Paint Faqs


New Member
5+ Year Member
I have been Certified by PPG, AutoColor, and Spies Hecker. paint co, We are all ASE certified, and i have over 800 hrs of ICAR training with a Gold certificate, the highest a single person can achieve
When you go to a shop ask if the shop is a ICAR Platinum Certified shop, if it is, that means every employee is a Gold ICAR Technician.

I work in a collision shop, and have painted more cars and show cars than can any longer be counted

Q) What color is my Car...?

A) If you open your driver's door and look to the right on the center post or *B* Pillar you will see your vehicle's color code...
oyu'll also need your 11th digit of your vin to tell where your car was painted, for the correct alternate.

Alternates are different shades of the same color. As 1 color may have up to 10 different alternates, meaning a color could be greener, darker, coarser, redder, have a lighter flop, etc.

Q) How much paint will i need to paint my car?

A) Every color has different appaerent covering millage. and every Paint Brand brand does as well..
Rule of thumb is more expensive the paint the better it will cover with less coats.. "most the time".. Their are paints like House of Kolor, it would take around 3 gallons of reduced paint to covere our car.. if you have extra pieces such as body kits.. it will take even more.
But for exterior parts only not including the jams, a paint such as spies hecker, autocolor, ppg deltron, ppg global will paint it with a reduced gallon. a paint like ppg shopline, will need about 1.5 reduced gallon of paint to cover.

Q) What's the difference between a Two-Stage and Single Stage Paint Job..?

A) A Single stage paint Job is one of the best in duribility and flexibilty.
It's easier to buff out gouges not just scratches. Because it will shine back up even if their is only 1 mil of material on their to work with.
A single stage isn't just paint added with clear.
It is a paint that has a single layer additive. this allows the paint to shine once sprayed on.. even with just one coat..
The right way in applying this,, is to add 2 coats of this on your vehicle, wait 8-10 min between coats if spraying in 70-80 degree conditions,
then mix this 1:1 with the clearcoat and making sure you use the same hardener that u put in your single stage, Because if you do not bad things will happen, such a cooking up or lifting. and put 1 coat of the half single stage and half clear on the car.
then mix 1part of whats left in your cup, whitch should not be a whole lot maybe a 4th of the 1.7 reduced pint cup,, with 2 parts of clear.

then you go with your final coat with straight clear.
and be sure to wait the 8-10 mintues between every coat.
This will give any solid color an amazingly deep look as compared to basecoat clear coat alone.
This is why Chip Foose's truck that was overhauled was single staged.

The idea that every car comes from the fACTORY WITH BASE COAT CLEAR COAT, IS HIGHLY MISPERCIEVED. sorry about the caps.
and it offers less protection from the elements,, but is ideal for any metalic colors, or pearls..

and when it comes to a 3 stage paint, where you lay your ground color then the pearl on top of that, it would also need to have bascoat clearcoat application,

Now when it comes to metalic colors you will always want to use a base coat clear coat application.

Q) what is sealer and do i need it?

A) sealer is a great previnative. What means it it will allow you to stop sanding with a corser grit. The thing that helps cushion hoods and bumpers from rock chips, is the ecoat under the the paint and also the sealer that is used. The sealer or ecoat is a verry durable flexable product that allows you to sand down to 320 grit and be sprayed right over that grit, allowing for better grip,,, then 3 coats of paint and 2 coats of clear are applied,,, the finish will be durable and flexible and it will withstand much more abuse.

Q) What is Blending...?

A) If you have a new door put on your car, the ideal situation is for it to match..... sorry most likely it doesn't. So you'll need 2 blend both your fender and rear door, or quarter panel.
most the time your blend should cover 3/4 of the panel you are going onto. and you should have all the blending agents to help keep everything seemsless. such as clear basecoat, you won't be spraying the blending panels with the same air pressure you do the door with, say if your spraying the door with 24 psi, you'll wana drop your preasure to around 12 psi and step your gun a few inches further back and fan it out slightly. then you will be reclearing the 3 panels for a seamless repair. this isn't for the faint of heart or inexperienced.



New Member
5+ Year Member
Q) How many coats of clear do I need for the best paint..?

A) Just look at the clear you buy, it will tell you the best coat coverage that is needed.
Most clears are not designed for more than 2 coats. The more clear you add the more of a chance it will fail...
Metal and plastic flex and contract in heat and cold all the time,, this will make the clear crack or peel or crowsfoot, or become verry dull looking compared to the virant color that was laid underneith.
Extra clear doesn't make a paint job slicker, it actually makes it look crappy. By putting to much clear a cars slick surface will start to become all ripply and chunky looking,, even if you wetsand and buff it, the most that is taken off by doing that is around a half a mill.. that will not slick out the rough clear..

That much clear will also build up around every edge and making it much easier to chip because of that.

If you want you can paint and clear a vehicle, then allow it to dry completely, and rewetsand it and reclear it with 2-3 coats again.. and that is acceptable and will turn out great

Q) I want a custom paint job. How much will it cost...?

A) Go to your local shop for an estimate, they are free, every state differs, just remem you get what you pay for.

Q) What kind of Primer do I need to use so my paint won't chip...?

A) their is no miracle cure, but for the best adhesion a
2K primer and put 2-4 coats ( one thing you may want to do.. is even if the primer does not say it needs a reducer use a slow reducer in it anyways, as it will evaperte out,, our rule of thumb is if you put 100 grams of hardener also add 100 grams of reducer, this will make the primer thinner and lay out slicker allowing it to soak up into the scratches and fillers instead of making a barrier over the top of them,, that will eventually shrink up after it's painted for a few months, allowing you to see where the body work was done) and then guide coate the surface and wetsanded with 320 grit and then rewetsand useing a a soft blaock as with the 320, also use it with the 600 grit, this will give you a much better quality job.

Q) My paint is chipping of my bumper left & right but the rest is fine. Why...?

A) well most bumpers don't have hardley any material on them from the factory, they make some additives to make sealer and paint adhere better, creating a perminant bond to your bumpers, and it's products such as one choise, a three step procees before you seal and paint your bumpers , their is a common mis conception that flex additives are nesicarry.
they make flex additives for flexable parts.
Your bumper is not a flexable part thus does not need this.. if you don't believe me, go up to it and see if you can twist it.
off the car yes, on the car no....
Also the additive does not change the color of your bumper.. IE the painter changes the color of your bumper,, because either they did not make enough paint and spray it at the same time with the car..
or the air conditioning is different, such as their is more humidity in the air when the bumper is sprayed, or even changing your air pressure by 1 PSI will alter how the metallics or pearls lay on your car.
If your bumper don't match have the person who sprayed it respray it.

as a painter should be able to tint you bumper color to match perfectly all the time.

if you decide to use this useless additives with todays paints on any exterior part,, you can use it on metal as well, it won't effect anything. and will actually help detur chipping from parts like your hood.

Q) I just got a Complete paint job but my bumpers look like there a different color...?

A) Most cars at dealships, their bumpers don't match, this is correct.

But thats because the bumpers and plastic pieces are painted at differnt plants, and some times their paint vats they use, don't get cleaned as well as they should when new paint is added , thus altering the color a shade or 2. that is why they making varient cards for paint companies.

this why they don't match,
Now go look at lexus and mercadese,, theirs match.. have you ever woundered why....?
because the higher end cars have the plastic pieces and bumpers painted with the car, at the same time, to ensure a seemless color match.
it has nothing to do with it being plastic or any flex additive that is no longer needed on exterior parts...
the only product that is needed on exterior parts is on raw plastic bumpers. and it's called One Choice, and it allows the paint to adhere to it with a permanant bond.

Q) what is the difference between a clear coat and a high solid clear?

A) a normal clear is great for a beginner in the game, when spraying they flow out alot better and still creat a great job, they just don't get near as hard as a high solid, thus if wetsanded and buffed the high solid clear will have a much higher gloss than a normal clear coat.

Q) whats the most important thing when spraying a car?

A) moisture and trash. Moisture in the air, and the moisture that may be comming through your air hose. this is a nono. you will need an air drier of some sort on the compressor not your gun.
Also, trash, this could be a nightmare if in a normal garage even pollin that you can't see will leave spots all over your fresh paint and clear making it look horrible, causing a desprate need to be resprayed or color sanded and buffed.

Q) should i paint with a 2k product of a laquer product?

A)for the life of a 2K, paint, lets put it this way. a good quality 2k paint, continues to get hard for 90 days before it's completely cured,

This means that the primer, the paint and the clear keep shrinking closer and closer to the adhered surfice, showing all imperfections after 90 days, and it had a death drip on your car.

Laquer products, do not ever really completely cure to a rock solid form, it stays somewhat flexibly soft, not fingerprint soft, but one reason it needs to be waxed and buffed more often, is because it expands and contracts around twice the amount as the metal and polyurathane bumpers do.

now, if you put a high soild 2K product over laquer guess whats going to happen.

the top layer is going to try and shrink in tight to the base and the laquer is going to slighhtly mover, causing your 2k product to litterly split open and have cracks in your paint,

if your lucky it won't do anything for a year but then it will most likely crows foot at the least.

Although it is possible to spray a good 2k product over just laquer primer, don't get me wrong, but even this will fail within a year or 2 as they are not designed to adhere to each other.
If you are not carefull and spray really heavy like i do, as spraying really heavy and wet creates much slicker paint jobs, your reduced paint such as ppg deltron will litterly cook up the the laquer primer before it is even cleared.

I the ideal thing is to stick with what your product is designed for, mismatching products can work sometimes, but unless your a chemist, I'd leave the chemistry to the professionals and head the labels advice with what products to use.


New Member
5+ Year Member
Q)for those who were complaining about fading paint.


if desired i can provide a few pics of my own personal cars and bikes i have done, as customers deserve to show their own vehicles off, not I.

When it comes to a failing paint, one thing I'd like for you to consider, even if you truelly doubt it.
Ask yourself.. has my car been repainted before, for some reason, such as an accident?

Note that when you hav had an accident, unless the whole car is damaged, the whole car does not get repaired and refinished. Most shops are under strict guidelines by the insurance companies, and are lucky to get to blend panels.

What blending means: If your quarter panel is damaged and it's a fairly large amount, their is a good chance that after it's been straightened and reapired, that the painter has to prime nearly the whole quarterpanel, this makes perfect color match difficult, so the painter will tint the paint the best he can, and then most likely blend that color onto your door and your hatch lid, In doing so your quarter, the hatch lid, and your door have all been recleared.
A good painter can make it seem like nothing was ever done to your car,

As the detail line will buff the rest of the car to bring out the shine, so the new paint doesn't stand out to much.

For a fading milky clear coat: This is what we like to call Oxidized clearcoat. Basically if your clear is still on the car at theis point you are lucky. UV rays have pretty much destroyed all the protection clear coat gives.

To fix this, is no easy solution for the weekend warrior of body modifications.

The clearcoat needs to be completely removed, as does the paint underneath, the best way to prove a perfect bond and exzistance of your new paint, is to Remove all the paint down to the Ecoat with an orbital da, using 180 grit paper.
Once you have completed this long, boring and dust ridden task, a good dea is to use a red 3 m scuff pad to go over evry edge to make sure their is no shiney spots left on the paenl you may be working on.
This goes for bumpers, metal panels..etc...

Then a good 2K primer will be needed to spray over the stripped area.
If you have a booth to bake this in you can sand it after about an hour of baking at 170 degrees, opther wise let it sit and cure for 2-3 days with it being at least 80 degrees outside.

while spraying the primer, wait
8-10 min in between medium to wet coats on a 75 degree day, at 10 minutes of waiting per 10 degress lower than that. I'd put 3-4 coats on.

you'll wana use a trim black paint as guide coat, unless you have guide coat..

lightly spray the primered area just letting dotts appear on the hood, not full coverage,

idealy, I dry block my primer with 320 grit and a long block untill all orange peal and imperfections are gone. once they are.

I use 3m's 500 grit to wet sand the hood, once more you should have guide coate on before sanding, as now you are just removing the 320 grit scratches that you need to be able and see.

if you plan on sealing the hood before you spray your paint you can stop here.. if not, you need to regude caot and wetsand with 600 grit, untill it is flawlessly sanded, as silver will show up all imperfections.

as you begin to spray your paint, you would wanna have a good quality paint gun, I preffer HVLP SATA JETS,, i use a satajet nr2000 with a 1.4 tip for all sealers and basecoats, and a satajet 3000 digital with a 1.3 tip for clearing.

I run about 24 psi for basecoat and 32 for clear with spies hecker paint with these guns.

when i am spraying autocolor paint, i spray base at 16 psi, and clear at 24 psi. Every paint has a diff consistancy, and every air compressor has a diff flow rate so their is no way of accurately telling you what it should be set at.

If you have never sprayed paint before you may regret trying to spray silver. seriously. But if you insist... make sure you have some sort of air drier on your air compressor, with flawlessly clean hoses. otherwise. you will have a mess on your hands with fisheyes, etc...... trash galloure.

before you decide to color sand and buff, it should have at least 2-3 mils of thickness in the clear as you'll be taking 1/2 up to a mil off when you color sand.
here is what a freshly sprayed clear should look like before it's buffed.

I just realized i could go on for another 30 min... but in all honestly, it would be nearly 1/5th the cost with a better job to have a local shop paint it for you.

I have ran out of time but this is a good idea

i never took pics but i had color matched the headlights on the inside and added black eyelids as well.


New Member
5+ Year Member
a few pics of ym work area when i have had a verry long work week. I'll have it clean monday and some clean photos.

few of my guns, from left to right, my satajet nr2000 with 1.4 head, i use it for sealer and basecoat, it's awsome at laying all solids and metalic and pearls.
next is my digital satajet 3000, with 1.3 tip, i use this only for candy and clearcoat.
next is my sata i use for priming 1.4 tip.
next is a cheapo gun with a 1.5 tip i use for spray mask, and the one on top is my devilibis plus, with a 1.4 tip, great for basecoat as well.

we use 3m pps cups,, what a mess. this will be clean monday. we keep our left over paint till the vehicle has left, just in case.

my scale and computer for the paint system, we also run our shop radio off the internet from here.

we swapped to spies heck paint this year.... not to big a fan, but it's great to be able to use tso many products and meet so many new people in the paint world.

my visual tint chart for matalics and pearls.

our Garmat downdraft climate controlled booth.

can't leave out the cb7 valve cover being primed in the booth..

my work area in our shop.

up close of the guns i use the most.

you'll notice i use high flow air fittings for all my satajets, the devilibiss does not need it.


New Member
5+ Year Member

my son the future painter. when he doesn't try to eat the gun.

here are a few. motorcycles in the work, i don't normally post them, but they aren't customers yet, i will be selling them.



New Member
5+ Year Member
That's freaking awesome bro! Any tips on a paint job with lots of runs? (this was from a previous owner of the hatch) I plan on sanding the runs down and repainting then clearing....any advice on what grit to take out the clear and slowly ridding myself of the drippage of paint the previous owner left me? step by step would be awesome! THANKS!


New Member
5+ Year Member
it depends if you will be repriming it or not... if so just take some 180 grit on an orbital da, an they will comer right out.
if you just wana buf them out, take some 1200 up to 2000 grit, depending on your confidence. rap it on a flat block and take your time wetsanding it till it comes out, you can also use a razor blade to scrape the clear but it's pretty hard to discribe on the computer. if your trying not to burn through, just remember patience is key.


New Member
5+ Year Member
I prefer not to reprime, is there a way to do it without repriming? When u say block do u mean foam block or solid wood block? Wont the razor make the paint peel if I try to cut it thinner so I don't have to sand as much? Thanks for your input, bought a hatch, but home paintjob and it's got runs in I need to re clearcoat it after I sand it down? or don't have to? thanks again...!


New Member
5+ Year Member
you may need to research detailing, where it comes to wetsanding and buffing, when i say use a razor blade, i mean hold it perpindiculur to the surface and us the sharp blade to scrape over just the runs, to cut them down quicker, then using 1200-2000 grit wetsanding paper, your choice, use a solid block or 2 paint sticks taped together to try and slowly sand the runs flush with the rest of the paint, it is possible and not verry difficult, but it does take patience.

and then those scratches from the wetsand paper will buff out easily with the 3M trizac system.


New Member
5+ Year Member
cool thanks! I did my research last night, Only thing I don't remember reading about was the 3M trizac System. Thanks again for your words of advice!


New Member
5+ Year Member
back....quick question, I want to get a solid paint job going and will last me at least another twn single stage with high solid is what I'm after yeah? please point me in the right direction...oh and the color is the flamenco black pearl, stock hatchback color don't know if its metallic or not, forgot....

so single stage paint is better that dual or 3 stage paint jobs? THANKS! and how is you and your family doing? the baby?


Registered VIP
Registered OG
5+ Year Member
Cliffs? lol j/k, this needs to be a sticky or something. Nice write up!