View Full Version : How to tell if it's 2 stage paint or not ........

Shade Tree
09-01-2010, 06:12 PM
This is meant to be nothing more than an observation by myself and an FYI to anyone who has not yet determined this method or information. :dblthumb2:

Lately it seems that there are lots of questions & assumptions being made about whether a vehicle in question has a 2 stage paint (base coat & clear coat) or a single stage paint (base color w/ no clear coat) applied. Some vehicles may even have a base coat - tint coat depending upon the color. Other paints may be a 3 stage of base coat, metallic & clear coat. It just depends on the manufacturers process & color produced.

I know for a fact that several automakers still use a single stage paint depending on the color being applied. Lexus/Toyota have different variations of black that are applied with a single stage process. Lexus' Obsidian Black would be a prime example.

Many of the cheaper, aftermarket paint jobs such as Urethane paints are applied without a separate clear coat because (depending on the paint shop) Urethane has high gloss properties & can also have the clear coat product mixed into the single stage application.

Most vehicles manufactured from 1980 to present will have a standard base coat - clear coat paint finish. This includes domestic & import. European manufacturers are hit & miss in this area.

As a detailing technician, (IMHO) the simplest way to determine which of these paint applications your project vehicle has is to take a microfiber towel, apply polish with cleaning/polishing properties and rub/polish a small section of the body panel. If the color of the paint transfers to the rag then you're dealing with a single stage paint. Of course, if no color transfers then you're dealing with a clear coat or 2 stage paint.

Just my .02 ;)

Mike Phillips
10-21-2010, 04:25 PM
Moved to "How To Articles"