What Products do I need to Order?

Quick info: The paint pen is good for very small paint chips and scratches. You should not apply paint with the brush cap bottle to areas larger than a dime. Anything larger and you will be unhappy with the results, especially with metallic paints. We recommend ordering the spray can for all larger areas. Paint Pens, Brushing and Spray cans
Do not try to use the paint pen on areas larger than a pencil eraser. Do not try to brush areas larger than a dime. If you do, the area will look very uneven. When you apply metallic paint with a pen or brush, the metallic flake will not lay down properly. Even with a perfect paint match the paint will look darker. Save yourself lots of grief and use a spray can for larger areas!

Paint Pen-The paint pen can be used on very small chips and scratches. Do not try to use the paint pen on areas larger than a pencil eraser!
1 oz. Brush Cap Bottle-Use this size where you wish to use a brush to repair the paint. Do not try to brush areas larger than a dime, especially metallics! 
2 oz. Brush Cap Bottle-Use this size for numerous chips or use your own spray equipment for small areas.If you spraying, you must thin the paint. Each 2oz. bottle covers around two square feet. Do not try to brush areas larger than a dime, especially metallics!
12 oz. Spray Can-Each can covers four square feet and is used to repair larger areas.This paint is ready to spray out of the can.
Larger Sizes-Pints, Quarts and Gallons are used with your own spray equipment. 
Thinning the Paint

The pints, quarts and gallons come ready to spray so no thinning is necessary.

If you are spraying the paint from the 2oz. size in a spray gun, you must thin the basecoat and midcoat paint 1:1 with automotive lacquer thinner (not the lacquer thinner sold at Home Depot, etc.). The clearcoat is usually thinned with 1 to 2 parts thinner to one part clearcoat. Check the label for instructions. You can use a regular automotive spray gun, an airbrush or the Preval sprayer available at most auto parts stores. Please note that in certain areas of California, automotive lacquer thinner is illegal and cannot be used. Check with your local authorities. Please see the following paragraph about using basemaker.

You can use the recommended basemaker as a thinner (reducer.) The reduction is 1:1 and they have different basemakers for different temperatures in the range of 65-85 F so there are several to select from. For example, DUP7175S which would be a basemaker which would be suitable for temperatures up to 75. You will need to purchase this locally as there are several basemakers with different temperature ranges. Our paint does not need a catalyst or activator as it air dries.

You should note that the 1:1 thinning ratio is a guide and may need to be adjusted. Always test the spray pattern first! If the paint is coming out too thick or stringy, you should add more automotive lacquer thinner and try another spray pattern test.
How long will the paint last?
Paint Pens can last a couple of years if stored in a cool, dry place. If you leave the cap off in the hot sun, the paint will evaporate quickly!
Brush Cap Bottles will also last a couple of years if stored properly. Again, sun and heat will quickly ruin the paint.
Spray Cans will last several years. The nozzle may clog if it has not been cleaned properly, but we ship extra nozzles with spray cans.
Larger sizes will last several years if unopened. Once they are opened, the paint quality will degrade over the next few years.
Paint Coverage  
Product Square Feet Coverage
2 oz. Brush Cap Bottle 3
12.5 oz. Spray Can 4
16 oz.-Pint 15
32 oz.-Quart 30
128 oz.-Gallon 120

Spray Can Calculator
Enter the width and length of your repair in inches to determine how many spray cans to order.
# of Spray
cans to order

Paint Brand
We use Universal Basecoat paint for most of our paint and in some cases we use PPG paint.

What are the other products you sell and what are they for?

Tricoat paints - If your paint has the word "Tricoat" in the paint name, it has a tricoat formula and our order form will automatically include both the basecoat and midcoat paint in your order.

2 oz. Rubbing Compound Bottle - This is used to smooth and shine the paint. If you do not polish the clearcoat with rubbing compound, the paint will not shine.

Sandpaper Pack - Used for sanding the primer, paint and clearcoat if necessary. On small repairs, we recommend using rubbing compound to bring the level of both the basecoat and clearcoat down. First apply the basecoat and if it  too thick, use rubbing compound to bring the paint level down. Now apply the clearcoat and polish with the compound.

Tack Rag - Used for removing all dust before spraying paint. This is not needed for the paint pen or brush bottle.

3/4 inch masking tape - An automotive grade masking tape that leaves no residue. Do not tape around the area you are spraying, as it will leave a ridge where the tape has been applied. Spray painted surfaces should be blended.

Glaze Coat (16 oz.) - This is a two part putty compound that will not shrink and is used to fill small scratches, pin holes in the body filler, etc.

Lite Weight Autobody Filler (.75 quart) - Use for repairing dents and dings. After pounding out the damaged area, filler is used to restore the original contour of the part. It should be followed by either a Glaze coat of spot putty.

One Step Rust Converter (spray) or Rust Away (4oz. bottle) This product prepares rusted surfaces for Paint. Rust Away chemically reacts to convert rust into a hard, black primer sealer. Apply Rust Away on rusted surfaces and rust is permanently converted and ready for primer and topcoat.

Spot Putty - This is basically a thickened primer paste that is used for filling scratches, etc. in the surface.

Three plastic spreaders - Used for applying the filler, glaze coat or spot putty.

Flexible Bumper Repair Kit - Used for repairing tears in the rubberized bumper cover. There is no paint in this kit.

Wax and Grease Remover - Removes all wax and grease from the spot you are repainting.

One Step Rust Converter (spray) or Rust Away (4oz. bottle) - This product converts rust to black primer. It essentially forms a barrier around the rusted area that prevents it from rusting further. This is available in a 4oz. liquid or 10 oz. spray can.

Acrylic Lacquer Thinner - Very handy to have around! Great for the paint pen as you can clean the nib. You can also remove excess paint. It can also be applied to a soft cloth to bring down the level of the paint. Please note, you cannot use regular lacquer thinner. There is a big difference between the lacquer thinner they sell at Home Depot versus automotive lacquer thinner. Our paint is not soluble in regular lacquer thinner so you need automotive lacquer thinner to use with our paint.

SEM Adhesion Promoter - A clear spray which makes paint stick to all automotive surfaces such as vinyl, plastic, fiberglass, galvanized metal, chrome, aluminum and glass. Once you have completed your repair of the surface you are painting (if it needed repairing before painting), use this product to ensure good adhesion to surfaces that normally do not allow paint to adhere well. This is a very toxic product so use goggles, respirator and rubber gloves. Keep away from children!  

Chemical Respirators - This respirator is recommended for spray paint applications. It is a maintenance free respirator which is discarded when the organic vapor cartridges are spent. The package includes the respirator with permanently attached organic vapor cartridges and filters.

Spray can trigger - This is a plastic handle which goes over the spray can giving it a feel of a paint gun. If you want better control of the paint coming out of the spray can, this product is highly recommended.

11.8 oz. Catalyzed Clearcoat (Spray Can) - This clearcoat has a self contained hardener right in the can. Once the hardener is activated (by pressing down on the special pin on the bottom of the can), the hardener is released. By shaking the can for approximately two minutes, you now have an catalyzed clearcoat in a spray can which dries hard and shiny. You will not need to use rubbing compound with this product. The product must be used within 24 hours after activation. This formula contains Isocyanates and is very toxic so don't even think about spraying this product without proper respiratory protection! Make sure you use a protective respirator designed for Isocyanates. The respirators we sell on the site are approved for use with this paint. We only recommend professionals purchase this product with spraying experience as once it is sprayed, it cannot be easily removed!

Clearcoat Blender - This product is used to blend freshly applied clearcoat right into the existing finish. Be sure to follow the directions on the can. A chemical respirator is recommended!
Application notes: 
Above all else, ==> practice <== using the paint off your vehicle first!
1) All unpainted surfaces need to be primed, even small chips if they are down to the metal.
2) Paint pen or Brush cap bottle? This is more of a personal preference here, but the paint pen is easier to use and avoids the blob created with brushing the paint.
3) We recommend purchasing the 2 oz. bottle of acrylic lacquer thinner. It's great for cleanup. It is especially useful with the paint pen as you can keep the applicator (the nib) clean and free of excess paint buildup.
4) Your painted surface will only look as good as the prep work you have done. Paint will not fill dents, remove scratches or smooth a rough surface. If you are spraying, you must sand the entire area first, then prime, sand again and re-prime until the area is quite smooth. Professional body shops use a lot of primer!
5) Rusty areas need to be treated with a special rust remover. We sell a product on our site called One Step Rust Converter (spray) or Rust Away (4oz. bottle) which converts rust to black primer. If you have rust bubbles in your paint, grind these areas down and apply the Rust Converter. Large rusted out areas are best left to professionals!
6) You can paint directly over the existing paint, but in the body shop, the technician will normally sand down the existing paint and then apply primer to fill small scratches and imperfections.
7) A sealer is a special type of primer that is normally used before an entire paint job. It must be sprayed with professional spray equipment and is not suitable for a spray can so we do not sell sealers.
8) You can paint an entire vehicle with our paint. You must polish the final finish with rubbing compound. You will have to use a power buffer to obtain the desired gloss. Polishing an entire car by hand is almost impossible!
9) You cannot apply paint over wax. Use a wax and grease remover or scrub the area with detergent to remove the wax. After completing your repair, do not wax the area for 30 days.
 Rubberized Bumper (or non-metal) Repair

Most modern bumpers are made out of a rubberized material. If the paint and primer has been scraped off, the bare  bumper surface will need to be primed. You should order the SEM Adhesion Promoter. The SEM Adhesion Promoter is necessary for proper paint adhesion. Our regular primer can be used on rubberized bumpers and fiberglass.

Getting the bumper ready for paint
If the bumper has lots of scratches, sand the entire bumper down, apply primer and sand smooth and then apply the paint. Primer is excellent for filling small scratches. You can also use spot putty to fill deeper scratches. Be sure to prime over the spot putty before painting. For tears in the bumper, use our bumper repair kit. For dented areas, you can use the body filler we sell. 

We recommend:
- 12 oz. Primer spray can for ANY unpainted surfaces or to fill and smooth the surface.
- 12 oz. basecoat spray can. One can covers four square feet. (Tricoat paints have a basecoat and midcoat.)
- 12 oz. clearcoat spray can. One can covers four square feet.
- 11.3 oz. SEM Adhesion Promoter. One can covers four square feet.
- Rubbing compound (Used for polishing the clearcoat)
- Tack Rag (Used for removing dust before painting)
- Sandpaper pack (Used for sanding the primer, paint, etc.)
- Acrylic Lacquer Thinner (Good for cleanup and paint removal)
- Wax and Grease remover. (Removes wax and grease from the surface you are painting)

Bumper Repair or non-metal Paint Areas
Paint Pen or Brush Cap Bottle
Areas that have been chipped down to the bumper material must be primed before painting.

We recommend the following for paint pen repairs.
- 1/2 oz. primer paint pen for ANY unpainted surfaces. (if necessary). Regular primer will work fine.
- 1/2 oz.  basecoat paint pen (Tricoat paints have a basecoat and midcoat.)
- 1/2 oz.  clearcoat paint pen.
- Rubbing compound (Used for polishing the clearcoat)
- Acrylic Lacquer Thinner (Good for keeping the paint pen nib clean and paint removal)
- Wax and Grease remover. (Removes wax and grease from the surface you are painting)
Clearcoat Blender

Use the clearcoat blender to melt the freshly applied clearcoat into the existing finish. This eliminates the telltale line and will make your paint repair look professional.

Clearcoat Problems

Same Clearcoat is used for All Paints.
The same clearcoat can be used for all paint colors. If you are repairing a flexible bumper or non-metal surface, make sure you use the SEM Adhesion Promoter. You can use the clearcoat on both metal and non-metal surfaces.

Peeling Clearcoats
When the clearcoat has peeled away from the basecoat or is wearing out, you will have to sand down the entire area where the clearcoat is peeling or worn out. You can't just apply clearcoat as the basecoat becomes damaged without the protection of the clearcoat. The procedure is to completely sand the area, prime where necessary and spray paint the area. See below for what to order.

Dull Clearcoats
If the clearcoat is just dull, you may be able to revive it with a polishing compound. Check your local auto part stores for polishing products made for clearcoat.

Clearcoating Metal and Non-Metal Surfaces
You can use the same clearcoat for metal and non-metal surfaces. When you are clearcoating non-metal surfaces, you should always use SEM Adhesion Promoter underneath the paint.
Our regular primer will work on both metal and non-metal surfaces. Do NOT use enamel primer. Our paint will cause a reaction with enamel primer causing it to lift and bubble off the surface!

If you are using body filler, you should always use primer. If you are using body filler on a non-metal surface, make sure you order the SEM Adhesion Promoter.
Spray Painting Over Existing Paint
If your vehicle has been painted within the last year by a paint shop like Maaco, Earl Schieb, etc., you should test our paint on an inconspicuous part of the vehicle. These shops use a type of enamel not compatible with our paint.

If your vehicle has the original factory finish, or was repaired by a professional body shop, you should have no problems using our paint at all.

Clean the paint surface with a wax and grease remover or good detergent. Wetsand the paint with #400 sandpaper until it is dull and prime any bare spots. Once the primer is dry, lightly wetsand the entire surface with #600 sandpaper and apply the paint as given in the directions. Wetsanding is accomplished by using wet and dry sandpaper, which we sell on our site. Using a bucket of water or hose, thoroughly wet the surface to be sanded and the sandpaper. The nice thing about wetsanding is the sandpaper will not clog up because the water keeps it clean.
Key Scratches

Spraying versus the Paint Pen
For the best job, you will need to sand down the entire panel where the key scratch is located, build up the surface with spot putty and primer and spray the entire panel with basecoat and clearcoat. 

Advantages of Spraying
1) Since you have completely sanded and painted over the scratch, it will be gone.

Drawbacks of Spraying
1) Considerable time and effort.
2) Spraying over the original paint. In general, it's best to keep the original paint on your vehicle if possible.
3) All metallic paints must be blended into the adjacent panel. For some colors, you can end up practically spraying the entire side of the car. Gold colored cars are the worst.
What to Order if you are spraying paint
- 12 oz. primer spray for ANY unpainted surfaces.
- 12 oz. basecoat spray can for each four square feet. (Tricoat paints have a basecoat and midcoat.)
- 12 oz. clearcoat spray can for each four square feet of painted area.
- Rubbing compound (Used for polishing the clearcoat)
- Tack Rag (Used for removing dust before painting)
- Sandpaper pack (Used for sanding the primer, paint, etc.)
- Acrylic Lacquer Thinner (Good for cleanup and paint removal)
- Wax and Grease remover. (Removes wax and grease from the surface you are painting)

Advantages of the Paint Pen
1) Speedy repair.
2) Nearly all of the original paint except the scratch will be retained.
3) Great for small chips and scratches. Not suitable for anything larger than a pencil eraser!

Drawbacks of the Paint Pen
1) Upon close inspection, you will notice the repair on metallic painted surfaces. Solid colors can virtually disappear.
2) They are only suitable for a paint chip no larger than a pencil eraser.

What to Order if you are using the Paint Pen
- 1/2 oz. primer paint pen for ANY unpainted surfaces.
- 1/2 oz.  basecoat paint pen (Tricoat paints have a basecoat and midcoat.)
- 1/2 oz.  clearcoat paint pen.
- Rubbing compound (Used for polishing the clearcoat)
- Acrylic Lacquer Thinner (Good for keeping the paint pen nib clean and paint removal)
- Wax and Grease remover. (Removes wax and grease from the surface you are painting)
Repairing a Paint Chip
We recommend the paint pen for repairing paint chips. (Make sure the paint chips are not larger than a pencil eraser!) Some of you are used to using the brush cap bottle and you can also achieve excellent results by following the directions on our site under "How to Apply". We find the paint pen easier to use for repairing small chips.

For scratches that have gone through the paint layers to expose the underlying surface (metal, plastic, rubber, etc.), you will need primer. If you need to fill deep scratches, use several coats of primer and gradually build the surface up. Paint chips larger than a dime should be sprayed for best results.

What to Order if you are using the Paint Pen for a Paint Chip
- 1/2 oz. primer paint pen for ANY unpainted surfaces.
- 1/2 oz.  basecoat paint pen (Tricoat paints have a basecoat and midcoat.)
- 1/2 oz.  clearcoat paint pen.
- Rubbing compound (Used for polishing the clearcoat)
- Acrylic Lacquer Thinner (Good for keeping the paint pen nib clean and paint removal)
- Wax and Grease remover. (Removes wax and grease from the surface you are painting)
Peeling Paint
During the mid 1990's, many Chrysler products had severe paint peeling problems. We have also had reports of some GM vehicles with the same problem.

The only way to completely fix peeling paint is to completely strip the vehicle down to bare metal and start over again. However, as a half measure, you can sand the peeling areas down, apply the primer and proceed to paint. This will not stop the peeling but it will improve the appearance of the vehicle for a short time. Eventually, the paint will peel in other areas and you will have to do it again. 

Some vehicle manufacturers have repair programs for peeling paint, but most of them will tell you that there is no recourse and "it just happens with age!" This is simply not true.
Painting Your Entire Car
You can use our paint to paint your entire car but it is a considerable amount of work. Professional shops use catalyzed paint which dries shiny. Catalyzed paint is very toxic and should only be sprayed in a paint booth by professionals who understand what personal protection is necessary. The paint takes about an hour to dry and it is essential the vehicle is sprayed in a professional paint booth with proper air flow to remove the paint fumes and prevent dirt from settling on the finish. This type of paint is not forgiving and paint errors (i.e. drips, runs, etc.) cannot be fixed for several weeks until the finish has dried properly.

We strongly advise against trying to paint your whole car with spray cans! Rent or purchase a professional auto body spray gun. I once tried to paint an entire car (a VW Bug) using about 10 spray cans and was so unhappy with the job, I washed the entire paint job off with lacquer thinner!)

paint safelySafety
You should paint in a well ventilated area using a professional double cartridge auto body respirator. If you can detect ANY paint odor through the respirator, you need to change the cartridges immediately. Completely cover your body from head to foot so you do not have ANY bare skin exposed. Wear safety goggles! Use a pull over hood to protect your head. Obviously the best place to paint is in a professional auto body spray booth, but this will usually be impractical. If you are painting in a garage, leave the garage door open a few feet, and have sufficient air flow to remove the paint fumes. Make sure somebody knows you are painting and approximately what time you will be done so they can check on you. If you experience ANY dizziness, etc., stop painting immediately, get fresh air and call a physician. Automotive paint is quite toxic so please be careful!

Notice the painter in the picture. Full body suit with hood, gloves, double cartridge respirator and face mask. You don't want to paint with anything less!

How much paint will you need?
Large Pickups, SUV's, Vehicles (i.e. Cadillac) One gallon
Medium Size (i.e. Ford Mustang, Subaru Outback, etc.) 3 quarts
Small Car (i.e. VW Jetta, Toyota Corolla, Chevrolet Geo) 2 quarts

Additional Paint Needed
If you are painting underneath the hood, trunk, door jambs, etc., you should add another quart for medium and large vehicles and a pint for small vehicles. If you are changing the color of the vehicle, add another quart for medium and large vehicles and a pint for small vehicles.

Painting Instructions:
Make sure you read the humidity and temperature warnings! Too much humidity will cause your paint job to turn into a nightmare of white streaks and haze through the paint. Too hot and the paint will dry before it hits the vehicle!
1) Use automotive masking tape and special masking paper and tape the entire vehicle. You can also use paper wheel covers. Do not use cheap masking tape and newspaper as the tape will end up leaving a residue everywhere and newsprint often contains dust.
2) Repair all rust, dents, scratches, etc. Use primer on all bare metal. 
3) Thoroughly sand the entire vehicle with #220 sandpaper. Follow this by wet sanding with #400. Remember, all paint will do is change the color of the surface underneath and it will not fill scratches, dents, chips, etc.
4) If you are using spray cans, simply start applying the paint starting from the roof. Spraying large areas from a spray can will be difficult as it is hard to apply evenly when the paint is only coming out in an 8" spray pattern. Get a spray gun!
5) When using a spray gun, thin the paint 1:1 with automotive lacquer thinner. There are other types of thinners/reducers available to use with our paint (Universal BaseCoat) and if you want to use these products, I would consult with your local autobody supply store. 

Using a Spray Gun
A professional spray gun can put out a pattern over two feet and it makes painting the vehicle quite much easier. Spray full wet coats and then let the paint dry. Apply enough paint for good coverage (usually two good coats). Metallic paints should have a final mist coat to spread out the metallic evenly. Let the paint thoroughly dry.

Single Stage Paint
For single stage paints, you can now start polishing the paint. For a mirror smooth surface, you can wet sand the entire car down with #1000 grit. This will remove any dust, dirt, etc. in the paint and also you can sand out any runs, drips or sags in the paint.

Basecoat/Clearcoat Paint
Basecoat/Clearcoat paints should have a final coat of basecoat before applying the clearcoat. You can still wet sand the finish before applying this final coat of paint. After the basecoat is dry, apply the clearcoat. Two coats will provide good coverage. You can sand the clearcoat down with #1000 grit to obtain a glossier finish.

Use a medium duty rubbing compound to polish the clearcoat. Don't even think of doing this by hand if you are repainting the entire vehicle! Use a professional power buffer with a large buffing pad. Using a power buffer takes practice, so don't practice on your car. Common problems are burning the clearcoat and paint (you stayed in one place too long applying too much pressure), removing the clearcoat or paint around the edges (you will have to re-apply the paint and clearcoat again) and going right through the clearcoat. If you go through the clearcoat, you will end up trying to polish the basecoat which will never get shiny and you will have to re-apply more clearcoat. So, practice on perhaps a used part, piece of sheet metal, etc.
Powder Coatings
Our paint should be fine but make sure it will not lift or wrinkle the existing finish. Apply some automotive lacquer thinner by wetting the surface and giving it a couple of rubs with a damp cloth. If the existing finish does not soften or wrinkle, our paint should be okay to use. It wouldn't hurt to also test a small area before recoating the entire piece.

Powder coatings are urethane, cured and baked at high temperatures. Clean the area with wax and grease remover then wetsand the area with first 220, then 600 grit sandpaper. Use primer if the area has scratches you want to fill and then apply the basecoat. 
Rubbing Compound Questions
Our clearcoat requires rubbing compound to make them shine. Here are the most common questions we get regarding rubbing compound:
Question: Is your rubbing compound compatible with my clearcoat and paint? 
Answer: Yes, our rubbing compound can be used with all clearcoats and paints as long as the finish is dry. If you have any doubts, test a small inconspicuous area on your vehicle.
Question: Will your rubbing compound leave swirl marks?
Answer: Yes, if you are using a machine to apply the rubbing compound. These swirl marks can be taken out with a polishing compound which is much finer than rubbing compound.
Question: Will your rubbing compound dull the existing finish?
Answer: Only if applied incorrectly. If you use the wrong kind of material to apply the compound, you will dull the finish and leave scratch marks. You must use an old, clean cotton T-shirt. Do not use terry cloth, shop rags, paper towels. Also, make sure the T-Shirt is clean! Just one small piece of grit in the T-Shirt will scratch your finish.
Question: What is the difference between your rubbing compound and the stuff they sell in the stores?
Answer: Our rubbing compound is a medium duty compound as opposed to the heavy duty compound they sell in the stores. Rubbing compound is like liquid sandpaper and the heavier the duty, the more aggressive it will be. Do not use heavy duty rubbing compound on new paint. It will dull the surface instead of making it shine.
Question: The area I compounded turned out dull and looks scratched. What do I do now?
Answer: You probably used the wrong kind of material to apply the rubbing compound. You will need to purchase some polishing compound to remove the scratches and bring back the shine. Polishing compound is like a very fine liquid sandpaper and this will cure the problem.
Holes in a panel or bumper can be repaired with our auto body filler. If you have an actual tear in a bumper, you should use our bumper repair kit to fix the tear then shape and smooth with auto body filler. Apply a metal or plastic backing to the hole if necessary and apply the filler. Sand smooth and apply primer.
Dents in a panel or bumper can be repaired with our auto body filler. Large damaged areas should be repaired by a trained professional. Small dents can be pounded out and then filled with auto body filler, sanded smooth and primed.
Interior colors
Typically interior colors are a vinyl paint in late model vehicles.. Older vehicles with metal interiors use the same paint used on the exterior. Interior colors are not color coded on the vehicle anywhere so you have two choices. You can borrow our color books or you can also go by a body shop with interior color chips and have them tell you what color code you have. Once we know the color code, we can make the paint.
Please contact us with any questions you may have.

To place your order, please start at our Home Page.