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  1. #1
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    Paint Hardness Spreadsheet

    I have created a blank template for experienced detailers to contribute to. I have read in numerous posts about a certain manufacturer having soft or hard clearcoat, which affects the pad or compound choices. Since a lot of people have found out by trial and error which is which, I thought it might be good to gather this info into one place that everyone can edit.

    I am, by definition, a newb. I'm sure it's not perfect. So if I missed something, feel free to add or delete. I gave open permission to allow anyone to edit the Google Doc spreadsheet. Simply put an "X" in the box for hard or soft. I also added a column that is quite subjective: Winning Combination for pads and compounds/polishes.

    I understand that this info may differ from car to car, maybe it had a repaint, etc; but in gerneral terms, for instance, I've heard that Audi's have hard clears vs. Subaru's soft clearcoat. It's really meant to help people brand new to this to make an informed decision. Eventually we each find our favorites and stick to it, but this chart is meant to be a quick reference.

    Here's the link: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/...FE&usp=sharing

    Hope this helps in any way, and thanks in advance for your input.
    "The shortest and surest way to live with honor in the world is to be in reality what we would appear to be." --- Socrates

  2. #2
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    Re: Paint Hardness Spreadsheet

    Great Idea.

    Cadillac I'd put at the hardest, dodge / mopar's in general are pretty soft. If fresh paint is a 1/10 on the hardness scale I'd consider dodge to be a 3, and cadillac is a 9. Everything else seems to be inbetween. Nissan I'd consider a 6/10Honda I'd consider a 3 as well, subaru 3. Chevy really depends, I've had a 12' gray silverado rip the clear right off (keep in mind it could have been resprayed), and I've had a red 10' tahoe that was actually single stage. I've had impalas that were probably a 4/10. I've had a camaro ZL1 that had paint as hard as I've ever seen on a scratch that was in a tight area. You have to account for variation in colors, and different plants. When I say colors, some dealers offer "special" colors, and the clear coat on these particular colors maybe different from there "standard" colors.

    If you are not familiar with spotting fresh paint VS OEM paint you should always attempt to use the least harsh approach first, as a resprayed cadillac bumper is just waiting to get burned when the OEM hood needs a super duty compound just to break the surface.

    When I'm dealing with a hard paint I like to use a flat pad, as opposed to a waffle pad, or any other design, especially for deep scratch removal. The reason being I like to use the heat to my advantage when it's necessary and possible.

    I like using the waffle pads on any other paint for the reverse effect, and often take breaks in different areas and feel the surface with my palm to see how hot the area is. If you instinctively pull your hand away from the heat it's time to move away from that area for a bit, and maybe slow the machine down and take longer strides back and forth. This is just my advice that I can offer.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Meticulous-Detail's Avatar
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    Great job. This will be a good point of reference and a good starting point for the test spot.

  4. #4
    Senior Member BobbyG's Avatar
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    Re: Paint Hardness Spreadsheet

    Nicely done and thank you for sharing it here!!

    BobbyG - 2004 Millennium Yellow Z06 Corvette

  5. #5
    Senior Member Zapa's Avatar
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    Re: Paint Hardness Spreadsheet

    well I will add what I know to the list. Thank you for starting this.
    Zapa's Detailing- In purist of perfection
    https://www.facebook.com/ZapasDetailing

  6. #6
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    Re: Paint Hardness Spreadsheet

    Some makes seem to have wide variation across models and even vary by the production factory. Here's an article which talks about paint variation and has some BMW-specific paint info since they have some wide variations:
    http://1car-detailing-training.com/p...e-by-kevin.pdf

    So you might put an asterisk for certain makes (like BMW) that have a lot of variation, with hard and soft in the same model year.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Meticulous-Detail's Avatar
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    Need to put a disclaimer *This sheet is a general guide for a point of reference and paint systems can vary from make, model and year from the same manufacture and sometimes from panel to panel. This should not serve as replacement for a "test spot".*

  8. #8
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    Re: Paint Hardness Spreadsheet

    Quote Originally Posted by SR99 View Post
    Some makes seem to have wide variation across models and even vary by the production factory. Here's an article which talks about paint variation and has some BMW-specific paint info since they have some wide variations:
    http://1car-detailing-training.com/p...e-by-kevin.pdf

    So you might put an asterisk for certain makes (like BMW) that have a lot of variation, with hard and soft in the same model year.
    Thanks for sharing. I added the link to the spreadsheet for reference.

    Quote Originally Posted by Meticulous-Detail View Post
    Need to put a disclaimer *This sheet is a general guide for a point of reference and paint systems can vary from make, model and year from the same manufacture and sometimes from panel to panel. This should not serve as replacement for a "test spot".*
    Thanks for the suggestion. I added this note to the top of the page.

    This is a Google Doc that has open permission to edit. Feel free to edit as you see fit. It's meant to be a living document. Edit away! I won't get offended if it changes. I just took a stab getting the ball rolling on this subject. Hopefully everyone can play a part in making it better and easier for us newbs out here.

    Thanks for you support!
    "The shortest and surest way to live with honor in the world is to be in reality what we would appear to be." --- Socrates

  9. #9
    Senior Member Meticulous-Detail's Avatar
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    Re: Paint Hardness Spreadsheet

    I added a medium column and some other small changes. Question are contributors putting an X and then a number next to the X indicating how hard, medium or soft?

    I noticed when I put an X in a column that a 9 showed up to the right, I then back spaced and it went away. Show just to make things clear did everyone put a number next to their X or is it the spreadsheet.

  10. #10
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Re: Paint Hardness Spreadsheet

    Quote Originally Posted by AC in OC View Post

    I have created a blank template for experienced detailers to contribute to.

    Thanks for putting this together, I appreciate the time and effort that goes into projects like these...



    Quote Originally Posted by AC in OC View Post

    I understand that this info may differ from car to car, maybe it had a repaint, etc; but in general terms, for instance, I've heard that Audi's have hard clears vs. Subaru's soft clearcoat.
    Audi Soft Paint - Making Generalizations about Hardness and Softness



    Quote Originally Posted by AC in OC View Post
    It's really meant to help people brand new to this to make an informed decision.

    Eventually we each find our favorites and stick to it, but this chart is meant to be a quick reference.

    I'm confident over time as this chart increases with information it will help a lot of people that are new to detailing. The next best thing a person can do when starting out and unsure if the paint on the car they are working on is hard or soft is to do some testing and follow the sage advice of using the least aggressive product to get the job done to leave the most paint on the car afterwards.



    How To Do a Test Spot
    (and why it's so important)

    The LINE ---> How to avoid the line!

    "Use the least aggressive product to get the job done"



    All the above is just for reference to go with the chart for all the people that will read this into the future, both forum members and lurkers...



    Thanks Andrew for putting this together...


    Here's a screenshot so everyone can see how this is laid out...

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