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Orange County’s Premier
Certified Collision Center

(949) 597-8200
20 McLaren, Irvine, CA 92618
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Paint Curing: Turning New Auto Paint into a long-lasting finish

Paint Curing in Irvine, CA

Technicians often encounter a series of challenges when drying and curing automotive paint. What should you do when the paint is soft? Do you put the vehicle in an oven? When is the ideal time to wash and wax the vehicle after repainting?

This guide discusses everything you need to understand about getting an auto paint repair and helpful tips on ensuring its longevity:

Paint Drying vs. Curing

You have to mix automotive paint with a solvent before spraying the vehicle. The paint dries gradually and remains permanent on the car as the solvent evaporates. However, you have to flash each layer during the painting process to ensure the paint dries well for your next coat of paint.

On the other hand, curing involves paint polymerizing. The paint contains molecules that bond together to make the paint stronger. Soft paint is a moist paint that is dry but not cured yet. Hence, it can damage easily in such a state. Naturally, it can take about four weeks for the paint to polymerize. However, you can utilize chemicals called “hardeners” to fast-track the linking of the paint molecules.

Baking Point

The automotive industry utilizes infrared (IR) lamps to speed up the drying and curing process of automotive paint. This light heats freshly painted panels from the inside out, expelling the solvent faster while speeding up the polymerizing process. However, the ideal IR lamp for curing automotive paint is a short or medium-wavelength light that can penetrate surfaces and heat the entire paint job.

When to Wash and Wax the New Paint

Usually, it takes the technicians between a day to a couple of hours to sand and polish a paint job, depending on the paint formulation. So, it is safe to wash and wax your vehicle once the repair shop returns it.

You can safely use car-care products such as soaps and polishes on newly painted vehicles. More so, having a waterless wash or spray detailer to clean debris, including bird droppings, is ideal. Until the paint is completely hardened, the paint is vulnerable to acids and debris.

Spectrum Collision in Irvine, CA, offers reliable full auto body services. We provide quality auto body repair within a short time. Visit our Irvine auto body shop for the best automotive paint experience. Please schedule an appointment at our collision center in Irvine; let’s handle your paint repair correctly!

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