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Professional Coating Application Techniques

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As technology approves, in any industry, oftentimes it has a trickle down effect. For the car care industry, pro level coatings have started to evolve to more consumer level coating options have become available. This opens the doors to possibilities for the DIYer to experience similar results affordable to the pro’s, given the right tools, approach and processes used. Today, I would like to go over some things I have learned from many years of experience in applying a broad spectrum of coatings in the hopes that you could apply these tips to your own coating application. This is, if you are actually in the market to perform a paint coating yourself. I also recommend that if this process is overwhelming or outside your comfort zone, to seek the professional application of a qualified detail shop in your area.

Do’s and Don’ts

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  • First and foremost, DO make sure that your work environment is sustainable to achieve the highest level outcome as possible. For example, at Adonis Detail, we have a large amount of lighting, proper ventilation, access to water, equipment, and electricity.
  • Don’t¬†apply coatings outside and never in direct sunlight or on a warm surface.
  • DO make sure the surface has been properly polished.
  • DO make sure the surface has been properly decontaminated by using a clay bar and/or iron remover during the wash process.
  • DO follow the instructions on the bottle of the consumer level coating solution.
  • DO wear proper safety equipment as specified by the manufacturer during installation.

High Spots

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High spots are simply an excess amount of coating on the paint surface that was not properly removed or “leveled” during the application process. Unlike a wax or sealant, a coating high spot will form to a hardened layer which can be very difficult to remove down the road. Sometimes these do not show up in direct lighting but require different light settings and angles to see.

Be sure to apply the coating nice and thin and if you do have high spots, remove them quickly. The longer you wait, the harder they will be to remove, which can often times requiring polishing.

Cure time & Leveling Properly

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Each coating will have different installation instructions, always follow the instructions on the bottle. Cure or “flash” time essentially means the time it takes for the coatings solvents to properly evaporate and allow the active ingredients to bond to the clear coat. Remove the coating too quick and you risk reduced performance, remove too long and it can be very difficult to remove. This luckily is the beauty of consumer level coatings such as Gtechniq CSL. It allows a larger window of flash time to reduce margin of error during installation.

Following these simple tips will help your coating application go by easy! Please feel free to comment below with further questions or any tips that you may have!

Tim Coats
Tim Coats
Adonis Detail
Southern California
AdonisDetail.com

7 comments on Professional Coating Application Techniques

  1. Jeff says:

    Hi Tim..

    I know that this question doesnt really relevant with the coating.
    But since u mention about excess amount of protection needed to be removed or leveled…

    What do u think about: not removing/ not buffing off wax or sealant that has dried after application?

    The purpose is to avoid unnecessary marring that could occur to the soft black paint when buffing off the wax/sealant process…and the smearing or the excess wax and sealant will be removed when the owner do his next car wash routine.

    Thank you for your feedback and advices.

    • Doug Green says:

      Tim,

      The article pertains specifically to coatings, not wax or sealants.

      I typically wash (mechanically and chemically if needed), then clay the vehicle prior to applying wax or sealants. When removing wax or sealants, just be sure to use a clean soft (plush) microfiber and don’t much apply pressure. Using this technique should not mar your paint. Note however, depending on the clay you could induce marring. Be sure to use a fine clay unless you intend to buff out medium and heavy clay marring.

    • Doug Green says:

      Tim,

      The article pertains specifically to coatings, not wax or sealants. You definitely do not want to leave a coating on without removal, the high spots look like a haze on the vehicle. And if you don’t get them off in time, they will remain until you buff them out. They won’t come off with water and soap.

      I typically wash (mechanically and chemically if needed), then clay the vehicle prior to applying wax or sealants. When removing wax or sealants, just be sure to use a clean soft (plush) microfiber and don’t much apply pressure. Using this technique should not mar your paint. Note however, depending on the clay you could induce marring. Be sure to use a fine clay unless you intend to buff out medium and heavy clay marring.

  2. Fazle Imatrall says:

    Mr. Tim,

    how you explain betwen different coating to purchaser? How I say…you give person guarantee with product warranty? how much length do product last on painted surface?

    Kindly do the needful.

    Best regards

  3. Doug Green says:

    Sorry, my reply should have been addressed to Jeff, not Tim.

    Why is there no edit button?

  4. AAA AUTO SPA says:

    Is is environmentally friendly?

  5. Tim,

    With the Gtechniq Crystal Light, did you experience the curing times to be different on different vehicles? Also were you able to receive maximum usage with one bottle of the CSL?

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