We mentioned above the use of our two paint booths. A paint booth is an enclosed and controlled environment that allows our painters to apply paint with less worry of contaminants. Both booths are equipped with blowers and heaters, which aid in the curing and drying of the different layers of paint. Similarly, each booth has a series of filters that capture both dirt and contaminants that might try to make their way in, and excess spray or emissions that could possibly escape and potentially harm the environment.
Initially, a sealer is applied to the surface for two reasons:
- It begins the proper coloring of the panel(s)
- It helps in adhesion.
To help color, especially from dark to light or light to dark, a sealer is tinted to help build up the proper base color.
After the sealer has been applied, the basecoat, or actual color, is next. At Collex, we use a computerized paint mixing system, training and experience to get our exacting color matches. Whether Ford, Lexus, VW, Hyundai, Mercedes or any other type of vehicle, we have a database of color formulations that is made to match. There are instances where one of our painters will need to tint a formula a fraction to make the proper match. Along with color, other agents such as hardeners or flex additives are added. For example, flex additive is what allows a car bumper to compress or bend from a light impact and not crack.
With the correct color mixed, the painter will do a final wash and tack of the vehicle. With white jump suit and mask on, a Collex painter will then plug their spray gun into one of the air hoses supplied in a booth and apply the color. Again, depending on the situation, the basecoat may require anywhere from two to three layers, or coats of paint.
After the actual color has been applied, a layer of clear coat is necessary. The clear coat is a protective and beautifying layer – it helps prevent the sun and elements from damaging the color and finish of the vehicle as well as giving it that “wet”, glossy look. Again, depending on the application, this phase of refinishing will require two to three coats of clear.
After applying the final layer of clear, our painter will set the booth for the proper time and temperature and “bake” the finish onto the car and speed the curing process.