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  #1  
Old Nov 17th, 12, 10:52 AM
srq34231 srq34231 is offline
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Matt
 
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Default Identifying Paint Type?

Can anyone tell me a good way to verify what paint was used when my car was repainted in about 1996? One friend has told me it is lacquer because it has some cracking, but another guy said it is enamel and the cracking is just reflecting what is happening with the old paint below? Both usually know what they are talking about, but someone is wrong. I ask because I want to get the 3M eraser wheel to take off some pinstripes, but the website says it is not for use on lacquer. Thanks
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  #2  
Old Nov 17th, 12, 11:52 AM
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Vintage 68 Vintage 68 is offline
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John
 
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Default Re: Identifying Paint Type?

Really hard to say exactly, it would depend on who painted it and what finish type were looking for or familiar with using ...

If they were just looking to do a 'down-and-dirty' quicky job - then they might have used an inexpensive Acrylic (Modified Alkyd) Enamel type paint.
This is the common "Earl Scheib" paint job you see advertized by local 'cheapy-repaint' shops

If they were somewhat concerned about replicating the OEM finish then they would have used a more expensive Acrylic Lacquer finish.
This is the type of paint you would expect to find in a more restoration or smaller volume shop.

I have used common paint remover/thinner intended for Enamel paints to 'test' for finish type before - but, you need to know the caveats (what-if's ) of doing it to really judge the outcome.
If the lacquer is oxidized, then it will rub-off color - just like an enamel paint would react to the solvent action of the thinner ... Makes it very hard to tell

I think it would be safe to assume it was lacquer if the PO can confirm it wasn't do by a 'cheapy' paint shop - maybe ...
If you try to use an 'Eraser' wheel on Lacquer it will heat the paint surface and cause the paint to 'melt' and damage it.

That said - almost any striping done after the initial paint job was most likely done with a Enamel Striping paint. So it should be able to be removed with enamel thinner/solvent
I would recommend you test a small area of the stripe (in as inconspicuous an area as you can find) with a clean rag and some enamel thinner to see if it comes off.
If not try a little lacquer thinner and see what happens ...

I've also had some success in removing stripes and other 'beauty marks' on vehicles by very carefully sanding them off.
NOT and easy procedure and very hard to do correctly if you never tried - but works well for me.
You then need to polish the paint surface back to proper gloss - so it's a pretty time consuming operation ...

Hopefully Scott, Martin and others that may commonly do this in the field will chime-in soon!
They may have a secret method this old man doesn't know of
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1968 Convertible
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If a man says something in the garage - and his wife can't hear him - is he still wrong !!!
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  #3  
Old Nov 17th, 12, 11:12 PM
Garfields Maro Garfields Maro is online now
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Garth
 
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Default Re: Identifying Paint Type?

Find a hidden area to take a test. Maybe if you remove a tail light housing or a door sill plate ? Lightly scuff a small area and place a drop of lacquer thinner on it. Let it set for a few minutes ....If it bubbles/blisters, the paint is enamel. If it the paint just softens (liquifies) and wipes away, it's lacquer. Paint stripper instead of lacquer thinner, will produce the same reactions.

That's the ol' skool method I figured was tried & true, but guess John has found it unreliable ?
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Last edited by Garfields Maro; Nov 18th, 12 at 12:55 AM.
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Old Nov 18th, 12, 01:25 AM
bigbuckcity bigbuckcity is offline
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Max Stewart
 
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Default Re: Identifying Paint Type?

My suggestion about the paint is if you have a Car Quest in your area, which most of them have automotive paints. Take your car to them, and they can take a picture close up, with their camera, and then they put the picture onto their computer, and can tell you down to the penny, as to what kind of paint was used, etc. I have had my 68 Camaro Coupe for 30 years, decided to do a bunch of work on it, including a re-paint, the coupe was blue, like a royal blue with white stripes, Car Quest used their Camera and computer, and it showed the paint was from a VW and the color is Porcelain Blue, which showed it has 3 different colors of Pearl in the paint. The Car Quest here in Las Vegas, NV that I went to, the paint person, and does the mixing is a very nice, knowledgeable Lady.............Give them a try, they should be able to help with your situation......Max in Las Vegas, NB Team Camaro Gold Lifetime Member....
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Old Nov 18th, 12, 07:40 AM
srq34231 srq34231 is offline
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Matt
 
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Default Re: Identifying Paint Type?

Thanks for the help guys. One more smiple question - is enamel thinner just mineral spirits or is there something more specific to just enamel? Thanks
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Old Nov 18th, 12, 04:39 PM
Garfields Maro Garfields Maro is online now
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Garth
 
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Default Re: Identifying Paint Type?

Not as simple as you think Matt.... Mineral spirits won't cut any cured paint coating I know of. Enamel reducer (thinner used for spraying) is much more complicated, consisting of many different chemicals and varies from one manufacture to the other.
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Old Nov 18th, 12, 07:01 PM
TModel66 TModel66 is offline
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Daniel
 
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Default Re: Identifying Paint Type?

Like Garth said put some lacquer on it and if it blisters and wrinkles up it's enamel. If it just "dissolves" the paint and you can wipe it away it's lacquer.
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Old Nov 19th, 12, 09:00 AM
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Vintage 68 Vintage 68 is offline
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Wink Re: Identifying Paint Type?

Quote:
Originally Posted by TModel66 View Post
Like Garth said put some lacquer on it and if it blisters and wrinkles up it's enamel. If it just "dissolves" the paint and you can wipe it away it's lacquer.
Unless - of course - if it was top-coated with a product like duPont's #502

See the reason for the now ...

I'm not there, I can't see or test the surface myself, and the poster can't identify it - sooooo, I'm not comfortable giving him a 'this will work' answer, as it may not in his case ...
__________________
1968 Convertible
Some trucks
Other V8 things - some of which float
Other V6 things - none of which float
Oh yeah, and 1 "Straight-Six" ...

If a man says something in the garage - and his wife can't hear him - is he still wrong !!!
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Old Nov 19th, 12, 09:38 AM
srq34231 srq34231 is offline
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Matt
 
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Default Re: Identifying Paint Type?

Thanks. I got some lacquer thinner and enamel thinner, but had no luck on the little area I tried with a rag. I'll find a flat, exposed spot and give it a try. The closer I look at edges and transition area, the more it doesn't look like it was done to the level of quality I'm used to seeing in old lacquer. This raises one last (I hope question). If the paint is enamel and the pinstripes are enamel, can I use enamel reducer to carefully remove them without making a mess or is my best bet the eraser wheel? Thanks again for all of the input.
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  #10  
Old Nov 19th, 12, 09:41 AM
Sauron67MM Sauron67MM is offline
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Scott
 
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Default Re: Identifying Paint Type?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigbuckcity View Post
My suggestion about the paint is if you have a Car Quest in your area, which most of them have automotive paints. Take your car to them, and they can take a picture close up, with their camera, and then they put the picture onto their computer, and can tell you down to the penny, as to what kind of paint was used, etc..
It's called a prophet and it will not tell you the type of paint used. It's a visual analysis, not a chemical analysis. Prophets are not always accurate either, they may often just provide a starting point and are not applicable to tri coats. I've used them with varying amounts of success. "down to the penny" is inaccurate information.
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Old Nov 19th, 12, 09:48 AM
Sauron67MM Sauron67MM is offline
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Scott
 
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Default Re: Identifying Paint Type?

Quote:
Originally Posted by srq34231 View Post
Thanks. I got some lacquer thinner and enamel thinner, but had no luck on the little area I tried with a rag. I'll find a flat, exposed spot and give it a try. The closer I look at edges and transition area, the more it doesn't look like it was done to the level of quality I'm used to seeing in old lacquer. This raises one last (I hope question). If the paint is enamel and the pinstripes are enamel, can I use enamel reducer to carefully remove them without making a mess or is my best bet the eraser wheel? Thanks again for all of the input.
How do you know this is not urethane shot over a poorly prepped cracked finish by some butcher shop? Lacquer thinner won't touch urethane. But you can't be an animal about it. Someone tried to aggressively remove lettering enamel from a bike, trashed it and I had to shoot the bike. Striping is part of my job. Lacquer thinner and enamel reducer will remove stripes and not damage urethane. Be prepared to see a ghost line after removal. Urethane pinstriping paint is now used also, but not by many. Some guys shot enamel without hardener to save a nickle, so it's more susceptible to thinner reactions. Was this car cleared or not?
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  #12  
Old Nov 19th, 12, 03:49 PM
Garfields Maro Garfields Maro is online now
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Garth
 
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Default Re: Identifying Paint Type?

Matt, yes a flat area where the thinner can set without running off will be most effective. As I mentioned, inside the tailight housing or under the sill plate should work well. Just use lacquer thinner, no need for enamel reducer, and let it set until something happens. Also, scuffing the surface first will help the thinner penetrate faster...
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  #13  
Old Nov 19th, 12, 09:08 PM
TModel66 TModel66 is offline
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Daniel
 
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Default Re: Identifying Paint Type?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vintage 68 View Post
Unless - of course - if it was top-coated with a product like duPont's #502

See the reason for the now ...

I'm not there, I can't see or test the surface myself, and the poster can't identify it - sooooo, I'm not comfortable giving him a 'this will work' answer, as it may not in his case ...
Was #502 out back in the '90s? I thought Nitram, Imron, and Amer-Flint was all the rage back then. IDK
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Team Camaro Tech > First Generation Camaro Info and Tech - 1967- 1969 "Where it all started" > Body Shop      Current Topic: Identifying Paint Type?
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