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Old 08-06-2004, 02:17 PM
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Sherwin Williams Clear Coat Failing < 3 Years?

I had my black ’85 Toyota MR2 taken down to the metal and then primed and painted with Sherwin Williams materials by a reputable paint shop less than 3 years ago. Within 1.5 years, the clear coat started bubbling/peeling on the hood and the paint shop repainted the hood without charge. Now large areas of the roof are doing the same as well as other horizontal surfaces (see attached). The painter does not feel responsible for all the peeling that is going on now.

Sherwin Williams did an analysis on the clear coat and said it had been “etched.” The paint shop owner’s argument is that the clear coat would not do that unless I somehow abused it during the first 2 months it was on.

I live in a dry climate (West Texas) and the paint job was completed in mid-September, so it was hot, but not as it is in July. The car was garaged and kept clean. For the first year it sat outside during the daytime while I was at work, but I wouldn’t think that would void my warrantee.

I know of nothing happening to the car to explain this. The “bubbling” is occurring on various surfaces – trunk, top of fender, spoiler, horizontal surface underneath back windows, etc…

Anyone have any ideas or suggestions for me?

Thanks.

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Old 08-06-2004, 02:52 PM
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You came to the right place!
The S&W expert is on here so I'm sure he can help you out.
In case he can't,
is there anyway you can take a piece of clear and get a mil reading?
Also take a piece of clear and go inside under a regular light bulb
and see if there is anything on the back side of the clear, you cannot see it from the outside light or florescent.
A lot of times when they tell you it was analyzed, it s bull, to do that it takes time to mail off and if it was done there would be a printout. Etch? How long did it take for an answer to get back on the problem?
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Old 08-06-2004, 03:21 PM
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Thanks alot for the reply, Barry.

The analysis was done when the hood was repainted. The painter's supplier refused to warranty the paint because of the "etching" so the painter ended up footing the bill for the hood replacement. He did not hesitate to tell me he'd repaint the hood for free when he saw what it was doing.

I took a piece of the clear from one of the bubbles (plenty to choose from) and there is nothing on it. Holding it up to a regular light, it just looks clear, but with a wavy texture.

Can you tell me where I would go to get a mil rating (what type of shop)? I'd be happy to do that.

Hopefully the Sherwin Williams expert will read this as well.
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Old 08-06-2004, 07:18 PM
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Dee, did you see the actual S&W rep fill out a long form when the "analysis" was done? This form is VERY long and must be filled out with the VIN of the car, MIL test results (done in the field by the rep) a complete explanation of the conditions when it was painted, etc. The form is called a PPR (Product Performance Report) if it was not filled out, not analysis was done, it was all a smoke and mirror show. I don't know what the heck the "etching" was all about, what exactly did they say this has to do with it?

It sounds like you got blown off on this one. But I have to say, the manufacture is not the problem (other than not being straight up with you) the clear did not fail.

Claims such as this was one of my job duties with S-W. I wouldn't have filled out a report either, it is a waste of time. The problem was with application, plain and simple. The paint shop is who you should be mad at, well not mad because it failed, crap happens. But not standing behind it, that is what I would be mad about. Blame the paint company, The paint company (I am still not convinced a real rep from S-W every saw the car, it may have been some guy from the store) blames the shop and you get screwed. I am sorry it happen to you. When I was a rep I even thought the shop is at fault I worked with them, gave them product, helped them out (off the S-W records ) and got the poor guys car repainted. It sounds like your paint shop doesn't have a good relationship with the jobber (paint store).

Here is the problem and the fact that it failed on the top surfaces is one of the pieces of evidence. The clear is fine, it didn't chalk up or break down in someway right? The paint is fine, it didn't come off on the clear like it had broke down, no the adhesion between the clear and paint failed, not the products, but the adhesion.

We as painters and human beings inherently apply more material to the top surfaces. Every car I ever mil checked had more (other than factory robot painted) on the top surfaces. Watch a painter and he will be a little slower on the top surfaces with his passes. He likes to watch the paint go on, this leaves the surface a little wetter. This solvent needs to flash off. Without seeing the car, talking to the painter and more importantly KNOWING the painter, knowing his habits, I am at a huge disadvantage here looking at your words on a computer monitor. But after doing the job a number of years, believe me a very clear pattern emerges. This is a very common problem, one I saw many times.

This solvent that didn't flash off from the base color got sealed in under the clear. After some time the solvents get between the color and clear and start "bubbling". The bubbling looks isn't sticking up or anything like that, it is more just "whiter" because it has came off the paint and is just laying there on top with no adhesion.

Just to touch the idea of the paint or clear being at fault. That product was made up in batches of many hundreds of gallons, possibly even thousands. If it was a "bad" batch there would have been thousands of failures like yours. Believe me, there is NOTHING the company wants to do more than to reduce their liability by stopping such a thing. If your car was one of a number of failures, you would have been taken care of by S-W. I NEVER, NEVER was told to hide failures, I never heard even a hint, a "under the table" order, NOTHING that would suggest I should do something like that. I know the painters don't like to hear it but 99.9999% of failures are painter error. The thing I have never understood about the human condtion is why we want to blame something or someone for our errors when finding out our errors will only make us better.



That is not to say that the paint manufacture makes great stuff, not at all. The product may be a temperamental piece of crap that is very hard to "get right". That doesn't change the fact that IF used correctly it WILL work. If a manufacture of paint products got a call from a jobber or shop about a product failure that was legit, he would RUN, not walk, but RUN where ever he had to STOP this from snowballing into millions of dollars of loss.

One last thing, if this shop had went to some simple training classes and passed a simple test the shop would be a life time warrantee shop. Now, the training would possible eliminated the problem. But even if it didn't, S-W will cover these guys often. Where I work, we are a life time guarantee shop. We have had a few problems in the 3.5 years I have been there. I know it was painter error, I see what they do. They were all covered by S-W, no questions asked. That is a fringe benefit to having a good relationship with the jobber and the paint company you are working with.

Good luck and I pray you don't get to wade thru a foot deep of dog crap with the posts that will likely follow this.
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Old 08-06-2004, 07:41 PM
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The repaint jobs that I've seen do this, in my opinion was to long of a time period from color flash until clear was applied. And would definitely be the painters fault.

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Old 08-06-2004, 07:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by troy-curt
The repaint jobs that I've seen do this, in my opinion was to long of a time period from color flash until clear was applied. And would definitely be the painters fault.

Troy
Your right Troy, it was "something" between the base and the clear. The recoat between S-W base and clear is seven days though, I doubt this was the problem here, I never saw it once.

Painters don't wait "too long", they go too fast as a rule. They have a boss on their back, a line of cars waiting to be painted, pushing it is usually the problem.

Solvent is usually the problem, by a HUGE margin. Solvent in some way, too slow of solvent for the temp of the shop, too much solvent with over reducing, too wet an application, SOMETHING to do with solvent.
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Old 08-06-2004, 08:13 PM
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the clear did not fail.

The paint is fine, it didn't come off on the clear like it had broke down, no the adhesion between the clear and paint failed, not the products, but the adhesion.

This solvent that didn't flash off from the base color got sealed in under the clear. After some time the solvents get between the color and clear and start "bubbling". The bubbling looks isn't sticking up or anything like that, it is more just "whiter" because it has came off the paint and is just laying there on top with no adhesion.

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The only other thing I can think of is if the car did not have enough mils of clear left on after buffing, I don't think that the cause because when this happens the clear will tend to bleach in a spot first.
I also tend to think it was trapped solvents between the base and the clear, the reason is you said the clear was wrinkled on the backside, an indication as the solvent escaped the base contracted. Also adding to this problem is it is black, the slowest drying color.
Barry
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Old 08-07-2004, 11:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by MARTINSR
Dee, did you see the actual S&W rep fill out a long form when the "analysis" was done? This form is VERY long and must be filled out with the VIN of the car, MIL test results (done in the field by the rep) a complete explanation of the conditions when it was painted, etc. The form is called a PPR (Product Performance Report) if it was not filled out, not analysis was done, it was all a smoke and mirror show. I don't know what the heck the "etching" was all about, what exactly did they say this has to do with it?
Thanks for your helpful response.

To answer your questions: No, I didn't see the S&W rep fill out the long form or anything, but I really don't think he's lying to me about some sort of analysis being done. When he was going to repaint the hood, the paint shop owner just said that his supplier wouldn't stand behind him on this due to the analysis results and so he would have to foot the bill.

On the "etching" thing, here is what the paint shop owner told me in his emails:

"The paint company denied the warranty, because they did a chemical test on it and said it had been contaminated. I took care of it out of my pocket, because I do stand behind my work. I am not sure if the paint is totally at fault, since I haven't had any other problems at all. If a car is left dirty and the sun bakes it into the paint, something like this can happen. The round circles are usually a tell-tale sign of the paint being "etched" by something. The etching actually will take the top layer of clear-coat off where-ever the contaminant was."

and in another email from the paint shop owner:

"Paint will do this if water-spots are left in the hot sun when the paint is fresh(first two months). A small amount of dirt will increase the etching. Black paint seems to be more likely to react in this manner. Waxing will not take out the waterspots, It will actually hasten the peeling process. It peels because the etching has reduced the thickness and stamina of the clear. I will be glad to turn in another sample of your clear-coat to the paint company and see if they can give me a more precise reason for the etching."

"...when I don't feel that I am responsible for certain problems, I normally don't take care of those things. If the paint company will warranty your car , It will be painted for no charge. If there chemical analysis finds that the clear-coat has been etched by anything, they will not pay for a new paint job."

"The first two months are very critical to a long-lasting top-coat. When paint has been etched, It normally will still not peel in such a short period of time.(just leaves waterspot-looking rings) That is why I thought it had been more than a year ( I did not ask for any reciept ). There will just be water-spot looking spots in the clearcoat (like what I saw on your car in several spots). I HAVE had a couple of customers come back to my shop with this type of problem, and I told them what the paint company told me (the paint has been etched), and they believed me."


and finally

"Gary, I will paint the peeling parts of your car, not the whole car. By the way, how is the hood holding up this time. It is exactly the same paint as the first time,(which started bubbling. within a year. I really haven't had this type of problem so soon before. I believe you when you say you haven't left it outside, but paint that is kept indoors, and taken care of properly, doesn't do the things that is happening on your car. I know it was a warm day the day you picked it up, Could the paint have gotten over 110 degrees? That possibly could have caused it. Extreme temperatures (hot or cold) on fresh paint could possibly have caused this."

I'm honestly not trying to get a free paint job out of this if I'm at fault, but I know, and can have others vouch for me, that this isn't happening because I "abused" the paint during the first 2 months by leaving it dirty or leaving water spots on it.

I just want everyone to do what's right. To his credit, the paint shop owner has agreed to repaint the parts that are peeling without charge. He also did give me a very good price on the original paint job considering the amount of work he had to do (repairs, trim, etc...).

My concern is what the car will look like a year from now. For example, the top of the right fender is peeling. If we paint that, but don't paint the left fender, I'm afraid that it's going to look terrible in a year or less.

Thanks again to each of you for giving your honest opinion and suggestions on this. I'd like to hear more of your opinions -- especially what you'd do if you were in my shoes now.
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Old 08-07-2004, 05:36 PM
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This new information doesn't add anything that would change what I thought before.

First off, black does hold the solvents longer, if any color is going to be on the top of the list to "add" to this a failure such as this it will be black. What the color of the base coat would have to do with the clear failing from some sort of contaminant on it has to do with anything I don't know, makes no sense.

With the information you have given as far as what the failure looks and acts like, I am sorry, it is adhesion that failed, not the clear. The clear is still intact, it didn't "fail".

"It peels because the etching has reduced the thickness and stamina of the clear."

This makes sense until you figure that these spots are not the only failure. If I understand you correctly, the clear is peeling off in large pieces. These peices have the "water spots" on them, is this correct? If that is true, than only the spot where the spot actually exists would have failed. The spot and thin clear isn't going to change the surrounding clear, and "it" didn't, no, the clear is fine, it just peeled off, perfectly intact.

"I HAVE had a couple of customers come back to my shop with this type of problem, and I told them what the paint company told me (the paint has been etched), and they believed me."

The painters applicatioin is causing this. He is going to have more.

""Gary, I will paint the peeling parts of your car, not the whole car. By the way, how is the hood holding up this time. It is exactly the same paint as the first time,(which started bubbling. within a year. I really haven't had this type of problem so soon before. I believe you when you say you haven't left it outside, but paint that is kept indoors, and taken care of properly, doesn't do the things that is happening on your car. I know it was a warm day the day you picked it up, Could the paint have gotten over 110 degrees? That possibly could have caused it. Extreme temperatures (hot or cold) on fresh paint could possibly have caused this."

The reasons that hood has held up could simply be it wasn't painted in the same way as the car. It wasn't loaded up as much with color, makes total sense that one will hold up while another doesn't. The temp was a little different, the painter grabbed a different reducer, there are a zillion reasons why one hold up while another doesn't. That is why when doing a real scientific test everything is subjected to the exact same conditions. Then, to be sure you have a "standard" in which to judge.

Painting the car a year ago and then painting the hood doesn't guarantee the same conditions, not on your life.

The typical warrantee is only going to cover what has actually failed. Seems unfair, but if you think about it objectivly, it is the only way it can be done and is fair for everone.
Yours failed earlier because it is black and the base retained more solvent. It also failed earlier because black absorbs more heat which is what will force the solvents out. If he is going to believe the "analysis" than he should stop right now and not talk anymore. Blaming the 110 degrees when you picked it up? What the heck is that about? First off, the average heated booth bakes at 120-140. Then, he mentions "Extreme temps (hot or cold)"?? No, I am sorry, that is just nuts. What is it 110 or 20 below around there, he needs to make up his mind.

He is going to repair the bad areas right? If he is, and I was in your shoes, I would let him do it. Then if it happens again, I would bring it back and tell him repair again. And I would ask and ask until he says no. Then you have something to think about. By that time it will be long out warrantee and the deal will be done.
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Old 08-07-2004, 06:48 PM
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Thanks for your reply and suggestions.

To help everyone see what's going on, I've posted pictures in my MR2 Clear Coat Peeling album.

The last picture (roof on driver's side) shows the larger areas.

I hope the pictures are consistent with my description of the problem.

Thanks.
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Old 08-07-2004, 07:23 PM
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Let me make something perfectly clear here. I have not seen this car, talked to the shop, anything. I would hate to be the jerk off who tells some shop they are wrong when I am not even there. I am going with what you have told me and that I don't believe the PPR and sample was ever sent in for analysis. I also havn't read that report if it does exist. If I did, I may find that the clear does in fact have some damage do to exposure to something. That DOESN'T mean that it caused THIS failure, it only means that it was damaged.

This failure was caused by solvent between the base and clear, or something similar like the base was sanded, the base sat too long as Troy mentioned or SOMETHING that caused the poor adhesion.

The damage in the photos is exactly what I had envisioned.

For instance, the "water spots" are all over the car right? Than why are just the top surfaces effected? How about that shot of the rear window, that looks like a moulding that has failed, why is the paint right next to it intact?

See what I am talking about? There are patterns to how a painter walks around a car. They will tell just like the bloody foot prints outside Nicoles condo what happen.

I am more convinced the more you show me that this is application error. Now, if I were the shop owner, I would redue this whole thing for you just as payment for solving a BIG problem he is making for himself.

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Old 08-08-2004, 09:10 AM
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[QUOTE]Originally posted by MARTINSR
[B]Let me make something perfectly clear here. I have not seen this car, talked to the shop, anything. I would hate to be the jerk off who tells some shop they are wrong when I am not even there.
************************************************
M. SR has tried to help you out but put himself as he calls it a jerk position.
A lot of guess work in this thread and something I have found in past is when you see the job its different than was presented on phone.
I would keep this in mind, it would have been easier for M.SR not to have responded at all than having some painter looking for him at the NACE show.
With this in mind I would urge you to use the education you have received but was was written here should stay here!
Barry
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Old 08-08-2004, 01:58 PM
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Thanks again Martin and Barry for your ideas. I do really appreciate each one on the thread and especially your willingness to stick your neck out and give me your best guess as to what's going on and where the responsibility lies. I also take it as just that -- an educated guess; that's the best you can do by just looking at pictures.

As far as the painter hunting anyone down at a car show or anything, trust me that in this case, you shouldn't be concerned. This guy isn't the type to pull such a stunt, but is really a good, honest painter. He and I got along fine until, to my surprise, he didn't feel responsible for the way the car looks now. From then on my goal has been to determine the most likely place that something went wrong and who was responsible. I'm a computer programmer, not a paint expert, and if someone tells me the clear coat could be peeling because the weather was too hot on the day I picked the car up, I don't have the knowledge to refute that. My goal has never been to make the painter look bad or dishonest in any way, but rather just to find out the truth of what went wrong. I think the guys here have had the same goal. If the problem lies with me and the way I took care of the paint, then I don't mind taking my lumps and considering the amount I spent on the paint job a self-inflicted loss. I'm not a wealthy man, though (the car has 270,000 miles on it), and if I should ask for the paint job to be warrantied, then I need as much evidence as I can get to back myself up -- especially since the painter doesn't feel responsible.

That being said, I was going to discuss where we go from here with the painter tomorrow and had planned to send him a link to this thread and offer for him to join the discussion. If that would concern any of you at all in any way though, I don't want to do that.

I don't want to reward your kindness in posting by doing anything you'd be uncomfortable with, so unless I explicitly get permission from Martin and Barry to share this thread with the painter, I'll just let it go. I'll also not share the link with him if I hear from anyone else on the thread who'd rather that I didn't do that.

Thanks again.
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Old 08-08-2004, 02:10 PM
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If I had done this car, I would want to redo it before anyone saw it, my fault, industrial fallout, or paint failure.
Sad part is some shops may want to make right but just can't afford it. You may offer to buy materials and he supply labor.
Just a thought of compromise.
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Old 08-08-2004, 11:24 PM
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Dee, I have no problem with you showing this to anyone. Any professional who would read it and not understand the spirit in which it is written and intended is a sad sack. I have a lot more faith than that in the guy.

I took pride in studying failures such as this, a LOT. I have seen enough to know that what I have said here is much more than a guess.

If this painter would like to email me and call me names, fine. But I would much rather get an email from him asking me how he can solve the problem. That would make much more sense.
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