Questions Regarding Paint Thickness Guage, Orange Peel and "Denim Pads"
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Thread: Questions Regarding Paint Thickness Guage, Orange Peel and "Denim Pads"

          
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    Questions Regarding Paint Thickness Guage, Orange Peel and "Denim Pads"

    Hi all,

    I've been doing some research with respect to the topic in the title but would like some added input before I proceed with anything.

    I own an '03 e39 BMW that I've generally been meticulous in my care toward. I learned to use a Meguiar's DA polisher a few years ago and have since utilized the DA Microfiber Correction System, twice, on the whole car with amazing results.

    Recently, though, the clear coat on the rear quarter panel started fading away, inching upward toward the rear passenger window, along with the entirety of the top of the trunk lid. I had it resprayed professionally at a local shop. The end result is great, but not optimal (I'm very particular with details); there is a lot of orange peel everywhere said respraying has been done. A couple or so weeks ago, I decided to research if there's any way orange peel can be removed from automotive paint without sanding, and that's when I came across the wondrousness of CarPro's denim pads. For those who aren't aware what these are, see here and watch this clip: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Z1ZaF10nbo

    Through this process I learned of electronic paint thickness gauges, their importance in the auto detailing world, and purchased one.

    The disparity between the readings of, say, my hood, which, to my knowledge has factory paint and has been subjected to, as mentioned, a full treatment of Meguiar's DA MF Correction System a couple of times, and the newly-painted trunk lid are stark.

    Correct me if I'm wrong here, but 1 mil = 25.4 microns of material. The readings of various parts of the hood range from 2.4 mils to 1.5, while the trunk reads 9.4 mils.

    Assuming my conversion of mils to microns there is correct, here's my first question for the experts: Is 9.4 mils enough to warrant the safe application of this orange peel removal via a denim pad from Carpros coupled with Meguiar's M105 or M100 compound and a DA polisher like the one I also own from Meguiar's (assuming, of course, I follow proper guidelines laid out in the thread linked above and other similar threads)?

    ------------------------------------

    My second inquiry has to do with my continued usage of Meguiar's DA Microfiber Correction System in the future to remove swirls from the paint.

    I realize that 1.5 mils, such as what parts of my hood register, doesn't amount to much paint. Should I proceed with caution in the future in seeking to remove swirls from such areas of the hood?
    How many microns, or mils, of paint does the DA MF Correction System generally remove?
    If using this system is indeed to risky on such thin material, what other system or combination of materials from Meguiar's would you folks recommended that effectively removes swirls from the clear coat but is very minimally abrasive?

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    Registered Member Old Bear's Avatar
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    Re: Questions Regarding Paint Thickness Guage, Orange Peel and "Denim Pads"

    I'll ask a couple of questions, which might shine some light on some swirl marks in our thoughts.

    When your sections that were repainted, were they stripped back down to metal?
    Or did the body shop scuff sand them, add a surfacing primer, then a sealing primer , the color coat and then the clear?

    I believe that the paint depth tool is reading down to the metal.
    If so, we don't know that the clear coat on the repaint is "thicker" than the hood.
    It likely is thicker. One advantage to robot painters is their frugality with materials.

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    Re: Questions Regarding Paint Thickness Guage, Orange Peel and "Denim Pads"

    Quote Originally Posted by Old Bear View Post
    I'll ask a couple of questions, which might shine some light on some swirl marks in our thoughts.

    When your sections that were repainted, were they stripped back down to metal?
    Or did the body shop scuff sand them, add a surfacing primer, then a sealing primer , the color coat and then the clear?

    I believe that the paint depth tool is reading down to the metal.
    If so, we don't know that the clear coat on the repaint is "thicker" than the hood.
    It likely is thicker. One advantage to robot painters is their frugality with materials.
    Thanks for the response.

    To my knowledge the sections were not stripped down to metal. The latter method was employed.

    And correct; this gauge is reading down to the metal since it isn't one of those very expensive professional ones that are able to tell you the thickness of each respective layer. Nevertheless, there is definitely a marked disparity between said painted areas and the hood, or roof, of the car, and plenty of orange peel.

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    Re: Questions Regarding Paint Thickness Guage, Orange Peel and "Denim Pads"

    Check out Larry's latest video. Perhaps it will answer some of your questions.


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    Re: Questions Regarding Paint Thickness Guage, Orange Peel and "Denim Pads"

    Quote Originally Posted by The Guz View Post
    Check out Larry's latest video. Perhaps it will answer some of your questions.
    Man, that was informative! Thank you! I now know that I should definitely pursue a polish over a compound to remove fine, wash-induced swirls from the clear (second inquiry up top),
    and I now have a much better understanding on how to approximate the thickness of the paint overall using the electronic gauge.

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    Re: Questions Regarding Paint Thickness Guage, Orange Peel and "Denim Pads"

    I went ahead and cancelled my order of the CarPro denim pads in two different sizes after watching this video.

    I am certain now that I want to go the wet-sanding route in eliminating the orange peel of the trunk. But only the trunk!
    I will not touch the curved surface of the quarter panel and the bumper cover; I think I can live with some orange peel on those surfaces, and, possibly, can get it taken care of by a professional down the line, if need be.

    So, as per the steps in the linked video, here are the items I have purchased:

    1) A 6" Meguiar's backing plate for my Meguiar's DA polisher

    2) 6" 1,000 and 2,000 grit Abralon sanding discs from Mirka; and 6" 3,000 grit Trizact sanding discs from 3M

    3) Meguiar's M105 Ultra-Cut Compound

    4) Meguiar's DA Foam Polishing Disc and Meguiar's 6" DA Foam Finishing Disc

    5) Meguiar's G19216 Ultimate Polish and G18216 Ultimate Liquid Wax

    The steps I'll take will pretty much mirror the steps he takes in that video: Sand with the various grits of sandpaper; compound using my Meguiar's MF cutting discs and the M105 liquid; polish using Meguiar's Ultimate Polish on their foam polishing disc; and lastly, assuming all is well, wax using the Meguiar's Ultimate Liquid Wax on their foam finishing disc.

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    Re: Questions Regarding Paint Thickness Guage, Orange Peel and "Denim Pads"

    Unlike a rotary, DA machines are more aggressive with smaller pads.
    All other things being equal on DA, 6" DA foam cutting on 6" backing plate is less aggressive than 5" pad and plate. The 5" pad and plate is less aggressive than the 3" pad and plate.

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