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I think I burned my clearcoat


MikeS
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That about says it. I think I burned my clearcoat trying to polish out a scratch using focus pads on a drill. I tried to polish only for a few seconds at a time, keeping moving, and ensuring I kept the rpms under control. Never seemed to quite get all the parts of the technique right though. Sometimes the pad seemed too wet, with a bit of splatter, and other times it seemed to dry. I found it difficult to tell when I had worked the product the right amount. That may mostly be due to inexperience with these polishes though.

 

FYI, used the orange pad with SHR followed by a white pad with FMP.

 

Ended up with a small cloudy patch just adjacent to the scratch that I was working on. It feels just as smooth as the paint, but I'm scared to try to do anything further with it. I'll snap a few pictures and post.

 

Unfortunately I can't imagine anything else it could be. Guess I learned a lesson......practice on the junk car first!

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I wish that I had seen this earlier. I could have killed some of the guessing going on in this thread.

 

First of all, this is DEFINITELY strike through.

 

DSCF3111.JPG

 

No doubt about it, I've seen it countless times. Now let's address another misconception. Mike you posted, "Thus, my conclusion is that I have actually cut through the clear somehow. I was extremely careful (I thought to the point of paranoia) while using the focus pads, so I am stunned that I managed to do this."

 

My question is why are you stunned? The reason I say that is because you were basically using a small, rotary polisher. The rotary action that you create with a drill is just as deadly to your paint as using a real rotary polisher. You don't have to turn the speed up on the drill to do damage, friction equals heat. It does NOT take high RPM's to generate heat. It is the constant contact of that pad and the paint that will create heat and create it fast. You stated that you kept moving the pad. What you didn't realize is that you were moving the pad much to SLOW. There is a such thing as moving a rotary polisher to slow and that's what will create a strike through condition like what you experienced.

 

There are two things you should notice about my videos. I don't show people how to use a rotary polisher because you can't teach this stuff on You Tube. This is something that has to be taught in a hands on, somebody staring over your shoulder type of environment. Second, you never see me use the focus pads on a drill in my videos unless I'm working on glass for the very reason that you have just experienced. There are just too many opportunities for this exact thing to happen. If I am going to use a focus pads on paint, it is going to be with the PC. The end, not up for debate with me.

 

The thing I read about clear coat having "two stages" (or something to that effect) is totally bogus. Clear is clear through and through. There is no difference from the top of the clear coat or the bottom of it. Clear is the same from the top to the bottom. One thing that you should realize about clear is the amount of it can affect the color of your paint. Think of clear like water in a swimming pool.

 

Water is clear in color. You can see right through it. However, the water in the deep end of a swimming pool looks more blue that the water in the shallow end. Is it because the water is actually more blue in the deep end? If so, how does the blue water stay in the deep end and not mix with the water in the shallow end? Of course, these are stupid questions because the water is the same color no matter what end of the pool it resides.

 

The color change of course is due to the depth of the water. Clear coat on a car is exactly the same way. The more clear you use, the more it will affect the color you see of the paint on the car. Thus, matching a car's paint color is only half the equation when fixing some damage. You also have to match the amount of clear on the car so that the panel you paint doesn't stand out from the other panels.

 

Everyone reading this thread should now realize why I am such a big fan of paint thickness gauges. I would not do this stuff for a living without have two of them. One for fiberglass cars and one for all other cars. This way, I never have to worry about strike through. I can constantly monitor exactly how much clear coat I am removing during a repair. You can't do this with just any paint thickness guage, you have to use a special one. The one I like to use is the DeFelsko Positector 200 B or C Advanced. These gauges will tell me how much primer, paint AND clear coat is on every spot of the car. That's a safety blanket that is well worth the $2800.00 price tag that each of these gauges come with.

 

Last of all, never try and fix a scratch that you can feel. If you can feel it, then it is too deep for a novice to repair. No exceptions, leave it alone. In most cases, that scratch is through the clear coat unless the car has an after market paint job. In that case, it needs to be evaluated on a scratch by scratch basis.

Edited by Junkman2008
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For informative AJ, thanks for taking the time to educate the OP and the rest of us. I have two quick questions for you.

 

1. I've always thought of clear coat as just another base coat, just without the color pigment. Is this pretty accurate?

 

2. How thick is your average clear coat? What I've gathered from searching, anywhere from 20-30 mils.....just a tad thinner than a sticky note which is about 30 mils. Is this accurate? Looking for a median, because I know it varies from manufacturer.

 

Thanks

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For informative AJ, thanks for taking the time to educate the OP and the rest of us. I have two quick questions for you.

 

1. I've always thought of clear coat as just another base coat, just without the color pigment. Is this pretty accurate?

 

That would be incorrect. Automotive paint as it comes in a can is too thick to be sprayed on a car. Thus, it has to be mixed with other solvents in order to get it from the can to the car. Those solvents then have to out-gas, which is what the curing process is.

 

Clear coat has to be mixed with a hardener, usually 4:1. It doesn't have to be mixed with anything to make it sprayable (if that's a word), only the hardener to make it hard once it dries.

 

2. How thick is your average clear coat? What I've gathered from searching, anywhere from 20-30 mils.....just a tad thinner than a sticky note which is about 30 mils. Is this accurate? Looking for a median, because I know it varies from manufacturer.

 

Thanks

 

Yes it does vary from manufacturer to manufacturer and from car to car. However, your numbers are way off. If cars had 20-30 MILS of clear coat on them, strike-through would be hard to experience! You could also do orange peel removal on a car with that much clear coat. You definitely can't do that with the measly amount of clear coat on today's new cars.

 

I can't say what the average is but the C6 Corvette for example has about 1.7 MILS of clear on them if my memory serves me right. I know that they get around 1.2 MILS of paint. Remember, there is 1000 microns in every MIL. Here's a video on the Corvette painting process.

 

<object style="height: 390px; width: 640px"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8WqwAhZx3wg?version=3"><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"><param name="allowScriptAccess" value="always"><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8WqwAhZx3wg?version=3" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" allowScriptAccess="always" width="640" height="360"></object>

 

 

And thats why I love the Junkman. very informative post sir.

 

Thank you sir! :patriot:

Edited by Junkman2008
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Guest Gone & Forgotten

I guess I'm lucky. I used an 18v lithium Makita drill (newer set that come with a reg. cordless and an impact driver) and the focus pads on my 2011 Camaro LS (also black)

 

I used the ORANGE pad and SHR, double spritz of DS to assure lubrication and only went over the damaged area 2-3 times. Once in ->>>> that direction, then once <<<<- that direction, then Once >>>> that direction - then stop, wipe and check. I DO NOT run the drill like you see Dylan run the PC with focus pads in the Vol 7 video. The PC is WAY more forgiving and does take longer to correct scuffs and marks than the drill/Flex does.

 

It looks like Mike worked his polish like he was working the PC pads, making it flash and then checking his work. I'm just assuming tho, I could be wrong.

 

Can Mike take the vehicle into his local GM dealer and have them reshoot the clear in that area to touch it up? I'd love to hear the answer to that question.

 

When I saw the damage in his photo, I felt like I was watching a skateboarder slip while riding a metal handrail down a long flight of concrete steps. EWWWWW! OW MAN!... I didn't grab myself in vicarious pain like I do when watching the skateboarder do it. It still hurts to see that.

 

PLEASE keep us updated on how/if you get this fixed.

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Can Mike take the vehicle into his local GM dealer and have them reshoot the clear in that area to touch it up? I'd love to hear the answer to that question.

 

No, you can't just reshoot the clear. Now you have to reshoot the panel as if you are painting it similar to the first time. If the spot is close to an adjacent panel, you will have to shoot color into both panels and re-clear both panels completely. It gets more fun when the damage is at a corner where 3 panels meet. That also gets a lot more expensive.

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He has spoken all be humble before his majesty Lord Junkman! lol its so nice to have someone with his knowledge and skill right at your fingertips I love it Thanks Jman. How you been havent heard from you in a while?

 

Likewise Dan, you still out there catching everyone's best angle? I'm surprised that the department of corrections hasn't tabbed you to take mugshots. You have such a special way of capturing a person's essence. :lolsmack:

 

Been working on my cars and other ventures. Got the El Camino running yesterday and promptly took it out for a city streets terrorizing mission. Hide the women and children. :jester:

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A.J.,

 

Thanks for the long reply, lots of good info in there.

 

While stunned may be too strong a word, I'm not surprised that I could do this using focus pads on a drill.....I'm just surprised that I did do it. I went into it fully aware (if not as appreciative as I should have been) that heat was the enemy, and that I needed to be very careful. The work was done using relatively short passes of polishing (~5sec), checking for heat on the pad and panel between passes. There's no denying it....I used poor technique and damaged my panel. I don't yet understand if I moved too slow, used inadequate product, used too much pressure, some combination of this, or all of the above. It isn't worth second guessing though, since I won't attempt the same type of work again. From now on, I'll reserve the drill for glass work and headlights, and buy a PC for paint work.

 

The big picture:

This damage is at the tail end of a 7 foot long scratch that catches three of my panels. I had hoped to save this panel and get the other two repainted. That's not really a legitimate option any longer. So.....I need to figure out how to find the best folks to handle my repair. Unfortunately, I don't know any discriminating customers here locally who could turn me onto an excellent shop. I don't want any part of the vehicle to come back worse than when it went in. Including paint, overspray, trim, or interior (from poor shop cleanliness).

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Thus, my conclusion is that I have actually cut through the clear somehow. I was extremely careful (I thought to the point of paranoia) while using the focus pads, so I am stunned that I managed to do this. Regardless, what's done is done. I'll have to consider what do do about it now. Any advice? The panel in question is at the tail end of a multi-panel scratch that may require respray. I'd hoped to polish out the rear quarter panel, and thus limit the required respray to the door and front fender.

 

Sorry I'm late to the party... catching up after a busy clinic/weekend.

 

I had a feeling that was going to be the end result. Its not terribly uncommon for a car to have uneven or 'thin' spots here or there either from inconsistent factory painting processes or the history of the vehicle includes a point and time where the car was cut/buffed heavily to remove damage.

 

It happens pretty frequently where a car coming off the truck into a dealership gets a scratch. The dealer will repair the area adequately by buffing the scratch out, unfortunately you wouldn't be aware of it unless you took a meter to the paint to measure it out, but you have less clear there now.

 

If you were being truly cautious there wouldn't have been anything you could do to prevent this if thats the case other than simply not polishing it.

 

 

The big picture:

This damage is at the tail end of a 7 foot long scratch that catches three of my panels. I had hoped to save this panel and get the other two repainted. That's not really a legitimate option any longer. So.....I need to figure out how to find the best folks to handle my repair. Unfortunately, I don't know any discriminating customers here locally who could turn me onto an excellent shop. I don't want any part of the vehicle to come back worse than when it went in. Including paint, overspray, trim, or interior (from poor shop cleanliness).

 

 

It won't be a REALLY difficult repair for a half way decent shop to do. In theory the area of strike thru needs to be re-cleared (including all the area around it) sanded down and polished out.

 

Without seeing the rest of the scratch its hard to say what all else may be required. Just do some serious shopping around - just like detailers there are good and bad in the body shop bunch... just gotta find the good ones!

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They can't just re-clear that, it will have to be painted also. The first step is to bring the scratch back up to the same level as the rest of the car. Once you do that, you have to repaint and re-clear.

 

Here's a kit I like. It work great for fixing deep scratches but it takes some practice and it ain't cheap. They make it look a lot easier than it actually is in their videos.

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They can't just re-clear that, it will have to be painted also. The first step is to bring the scratch back up to the same level as the rest of the car. Once you do that, you have to repaint and re-clear.

 

Here's a kit I like. It work great for fixing deep scratches but it takes some practice and it ain't cheap. They make it look a lot easier than it actually is in their videos.

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They can't just re-clear that, it will have to be painted also. The first step is to bring the scratch back up to the same level as the rest of the car. Once you do that, you have to repaint and re-clear.

 

Here's a kit I like. It work great for fixing deep scratches but it takes some practice and it ain't cheap. They make it look a lot easier than it actually is in their videos.

 

Off topic, but I beg to differ... the shop that used to do paint work for me on my trucks repaired a similar problem on a vehicle where I got a little over zealous with a rotary after wet sanding some factory paint runs... they sanded the panel, recleared the entire panel with multiple coats to build it back up, then sanded down again before buffing out.

 

You'd never know there was a trace of strike thru on the panel when they were done.

Edited by Dylan@Adams
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Off topic, but I beg to differ... the shop that used to do paint work for me on my trucks repaired a similar problem on a vehicle where I got a little over zealous with a rotary after wet sanding some factory paint runs... they sanded the panel, recleared the entire panel with multiple coats to build it back up, then sanded down again before buffing out.

 

You'd never know there was a trace of strike thru on the panel when they were done.

 

They took a short cut. I would never do it that way, especially if the scratch went into the paint.

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I have just done this exact same thing, was cutting using 400 cut Menzerna and a heavy cut pad on a DA. Perhaps the speed was too high and its left a grey ish mark which looms super shiny but still with scratches visible. The paint feels exactly the same smooth finish but its removed paint it looms lime. Tried to colour it back into the bodywork but still stayed grey. Oh well........off to the body shop 😞🙈

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