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Thread: Single Stage Metallic Paint

  1. #1
    Jonathan Hubbs sudsbyhubbs's Avatar
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    Aug 2008
    Springfield Missouri
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    Single Stage Metallic Paint

    On Saturday I worked on an 80s pickup with single stage metallic paint. I had read on here previously that SS metallic can be hard to get to look right because of the metal flake. I clayed the hood, used 105 on wool for 3 passes then used M80 on rotary and by hand. Here are some pics of how it turned out. From the side of the truck it looks great, but looking at the truck head-on you can see how it just doesn't look quite right. Any ideas on to make this look better or what could be done differently?

    Here you can see what looks like some runs, faded area and some high and low spots.

  2. #2
    Registered Member Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Jan 2004
    Stuart, Florida
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    Re: Single Stage Metallic Paint

    The problem you run into with a single stage metallic paint is that as you remove material you remove the flake particles and because this is usually done unevenly it changes how the paint looks.

    In the last picture you posted, the appearance is very splotchy and blotchy and my best guess is this is either a result of more material being removed in some areas and less in other areas.

    It's truly a case were more and more buffing won't equate to better and better results.

    With a clear layer over a metallic finish the problem is avoided because removing material doesn't affect the flake in the paint so the appearance of color isn't changed as only the clear layer is affected.

    The side you buffed is at least glossy and shiny now and if the owner maintains it with a non-detergent was and occasional polishing and waxing it should hold up for while. When working on oxidized, neglected metallic single stage paints, less aggressive products are truly the best approach.

    A common mistake some detailers will make, or used to make back in the days when single stage metallic paints were the norm, was a result called Tiger Stripes. Typically the hood would look like it had stripes, usually going front the front to the back following the direction a detailer would buff the paint with a rotary buffer and an aggressive pad and compound.

    As material, (paint and the metallic flakes), are removed with a pass, it changes the appearance of the paint in the area of that pass. When the entire hood is buffed like this you end up with a phenomena of what looks like stripes or light shades and dark shades in lines in the paint.

    The detailer usually wouldn't see this till after the last step, that is till after the wax has been applied, dried and removed and the end-result is viewed by standing back a little ways in the right light.

    It's also a really bad idea to wet-sand single stage metallic paints for the above mentioned reason and that's because when you remove material, paint and metallic flake), you will dramatically alter the color and appearance of the paint in a very visually noticeable way.

    For other side, you might try only using the M80 by hand with some terry cloth using overlapping circular motions and seriously focusing on UMR, Uniform Material Removal over the entire section and working the paint as minimally as possible.

    If you use a DA Polisher, stick with the M80 and focus hard on working all the paint the same amount of time and passes and only the minimal amount to restore clarity and gloss.

    Hope that helps a little... there's probably not much you can do to restore this paint to perfection or even close to original.
    Mike Phillips
    Office: 800-869-3011 x206
    "Find something you like and use it often"

  3. #3
    Jonathan Hubbs sudsbyhubbs's Avatar
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    Springfield Missouri
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    Re: Single Stage Metallic Paint

    In person, I can definitely see the tiger stripe effect. When I get a chance to work on it again (it's my cousin's beater, so no rush) I'll try just M80 by hand. Hopefully that'll help.

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