YOUR CAR’S OEM PAINT IS ABOUT 5 TO 6 MIL THICK INCLUDING THE CLEAR COAT.
That’s not much thicker than a dollar bill, and most cars these days have high-tech paints that are being made with a different underlying core, and they require new methods of maintaining and detailing them when compared to earlier models. There are four basic clear coat systems, and with technology rapidly changing every day we are sure to see even more. Urethane, polyurethane, polyester, and fluorine high-tech clear coat systems are what is on the market now. Each one of them is built up in layers with the first being a primer coat, several color coats known as the base coat, and lastly the far thicker clear coat.
The protective layer, or clear coat, is a window to the base layer. There are screening agents and ultra-violet rays within the clear coating that illuminates and shines the dull color of the under layer. It is important to maintain a clean top layer in order to keep the color finish vibrant. In the industry, this is a called Distinction of Images-DOI. Basically, DOI is the deep gloss that is found within your cars’ finish that you need to maintain. Clear coat can easily be destroyed if the wrong products are used to detail it. The clear coating is not equipped to handle anything abrasive being used on it; anything abrasive used in clear coat can scratch and permanently damage the surface.
Abrasives can have catastrophic effects on automotive paint and its clear coat layer. The abrasives that are the most dangerous to your vehicles exterior paint job are the products used by do-it-yourself detailer.s. which is why it is so important to hire an expert. When Auto Detailers, Auto Repair Specialist, and Auto Body Shops repair clear coats or finish newly repainted or clear coated vehicles they do use abrasive products and techniques. Something that is commonly used by professional detailing companies is ultra fine wet sanding paper, with an almost non-abrasive 1500-2000 grit rating.
Wet sanding enhances the clear coat finish by removing dips, dust particles, and other flaws. After removing all the flaws the clear coat is left dry for 72 hours to 30 days. The clear coat is cured and dried, cleaned with a non-abrasive cleaner, and then polished and waxed. Certainly, a car enthusiast weekend detailer can wet-sand a clear coat after everything else has failed to restore the original new vehicle look, but you need to hire an expert who has the proper skills and a feel for the clear coat to do it without further surface damage.