some guidance to help me along.

jmd_forest
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86 944 NA - Brought back from the dead

Last edited by jmd_forest; 01-17-2009 at 12:12 PM..
Old 01-17-2009, 12:09 PM
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For a good color match first you need to have hiding with your basecoat. More importantly is the film build of your mica coat. Literally a 1/10th of a mil can change the color. When these things came out in the early 90's, (production cars), they were a pain.
The suggestion to spray test panels is a good one. You can set your stroke, air, and fluid this way. Also find the right film build. The problem with these types of colors is you can have a perfect color match yet will appear off- color because of various angles. Face vs. flop.
Part of the problem with HVLP's is they really don't atomize like a conventional gun. And the factory didn't use them. They use various electrostatic equipment. Rotary atomizers, using centrifugal force for atomization, electrostatic guns on robots, etc. Again you could have the perfect color match but the mica orientation will not be the same.
Good luck to you.
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Old 01-18-2009, 04:30 AM
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In the case you haven't purchased the paint yet, may I ask why must you use that product? You know PPG paint is not inexpensive these days but its easily more than half that much.

Is the color match being perfect the most important issue? What does the owner want? With PPG you should be able to successfully match it as good as mentioned above. Forget this stuff - this is easy- post pic of your Pcar
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Old 01-18-2009, 10:01 AM
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Thanks for the suggestions. So....what does the owner want. Wait a sec and I'll ask.....Self, what do you want for this car? Self answers, " a good enough job so it is not obvious the car was wrecked" Doesn't need to be perfect, but I'll have $15K tied up in the car and I'd like it to look nice.

Why am I using Dupont or Lessonal? This is what I can get from my 2 local suppliers. I can find no local PPG supplier in Southern NJ and PPG sellers refuse to ship. I'd drive an hour to get PPG but simply can't find a supplier

Pics of my son's Pcar (We bought it as a project car in 2006 for $500 when he turned 16 and spent a year of weekends refurbing the car to daily driver shape for his first car. He's been driving it since around May, a month after this picture was taken, and all is well so far)





jmd_forest
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86 944 NA - Brought back from the dead

Last edited by jmd_forest; 01-18-2009 at 02:59 PM..
Old 01-18-2009, 02:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmd_forest View Post
I was thinking he might mean 4 coats base/4 coats mid, 3 coats base/3 coats mid, 3 coats base/2 coats mid.

Then see which matches up best

jmd_forest
yes exactly. 2 base 2 mid, 2 base 3 mid, 3 base 2 mid, 3 base 3 mid, 3base 4 mid, 4 base 2 mid, 4 base 3 mid, etc. Be sure to compare your colors in really good light, sun preferred. Differences are subltle but more noticeable in bright light.
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Old 01-18-2009, 08:49 PM
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Thank you so much, finally some advice that I can use! So, a couple more questions....

I understand base/mid/clear but the Dupont vendor is also pushing a "ground coat" for use prior to the base coat. Wouldn't a good primer/sealer in similar shade to the base coat do the same thing?

What is the mid coat... base with pearl or clear with pearl or something entirely different?

Any other secrets of 3 stage you guys can divulge? I don't expect to get it perfect but I am looking for a decent job.

Thanks for the help.

jmd_forest
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Old 01-19-2009, 07:31 AM
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Cool. I used to use Dupont products and the vendors would only sell PPG or other brands. Good to hear about Dupont products. Not good to hear about all the complexities.

I too used to be Dupont diehard. Guess it is like when a new model (901 over the 356 996 over the 911) comes out old model seems preferred.

You did awesome job with the red. Silver is the most (add in there light blue or greens if you will) tricky laying down the metallics the way YOU want them to lay. The color on a silver is at best difficult to match perfect. If you lay it wet on the top coats it lays flatter and a lighter hue results. To me that is the preferred hue. If you lay it down with a little more dry application it will as you know be darker.

Let me say, if I wanted it to look like new, like it has not been partly sprayed (read, "wrecked"), I would find a base coat clear coat product costing about 400-500 in materials. spray the whole car and clear the whole car. This would provide better than new gloss and perfect match with minimal buffing.

Your Dupont salesman has guys (ok collosion guys) who spray inside of downdraft heated booths. If you are using one of those booths you can get the light you want to get the 3 stage stuff to lay the way you want. With your level of attention and experience, if you are unable to use one of those booths you may still have an awesome result.

So you are not convinced you still want to do a blend with what ever product you know you can accomplish your color match. Let me say then that the light you work in will be your most important variable to control. Partial repair guys will chime in. The preparation of the adjacent panels is as important. Perfect buff on the finish not being resprayed. Blend with rubbing compound. Spray new paint onto adjacent panels to accomplish best match. Area to clear includes adjacent panels. The result can be good. Whatever your challenge is with a project, once you complete it, many obstacles originally thought were in your way are infact non issues.
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Old 01-19-2009, 09:11 AM
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Found a local PPG supplier! Going today to buy paint. Maybe paint over the weekend, but probably next week.

jmd_forest
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Old 01-23-2009, 08:20 AM
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Paint

I feel that the best choice has been missed. Find the OEM supplier of the paint and get a factory pack that will give you the best chance as it will have the same type of flake in both the base and the mid coat. Do some test squares to dial it in.

Steve
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Old 01-25-2009, 07:27 PM
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Had nice warm weather yesterday so tried to shoot the parts. For some reason, a spot about the size of a dollar bill crazed on the bumper cover after the 1st coat of base coat and I swiped the right fender with the air hose. I shut down at that point to allow everything to dry and get ready for wet sanding and then reapply base coat. Stupid beginner mistakes. However, this is the first time I've painted with PPG and I must say it does go on easier than anything else I remember.

Today is wet sand all components and spot prime the bumper cover and fender. Wednesday is supposed to be 60 degrees so I'm planning to finish up then. I'll post pictures when done.

jmd_forest
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Old 02-09-2009, 06:30 AM
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Long post with a question at the end

Things only get worse. Sanded out the crazed area of the bumper cover and the air hose swipe on the DS fender and spot primed both with a couple coats of 2K primer. Wet sanded all 4 pieces (again) Tuesday. Yesterday, I started shooting the base coat and the bumper cover crazed in several large areas (not where it crazed the first time) and the DS fender crazed in 2 small areas.

I'VE HAD IT WITH THIS BS!

The only thing I can think of is I did not clean off the pieces well enough before starting. I wiped them down with acetone and use a liquid dish detergent when wet sanding. But...the PS side fender came out absolutely perfect, as did the hood (but the hood was a new unit in factory primer when I started).

To begin to fix this latest SNAFU, I chemically stripped the DS fender late yesterday and shot it with 2 coats of epoxy primer this morning. Plus, I ordered a new bumper cover since I don't think I can actually strip the cover well enough with all the nooks and crannies it has.

Looks like I'll spot glaze and wet sand the DS fender, wet sand the new bumper cover when it comes in, and shoot both with 2K primer and then wet sand all 4 pieces AGAIN before applying base coat, mid coat, and clear.

Since the PS fender and hood are perfect, does anyone know if I can simply wet sand them and then start with the mid coat or do I have to give them another coat of the base before moving to the mid coat?

Thanks for the help.

jmd_forest
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Old 02-12-2009, 11:24 AM
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