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Mike Phillips
Nov 17th, 2004, 10:20 AM
Paint Needs to Breathe (http://meguiarsonline.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=3704)

Words mean things, just ask any Lawyer. Floating around on the Internet, and discussed for decades among car enthusiasts is the myth that paint needs to breathe.

Or is it a myth?

It depends on how literal you read into the words. If you apply the common definition used for the word breath, then "No", paint does not need to breathe. If however you take a moment to understand the idea that is being expressed with this word, then I think you'll understand why the word breathe is used when someone says, or posts to the Internet that "Paint needs to breathe".

The below is just my guestimation as to the story behind the theory or myth that paint needs to breathe. I may be wrong, but my years of working with both painters, detailers and serious car enthusiasts as well as teaching detailing classes makes me think that if I'm not dead on, I'm at least in the ball park. With that said, here my explanation of how the saying, "Paint needs to breathe" originated.

For the last 50 or so years, when a person would have their car painted, upon retrieving it from the painter, the painter would typically recommend that the owner wait for a period of time before applying a coat of wax or some type of paint sealant that seals the paint. The normal period of time that most painters recommend is anywhere from 30 to 60 days and sometimes longer, depending upon the painter. The reason for this waiting period is to allow the different solvents and other additives enough time to fully evaporate out of and off of the surface.

Wax and/or paint sealants, whether natural or synthetic, or a blend of both of these ingredients, seals the paint by coating over the surface and filling into any microscopic surface imperfections creating a barrier coating over the surface. This blocks, or inhibits these solvents from escaping through evaporation, or outgassing. Solvents also called thinners and reducers are used to thin the paint down so that it can be atomized into a spray when applied with a paint gun using compressed air.

When a customer arrives at a body shop or a dealership to pick up their car with its freshly applied paint, most painters will tell the customer to wait a certain number of days before applying wax, or paint sealant over their new paint job. If the customer agrees, then that's probably as far as the discussion goes.

If the customer asks further questions as to why they must wait before applying a protective coating to their investment, then it is my belief that most painters would do their best to explain to the customer, in easy to understand terminology, so that the customer will understand and comply with his request. This is where I think the saying, paint needs to breathe, originated.

I don't think most painters would try to explain that the solvents need to outgas in order for the paint to fully dry and harden, instead, I think they would use a more simple approach and merely tell the customer that their new paint needs to breathe.

The above fictional analogy is probably as accurate as any assumption as to how the theory that paint needs to breath was started. (I'm open to other theories however.)

People that understand the painting process understand that paint doesn't literally need to breathe; they do understand that fresh paint needs to outgas. This means that for a period of time, the solvents and other carrying agents, which are used to dilute paint to a thin viscosity so that it can be sprayed out of a pressurized air sprayer, need to work their way out of the paint through the evaporation process, also referred to as outgassing.

Read the below two scenarios and then decide for yourself, which scenario sounds more plausible.


In an effort to explain to their customers why paint manufactures recommend waiting for at least 30 days to pass before applying a coating of wax or a paint sealant, the painter can,

1. Try to explain the outgassing process over and over again throughout their career.
2. Use a simple analogy that the average person can understand without challenging the painter's judgment or expertise.
My personal guess is the second option.

If the simple analogy works, it will accomplish the painter's goal and allow the painter to get back to work, not spend his time explaining the painting process to each customer as they pick up their car. The goal of course is to prevent the customer from sealing the paint with some type of wax or paint sealant until the paint has completely dried and the out-gassing process is completely over.



* Paint does not need to breathe in the literal sense that you and I need to breathe as living human beings.
* Paint does need to breathe in the sense that fresh paint needs to outgas.
Of course, in the last 50 years or so since World War II ended and the car crazy culture really revved up in America, (no pun intended), the result has been explosive growth in the collision repair and custom painting industries. It should be no surprise that the idea that paint needs to breathe has finally reached enough of a critical mass as to be the topic of discussion on numerous discussion forums as well as anywhere a couple of car enthusiasts gather to talk shop.

Depending on how literal you want to read into it, when someone states "Paint needs to breathe", what they probably mean is that fresh paint needs to outgas, they probably just don't know, or understand the term outgas, and/or they are confused like many people who have gone before them and are operating under the wrong idea innocently.

A different, but related version of the above would be someone that applies the same idea that paint needs to breathe to the paint on a brand new car which is also false unless the new car has been painted within the last 30 to 90 days. Sometimes during shipping from the assembly plant to the dealership show room floor, new vehicles are damaged and need repair including repainting. If all the paint on the car is the factory original paint, then it was baked on at the factory as it traveled down the assembly line and was completely cured before it left the assembly plant and it is perfectly safe to apply a coating of wax or a paint sealant of some type. If the car has been repainted due to damage during transit, then the areas with fresh paint should not be sealed with wax until the recommended waiting period has passed.

Well, this is my stab at the "Paint needs to breathe theory".

Totoland Mach
Nov 17th, 2004, 03:03 PM
Great stuff Mike! I liked to use the expression "Paint needs to cure" when I used to custom paint bikes. Most folks readily grasp that terminology and will adhere to the recommendations of the painter.

Outgassing really is a curing process.

RamAirV1
Nov 17th, 2004, 04:17 PM
Of course it is still OK to use #80 with it's paintable polymer on new paint, isn't it?

RamAirV1

gb387
Nov 17th, 2004, 04:57 PM
Nice article... If you were to wax/seal a fresh coat of paint what would happen? Would the paint not cure? Has Meguiars R&D ever tried it when creating new products?

Marc08EX
Nov 17th, 2004, 08:03 PM
Nice information Mike!

Marc Wong
Nov 17th, 2004, 08:33 PM
Great article Mike. But I think the term "pain needs to breath" is no longer being used a layman's terminology. (Not over here that is.) I'd go directly with “ curing time� and that does the work. If asked any further, then I’ll go into detail of thinner/solvents having to flash off etc. It helps a lot If the client learned something new/more. Anyhow, paint DOES need to breath.
:xyxthumbs

Marc.

BTW Mike, re-tried the clay bar on the windscreen, worked fine, but now its back again. *sigh*

TOGWT
Nov 18th, 2004, 06:57 AM
Thank you for the information and your insights…/

We can all 'breathe' easier now

Don
Nov 18th, 2004, 03:47 PM
Sounds like a reasonable theory. When people ask me, I tell them that it's because the solvents that make the paint sprayable have to fully evaporate before the paint can be waxed

Newport Viper
Nov 19th, 2004, 12:54 PM
Thanks for taking the time to explain that! :xyxthumbs

Mike Phillips
May 9th, 2005, 06:30 AM
Originally posted by RamAirV1
Of course it is still OK to use #80 with it's paintable polymer on new paint, isn't it?

RamAirV1

Yes. M80 Speed Glaze contains a protective paintable polymer and is completely safe for use on fresh paint.

rsa
Jun 30th, 2005, 06:33 PM
Comments? I came across this thread while searching for any special considerations when detailing a 2006 Chrysler 300c with a ten day old, factory fresh paint. I must have ran out of steam toward the end of the article since I only noticed the following sentence on my second reading.
If all the paint on the car is the factory original paint, then it was baked on at the factory as it traveled down the assembly line and was completely cured before it left the assembly plant and it is perfectly safe to apply a coating of waxy or a paint sealant. While I was first reading the article, I was shaking my head from side-to-side since I've been under the impression that modern factory paint jobs are good to go when delivered to the customer, i.e., with the painted car going through multiple oven zones where the paint is baked with radiation and convection heat, all the outgassing that needs to occur before the initial waxing should already been occurred at the factory.

DOH, that's just what you said, and what I missed first go around. :( So my comment is that I'd like to see the above quoted passage near the very beginning of the of the article. :)

Stu

RamAirV1
Jul 1st, 2005, 05:25 PM
Originally posted by rsa
Comments? I came across this thread while searching for any special considerations when detailing a 2006 Chrysler 300c with a ten day old, factory fresh paint. I must have ran out of steam toward the end of the article since I only noticed the following sentence on my second reading. While I was first reading the article, I was shaking my head from side-to-side since I've been under the impression that modern factory paint jobs are good to go when delivered to the customer, i.e., with the painted car going through multiple oven zones where the paint is baked with radiation and convection heat, all the outgassing that needs to occur before the initial waxing should already been occurred at the factory.

DOH, that's just what you said, and what I missed first go around. :( So my comment is that I'd like to see the above quoted passage near the very beginning of the of the article. :)

Stu

What color is the 300C? I love that car, it's my favorite 4 door! If I had to buy a 4 door, that would be it. Please post pics when you are done detailing it.

RamAirV1

Mike Phillips
Jul 1st, 2005, 05:53 PM
Originally posted by rsa
Comments?

So my comment is that I'd like to see the above quoted passage near the very beginning of the of the article. :)

Stu

Hi Stu,

Thank you for your feedback, I'll see if I can tweak this to make the change. :xyxthumbs

RamAirV1
Aug 16th, 2005, 03:57 PM
I recently discovered that the hood of my GTO was repainted, probably due to damage in transport. The dealer body shop manager informed me of this when I went to get an estimate for hail dent repair. The paint on the hood chips very easily! So is this because repaints are just like that, or is it because I waxed it too soon? This was not the dealer where I bought the car. The dealership where I bought the car changed ownershiop and they don't know me from Adam, and I don't think they really care.

They did do a good job of matching the color and it does look like the rest of the car. The evidence of the repaint was the paint buildup around the windshield wipers. But the stone chips are eventually going to be a problem as they accumulate. So I eventually will get stuck with a repaint and trying to find a painter that can do a decent job.

Isn't the transporter obligated to inform GM or the dealer that the hood was damaged in transit? And wouldn't the dealer be obligated to inform me if they knew?

Would I have rejected the car if I knew the hood was repainted? Maybe, maybe not. After all, my virtually flawless black TA was sitting right next to a very nice new car, but with a repainted hood. It's hard to say what I would have done.

The dealer did inform me of some bumper damage which was very minor. They may not have known about the hood.

I didn't mean to go off topic, but it is possible that I may have softened the paint on the hood by waxing too soon, not giving the paint a chance to breathe, but I had no way of knowing.

And I may get dinged for the repaint when I go to trade it in some day, which would really make me angry!:mad:

Hey, at least they just touched up the bumper and did not repaint it. That would have really been a mess!

RamAirV1

Jbirk
Aug 16th, 2005, 06:06 PM
It is always possible that if a paint is waxed too soon it will stay partially soft. However, typically in time the paint will still fully harden. Waxing should only slow or pause the process. If you kept it continuously waxed, it could have caused some softness problems.

To make a long story short, I had a section of my car repainted and within one month it started pealing right off. I took it back and asked to speak with a manager.

I was informed that a mistake was made and no primer was put on. They did a complete repaint of that section and as an appology also repainted my bumper that I scuffed hitting a garbage can.

I was told not to wax for 60 days. The cool thing was the manager gave me a little calender and had a little sticker marking first wash and wax date of the new paint.

I have had no problems to date with the re-paint, and that was over 1 year ago. It looks identical to the origional paint and I believe it to be equally hard.

mavrick
Oct 4th, 2006, 03:36 PM
:xyxthumbs Hey,MIKE you explained it great.Do people really think it"breaths" instead of cured compleatly dry.I guess you don't want to seal fresh paint, just keep it clean till it's cured more ,then do what you'd like,carefully,just my thoughts, that's what worked for me when i painted yrs ago, hope it's still true today. mavrick

rkollman
Dec 26th, 2006, 05:19 AM
I have reached day 30 after my paint job on my Silver Honda Ridgeline using #80 #81 and Final Inspection. I plan to wait a total of 90 days before waxing.

Simple Question? When you polish a few times, is there a shine build up thing taking place taking place or are you taking the previous polish off each time?

I see that #80 has the Polymer in it, so is polishing with #81 days later remove that Polymer protection? Also, is it possiblle the Final Inspection is removing the Polymer?

I guess its an #80 or #81 question. Can they compliment each other or should I simply choose between them?

Mike Phillips
Dec 26th, 2006, 07:53 AM
Since both M80 and M81 are both rich in polishing oils, you really only need to choose one to use.

Are you driving this car everyday? Or storing it until the 90 days are up?


As for the question about will M34 remove polish? Sure, anytime you take your hand and wipe the finish with a clean, dry microfiber, regardless if you're using a quick detailer or not, the action of pushing down on a microfiber and pushing it across the paint acts to remove whatever is on the surface... not add more product to the surface...

Using a quick detailer will add gloss because there are ingredients in the quick detailer designed to add gloss, but if you take the process to the extreme, wiping paint with a microfiber, a cloth/tool famous for it's ability to remove product off a surface, then from the extreme point of view, unless there's fresh polish on the cloth that you're applying, when you're pushing a microfiber cloth over the finish, you're not adding polish, you're likely removing any polish that's on the surface.

This leads into a discussion on permeable and impermeable, and if you're working on brand new paint, then unless it's been sanded and cut with a compound, then you're working on paint that is very impermeable, that is polish is not going to penetrate easily into the paint because it's a very solid layer, as in not opened up from wear & tear, as we circle back around to the fact that it's brand new.

You should still do something to it like apply a pure polish until you're ready to apply wax.

Pretty simple really.

rkollman
Dec 26th, 2006, 08:04 AM
I'm driving the car but keep it garaged and pampered? We are headed into the winter and soon this can be an issue keeping it perfectly clean. I guess it does not matter which paint shop safe polish I use and there is no such thing as two coats of polish?

Your obviously familiar with paint types. The body shop was sort of vague in their recommendation to wait the wait to wax time. They sort of said 30 days? But also said, waiting longer is possibly better. The paint job is nearly flawless and the clear coat is excellent. Honda Silver Metalic (Factory match). I see in your notes that polishes can help the cure or out gas process. Does this suggest that 90 days waiting to wax may not be needed if I keep the vehicle polished at a high gloss?

RamAirV1
Dec 26th, 2006, 08:22 PM
I would go with the #80 as it will provide some level of protection with it's paintable polymer.

RamAirV1

rkollman
Dec 29th, 2006, 01:02 PM
OK, my original plan is to wait 90 days after my paint job on my Honda Truck. I'm at 30 days now. So far, I have been able to keep the finish beautiful with #80 and Final Inspection. I caught a break with the weather being mild in the North East and having my truck in the garage. The truck will still be in stored in the garage all winter but snow and salt are quite possible during my required commutes.

I am really delighted with the polished finish and dont want to jump the gun and wax too early. But should I consider a greater potential problem with salt getting into the paint and therefore wax soon? I did read in the forum that #80 can help with the cure. Does that suggest my keeping the truck pristine and polished for 30 plus days may have opened the door to waxing earlier in the 30-90 day range?

Murr1525
Dec 29th, 2006, 04:10 PM
I have never heard of polishing helping paint cure faster....

But as far as salt, hard to say. Washing often so the salt isnt laying around will do a better job than leaving salt laying on the car, even if it is waxed.

rkollman
Dec 30th, 2006, 04:49 AM
any opinions on 30 to 90...? wait period. Silver metallic Honda Clearcoat? Painted at the dealership.

Don
Dec 30th, 2006, 06:29 AM
any opinions on 30 to 90...? wait period. Silver metallic Honda Clearcoat? Painted at the dealership.

Your best choice would be to ask the painter at the dealership, only he would be able to tell you for sure since he would know if it's an air-cure/heat-cure or other paint and how long you need to wait before waxing.

rkollman
Dec 30th, 2006, 07:38 AM
Your best choice would be to ask the painter at the dealership, only he would be able to tell you for sure since he would know if it's an air-cure/heat-cure or other paint and how long you need to wait before waxing.
I will ask him again. When I picked it up he was somewhat vague. Yeah, wait about 30 days or so. I was not sure if there is a preferred time. I think the truck spent the week end in a booth before i picked it up on a Tuesday.

rkollman
Jan 10th, 2007, 05:53 AM
Happy to say keeping my silver repainted Honda Ridgeline looking terrific without waxing has been reasonably easy using Speed Glaze and Final Inspection. I'm waiting 90 days before waxing because the finish is easy enough to keep looking excellent with these products. I guess I will take the high end of the range for the 30-90 day wait to wax recommendation?

I did try something today with good results. I mixed the speed glaze and final inspection in a spray bottle. (50/50 or so). After using Final Inspection Only, i followed with this milk mix and got the best gloss so far and application and removal of the mix was easy?

OK, I don't think Meguiar's has a product like this and its probably for a good reason? I welcome input here?

rkollman
Jan 21st, 2007, 10:31 AM
I'm approaching 60 days after my Honda 2006 Silver Ridgeline Truck was painted on the passengers side. I've been using #80 and Final Inspection on the whole vehicle (no wax at all) and the finish looks waxed and has an incredible gloss and the paint job was excellent. I may wait 30 more days to wax.

Major wax question: I am undecided what may be the best wax to use. Should I avoid Hi Tech Sealants and use regular waxes for a few more months?

I picked up this article and it would suggest not using any silicones and polymers. I intend to use either yellow wax, cleaner wax or a Meguiars special sealant.


Website http://www.ppg.com/car_autocoat/enthusiast.htm
"In the first 90 days"
It is recommended that you not wax or polish the vehicle. This will allow the finish to completely dry and cure. (When you are ready to wax, do not use silicone containing or super polymer containing waxes or polishes) Today's finishes do not need such extreme protection and if your vehicle were involved in an accident, the removal of such waxes would be time consuming and expensive.

RamAirV1
Jan 21st, 2007, 11:37 AM
I'm approaching 60 days after my Honda 2006 Silver Ridgeline Truck was painted on the passengers side. I've been using #80 and Final Inspection on the whole vehicle (no wax at all) and the finish looks waxed and has an incredible gloss and the paint job was excellent. I may wait 30 more days to wax.

Major wax question: I am undecided what may be the best wax to use. Should I avoid Hi Tech Sealants and use regular waxes for a few more months?

I picked up this article and it would suggest not using any silicones and polymers. I intend to use either yellow wax, cleaner wax or a Meguiars special sealant.


Website http://www.ppg.com/car_autocoat/enthusiast.htm
"In the first 90 days"
It is recommended that you not wax or polish the vehicle. This will allow the finish to completely dry and cure. (When you are ready to wax, do not use silicone containing or super polymer containing waxes or polishes) Today's finishes do not need such extreme protection and if your vehicle were involved in an accident, the removal of such waxes would be time consuming and expensive.

That is interesting information! Since it is coming directly from the paint manufacturer I would tend to give some credibility to it. But are silicone based sealants that hard to remove? If they were that hard to remove you would think that they would last longer.

There was (maybe still is) a paint sealant called TST2000. They said in their literature that waxes drift off of the paint, and that polymers drift into the paint. If that is true, could that be a factor?

It would be interesting to see any comments from Meguiars chemists on PPG's contention. I don't see where the silicone would be that hard to remove. If you're getting a repaint, aren't they stripping the paint all the way down to bare metal anyway? How can a silicone sealant survive that?

RamAirV1

rkollman
Jan 21st, 2007, 11:44 AM
That is interesting information! Since it is coming directly from the paint manufacturer I would tend to give some credibility to it. But are silicone based sealants that hard to remove? If they were that hard to remove you would think that they would last longer.

There was (maybe still is) a paint sealant called TST2000. They said in their literature that waxes drift off of the paint, and that polymers drift into the paint. If that is true, could that be a factor?

It would be interesting to see any comments from Meguiars chemists on PPG's contention. I don't see where the silicone would be that hard to remove. If you're getting a repaint, aren't they stripping the paint all the way down to bare metal anyway? How can a silicone sealant survive that?

RamAirV1

I have heard before silicones can be an issue but as long as you make the shop aware they are not. I thhink they wash the vehicle down with a solvent intended to address this. I'm just trying to decide on what Meguiars wax or sealant to use on the new paint after reaching 90 days. Most body shops recommend 30 to 90 days waiting to wax. I intend to go the max of 90. Maybe anything will be fine.

RamAirV1
Jan 21st, 2007, 12:25 PM
If you want to go with a pure carnauba, maybe you can use some #16. I think it's a pure carnauba.

I think you would be fine with any Megs LSP after 90 days though. Look how often products like #21 and NXT Tech wax are used on new cars.

RamAirV1

RtN
Oct 19th, 2008, 01:02 AM
Hey I have bumped into a little problem, I had just had my front resprayed but the guy used cutting compound and left holograms, so scratchX should be able to fix that right? And the relevant question is he also waxed it afterwards, then I read on these forums that if I use DC1 it should remove the wax. Is it too late? It was left on with wax for about a week.

TXTeacher
Aug 4th, 2017, 08:11 PM
Hello RtN I was alarmed at your post relating that your "paint guy" actually waxed the front end after he had repainted it. I am having a partial professional paint job done on just the trunk and the hood of my 2005 G35 Infinity black. And I do not have a place to garage it for 30 to 60 days afterwards.
I don't know how to protect the new paint from dust and contaminants. I would need to apply a product that protects by hand. Does anyone know what protective product I could use?

The Guz
Aug 4th, 2017, 08:39 PM
Hello RtN I was alarmed at your post relating that your "paint guy" actually waxed the front end after he had repainted it. I am having a partial professional paint job done on just the trunk and the hood of my 2005 G35 Infinity black. And I do not have a place to garage it for 30 to 60 days afterwards.
I don't know how to protect the new paint from dust and contaminants. I would need to apply a product that protects by hand. Does anyone know what protective product I could use?

M305 can be used on fresh paint as it's breathable.

TLSTWIN
Jun 18th, 2018, 07:59 AM
Good information here. But I still have a simple concern/question for a car I just had painted.

Is the quick detailer ok to help clean up and remove the compound the left from when they buffed the areas? Does a quick detailer "seal" the paint?

Murr1525
Jun 18th, 2018, 11:32 AM
Quick Detailer would be safe to use.

TLSTWIN
Jun 18th, 2018, 12:56 PM
Thank you