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Great answer.


Paint Fanatic
Staff member
Somebody sent me a post on another forum and asked if was basically bs?
He was referring to a post by "NFTS"

This guy best I can figure owns a shop in Australia and yes he is exactly correct!

If I knew how to get in contact with the guy I would have emailed and asked permission to copy and post but im not a member
Very good post and worth a read.

i asked NFT5 for permission to copy and paste over there. his reply:

Sure, copy away.

I have, and make no claim to, copyright or anything like that, but I do think that it would be the right thing to do, for Chris, the site owner here, if you linked back to this forum
thats a pretty good forum,too

"Paint Protection" is a con. Waste of time and money. Almost all of them are no more than a polish and I've not seen one yet that didn't turn the surface milky. Not much, but enough to see.

The problem is that the manufacturers are putting the clear on thinner and thinner. They justify this by stating that a thinner coat is more flexible and, to an extent, that's true. But it's really all about money. Clear is expensive and if they can save just $10 per car, for a company the size of Toyota that's another $100 million on the bottom line, each year. $10 worth of clear is not very much when premium clears go for around $60/litre.

Clear is specified by the paint companies to be applied at a particular thickness, usually 50-60µm, which is actually less than the thickness of the average human hair. But, at this thickness the UV inhibitors in the paint are in sufficient quantity to provide protection to the bond between the clear and the basecoat, as well as to the basecoat itself.

I regularly measure paint thickness. Some manufacturers are getting down to around 70µm total thickness (that's metal to top of clear) and that simply isn't enough. As we see all too often the clear breaks down and the car is in need of a respray within, in some cases, just a few years.

When I bought my current car, a Pajero, one of the things I did before making the final decision was to measure paint thickness on a few sample vehicles. Typically that was in the region of 120-130µm - just about where it should be on a mass produced vehicle. Being Japanese built the quality of the paint itself is also quite good and it is now 6 years old, having spent its whole life in the sun (no undercover parking at my shop). The paint is still like new.

By comparison, my previous vehicle was a Triton and paint thickness was, typically, 80-90µm. Just not enough and the clear was showing early signs of degrading by the time it was just 4 years old. I had a claim in to Mitsubishi, but sold it before that proceeded. I do know of other Triton owners who have been successful in having Mitsubishi pay for complete resprays.

When we do bigger jobs in the shop we offer a lifetime warranty. Basically that's a warranty, backed by Axalta, for as long as that customer owns the car. After 17 years in this business we've never had a single warranty claim. We use premium products and we put it on at the correct thickness. End result is a paint job that lasts.

In terms of care of automotive paint, regular polishing is absolutely essential, with a good quality polish. Don't wax - there's no protection in wax and it doesn't last very long anyway. Use a good quality polymer polish. It's not what we use in the shop, but Meguiars is a good retail product, although there are certainly others. If your car is out in the sun, polish at least every 3 months. For what its worth, we use Gelson and apply with a twin head (Cyclo) polisher. I have never seen another polish that gives the same level of gloss and clarity. My car looks as good 3 months later as it does freshly polished.

Colours. Stay clear of really dark colours. Light metallics can be difficult too so leave the silvers and beiges alone too. Go for a middle of the road colour. I chose a mid-grey metallic but a mid blue or green would be just as good. White remains the perennial favourite and, with care, it can last well. Boring though.

Want the ultimate protection? Get your new car clear coated. The extra layers will make a huge difference to how long it lasts and it will look good too. Budget around $7K, so not cheap, but much cheaper than a respray or maybe what you'd lose in value a few years down the track. If you had it done at a quality shop they'd back it with a lifetime warranty as well and that's nice peace of mind.


Paint Fanatic
Staff member
He brings up a point, I would like to expand on.
He mentions applying clear to new cars.
We have a dozen shops at least that do a number of news cars a year and seems to be a growing business for the exact reasons the poster stated but the other big reason is orange peel and if you dare to 1500 and buff, the life of clear could be a 2-year deal due to lack of mills.

Most of the cars are the 80 thou and up, I hear a lot of hi-po Chryslers, some Mercedes-Benz.
Prices range from 8000 to 12000.

Of course, there is our one shop that has done this for years but repaints the same color and hand buffs.

He is world-famous and I remember when one time he said in two weeks a guy called said just bought new Bentley and dealership is sending too you repaint it.
Then the next week a guy bought a new Lambo and did the same thing.
Pricing 50 to 75000 per car.
The business is out there and getting bigger!
Clean with 700-1, grey scuff pad car, clean with 700 again and universal clear normally 4 coats ave.


Top Banana
I've said it too (reclearing brand new vehicles) if you hold em 20+ years.
Seems like a pleasure job no bodywork or epoxy, just blocking near perfect panels for clear. Ahhh...relaxing heh.
Heck i'd pull door panels and glue aluminum strips to skin for door dinging proof.
Good thing I didn't go for any of that stuff on my new car.

Would you block the clear with 1000 grit on a block or just a grey scuff pad or 1000 grit paper on the soft block would be good enough? Even on a DA with soft interface pad should be ok for just scuffing the clear.


Paint Fanatic
Staff member
One shop specialises in the new big hp mopars, first two a husband and wife pair he 1500 wet-sanded. Next one gray pad with water, not sure why the water but all done that way now
My first one, I did, I gray padded.
And sorry by blocking i meant rubber block & i'm use to my early 90's Caddies.
Todays curvy rides, paper thin clear & base, yes i'd be very gentle, foam backing pad, no hard blocks.

I disagree though with wax (good carnauba) not helping finish stay nice unless it's rarely driven & never left out even at grocery store. Right?