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Anyone have any knowledge on car paint?

Discussion in 'Off topic' started by BigBri, Aug 8, 2016.

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  1. BigBri

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    I'm trying to come up with a reasonable solution to fix my back bumper. Long story short I had some paint transfer and a big gouge in the paint (from when I bought the car). I sanded the bit down and repainted it and put some clear coat on but the section has no shine at all. I made a mistake masking off the sides but I figure that there must be something I can do to make the transition not so drastic. I know I won't get a mirror finish on it but it's so foggy at it stands. Really don't want to pay $600 for a bumper repaint with the 3 coming in 2 years. Ignore the dirt on it haha. I've done a bunch of research online but it seems car paint and such is a pretty closely guarded secret.

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  2. Gary Moore

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    Reasonable is in the eye of the beholder. Rome was not built in a day, and dirt is definitely your enemy.

    It's not so much the closely guarded secrets, it's more that it's not as easy to do as one might hope.

    The surface you compare yours with was done at a factory, which does the same thing, with robot arms, hour after hour, with none of the components not to be painted yet attached to the parts that are. They've got equipment you cannot really afford to rent or use yourself, but they use it enough to write off the costs.

    Learning to remove taillight assemblies, however, is probably worthwhile. (Being breakable, they are usually designed to be easier to replace that to mask around.)

    Each coat you paint needs to dry in some dust free air somewhere. The base coat needs to be smooth, but mostly, it needs to be the matching and consistent in color.

    If your spray is too dry, it is both not smooth and not shiny. (If your paint spray is too wet, it runs, and that is much worse.)

    You'll need to get those seams where you taped them perfectly flat and smooth with ultrafine wet or dry sandpapers and/or sanding pads before blending/feathering in a light coat of base color as a transition zone. (A paint shop probably sprays the whole bumper, but of course you don't own a paint shop.)

    The base color you will need to apply unblemished. It needs to be feathered into the old paint a short distance so that the transition is not something the human eye will notice. Later, your clear coats go a bit further.

    Black is not going to make it easy, but if you have well-matched paint, it is doable, even with spray cans, but requires that one is practiced in using them. Never fool yourself into thinking that Da Vinci did not spend a lot of time practicing.

    To make the paint shine, you need multiple coats of clear coat. Get the first coat sanded smooth.

    Polish your final clear coat. A mechanical polisher and a good polish applied to the final coat will keep your arms from falling off. Don't rush. Always polish so the spinning disk does not cut into a raised point off the painted surface. That would tear and mar the paint.

    You could polish entirely by hand, but it will build character and your Model 3 may interrupt you.

    It's a all really matter of how much sweat equity you can afford, and the eyesight of the paint critic.
     
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    • BigBri

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      Thanks a million for the help! I sanded it back down and repainted and clear coated it and it already looks better then it did and I've not even wet sanded with 2000 and polish/waxed it. Should be in the ballpark. The margins look a lot better, doesn't catch the eye so hashly.
       

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      • Gary Moore

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        Kudos to you!
         
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        • BigBri

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          I'm dumb, uploaded the same picture a second time. I fixed it :) thanks again!
           
        • Gary Moore

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          Yes, the gloss is mostly what the eye sees with black, since there's not much color to distract it. It's harder to do a spot repair than to repaint entire panels. Trying to have two different processes to get identical results is never going to be easy by hand.

          I repaired a chipped DuPont Corian countertop in the house I'm in now, and I had wondered how I'd get the color to match what it was originally. Then it dawned on me that the whole counter is made of varied colors to look like rock. Just make the repair of other colors that are close to those in a non-adjacent parts of the panel, and then no one's the wiser! :rolleyes:

          As they say in Qu├ębec City, "Tromper l'oeil".
           
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          • Dennis van der Pool

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            Hi Gary,

            You seem to know a lot about paints.
            I'm having a hard time choosing a color for my model 3, but durability is also important for me as I'm planning on keeping my Model 3 for quite a while > 15 years.

            A colleague of mine recommended not to take the red color as it would faint a lot. What is your opinion about different colors and their differences regarding durability, faint, repair costs, etc.

            Thanks a lot :)
             
          • Gary Moore

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            Dennis,

            Metallic paints are usually harder to touch up because your new spraying won't leave the same metallic flake pattern as the original spray, meaning that you'll indeed have to respray entire panels to get a good result, although body shops generally would blend paint over entire panels with any paint repairs they make anyway, regardless of color.

            Gloss black is beautiful when new, but since most of what your eye sees is the gloss, it shows any scratches and car wash swirls more. I had a black Fiero, but I never let is sit out under trees or anything that tended to etch the paint surface.

            White can be hard to match. I once had a white Corvette on which I did my own paint repair, but that was back when GM cars were painted with lacquer. Today, you get a color coat covered with clear coat for shine. Because you see more light with white, the slightest difference in shades is more noticeable.

            Even in those factories where all the parts are not painted together with the very same batch of paint, slight deviations in shade can be noticed. Metal and nonmetallic surfaces being painted require different under layers for adhesion, so often they do not match perfectly.

            We still don't know what colors will be standard for availability in the Model 3. Regardless of maintenance characteristics, in the eye of the beholder, the color needs to be appreciated.

            My father had a bright blue Chevy. He waxed it a lot, and the paint looked as good on the day when they towed it to the scrap yard as the day that he drove it home from the dealer new.

            I'm probably getting white or pearl white. I figure I can cover up stone chips on it. Yet a shade of copper might turn my head, even though I know I'd never want to try to match the paint.

            Gary
             
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            • BigBri

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              One thing to also keep in mind is that Teslas paint tends to be soft as they're doing all the painting in California thus there are heavy emissions regulations. Something like Opticoat might be a good idea if you're seeing your M3 as your pride and joy.
               
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              • Rick59

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                Already have a quote for OptiCoat Pro Plus: $1,200 CDN and it comes with a 7-year warranty. I'm taking it straight from delivery to the shop.
                 
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