Car Paint Poisons Make Arsenic Look Tempting
This week I gathered information about car paint. It looks like the things I wrote a few days back are pretty much correct. Two-stage paint (base plus clear coat) is crap, at least when you buy it on a new car from a manufacturer that doesn’t care about quality. It WILL fail if you put it in the sun long enough, no matter what you do, and unlike old-fashioned paint, it can’t be fixed.
People buy expensive waxes and treatments, and they pamper their cars, thinking it will keep the clear coat from peeling. It doesn’t work. The only thing that works is keeping the car indoors. Good luck with that, if you have a big vehicle.
Last night I watched a Youtube video from Eastwood, a company bodywork hobbyists love. A professional painter appeared in the video, and he provided the information I relayed above. He said carmakers do calculations. They ask themselves, “How much money do we have to put in the finish to make sure it doesn’t fall apart during the warranty period?” Then they spend that amount of money (exactly) knowing their cars will peel.
Also, they like 2-stage paint because it’s easy to apply. It requires less skill. Here’s what Eastwood says:
Most antique and muscle cars were painted with a single stage paint from the factory where color & gloss is achieved in one paint. While more affordable and producing a factory-like finish, it’s also less forgiving. You will need to have good painting technique to achieve even color and gloss.
Evidently, they could do better if they wanted. Thicker clear coat would last longer, and they can put additives in it and apply it better. They choose to stick it to us instead. That’s highly disturbing.
You can walk down any street and see old cars with original lacquer paint that looks okay. You can get thirty or forty years out of an old-fashioned paint job, if you wax it and give it a buffing when absolutely necessary. But with all the progress we’ve made since then, you can’t make a new American car’s paint last even fifteen years in a sunny climate.
If you take your peeling car to a painter and have him fix it–$1500 and up–he can do a better job than Dodge or GM. Your paint will last longer. It’s hard to believe the manufacturers don’t even try. Evidently, in addition to skimping on clear coat thickness, they use water-based two-stage paints which don’t adhere well. If you go to a painter, he’ll use something with solvents in it, and the quality will be superior. So carmakers aren’t even trying.
The news gets even better.
The paint they use now is like epoxy. You have to mix it with a product that makes it harden on your car. That product is full of chemicals called isocyanates, and they’re so poisonous it’s a wonder they’re legal. You can develop a life-threatening allergy to them the first time you inhale them, and guess what? You’ve already been exposed! Unless you live in a hole.
If you’ve ever used Great Stuff foam, or you’ve been in your home when someone used spray foam in an attic or wall, you’ve inhaled isocyanates. You can develop the allergy and the asthma it causes years later, so you may have a nice present awaiting you.
Once the problem manifests, you’ll get sick every time you get near isocyanates, so don’t walk past a body shop if you know what’s good for you.
I’ve used Great Stuff many times, and I’ve gotten it on me. I had an A/C duct foamed in by a contractor, and they didn’t tell me to leave the house. I’ve mixed 2K (two-part) primer without a mask. I’ve sprayed it without a suit. Oh, well. Let’s hope I’m one of the lucky ones who doesn’t get sick.
Here are some horrible things I learned about 2K paint:
1. You have to wear a suit (with gloves) and use a supplied air respirator with a hood if you want to be safe. Charcoal masks from Home Depot don’t give adequate protection, although you will see people using them on TV all the time. A supplied air system will run you at least $400. It’s a little machine with a blower and a hose. It pumps air into your hood to keep poison out.
2. You can absorb isocyanates through any exposed surface, so if you’ve sprayed with any skin exposed, you’ve danced with the devil. Fabrics don’t stop this stuff. You have to wear something like Tyvek.
3. You have to wear protection even when you’re mixing paint, sanding dried paint, or cleaning your tools.
With all this terrifying information in front of me, I’m wondering why anyone would go near 2K paint. Exposures add up, and one day you cross a line that’s invisible. Then you have the allergy, and you may have permanent lung damage. It’s strange that people choose to paint as a career.
Here’s something weird: supposedly the greenies had a hand in popularizing isocyanates. There was some environmental issue with the older paints. It made the bunnies and flowers sad, I guess.
That makes complete sense, now that I think about it. If 2K paint kills human beings but saves snail darters and certain subspecies of cockroach, to a greenie, it’s win-win.
I was hoping to get my motorcycle parts painted. Now I’m wondering if it’s worth the risk. I’m also wondering if anyone out there is making any effort to come up with an isocyanate replacement that isn’t completely evil.
So to sum up: your car’s paint is probably garbage, and if you park it in the sun, it will peel off no matter what you do. If it peels, you have to do a complete paint job; there is no way to repair clear coat. If you paint it yourself, you will push yourself closer to developing a horrible allergy that can cause you to collapse and suffocate.
My truck already has some little peeled areas. I can’t even guess what it would cost to paint it. I feel like having it redone in lacquer or some other primitive finish. Nothing could be worse than 2K. Maybe it won’t be as shiny, but I never wash it anyway.