August 10, 2010 Brad Will

The Truth About Paint

Modern automobile paint is a complicated thing, or at least it seems that way. Everyone you talk to has their own conceptions about automobile paint. Much of it is simply incorrect. Lets explore a few facts to clear things up. Modern day automobile paint consists of a base coat (color) and a clear coat (gloss) system. Single stage paint was eliminated about 10 years ago. Very simply, the base coat is a thin layer that goes on first and contains the color pigments. The clear coat is extremely thin, and goes on second. It is transparent and provides the gloss to the paint job. Without the clear coat, the paint would not have a shine. The clear coat also serves as protection for the base coat, so that it does not fade as fast. The clear coat contains UV inhibitors that eventually will degrade if not cared for properly. Applying a quality paint sealant regularly, protects the clear coat from UV and environmental damage. Your paint’s clear coat is also what gets “scratched”.  Scratches can be caused by improper washing and/or drying or contact with a hard object. Scratches range from very light marring to very coarse scratches that can penetrate both layers of paint. Unfortunately, when paint is scratched, the only way to remove the scratch is to abrade the clear coat down to the lowest point of the scratch. This is accomplished using a machine polisher and various grades of polish. The process of polishing paint can be very time consuming and expensive. The best option is to properly care for your car’s paint so that scratches can be avoided. Next time someone is talking about automotive paint, you will now have the knowledge to correct their misconceptions about it.