Factory vs Refinish Paint

factory paint

A common misconception thrown around the trade is factory paint is better then refinish paint. While refinish paint does generate more of a margin for mistakes, it is not any different then factory paint.

Factory paint is generally based on identical technology, with a few differences in application technique. Factory base coat can be applied by manual or automated spraying systems or a high speed dispursion blade. It can be water or solvent borne just as refinish paint is. The clearcoat is always an acrylic urethane clear that chemically cures using a cross linking system.

The only difference between factory clear and refinish clear is generally the way it is activated. A factory clear is supplied in a 1k form where the cross linking process does not occur until it is heated to about 200 degrees. Factory clear is allowed to do this as they can bake at the high temperatures without fear of melting the plastic and electronic components because they are not yet in the car. This process is very efficient for a production line but doesn’t work so well for a refinish shop.

Refinish clear is supplied in a 2 k (2 part) form where it requires a hardener to initiate the chemical cross linking process. This does not require a certain temperature to acheive so it is ideal for refinishers.

So the end result? either way you have a chemically cured urethane clearcoat. There is really no difference. Refinish paint gets a bad reputation because so many shops don’t know what the heck they are doing. If done right, refinish paint will hold up just as well or better then the factory application.



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