Friday, 5 August 2016

How to get that Ultimate, Professional Super Glossy Finish for your Car

Ever wonder how The Fast and The Furious are always riding in beautiful, shiny cars, with that bright bling and showroom car finish?

How do they get that ride to be so damn Glossy!!!!! 

How is that black so Black and that metallic so deep???!!

Well, wonder no more, cause here is a step by step guide to that ultimate race car finish. Get that eye-popping gloss and deep colour by following the guide to the Ultimate Professional Super Glossy Finish for your car.

Be prepared for blood, sweat and elbow grease!

Before we flag off, lets look at why you need to put in those hours on your ride.

When the car leaves the showroom for the very first time and is the pride of your life, you see your dreams reflecting off the hood and into the orbit of your fantasies. Scenes of clouds drifting off the car, over the windscreen and over your head give you that high of flying in the open skies.

Those dream slowly loose their sheen as the clear coat of your car begins to loose its gloss.

The rigors of life begin to take a toll on your car. The mud and dust, hail storms and sunny parking lots, that unruly biker, all give your car's paint a really tough time. You take pity on the poor thing and one Sunday, decide to give it a much deserved bath. You use that shampoo that gives you super soft hair and massage it on to the hood as you would on your head. A generous splash of water and a towel down with a cotton/ semi cotton (or who knows what material) cloth in circular motion will get it dry.

The shampoo just killed its sheen and the cloth just made more swirl marks on the paint. Your showroom finish is long gone.

But... is there no anti-ageing Serum you ask???

We have just the prescription for you.

First off, give your car a nice pressure wash using water. No commercial detergents. Make sure all the mud and grime are washed off. Next, wipe your car using a clean, washed, 100% cotton cloth or a chamnois cloth. Wait for it to completely dry. Now, park the car in shade and wait for it to cool off. Make sure there is plenty of ventilation.

Personal safety first. Wear gloves and a mask before the next steps.

Here is the opportunity to introduce you to the trade secrets of the professional car finishers. That dead clear coat can be brought to life by rubbing, buffing and polishing it. How? you ask... The answer is, using specialty rubbing compounds and finishing waxes.

Rubbing compounds and waxes are available in a number of brands and avatars. After a lot of Indian market research, I have found that the ultimate rubbing compound is Meguiar's Diamond Cut 2.0 and the best wax out there is Meguiar's Hi-Tech Yellow Wax.

How do we use them?

On the cool car surface, apply the rubbing compound (Meguiar's Diamond Cut 2.0 is a liquid) with a microfibre cloth. Using a polisher and a wool pad, buff the surface. The speed setting on the polisher must be medium. Work one area at a time. If you do not have access to a polisher, buffing can be done using the microfiber cloth itself. After the buffing is complete, using the used area of the microfiber cloth, wipe off the dust caused by buffing. You will now have lesser swirl marks on the clear coat than before and an enhanced gloss will have developed.

How to maintain this gloss? The gloss thus developed can be protected using a wax polish.

Meguiar's Hi-Tech Yellow Wax is a Carnauba Wax mixed with other high grade ingredients. It adds richness and depth of colour and provides ultimate high gloss protection to any cleaned and polished paint surface. Shake the bottle well. Apply the wax one section at a time. If you are applying the wax by hand, use a 100% cotton terry cloth or sponge applicator. Use light pressure. Spread the wax evenly over the surface using overlapping strokes to ensure complete coverage. Allow the wax to dry to a haze. Now, wipe off excess with a soft cleaning cloth. Turn to clean side of the cloth for a final wipe.

Your car will now be the envy of your neighbors!

After Care 
  • Never use commercial detergents and shampoos on your car. 
  • Do not use pressure while wiping the car.
  • Always use a soft microfiber or cotton cloth for wiping the car.
  • Regular re-waxing will maintain the gloss for a long time.
  • Your car will again be your pride and joy!

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

What is Duco Paint? How is it applied?

Duco is a brand marketed by Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI now merged with Akzo Nobel) under which it sells its popular Automotive paints. The Duco brand represents a range of products meant for auto painting and refinishing. The topcoat or the finish coat available under the brand Duco is a Nitro Cellulose (NC) Lacquer. Due to its wide spread use and popularity, the name "Duco" has been genericized to refer to Nitro Cellulose (NC) Lacquers.

Duco was vastly popular as an automotive finish before the advent of Polyurethane paints. Now a days Duco has found a new life as a high quality finish for interiors and other architectural projects. 

NC Lacquers typically are a clear or coloured wood/metal finish that dry by solvent evaporation and produce a hard, durable finish.  (Read more about Lacquers in general here)

Duco being an NC Lacquer has the following properties :

  • Fast Drying
  • High Solid content 
  • Excellent Water Barrier
  • Excellent Self Leveling properties
  • Takes very well to buffing to give a high sheen 
  • Smooth and Hard finish
 Areas of Application :
  • Automobile body
  • Plywood and MDF
  • Sheet Metal
  • MS angles and flats
  • Architectural and Industrial metal structures
The different surfaces require different preparations. Let us look at the application methods for each of the surfaces mentioned above.

Application method for Sheet Metal and MS Structures :
Materials Required
  • Compressor capable of delivering 30-40 psi pressure consistently.
  • A good quality spray gun - preferably HVLP type.
  • Safety Equipment - Mask, Glasses, Gloves and Overalls.
  • Degreaser solvent
  • Degreaser Cloth
  • Duco Oil Primer / MRF Etch Primer
  • Tak Cloths - to remove sanding dust.
  • Duco Primer Surfacer - Grey / White - depending on the top coat colour you choose. For Lighter coloured top coats, use Primer Surfacer White and for darker topcoats, use Primer Surfacer Grey.
  • Duco Soft Cut Putty 
  • Water Emery (Latex paper backed) of grits 220 and 320
  • Sanding block
  • Duco NC Lacquer
  • Duco Thinner
  • Rubbing Compund - 3M 1Step is highly recommended.
  • Cotton Waste
  • Scrap off any loose particles, dirt and old paint from the metal surface to bare metal.
  • If the base metal is galvanized, an etch primer is recommended.
  • For bare sheet metal, a coat of Duco Oil Primer thinned with a General Purpose thinner in the ratio 5:1 must be applied and allowed to dry overnight. The Duco Oil Primer has excellent adhesion, corrosion resistance and is air drying.
  • Apply 2 coats of Duco Primer Surfacer (PS) thinned with Duco Thinner in the ratio 1:1.5 with a flash off interval of 15 minutes between coats.
  • Rectify any minor dents and scratches using Duco Soft Cut Putty and a putty knife.
  • Wet sand with water emery of grit 220 followed by 320 to level any imperfections.
  • Apply a coat of Primer Surfacer on the puttied areas.
  • Choose a colour!
  • Apply 2 coats of Duco NC Lacquer thinned with Duco Thinner in the ratio 1:2 of the selected colour. Allow flash off interval of 15 minutes between coats.
  • Leave to dry overnight.
  • Wet sand flat (remove gloss) carefully with emery grits 600/800and apply one mist coat thinned 1:3 with Duco Thinner.
  • Allow to dry overnight and polish the surface using 3M 1Step Rubbing compound. 
  • For a higher gloss polish use 3M Premium Liquid Wax.
Application for wood and MDF surfaces follows the same procedure as above except for priming using Duco Oil Primer. The Duco Primer Surfacer is applied directly onto the wooden surface.

The finish thus obtained is long lasting and durable.
Duco has the following limitations :

  • Requires elaborate equipment to apply - compressor and spray guns are the basic requirements.
  • Colour stability on exposure to sunlight is average - easily yellows.
  • Attention to surface preparation is required before application - needs a skilled workman.
  • Duco is sensitive to the atmospheric conditions during application - A change in temperature can affect the finish.
  • Being solvent based, it is not environmentally friendly and precautions must be taken against the health hazards during application. At minimum a respirator mask, gloves and glasses are required. Body overalls are highly recommended. An exhaust system must be in place to extract the solvent flashing off the surface.
 A range of Duco Products is available for delivery across India @
Also available at our store :