Thursday, September 16, 2010

Types of paint

Earlier Beetles were finished in cellulose paint. This is quite a good choice for the novice to use, because it dries fairly rapidly and so lessens the chances of dust falling on to the still wet fresh paint surface and spoiling it. Another advantage is that the thinners used will soften existing paint, so helping blend in any future touching-up.
Another beauty of cellulose is that, as long as there is sufficient depth of paint, the surface can be flatted with 1000 or 1200 grit wet 'n dry then cut and polished to give a superb finish. Even brushed-on cellulose can be cut and polished to give a top-class finish, provided that there is sufficient depth of paint to allow all of the brush marks to be flatted out! Against these advantages, with cellulose there is rather a lot of wastage. The paint has a low pigment content and so a fair thickness of it is required to produce a luxurious finish.
Most body shops today use either synthetic or two-pack paints. Synthetic paints can give an excellent finish but they tend to look at little 'plastic' if used on an older car. Synthetic paints have a fairly long drying time, and so there is a greater chance of air-borne dust being able to settle on the surface before it dries. Only two coats of the paint are necessary to produce a gloss finish.
Two pack paints have a high pigment content and so produce a deep finish. Unfortunately, some of the ingredients of the paints are highly toxic and so they should only be used with proper breathing apparatus, which in practice really means an external air supply. The two pack paints are therefore used in the main by well equipped professional spray shops.

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