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Old 03-23-2011, 08:20 PM   #1
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Single stae urethane vs base coat clear coat urethane

I am getting ready to do my first paintjob and have been reading all the articles on here i can find. I have also been looking at paint at paintforcars,com. Considering it is my first time, which way should I go with the paint? My biggest fear is orangepeel, This car will be used for occasional cruise ins and more daily driver but I want it to look nice. Anxious to hear pros and cons of each and maybe see some pictures showing what you used,

thanks
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Old 03-23-2011, 08:34 PM   #2
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Re: Single stae urethane vs base coat clear coat urethane

are you thinking about using a metallic paint or not?

metallic paint should not be an option for single stage


personally, I would only use SS under these conditions...

need a quick, easy, cheap paint job

A sold color like White, red, or maybe black that you can buff back out of it starts to look faded.

This paint may not look as glossy as bc/CC, but it can be close of you are willing to work at it

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Old 03-23-2011, 10:00 PM   #3
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Re: Single stae urethane vs base coat clear coat urethane

I would suggest a single stage paint job in a solid color for your first time. I would also recommend that you spend twice as much time as you think is necessary in block sanding your primer coats-no paint will cover up poor body work and as you say, you want it to look good. Pat Ganahal's book on painting is an excellent read with many valuable tips. You are on the right track-read everything you can about prep and painting, make lots of notes, and come up with a definitive plan for accomplishing it. Also, take lots of pics and post them, we all appreciate someone else's hard work!
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Old 03-24-2011, 07:12 AM   #4
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Re: Single stae urethane vs base coat clear coat urethane

IMO, there is no reason to be painting any cars with single stage in 2011. That crap was replaced in the early 1980s, and for good reason.

Spray it with two stage, and just put the effort of a few good hand-wax jobs with Meguiars into it each year and it will last 30 years if the car is well cared for.
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Old 03-24-2011, 07:15 AM   #5
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Re: Single stae urethane vs base coat clear coat urethane

are you sure you're not thinking of lacquer?

when buffed, solid single stage URETHANE paints can look pretty amazing, and they have the same durability as clear. I've heard clear is nothing but single stage paint without the tinting, but if I'm wrong somebody will correct me
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Old 03-24-2011, 08:07 AM   #6
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Re: Single stae urethane vs base coat clear coat urethane

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are you sure you're not thinking of lacquer?

when buffed, solid single stage URETHANE paints can look pretty amazing, and they have the same durability as clear. I've heard clear is nothing but single stage paint without the tinting, but if I'm wrong somebody will correct me
For the most part you are right. The good single stage of today is a great product. Especially for solid colors. However you need to use good single urethane single stage. Not enamel, or synthetic enamel, or lacquer. A urethane single stage has the properties of clear coat already into it. If you are going a solid color, the advantage to single stage will be less times around the car to paint it. For example if you are doing a typical base/clear job, you'll probably put 2-3 coats of color on, depending on the color and brand, and you'll put 2-3 coats of clear on . So you may walk around the car up to 6 times. With single stage you can put 3 coats of color on and be done. Sanded and buffed single stage looks amazing. Stick with a good brand though, sikkens, glasurit, RM, etc. Im not a fan of PPG or Dupont. Single stage paint is also easier to touch up as far as rock chips go.

Good luck, use whatever you are comfortable with. Just remember you get what you pay for, cheap materials are exactly that.
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Old 03-24-2011, 08:18 AM   #7
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Re: Single stae urethane vs base coat clear coat urethane

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are you sure you're not thinking of lacquer?

when buffed, solid single stage URETHANE paints can look pretty amazing, and they have the same durability as clear. I've heard clear is nothing but single stage paint without the tinting, but if I'm wrong somebody will correct me
we have a winner and it also depends on what you want

I will now don my flame suit

If you just want to repaint so the car looks good for a few years you can even go so far as wash it well, lightly sand and then hit it with a couple or 3 coats of the same color solid paint.

If you need body work or have surface rust then the above won't work

If you are looking for showroom quality (not from the 80's but from 2011) then base/clear is the way to go. Some will also tell you that if you aren't paying at least $500 for paint then it's junk which is pure BS, much like only MSD spark plug wires are any good.

It comes down to what you want. If you are charging someone and providing a warranty then you will use time tested methods and make the customer pay more so you can mitigate your warranty risk.

If it's just a 25 year old car that needs freshening up, there is nothing wrong with today's single stage urethane

In fact, I'm shooting mine this weekend with single stage white.

Between the cost of the high fill primer, paint, sandpaper, masking and tarps I'll repaint my car for around $200 or a little bit below that.

If I was going to paint the car red or maroon, and lived in the south or Texas/New Mexico than I would add a gazillion layers of clear to provide uv protection because red and maroon like to fade in the sun.

But, here is where I will contradict the above statment. If I just needed it to look great for a couple years and then good for a couple more because I was going to sell it, then I might still use single stage even with maroon.
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Old 03-24-2011, 09:48 AM   #8
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Re: Single stae urethane vs base coat clear coat urethane

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IMO, there is no reason to be painting any cars with single stage in 2011. That crap was replaced in the early 1980s, and for good reason.
Pretty sure your Camaro is painted with single stage. It's still being used.
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Old 03-24-2011, 01:40 PM   #9
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Re: Single stae urethane vs base coat clear coat urethane

Didn't the thread starter say up front that this is his first paint job?

Lot's of good advice here, let's help him get it real nice the first time, inexpensively, and as good as he can make it.

Those who have painted a number of cars should spell out their likes and dislikes of the paint products they have used so we can all learn more.
Thanks!
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Old 03-24-2011, 02:05 PM   #10
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Re: Single stae urethane vs base coat clear coat urethane

tips- OK, and I'm serious with this, don't try black paint or some deep shades of blue

Don't sweat litle parking lot dents that we all have in our cars within 7 days from receipt from the showroom. You'll drive yourself nuts trying to glaze over every single one. A brand new paint job is like a neon sign flashing that reads "please open your door quickly and whack my car and also, please shove your shopping cart against my doors"

You will need to decide if you can live with little dents still in the car or if you are trying to restore it to showroom condition.

those little blips in the paint that you see on the hood and roof, don't lightly sand them, it's surface rust that caused them so use a rust wheel (not wire wheel) and strip down to metal and clean it up. Then glaze over it and feather and then continue to sand the car in preparation for primer.

Use high build primer. It will fill in all the sand marks that you think you can't have and drive yourself nuts trying to make smoothe during the initial sanding process. Then, after 2 coats of high build primer you simply hit it with 800 grit paper and it's a wet sand. This is done with a sanding block. Use a spray bottle of water and spray the area you are sanding. You aren't trying to get to bare metal or original paint, you are simple making it smoothe.

You then wash the car and give it a good eyeball. We're not looking for show car quality, just a heck of a lot better than what you had. You can now choose to spray sealer or go right to painting. On the day of painting, be sure to wipe down the car real well prior to spraying because dust and pollen got on the car again.

If you are looking for the "perfect paint job" and trying to emulate a $4,000 professional job then the above isn't it.

If you are looking to be 3x-4x better than a $600 Maaco job then the above is just fine.
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Old 03-24-2011, 02:41 PM   #11
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Re: Single stae urethane vs base coat clear coat urethane

I wet sand with a bucket of water, keeping the paper very wet

don't sand without a sanding block, if you have to get into a corner your block won't reach, use a foam block or at least a sheet of paper that's been folded a few times. The impression of your fingers will ruin a good prep job

Don't rush the masking job. It's part of the prep, and that's 90% of what it takes to get a good paint job.


it would help to know from the OP what kind of paint job he wanted.. metallic, solid, even pearl. All of those require different techniques. If would also help to know if he's changing the color of his car, or keeping the factory original color

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Old 03-24-2011, 03:12 PM   #12
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Re: Single stae urethane vs base coat clear coat urethane

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I wet sand with a bucket of water, keeping the paper very wet

don't sand without a sanding block, if you have to get into a corner your block won't reach, use a foam block or at least a sheet of paper that's been folded a few times. The impression of your fingers will ruin a good prep job

Don't rush the masking job. It's part of the prep, and that's 905 of what it takes to get a good paint job.


it would help to know from the OP what kind of paint job he wanted.. metallic, solid, even pearl. All of those require different techniques. If would also help to know if he's changing the color of his car, or keeping the factory original color
first timer
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Old 03-24-2011, 03:17 PM   #13
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Re: Single stae urethane vs base coat clear coat urethane

I agree, but neing a first time he may not know what's possible and realistic or not. if we knew more about his project we could nudge him to a realistic paint job that is within the grasp of most

one thing that most people don't know... you have to have a MONSTER air compressor to do a paint job. that 33 gallon thing that you use to keep your tires inflated ain't going to cut it. it better be 60 before you even think about it, with a CFM of 12-15

If you don't have one.. rent one
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Old 03-24-2011, 05:02 PM   #14
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Re: Single stae urethane vs base coat clear coat urethane

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I agree, but neing a first time he may not know what's possible and realistic or not. if we knew more about his project we could nudge him to a realistic paint job that is within the grasp of most

one thing that most people don't know... you have to have a MONSTER air compressor to do a paint job. that 33 gallon thing that you use to keep your tires inflated ain't going to cut it. it better be 60 before you even think about it, with a CFM of 12-15

If you don't have one.. rent one
I just got an HVLP turbine and am using it this time. I've seen a car done with one and it worked great. I was a doubter until i saw it. I'm now using mine for this restoration project.
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Old 03-24-2011, 06:02 PM   #15
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Re: Single stae urethane vs base coat clear coat urethane

The first thing you need to do is figure out what your budget is. What you want to spend, and what you realistically can spend on materials.

The final product depends a lot of what you start with. In my opinion, if you are going to leave door dings in the car, mind as well not even paint the thing. If all you have is door dings, and nothing more I would strongly suggest you call a Paintless Dent Guy and let him work his magic on the car before you even begin to sand it out. Even if he breaks the paint or creates a few high spots, you can sand those right down. It will be money well spent and you wont have to do a thing.

Also I would detrim as much as you can. All the sheetmetal parts can stay on, but remove the locks, handles, trim, tailights,etc. Yes it takes a bit of extra time, but the end result will be a very very nice product. Detrimming is nothing more than your time.

As far as the materials, you truly get what you pay for. I have painted with them all, Sikkens, HOK, Glasurit, RM, Diamont, PPG, Dupont, Standox, Nason, Omni, Kirker, Transtar,etc,etc you name it I've probably used it at one point, and not to paint one small part, doing completes. I do restorations for a living, so everything is typically a complete.

If you are trying to be "budget" minded, buy the less expensive primers, clears,etc. I would STRONGLY STRONGLY suggest you buy a good polyester base coat. I am partial to Glasurit myself. However if you can find it locally Transtar makes an excellent polyester base coat.

Typically polyester base coats will cover in 1-2 coats, they are extremely hard to mottle or tiger stripe. If you get imperfections in them you can sand them fairly quickly without them gumming up the paper. Most of the time you will ultimately use less material as well.

The reason I suggest quality base is because you are a novice, they are super easy to spray and get a nice even shade. As a novice if you got and spray a Nason or Omni you will want to cry because it doesnt lay out right,takes a lot of coats,etc,etc. I once used a bright yellow in Nason basecoat, it literally took 7 coats of color before it began to HIDE the sealer. It was that watery. It was horrible.

If you can find a local bodyshop, it will also be well worth your while to buy some material from them and pick their brain. Go buy a couple rolls of masking tape, some scotchbrite pads,etc. Small stuff. They will usually sell it to you, and if you ask nicely will typically give you a few pointers. Go to a smaller shop, no chains. That is where you will have your best luck.

Lastly, dont have very high expectations. If it turns out awesome, consider yourself lucky. Paint is a lot of work, a lot of time, and you really only get one shot at it. However, you can do it, we all started where you are, not knowing a thing. The experience and the repetition is what makes you a good painter.

If it doesnt come out the way you thought it would, all you have to do is sand it down again and start over. Most importantly do not let anyone tell you it cant be done, I have seen some of the best paint jobs come out of garages.

Good luck with it
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Old 03-24-2011, 07:44 PM   #16
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Re: Single stae urethane vs base coat clear coat urethane

Thanks for all the help guys. A little about the car. It is a car I bought from a guy for 50 bucks. It ran but was rough in the body dept. I imagine he was in a bind to get high or something. Anyway, I have rebuilt the engine and replaced about everything mechanical on the car . I used to be a mechanic in a Pontiac dealership about twenty ears ago. Now for the body I don't have any experience. TGhe car was brown but I have replaced one door, one fender and the hood so it ismultiple colors. I want to go with red for the final color. I have some primer but no paint yet. I bought a package deal from Eastwood that has urethane primer. Not sure if it is high build or not. I have a 72 Chevelle that is real nice that we take to car shows and cruise ins and we hope to take this car to some of them as well. I am not looking for a show stopping finish but I do want it to look good. At this point anything has to be better than it currently is. I do have a 60 gal compressor and a couple new airguns. I really appreciate all the answers I have recieved so far. I should add we bought thos car when my son was 13 in hopes to have it done when he turned 16 and teach hom a little about cars. He turns 20 this month and I need to get this car out of my shop.
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Old 03-24-2011, 09:11 PM   #17
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Re: Single stae urethane vs base coat clear coat urethane

is the car going to be sittng in the elements? If so, since you are going red, you would be best to use 2 stage if you want it to last. Red and maroon are 2 colors that like to fade unless of course you wax it every week.
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Old 03-25-2011, 08:28 AM   #18
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Re: Single stae urethane vs base coat clear coat urethane

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Pretty sure your Camaro is painted with single stage. It's still being used.
Nope, two stage. Single stage was dropped from F-bodies in '84 I believe. It's been sprayed once, was two-stage.
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Old 03-25-2011, 08:34 AM   #19
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Re: Single stae urethane vs base coat clear coat urethane

I don't think that's right. my car still has the original paint under the hood, and it's single stage enamel
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Old 03-25-2011, 08:35 AM   #20
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Re: Single stae urethane vs base coat clear coat urethane

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is the car going to be sittng in the elements? If so, since you are going red, you would be best to use 2 stage if you want it to last. Red and maroon are 2 colors that like to fade unless of course you wax it every week.
Perhaps Opher could chime in on this, but I believe I heard once that red and silver paints, in general, have a lot less pigment than other cars, which is why you tend to see a lot of faded reds and silvers on plastic bumpers.
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Old 03-25-2011, 08:36 AM   #21
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Re: Single stae urethane vs base coat clear coat urethane

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I don't think that's right. my car still has the original paint under the hood, and it's single stage enamel
Bays weren't cleared, I believe.
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Old 03-25-2011, 08:49 AM   #22
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Re: Single stae urethane vs base coat clear coat urethane

I still don't think that's right. Gm wouldn't have used 1 paint for the outside of the car and a nother paint for inside the hood area
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Old 03-25-2011, 08:55 AM   #23
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Re: Single stae urethane vs base coat clear coat urethane

I don't know, a book I have said '84, other threads here say it happened sometime in '85-'86.

Think about all the times you hear about GM's crappy peeling clear coat on IROCs, etc.
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Old 03-25-2011, 08:58 AM   #24
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Re: Single stae urethane vs base coat clear coat urethane

People like to make big blanket statements about single versus dual stage, most of it is crap.

Modern urethane single stage paints are pretty good, pretty tough and for a daily driver I feel are still a good choice (not best but good). Dual stage is better no doubt but a little more pricey for materials and labour (or time).

If you are doing a trailer queen show car with painted stripes or air brushed graphics maybe base clear is the only way to go. If you want to save a few bucks and drive the hell out of your car it likely does not matter too much.

For me I am doing single stage to save a few bucks and some time. The car is a driver not a polished show queen. The single stage will last me 10 years or more with minor care, just like the last single stage paint job on the car. it will not be perfect but from 5 feet will look great.

As for metallic paints, people that say it cannot be done single stage must think that metallic paint is a modern invention. People have been painting single stage metallic for decades... of course dual stage metalic will look better, but really, cannot be done single stage?

Single Stage:
  • Less effort
  • Lower cost
  • usually more DIY friendly
  • Good durability with modern paints
  • Good looking paint job
  • Hard to repair scratches
Dual Stage
  • Little more effort
  • higher cost
  • not as DIY friendly but still doable
  • Better durability
  • Better looking paint job but can anyone tell when the car is anything but freshly washed?
  • Easy scratch repair as long as it does not go down to the base coat.
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Old 03-25-2011, 09:02 AM   #25
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Re: Single stae urethane vs base coat clear coat urethane

Yes I know. I've painted three cars in single stage metallic lacquer, but working with metallic urethane single stage is supposed to be much much more difficult
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Old 03-26-2011, 07:49 AM   #26
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Re: Single stae urethane vs base coat clear coat urethane

58, if the paint on your car is original, it's two stage. To the OP, if you're painting your car for fun, go with a single stage urethane. Solids are easier, metallics are more difficult. If your painting your car because you don't want to spend alot of money, take it to Maaco. They WILL do a better job than you considering it's your first attempt. Should you decide to do it yourself, paint something else first....a filing cabinet, road sign, SOMETHING to practice on. Read books, talk to an old guy; do lots of homework before taking this on. Painting cars is a lot of fun, but very frustrating sometimes....even for the old guys.
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Old 03-26-2011, 09:54 AM   #27
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Re: Single stae urethane vs base coat clear coat urethane

GOOD info everyone, OP please keep us posted once started, I want to know approx amount of time start to finish for a novice, and see the different stages progress.
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Old 03-26-2011, 07:11 PM   #28
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Re: Single stae urethane vs base coat clear coat urethane

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Originally Posted by puma1552 View Post
Perhaps Opher could chime in on this, but I believe I heard once that red and silver paints, in general, have a lot less pigment than other cars, which is why you tend to see a lot of faded reds and silvers on plastic bumpers.

If you use a good quality urethane single stage paint, it will not fade. If you use a poor quality (synthetic enamel, enamel,etc) single stage, then yes you can run into fading issues. Some manufactures still use single stage paint, the material now a days is so much better than it used to be. The key with any paint is quality product.

In response to the other comment about single stage metallics. Yes it can be done, no question there. However have you ever wet sanded and buffed a single stage metallic?? When you sand and buff single stage metallics you disorientate the metallics and cause it too look different. I strongly discourage any novice to use single stage metallics. I've been doing this for a long time and I wont use them, too much of a pain.

Besides as a novice painter your best friend is wet sanding and buffing.

Go with a single stage solid color, it will be the easiest to spray, the easiest to fix if you have to.
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Old 03-27-2011, 06:24 PM   #29
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Re: Single stae urethane vs base coat clear coat urethane

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GOOD info everyone, OP please keep us posted once started, I want to know approx amount of time start to finish for a novice, and see the different stages progress.

When I am able to get back on it I will post pictures of my progress. Hopefully you guys will chime in if you see me doing something wrong. This has been great to get me motivated again. Thanks to all you guys for the info.
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Old 03-27-2011, 06:30 PM   #30
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Re: Single stae urethane vs base coat clear coat urethane

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are you thinking about using a metallic paint or not?

metallic paint should not be an option for single stage


personally, I would only use SS under these conditions...

need a quick, easy, cheap paint job

A sold color like White, red, or maybe black that you can buff back out of it starts to look faded.

This paint may not look as glossy as bc/CC, but it can be close of you are willing to work at it
Yep, it can. A year after paint, and its DIRTY as hell too, still had rubber from the drag strip on the 1/4 panels.

http://home.comcast.net/~thirdgen89g.../DSCN3147t.jpg
http://home.comcast.net/~thirdgen89g.../DSCN3148t.jpg
http://home.comcast.net/~thirdgen89g.../DSCN3149t.jpg
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Old 03-27-2011, 07:01 PM   #31
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Re: Single stae urethane vs base coat clear coat urethane

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Nope, two stage. Single stage was dropped from F-bodies in '84 I believe. It's been sprayed once, was two-stage.
mine is definitely a single stage.
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Old 03-27-2011, 07:06 PM   #32
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Re: Single stae urethane vs base coat clear coat urethane

How can you tell?
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Old 03-27-2011, 07:07 PM   #33
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Re: Single stae urethane vs base coat clear coat urethane

wetsanding is 1, and I guess if someone's real familiar they can tell by looking.
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Old 03-27-2011, 07:09 PM   #34
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Re: Single stae urethane vs base coat clear coat urethane

Have you owned it since 92? GM went to BC/CC on Camaro's in 86.
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Old 03-27-2011, 07:12 PM   #35
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Re: Single stae urethane vs base coat clear coat urethane

no, but it's still single stage. hasn't been repainted because it's got the original gm primer on it and random flaking paint.
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Old 03-27-2011, 07:59 PM   #36
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Re: Single stae urethane vs base coat clear coat urethane

Sounds like someone else stripped, primed, and shot it with single stage a few years ago. Any number of things could've happened to it.
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Old 04-07-2011, 07:56 PM   #37
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Re: Single stae urethane vs base coat clear coat urethane

this is interesting... I was looking up the paint code on my car, and you notice for every car except the f-bodies, it says "clearcoat"

http://paintref.com/cgi-bin/colorcod...=50&size=large
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Old 04-07-2011, 07:56 PM
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