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  1. #1
    Super Member Shade Tree's Avatar
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    Feb 2010
    Austin, Texas
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    How to tell if it's 2 stage paint or not ........

    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.

    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
    Last edited by Shade Tree; 09-01-2010 at 06:24 PM.
    Shade Tree Auto Detailing
    Austin, Texas & surrounding areas

  2. #2
    Member Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Jun 2009
    Stuart, Florida
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    Re: How to tell if it's 2 stage paint or not ........

    Moved to "How To Articles"

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