July 1, 2022


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What Are The Automotive Three-Stage Paint

2 min read

The paint used in modern cars is long-lasting and impervious to stains. It also offers a high-gloss finish. Today's cars rely heavily on the two-stage process called base coat or clear coat, and clear. There are several three-stage colors that are now popular. One of the most well-known can be found in the pearl white color that General Motors uses on the Cadillac. 

From different angles, the color of the paint appears to change. This is because of the mid coat that is applied following the base coat but prior to applying the clear coat. The mid-coat is made up of pearlescent powders that span a broad color spectrum. If you examine it closely you will see tiny flakes of reds, purples, blues, and other colors that impart a pearl appearance to the finished. This kind of refinishing process is sometimes referred to by the name" Tri-Coat" by several paint companies. You can look for automotive painter suppliers online for your automobile painting.


This three-step procedure caused painters to go insane when trying to match the colors. In most cases, when it was necessary to replace a fender then blending the new color into the door to ensure an exact color match was required. To prepare for the blending process, everything is removed from the door like handles and glass, as well as moldings, and the trim. The base coat or the first phase was in place on the fender, and partially inside the door. 

The next stage involves an application of the clear coating which is coated with two coats, covering the fender as well as the entire door. An addition a second spraying process following the initial stage or base coat and the blend into the door could not result in a good color to match. The industry needed to find a solution to this issue. The solution was a process called zone finishing.