Automotive painting involves many different tools and techniques, especially when performed at professional level. Abrasives, paints and auto body masking tape are for sure the most used products, each of them with its specific purpose. Let’s start from them to deepen this complex world.
Abrasives are a wide category that includes many different products to prepare the car for paint or smooth the paint itself once applied, enhancing its best properties. One of the most used abrasives in auto body shops is sandpaper, which is employed both in dry sanding and wet sanding.
Dry sanding is one of the most important processes for preparing the car for the application of fillers, primers, paints, or any other coating; the abrasive is spread on the surface with the aid of grinding discs, in order to remove the old materials from the car and optimize the surface for the grip of the next layers.
Wet sanding is a far gentler process that also involves water, in order to keep the sand and the surface wet. During this step, in fact, it is important to minimize the abrasion power of sandpaper to protect the paint from scratches and improve its smoothness.
Paints are, as expected, the most used products in automotive paint. Their application on the auto body is usually divided into basecoat and clearcoat, two different stages of the job with different purposes. Basecoat is performed after the application of the primer coat, with the aim to give the car the desired color; depending on the visual effect wanted, different kinds of paints will be employed.
Clearcoat is the final stage of automotive painting, coming just before waxing. Its purpose is mainly protective: the coating covers the paint layer with a glossy and translucent film that resists weather conditions and UV rays.
Today, the most used types of paints can be classified as solvent-based paints and water-based paints, the latter introduced to reduce the environmental impact of the job.
Auto body masking tape may appear as an optional tool when compared with abrasives and paints. However, this product is essential both in DIY and in professional automotive painting; in addition, it is employed in all the stages of the job, protecting the car body from overspray of primers, abrasives, and paints. Auto body masking tape is for sure the most versatile and flexible product involved in car painting.
Auto body masking tape is applied on the car to mask off the areas that should not be treated or painted. A good tape should resist the high temperature required during drying cycles, withstand the chemicals in the paint and guarantee perfect adhesion to prevent the paint from bleeding through. Additional qualities include removal without residue, high conformability to fit irregular surfaces, and easy and controlled unwinding.
Auto body masking tape can be used alone on the surface to protect, or aid the application of other products such as masking paper or films.
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