paint type confusion.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2018 1:39 pm
been reading for weeks now, and i am getting confused by the types of paint. google has confused me even more. could someone tell me the differences between acrylic, urethane, lacquer, enamel, acrylic urethane ename, etc??? also hear about water based vs solvent based, but not sure which of the above is which. i do however understand single stage vs be/cc. however, can urethane be both ss or bc/cc?
my head hurts, but feel i'm close to figuring out what i am using.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2018 6:58 pm
Acrylic means paint based on a polymer that is basically "plastic".

Urethane (really, Polyurethane) is a two-part catalyzed paint and is the basis for pretty much every modern automotive paint system. You can have 'acrylic polyurethane' or 'polyester polyurethane', the difference being the types of resins used in the system. Hard to say which one is better - it really depends on the paint manufacturer and a slew of other variables.

Enamel means "paint" and is not a very useful term.

Lacquer is a thermoplastic resin used for centuries (plant based, originally). It differs from Urethane in that it is not catalyzed paint, i.e. it does not chemically "cure" -- it simply "dries". You can re-soften an old lacquer paint job with a solvent, long after it has been applied. Unless doing a period-authentic restoration nobody really uses lacquer automotive paints anymore.

Bottom line: use a modern paint system that can be trusted - and you'll be fine.



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PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2018 8:19 pm
just to confuse me more, couple years ago i bought some nason fast dri paint to paint the floor of my chevelle. i had, and still have,the paint my dad used 25 years ago to paint the car. he used dupont centari acrylic urethane enamel. i was told i could roll it on, which i did, and it actually worked quite well. it is a single stage paint, as i didn't add any catalyst, or hardener. i was also told by pint store that they weren't supposed to sell me the nason fastdri if i was going to spray it. because i was rolling it, there was no issue.

then there is reducer, which i believe is just to get consistency needed for spraying.

ive heard of urethane reducer, enamel reducer, lacquer thinner, paint thinner. etc.
i generally understand solvents( i think) but is reducer just solvent? (or combination of specific solvents?)

am i out to lunch?



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PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2018 11:33 pm
your basically right, reducers and thinners are used to get the right viscosity so it will spray and lay on the surface properly. it get more involved with temp ranges and mix matching reducers and thinners.
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2018 8:16 am
Okay, try this......clear your mind and say.... What durable paint system do I want on a modern car that's going to get acid rain, bird crap, rail dust, smog, and every other piece of crap the environment can throw at it??? To me that's two choices... SSU (Single Stage Urethane) or B/CC (Base Coat/Clear Coat). Base/clear is easiest to troubleshoot and separates the color process from the clear. This allows you to work your clear. Single Stage is kind of nice on more vintage work solid colors. Reducers/thinners are product specific so no mixing of those across types/brands. Yes, and as said those are all about operating temp.s
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2018 10:09 am
To simplify this even more:
Urethane Reducer to mix with urethane paints and clears. (all you should be using in my opinion)
Lacquer thinner is used only for cleaning spray guns and equipment.
Paint thinner for when you are painting the house or barn - keep it out of your auto shop.

The steps for properly prepping a car for paint are given above in the Sticky Posts.

Only use an automotive grade Wax and Grease Remover for your final wipe down. Lacquer thinner and many of the other "metal preps" leave a film behind that will cause adhesion problems.

The Members Projects Forum has tons of examples, photos, explanations and final results to look at. The Info Center has plenty of articles to help as well.
1968 Coronet R/T


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2018 6:14 pm
okay, but here is where i get confused. you tell me to use single stage urethane, or bc/cc. i understand the difference between ss and bc/cc. but that also makes me think is be/cc not urethane? i think it is, but it's statements like this that have my brain twisted. I don't mean to contradict you, just trying to point out why i'm confused.

i have read many of the in progress and completed projects, and one day hope to be able to shape metal like some of you, i've also read all the stickies, and feel pretty confident in tearing down and rebuilding a car, i have a mig and arc welder, and can mig weld pretty decently. in process of getting torches, and used to. e able to weld well with them also. have plasma cutter also. hoist should be up in a month or less, and working on some custom shop accessories. at some point will strip to metal the chevelle, but may drive it for a bit first. hasn't seen daylight in 30 years, except for one move, and transfer from garage to shop. hasn't run in 20 years or so. i feel pretty mechanically inclined, just can't seem to grasp the paint terminology well.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2018 8:58 pm
I personally don't worry about understanding it all, that's a chemist's job.
The '68 Coronet R/T was the first time I sprayed the urethane bc/cc system. It was hands down better than the enamel I sprayed on a '68 Mustang a few years prior. No going back for this guy.

Since then I have sprayed a few cars and found that using good quality paint also makes a big difference. The bargain basement brands don't spray as nice or cover as well.

Doesn't sound like you will be needing to spend money on base and clear from some time. Be sure to have a big enough air compressor to handle the tools and spray guns. 15 cfm would be minimum in my book.
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2018 10:28 pm
Yeah, I'd agree....don't get hung up on the chemistry tech. Go with known brands and you'll see that "they" even have their budget and premium levels. Almost anything that offers maximum protection and looks is going to be some variation on urethanes. Even the old style lacquers we've used in the wood finishing industry, now still handle like lacquers but are hybridzed high solids lacquer/urethane/melamine coatings.
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