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Old 03-15-2018, 08:20 AM
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Factory paint-Body repair

Was reading about cut and buff and it got me to wondering, what is done differently at the factory that they don't have to cut and buff?

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Old 03-15-2018, 09:28 AM
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Interesting question............

First off, the work environment is clean like an operating room, I am not exaggerating, it is as clean as the operating room where they are doing open heart surgery.

Thus, no specs of dust or lint or hairs or what ever that need to be sanded and buffed. The body isn't full of dirt, it's new, so stuff doesn't blow off it either.

Second, perfect atomization so it lays a flat as possible thus no need to cut and buff "orange peel" out. This is an interesting one in that it comes down to learning how to adjust the gun, spray patterns and distance and speed and such, and then be consistent.

This is one of the most interesting things I see painters fail at, being consistent. It blows my mind how easy this is, do it exactly the same every time, it's so damn easy it's crazy, yet many pro painters can't pull this off. Everything from leaving dry areas to getting runs, I don't get it, I just don't get it.

Here is a overview of doing this.

"Basics of Basics" Spray technique
By Brian Martin

A perfect paint job would have a consistent thickness on every square inch of the car, agreed?

To have four coats on the left fender, two on the right, five on the left door and one on the right wouldn’t be right. For consistent color, appearance, and durability you need the thickness (film build) to be consistent.

The closer to a perfect “decal” over the car, the better. However, just by the nature of human beings and their faults this isn’t always the case. If you were to check the “MIL” thickness (there are super accurate digital tools for this) of the average repainted car you would find many different amounts of film build.

More film build is usually found at the meeting point of two panels, like the seam at the door and fender. Think about it, you can’t paint down the whole side of the car in one pass, so you paint the fender with a number of passes of the gun starting at the front top, ending at the rear top, then moving down to the next pass right below that. You do this over and over until the fender is shot. Then you move on to the door, right? What happens right at the seam between the two? You have painted a coat on the fender, AND on the door; you can’t start and stop perfectly at the seam, so right there at that seam you are applying twice the amount of paint. Yep, if you apply three coats on the car, you are applying SIX coats at those seams.

It is very in these days of high solids clears to see a sag running vertically right on the edge of these panels. It will almost look like the panel has a body line going down the folded edge. It is caused by too much film build. Many times this sag isn’t repaired because it almost looks natural there on the edge. But it can be eliminated with a change in spray technique.

Ever seen a candy paint job that is darker at the seams? This was caused be the very thing I just described.

A classic example of this can be found on many early VW bugs. The hood is triangle shaped, with the front right at the handle being much narrower than the rear. Well, if you paint one side of the hood and then move to the other side it is VERY easy to end up with twice the coats right down at front of the hood. Go look at that point the next time you see an old air cooled bug and you will likely see a sag in the paint right at the bottom of the body line next to the handle.

Understand, this isn’t the end of the world. Most of the time this small discrepancy is acceptable. My point is, the closer to perfect, the better.

I was taught this simple spray technique about a hundred years ago (seems like that) at one of my first jobs. We were shooting lacquer completes. Sometimes these paint jobs had fifteen or twenty coats of color applied. My mentor at the shop pointed out to me to “Move the dry spot around”. If you didn’t you would end up with a much drier area at each of these seams. Remember, this was lacquer, if you have not shot it, it dried FAST. The overspray off the end of the spray pattern could produce a LOT of dryness. So if you did this coat after coat it would build up pretty bad.

After shooting a zillion coats of lacquer that way, I continued the practice. I have used this technique all these years with primers, sealers, colors, and clears, urethanes, epoxies, enamels, all with great success. It just makes sense to me to try to get that perfect “decal” over the panels. I pay particular attention to doing this when I do edges, there is one pet peeve of mine, one thing that boils my blood is seeing fender edges under the wheel well with dry spots or worse yet, no paint! EVERY SINGLE SQUARE INCH of panel should have good coverage. I don’t care if it is going to be hidden with a bumper, under a vinyl top, unseen after the fender or what ever is bolted on, I don’t care, EVERY SINGLE SQUARE INCH gets covered, if it was intended to be so.

Here is an example of the technique. You don’t have to do exactly as I have in the drawings, these are just suggestions. Adjust this concept to your particular needs. The basic point is to not start and stop at the same point every coat.

PLEASE NOTE: The direction of the lines in the drawing DO NOT mean you are to spray the paint in that angle, that was only done to more clearly show the starting and stopping points. To spray in this fashion isn’t out of the question though; I will find myself doing that as well, to get a more even coat. But that is only in particular places with particular needs.

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Old 03-15-2018, 09:37 AM
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And of course, I am talking old school, and yes they did need to cut and buff a bit a few years ago, I imagine still do a little bit.

I was more referring to when humans painted them. But then of course, it's exactly the same thing, consistency that keeps them looking nice. If the painter in his garage or booth can get more "robot like" he can do nearly the same thing!

But these days the cars are shot with robots and if you go looking for a video it's really fascinating! Fascinating and a bit creepy too. The car literally looks like it is "changing color" like a photo shop kinda thing, they simple "change color" and you don't see the painting process hardly at all, it's friggin creepy!

But yes, there still is a bit of "cut and buff" with flaws but the flaws have gotten much less frequent.

Brian
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Old 03-15-2018, 10:32 AM
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Thanks Brian, knew I could count on you. lol I'll go look up some videos on factory painting.
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Old 03-16-2018, 06:08 AM
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also the factory has it down so they know exactly the least amount of paint they can apply to get the car covered and save a few bucks on each one which adds up to millions. The thin amount of paint and/or clear is also why they don't last very long and CANT be buffed you'd burn through in a second.
Most shops with a good booth DONT cut and buff. The painter gets them slick and the booth keeps them clean and dirt free. So if theres no OP and very little trash whats left to cut and buff? Runs? when you paint every day that too is not an issue. Who would want a short lasting peeler from the factory when you can get a 15yr paint job that's still shines and done by an actual person. Now if there was money in buffing I'm sure the factory would be all in. Any painter that cares about his work can do much better than the factory buffed or not. The problem is most painters DONT care, just there to get their check but the good news is you can usually tell which are which and which ones are just full of crap.
The better the painter the less cutting and buffing BUT on the other hand, you don't HAVE to be a good painter to do a good paint job just a good buffer.

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Old 03-16-2018, 07:51 AM
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I'm guessing, the really thin paint is why they painted the whole door on my 2015 black silverado to fix a small ding?
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Old 03-16-2018, 08:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fang16 View Post
I'm guessing, the really thin paint is why they painted the whole door on my 2015 black silverado to fix a small ding?
Nope, it's basecoat clear coat and that is just the right way to repair it. You spot paint the repair then clear the whole door. Anything less than that is playing with fire, blends fail, clearing the whole panel is the right way to do it, period.

Many shops are under a warrantee program with the paint company they are working with be it PPG or Dupont or what ever. They have sent their painters to training, they follow procedures using their products and the company will warrantee it and pay for any repairs in the future do to failures.

I have seen it, they WILL back it up, and with that kinda backing, it makes it clear that following the guidelines is going to give you a better result, spot painting on a panel with open blends is a BIG NO NO with all these warrantees, and for good reason, they WILL fail.

Brian
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Old 03-16-2018, 08:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deadbodyman View Post
also the factory has it down so they know exactly the least amount of paint they can apply to get the car covered and save a few bucks on each one which adds up to millions. The thin amount of paint and/or clear is also why they don't last very long and CANT be buffed you'd burn through in a second.
Most shops with a good booth DONT cut and buff. The painter gets them slick and the booth keeps them clean and dirt free. So if theres no OP and very little trash whats left to cut and buff? Runs? when you paint every day that too is not an issue. Who would want a short lasting peeler from the factory when you can get a 15yr paint job that's still shines and done by an actual person. Now if there was money in buffing I'm sure the factory would be all in. Any painter that cares about his work can do much better than the factory buffed or not. The problem is most painters DONT care, just there to get their check but the good news is you can usually tell which are which and which ones are just full of crap.
The better the painter the less cutting and buffing BUT on the other hand, you don't HAVE to be a good painter to do a good paint job just a good buffer.
What you are saying is possible and many shops operate that way, still a dirt nib here and there. It's just a shame more don't want to step it up a bit. A LOT of the problems are so easy to fix!

Brian
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Old 03-16-2018, 06:29 PM
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The quality of the paint job varies from shop to shop some do fantastic work, others.....well, not so much, legally if its painted you get paid. how well its done has nothing to do with it, many take advantage of this. You can always tell who likes the work they do and who only does it for the money. Brian's shop sounds like a great place to work or have work done at. They are few and far between. I'm going out on a limb and saying a new car dealer is about the worst place to bring your car for body and paint work. I'm sure there are some good ones out there I've just never run across any. Mechanics on the other hand THATS where you find some great ones.
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Old 03-16-2018, 06:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MARTINSR View Post
What you are saying is possible and many shops operate that way, still a dirt nib here and there. It's just a shame more don't want to step it up a bit. A LOT of the problems are so easy to fix!

Brian
Most of your customers cant tell a good job from a hack job as long as the color matches.
I had a customer come in mad as heck, Where's my car? He thought one of my helpers took it out for a joy ride. I just laughed, and told him You walked right by it when you came in the door, its done. what I really hate is when they say DAM, that painter did a heck of a job and you have 100hrs of body work into it. Paint is nothing, body work is everything.

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Old 03-17-2018, 10:07 AM
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I have always laughed at how you could put the door on upside down and the customer only notices that the color is off. LOLOL

But honestly, I have seen a lot of customers go off on panel fit these days. The cars fit so amazingly well that people DO expect it to be the same...as well as they should!

But boy do they see color mismatch, wow.

Brian
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Old 03-17-2018, 12:18 PM
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I learned to act like Scotty from the starship Enterprise. If its an older car I say, look its been painted a few times and its old paint of who knows what quality that's been in the sun for a few years, so it'll be close but don't expect it to be a dead on match. When they pick it up and its 'what looks like" a dead on match they think I'm amazing.
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Old 03-17-2018, 02:59 PM
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Another good thing is to sell it properly to the customer when they are dropping it off. If you speak realistically to the customer they pick it up looking at it realistically.

Brian
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Old 03-19-2018, 04:42 PM
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It seems to me that the factory paint work is not as good as it used to be. While there is little to no trash, the paint is not as slick as it should be. I think I started noticing more orange peel in the factory paint starting about 1998-99, and only the very high end cars were still pretty slick. I am sorely dissapointed in the quality of the paint on the 2015 Merc S550. This car sold for ~$100k new, and I'm surprized that they were able to get that much given it's quality of workmanship.
I'll have to scuff and buff the areas that I repair, (my shop isn't as clean as the factory paint shop) And as a result, my repair will be a bit slicker than the rest of the car.
But, it does have one redeeming value. A little 4.7l V-8 that is badazz.
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Old 03-19-2018, 04:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fang16 View Post
Was reading about cut and buff and it got me to wondering, what is done differently at the factory that they don't have to cut and buff?
Cleaner painting environment, and they sell the orange peel with the car.
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