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  1. #1
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    New paint job curing time?

    Hi, all.
    My dad got the bumpers repainted and i was wondering how long would it take the paint to fully cure? I haven't asked dad whether it was clear coated or a single stage paint job. And i'm pretty sure water based paint was not used. So how long do i have before i can safely wax it? And can i at least wash it before it fully cures?


    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Super Member Evan.J's Avatar
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    Re: New paint job curing time?

    The usual time is 30 days before you can apply wax or sealant.
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    Super Member Hades02's Avatar
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    Re: New paint job curing time?

    I have heard 30 days to cure however you may want to contact the body shop and ask for their opinion. They know what product they used and the nuances of it.

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    Super Member VroomVroom's Avatar
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    Re: New paint job curing time?

    Lots and lots of threads on this topic. The real answer: it depends. This can be less than a week to ~ eight weeks. If you're unable to check-in with the shop that did the work....wait. 60 days would be my comfort zone. Otherwise, a quick conversation should give you all the info you need to know when outgassing will have completed.
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  5. #5
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    Thumbs up Re: New paint job curing time?

    Quote Originally Posted by Thoryamaha919 View Post
    The usual time is 30 days before you can apply wax or sealant.
    Thanks. Any idea how soon i can wash it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hades02 View Post
    I have heard 30 days to cure however you may want to contact the body shop and ask for their opinion. They know what product they used and the nuances of it.
    Hmm...then i'll contact them tomorrow morning. Thanks.

    Quote Originally Posted by VroomVroom View Post
    Lots and lots of threads on this topic. The real answer: it depends. This can be less than a week to ~ eight weeks. If you're unable to check-in with the shop that did the work....wait. 60 days would be my comfort zone. Otherwise, a quick conversation should give you all the info you need to know when outgassing will have completed.
    Thanks for replying.
    I've searched the threads; i know of the time but i just wanted to be sure. I'll check in with the shop and get some info on it. And you're right; it does depend on paint quality, temperature etc.

  6. #6
    Super Member Pureshine's Avatar
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    Re: New paint job curing time?

    The standard is 30-60 days I all ways wait 60 days just to make sure every paint and clear coats are not the same.

  7. #7
    Member Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Re: New paint job curing time?

    I have a few articles on fresh paint, here's one of them, this can be found in my article list under,


    Articles on Car Paint


    Don't wax your car for at least 30 days!


    • Have you ever been told not to wax your car for at least 30 days by a painter after having the car painted?

    • Perhaps someone has said not to wax or seal the paint because the paint needs to breathe?

    • Or have you read a thread about this topic on a discussion forum?

    Let me see if I can explain what this means and why people are told this...

    The reason painters tell you not to wax fresh paint is for two reasons which are connected...

    First, there's not a single paint manufacture that I know of that recommends sealing, (that means applying a substance that coats over and protects), fresh paint. This is where you'll find people that will argue with you but unless they work for the paint manufacture, then what they post is their opinion, not an official recommendation of a "Paint Manufacture".
    Second, painters will tend to follow paint manufacturer's recommendations because they respect the paint manufacture but also to insure you don't mess up their work. The idea behind NOT sealing fresh paint is to let it outgas completely. This is where some will argue that modern paints harden through chemically curing or catalyzing, and not via solvent evaporation. But again, if the person making the recommendation does not work for the paint manufacture, then what they post is their opinion, not an official recommendation.

    The clear layer of paint is still mixed with solvents, also called reducers; these are used to custom thin the paint to the painter's preference, to the sprayer and to the climate and/or paint booth. After spraying, some of these solvents will evaporate off.

    After the solvents evaporate off and the paint dries to dust-free or tack-free, that is the surface of the paint is now cured and/or hard enough that if air-borne dust lands on the paint it won't stick to the paint.

    After another day or two, maybe longer depending upon the shops normal practices, the paint can be sanded and buffed if that's part of the package.

    Whether it's sanded and buffed or turned back over to the painter, at this point the painter will say something like,

    "Wait 30 days before applying a car wax"

    He might even say,

    "You need to wait 30 days before applying a coat of wax to allow the paint to breathe"


    This is a generic way of saying,

    "Wait 30 days before using any product that can seal the paint to prevent or hinder any and all solvents to outgas or evaporate out of an off of the paint"


    Now this is where some people on discussion forums will want to start to argue and say you can apply brand X because it's not a wax, or you can use anything because the paint is chemically cured, or you can wax the paint because you can't seal a clear coat, or fill in the blank...


    What the painter really means...
    The bigger idea the painter is trying to get across is to not apply any substance that creates a barrier coating over the surface that could "potentially" lock or seal in the solvents and prevent them from out-gassing or evaporating.


    This gets into a discussion about what's "Body Shop Safe" and what's not "Body Shop Safe", and to some level, you an use the term "Body Shop Safe" to also describe "Fresh Paint Safe".


    Products that are "Fresh Paint Safe" are also "Body Shop Safe" and that's because these product won't contain any ingredients that will cause "Surface Tension" which will usually show up as "Fish Eyes" in the paint.

    Most, if not all waxes and paint sealants, and also most spray or quick detailers are NOT body shop safe and thus would not be safe for fresh paint according to the paint manufacturer's recommendation or their painter's recommendation.

    Basically, if a product is known for, or famous for making water bead on car paint, (that thing we all love to see), then if the ingredients in the product that are responsible for making water bead would also try to make fresh paint sprayed onto a car try to bead only this would show up as fish eyes.


    From a "purist" point of view, that is a person that is in a position to not have to seal the paint for approximately 30 days, then waiting simply insures that if there are any ingredients at all that could evaporate or outgas then this person can play it safe and allow the paint to fully dry and cure for the 30 days or longer.

    Some people don't have this option and will be putting their car back into service they day they get it back and will want to apply something to the paint to protect it.

    Outgassing is the process by which solvents and other substances used to mix the paint try to leave the paint is the reason behind why painters will often say,

    "Don't wax your car for 30 days"

    Sometimes this is just an insurance policy on the part of the painter because he knows his paint is durable and will last a long time with nothing applied to the paint and since they don't know you, your background, your skill level etc., let along what you have out in the garage that you might spread over their brand new work of art, they will error on the side of caution and again, tell you...

    "Don't wax your car for 30 days"


    Make sense?


    After posting this some people will chime in and argue one of the above points and/or say they used this product or some other product on their "fresh paint" and nothing bad ever happened.

    So I will point out, I never posted my opinion or recommendation in the above, I just explained in detail what's going on and why historically you're told not to wax your car's fresh paint and how that relates to other products that are not called car waxes specifically, but would have the potential to do the same thing a car wax would do if they were applied to fresh paint.

    Make sense?


    Polishing Fresh Paint Just for Fun
    If you want to "do something" to your car's paint because you're excited to finally have your car painted and it's killing you to not go out into your garage and play with your toy, then you can apply a body shop safe, or fresh paint safe polish or glaze. These would typically be products created for and marketed towards body shops in the refinishing industry. You want to be careful because the words polish and glaze are used on a lot of products and in the context of what I'm talking about here, I mean non-abrasive polishes made for the sole purpose of creating gloss and clarity when used correctly and masking swirls if the shop in question makes it a practice to inflict swirls and then mask them in order to make the paint look good to get the customer to accept their work.

    Two very popular non-abrasive polishes for fresh paint that are for the primary purpose of just making fresh paint look clear and glossy are 3M's Imperial Hand Glaze and Meguiar's M81 Hand Polish.


    Polishing Fresh Paint to Remove Swirls
    I you find your fresh paint is filled with swirls, specifically rotary buffer swirls or what are also called holograms from a shoddy buff job by the body shop, then if you want you can remove the swirls yourself. If they hand sand the paint you might find Tracers, if they machine sand the paint you might find Pigtails.

    Tracers Tracers - RIDS - Pigtails - Cobweb Swirls - Rotary Buffer Swirls - Holograms - Water Spots - Bird Drooping Etchings - Micro-Marring

  8. #8
    Super Member Sicoupe's Avatar
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    Re: New paint job curing time?

    Thanks for the info MIKE

  9. #9
    Super Member RedXray's Avatar
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    Re: New paint job curing time?

    Quote Originally Posted by DUDE007 View Post
    i'm pretty sure water based paint was not used.
    With water based systems only the base (color) coat of the paint system is waterborne. All other layers, including the clearcoat, are still solvent based and sprayed in the normal way. So you still have a outgas time but with less solvents... this time is reduced somewhat. To be safe I tell all my customers to wait 90 days before waxing, after I shoot a car.
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  10. #10
    Regular Member steamshooter's Avatar
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    Re: New paint job curing time?

    Mine was backed into a few weeks ago and required a quarter panel to be painted. The body shop told me 90 days before polishing/waxing. It could be hand washed anytime.

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