FAQ – Automotive Paint

Q. What type of paint should I use to repaint my car?

A. In today’s standards Urethane Basecoat / Clear coat or Single stage urethane systems are by far superior than the older paint systems, i.e. lacquer and acrylic enamels. Today’s Urethanes are much more durable and hold their colors longer in the elements. Also, since most all cars manufactured after the 1990’s use the base/clear systems you will be able to get better match for repair / blending applications when using the same system.

Q. What does medium, slow and fast mean when ordering paint?

A. Those terms refer to the temperature where you are painting your car.
FAST: 55 degrees – 70 degrees
MEDIUM: 70 degrees – 85 degrees
SLOW: 85 degrees to 95 degrees
Anything over 95 degrees you should use a retarder.

Q. What primer do I use for bare metal?

A. Epoxy primers are the best for bare metal applications. They are the closest product that you can get to Factory E-coats. Epoxy primers give excellent protection from corrosion on properly prepared and cleaned metals. From there you can use your high build primer if you are going to block sand.

Q. Can I use brand X paint or clear with brand A additives?

A. No, that is never recommended. You can do your own testing to see if it works but is not recommended from the paint manufactures.

Q. Can I spray lacquer over Acrylic enamel or urethanes?

A. You can if the paint is sealed, but it is not recommend. A rule of thumb is lacquer can only be sprayed over lacquer.

Q. Can I clear over acrylic enamel?

A. It is possible, however not recommended, if you’re not familiar with acrylic enamels it will wrinkle up on you. It is better to use urethane base/clear system if you choose to clear coat your paint job.

Q. Can you mix old/vintage car colors for me?

A. Yes, we have the most extensive auto color library around. When we produce original colors, we do not use offsets (colors selected that appear similar but lack the proper appearance in sunlight). We have a complete lab stocked with the correct toners and metallics to make the COLORS OF YESTERDAY come alive today. Colors are reproduced in our lab using original formulas and standards authentic to the era. Each color is CERTIFIED by our LAB to be correct to the OEM standard.

Q. What is meant by a Three Stage Paint System?

A. A three stage paint system is usually a candy or pearl paint job. It is the same as a 2 stage, base clear system with an extra layer. A three stage system consists of a base color and “mid coat” which is your candy or pearl coat then clear coat.

Q. What is the FLASH time?

A. The flash time is the time you need to wait in-between coats to allow the solvents to escape. This is necessary to prevent problems in the solvent pops or pinholes in the finish.

Q. Can I paint over my existing finish?

A. Yes, as long as the paint is in decent condition. You will want to sand the existing finish with 220-320 grit sand paper and spray a sealer over the old paint, before top-coating. This will help prevent any negative reaction with the old paint, prevent any bleed through and give you a solid ground coat on which to build your color.

Q. How many coats of paint do I need to apply?

A. With color coats usually 2 to 3 coats depending on the color. And 3 to 4 coats of clear, 4 to 5 if you are planning on color sanding and buffing.