10 Things You Need To Know About Paint - Thomas Douglas - E-Book

10 Things You Need To Know About Paint E-Book

Thomas Douglas

7,99 €


An in depth guide to paint restoration. This book is written based on years of expertise. Answer your paint questions about Automotive paint by getting the truth from a world recognized expert in the field of restoration.

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10 Things You Need To Know About Paint Copyright © by Thomas Douglas. All Rights Reserved.


Introduction 1. Chapter 1A Quick History On Paint 2. Chapter 2The Paint Process - Bodywork 3. Chapter 3The Paint Process - Primer 4. Chapter 4The Paint Process - Application and methods 5. Chapter 5The Paint Process - Wet Sand and Polish 6. Chapter 6Custom Paint 7. Chapter 7Touch Ups and Blow-Ins 8. Chapter 8Different From A Collision Shop 9. Chapter 9Caring for your paint 10. Chapter 10Real World Numbers In Restoration Paint 11. ConclusionThe Final Coat



Automotive Paint is something that is surprisingly misjudged by the public. Most of this derives from collision shops and quick respray shops that deal in new cars and accident damage. Comparing restoration paint to a collision shop is like comparing apples to oranges. There is a lot more to painting a classic or antique vehicle and this book is here to introduce you to the process and the materials through the 10 major things you need to know about automotive paint.

We are going to delve into the most asked questions that I get about paint and the areas that are most commonly misunderstood or that have major misconceptions. The purpose behind this book is not to be a how-to manual on painting a car. This book is here to make sure that you are informed of what is entailed in the process of paint, the different kinds of paint and what makes a good paint job vs a bad paintjob.

We will touch on things from orange peel in the clear, to the different kinds of paint and their uses. We will talk about the different kinds of paint jobs and the difference between a restorations paint job and a body shop paint job. We will look at the issues that can arise, their consequences and how to avoid them.

The knowledge that is given in this book is from my many years experience as both a restorer and a project manager at a major North American restoration facility. I know the difference between a mediocre paint job and one that can win at a major Concours d’Elegance. With me on your side you have the best chance of making sure you get what you want for a price that’s fair.

So lets dive in with our first chapter about the different types of paint.

Painters Tip:

This box will appear at the beginning of each chapter giving a “Painters Tip” about Painting.


Chapter 1

A Quick History On Paint

Painters Tip:

Paint colour will not affect the value of a car. It can however affect the ability to sell the car if the colour is only pleasing to you.


It’s important to understand the different types of paint that are available because more often than not it is best to match the chemical makeup of the paint that is on your car. It can be difficult to determine what paint is on the car if it has a history of accidents or repaints, but the era of your car can be a guide.


Originally, vehicles underwent  japanning and not paintwork as we conventionally know it today. Japan Black was the standard paint colour used by all vehicle manufactures because it took only 48 hours to cure per coat. With coloured Japanning, a vehicle would take up to 14 days per coat to dry. With 3 coats it would take 6 weeks alone just to paint a car in colour. This is the main reason that Henry Ford was famously known for saying “The customer can have any colour they want, so long as it is black.”


In the early 1920’s an accident at a Dupont factory lead to the creation of a magnificent new paint that took only a few minutes per coat to dry, Nitrocellulose lacquer. Dupont was the major manufacturer of cellulose film used in cameras, projectors and early video. The story goes that one weekend an employee carelessly left a barrel of cellulose film outside over the weekend. As the barrel baked in the sun the film dissolved into a stew of lost product, and the results of such carelessness lead to the discovery of a new quick drying laquer that could be made in a variety of colours. It’s unknown if this story is factually true or just a tall tale, but Dupont did discover nitrocellulose lacquer in the 1920’s and it changed how cars were painted from that moment on.


Nitro lacquer was much thinner than it’s counterpart Japan Black, which made it a pain to apply using a brush, as that was the standard method back then. Dupont needed a more practical method for applying the Nitro lacquer, so they began engineering an air powered paint gun to atomize and spray the new paint onto its target and in doing so created the worlds first Paint Gun. It’s design has evolved and become more efficient, allowing you to adjust the spray pattern for the type of paint, paint job or circumstances, but the basic premise of the spray gun hasn’t really changed since the 20’s.


In the 1950’s Dupont once again made a quantum leap in the realm of lacquer. Although Nitro lacquer was now the standard, durability was a major issue as the lacquer would continue to dry and shrink over time causing paint chips to fall off the car. DuPont believed there had to be a way to make a more durable and quick drying type of paint, and so became, acrylic lacquer.


Like any other acrylic, it’s main composition is resin. Automotive resin has the colour material suspended in the acrylic to make it a single stage paint like nitro. The durability of the new acrylic resin was phenomenal due to it’s curing process. The vehicle was essentially placed inside a big oven to cure the resin much like forming plastic. Though incredibly durable, the acrylic paint had an inherent problem, blending. Acrylic doesn’t like to blend the same way as Nitro does because of the baking cycle, which leaves the paint solvent resistant, making it extremely difficult to fix a damaged paint job. As is often said, “It’d be easier to strip and repaint an acrylic car, than it would be to simply repair the scratch.”


The 1980’s saw car manufacturers move towards urethane and polyurethane paints to replace the acrylic lacquer of the past. These were two stage paints needing base colour and a clear coat for shine and durability. With every advancement in the process there is always a learning curve. Urethane was one of the larger curves as car manufacturers suffered issues with paint falling off of cars from the mid 80’s to the mid 90’s until the process of spraying the urethane paint was figured out. Surface prep, temperature and solvents all need to be tuned in for this paint to last.