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Single stage paint jobs are not intended for prestigious showroom or displays but are great for complete paint jobs on cars that just need to look better. Single stage colors also have the advantage of being very close in match to the original colors but since the whole car is usually being repainted, an exact match is generally not absolutely critical.
Using single stage paint is also a real cost saver. With single stage paint, the durability (UV protection etc), color and lacquer are all mixed together. The paint dries to a highly glossy finish so doesn’t need a clear overcoat. Single stage paint is also much thicker than two stage, so usually only one coat, two maximum, is needed compared to the minimum 4 for two stage paint. That’s a considerable cost saving right there. Less paint used equals less expense, fewer layers required equals less labor time and the paint itself is also cheaper than two stage paint.
Single stage paint is also thicker so it covers scratches better, meaning pre-paint preparation can be a little ‘rougher’ than that required for a two stage paint job. Less time spent on preparation equals another sizeable cost saving.
Two stage paint by comparison, as the name suggests, is applied in two stages. The color layers are put down first. These layers dry to a matte finish and have no strength or durability. A separate clear layer then goes on over the top and this is what provides the gloss, strength and durability. As this work takes a lot longer to do it bumps up the cost. Two stage paints are also thinner than single stage so a lot more care has to be taken with the preparation work or things like scratches will show up through the paintwork.
However, there are downsides to single stage paint. Not all colors work well for single stage paint jobs – indeed there are a few that simply do not come out very well at all. The best colors for single stage are the good solid base colors – red, black, white and so on. Metallics invariably will require two stage paint.
Single stage paint also requires a bit more expertise than two stage paint. With the two stage process, there is time in between each layer to correct any mistakes or buff out any imperfections. You don’t have this luxury with single stage.
Car painting is one of those things that look great when it’s done properly but looks awful when things go wrong. Auto repair shops have paint booths for a good reason and it’s not just about saving the environment. The environment around a car being painted needs to be 100% clean and dirt free. Otherwise you could end up with dirt and imperfections in the paintwork and that is not acceptable. Either to the customer or to the repair shop.
If for some reason a vehicle does leave a shop with a less than perfect paint job, it’s up to the repair shop to rectify the situation. Willingness to back up their work and fix issues like this are what separates a reputable shop from the rest of the pack. Obviously most quality repair shops will try to minimize slip-ups as much as possible but sometimes it can be a case of playing “Whack- a-Mole”. One problem gets fixed and another rears its head somewhere else but good management can keep a handle on the game, minimize and eliminate errors as much as possible and are prepared to fix any issues that result from slip ups.
To find a quality paint and repair shop near you, head to autobodyshop.org your one stop spot to find anything and everything auto paint related.