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Old 12-01-2006, 08:39 PM
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Clear Coat Questions from the novice

I've always sent out my work to be painted or cleared and now want to try it myself. So I need help from the experts. I'll be clearing over fiberglass that has been primed and painted.

Which clear coats do you recommend with a very high gloss ? And where can I buy it ?

Can they be used with a regular air brush ? And does it need to be thinned ? With what ?

Is an air purified respirator with organic vapor cartridges good enough ? I'll be spraying smaller pieces inside my work shop using an exhaust fan plus inside fans.

Ed Cubberly

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Old 12-01-2006, 08:49 PM
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Modern catalyzed clears are dangerous as they contain isocyanate's. There are a number of clears that are very high quality. The are mixed with an activator and reducer (thinner). One of the better reasonably priced clears is sold by Southern Polyurethanes and the owner is a member of this forum. I would be hesitant to spray the clear in a workshop without very good ventilation. A good mask with brand new filters will work for a short time but if the air is not exchanged fast enough while you are spraying the filter cartridges can become saturated and you will not know it. You will have breathed in a lot before you start to smell it. I would recommend you seek out the use of a professional paint booth. Don't mean to scare you, but the newer paints can be real nasty on your body. They are not like the older enamels or lacquer.

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Old 12-01-2006, 08:51 PM
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Modern paints are miracles of technology. In most cases it's best to use the clear recommended by the manufacturer of the base coat. I'd check with whoever painted the color coat and find out what brand he used then buy the clear from that manufacturer. Not all clear coats are compatible with all base colors and mixing and matching sometimes winds up with a big mess.

Good luck.
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Old 12-02-2006, 07:32 AM
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Well people and paint manufacturers are going to error on the side of caution. But it is my belief that a charcoal respirator will provide protection, as long as it is fitting your face well and the filters and prefilters are fresh, and you have good ventilation where you are spraying. Manufacturers products are designed to work together, but I've yet to have any problems using another manufacturers primer under or clear over someone elses base. How many bodyshops know or care what brand they are clearing over when they blend and clear a panel? If this is already painted I don't think you are going to have chemical adhesion anymore anyways. If it doesn't have a clearcoat on it already, you may have to spray more color, specially if its a metallic or pearl. There are many good clears out there, but I agree with vince. Southern polyurethanes can't really be beat for its looks, price, and above all customer service and keeping people happy. No one is as willing as Barry to help a newbie, weather his products or not. Spi also has a forum if you have specific product questions and he visits here regularily. Some people will probably get upset cause how much spi gets mentioned here, but there is a reason for it. I don't get a dime no matter what you use. Used Spi universal for the first time this summer. I've got good results with ppg and others also, but the price and service aren't comparable.
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Old 12-02-2006, 09:36 AM
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Have you painted the base yet?
Base coat/clear coat "systems" have to be cleared with in 24 hrs generally and "if" it's already painted and waiting for clear it needs scuffing and the base reshot for the clear to adhere properly if longer than 24.
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Old 12-02-2006, 06:45 PM
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Oh Hell, just wetsand the sucker and spray the clear. If you screw it up, sand it and spray again.
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Old 12-03-2006, 04:58 PM
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Actually, the window of opportunity to spray the clear over the base depends on the brand of base involved. Not sure, but I believe that SW is actually 7 days.

As far as the brand of clear goes, there are many. I have to agree with the suggestion of the SPI, because I use it regularly. I have used it over SW, Dupont, Debeers, and of course SPI bases, with very happy customers. They are also very user friendly for people that don't have access to a professional paint booth.

I have also read many times that you should always use the same brand of products all the way thru the job. Collision shops regularly paint over paint where they have no idea what brand it is, with problems being very rare. The paint manufacturers apparently have no problem with that!

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Old 12-04-2006, 05:50 PM
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Ed, what are you working on? What kind of paint are you using for the color? The 24hr clearcoat window can be opened back up a few different ways if we know what color products you are using. SPI offers some awesome primers, colors, and clears if you're looking for a gloss that'll show off your work. Bob
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