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3-stage effect finishes

Multi effect in three coats.

Until a few years ago, 3-stage finishes were generally reserved for use on luxury cars, but that has changed. Today, these finishes are also used in large-scale production of small- and medium-sized vehicles – and they are very popular with car buyers.
Until recently, there were two types of effect paints. The colours of the first type were particularly luminous and showed great depth. These were initially mainly shades of red, but now they are generally available in all colours: red, blue, yellow, green, orange and many more.

The second type of effect paints consists of variations of white. For a while, white as a car colour was completely out of fashion, but it has experienced a comeback. So it was only a matter of time before white effect paints – often also
described as white metallic – made their way into large-scale production. Typical representatives of this group are
BMW’s Mineral White or Mercedes’ Mystic White.

The growing choice of colours makes their professional repair more complex for refinishers. In addition to identifying the right colour and colour variant, refinishers also have to take account of the number of individual spray passes and how they were applied. In other words they need to pay attention to the film thickness and the resulting intensity of the effect coating. The use of sample panels is therefore indispensable. This is the only way to achieve an impeccable refinish result.


Preparation of sample panels.

Three sample panels for quality control.

Together with the clearcoat, the number of effect spray passes, or rather the film thickness of the effect coat, is decisive for the intensity of the effect.

 

The production of three sample panels may take more time, but it is vital when analysing paint effects. With the help of opacity stickers, it is possible to check the intensity and the hiding power of the effect coat. This makes opacity stickers ideal quality control tools during the refinish process.

Searching for a paint formula, weighing and mixing are all carried out as usual. The spray samples should be prepared next, ideally on an old panel. Make a note of the number of effect spray passes on the back of the panel.


Apply the basecoat

Step 1: Apply the basecoat colour.

Apply the hardened basecoat colour to three sample panels at the same time until you achieve hiding power. Use the opacity stickers to assess coverage. Allow the basecoat colour to dry thoroughly.

Apply first effect coat spray pass to the sample panel.

Step 2: First effect coat spray pass.

Stick a further opacity sticker onto each of the sample panels and mask a narrow strip of the basecoat colour. Also cover two sample panels completely. Apply the first effect coat spray pass to the

Remove the masking tape from the final panel

Step 3: Second and third effect coat spray pass.

After the first effect coat spray pass, uncover one of the masked panels and immediately apply a second spray pass to both panels. Now remove the masking tape from the final panel and apply a further spray pass to all panels, without any flash-off time. Allow the effect coat to dry thoroughly.

Cover part of effect paint

Step 4: Apply the clearcoat.

Cover part of the effect paint and apply the clearcoat as usual.

Compare the paint samples with the vehicle.

Step 5: Compare the paint samples.

Compare the paint samples with the vehicle. Because of the graded number of effect spray passes, each sample will show a different effect. Choose the colour sample that most closely resembles or matches the vehicle for further work.


Blending and fading in.*

Attach control panel close to the repair area.

Step 6: Attach a control panel.

In order to be able to check the entire refinish process with the help of opacity stickers, a further control panel needs to be painted at the same time as the vehicle. Attach the sample panel close to the repair area.

Step 7: Apply Color Blend.

Apply the Standoblue Color Blend/Standoblue Color Blend slow adjusted with a Standoblue hardener in a closed pass
fading out into the area surrounding the refinish zone and into adjoining areas.

Check the basecoat colour.

Step 8: Apply the basecoat colour.

Apply the hardened Standoblue Basecoat colour to cover the damaged area and blend it into the still-wet Color Blend. Allow the basecoat and Color Blend to dry thoroughly (follow the Technical Data Sheet recommendations). Check the basecoat colour.  

*These images illustrate the refinish process using Standoblue Basecoat. When refinishing with Standohyd Plus Basecoat the main difference is the adjustment of the product. Detailed information for the refinish process for 3-stage finishes using Standohyd Plus Basecoat can be found in the relevant Technical Data Sheet.

Remove dust and spray mist

Before any paint job, it is vital to remove dust and spray mist. This should be done particularly carefully for elaborate multi-coat finishes as any impurity will be visible through the following translucent effect coat.


Step 9: Repeat application of Color Blend.

Attach a new opacity sticker to the control sample. Before applying the effect coat, unhardened Color Blend must be
applied to the blend in area of the effect coat.

Tip: Do not allow Color Blend to dry.

Check the opacity stickers for matching coverage.

Step 10: Application of the effect coat wet-on-wet.

The effect coat, such as a pearlescent basecoat or translucent basecoat, should be applied to the damaged area from the outside in. This step in the refinish process must match the number of spray passes previously determined with the help of the sample. Allow the effect coat and Color Blend to dry thoroughly. Check the opacity stickers for matching coverage. If they both look the same, the clearcoat can be applied.

Step 11: Application of the clearcoat.

Apply a Standocryl VOC Clear to the entire refinish area and allow it to dry. Note: Select the clearcoat in accordance with manufacturer approvals.