Liquid metal colours are among the most spectacular car paints, which is why they are frequently used for sports cars or luxury sedans. But the extremely fine pigmentation of liquid metal colours makes their repair quite demanding. Axalta Coating Systems’ National Training Manager for Australia and New Zealand, Paul Polverino, shares tips on how best to approach these specialised colours.
Refinishing liquid metal colours, such as Alubeam by Mercedes or Liquid Metal Silver by Porsche, is an art. The repair demands the highest technical proficiency, as well as precision when preparing the substrate and premium quality paint products.
“Because of the composition of the liquid metal colours, even the smallest deviations from the original colour tone are immediately noticeable,” said Polverino. “Their aluminium flakes are considerably thinner and flatter than the ones used in conventional metallic paints and they reflect the light with greater intensity, so they are unforgiving of the smallest imperfection in the substrate, which must be taken into account in the preparation stages.”
How to get it right with Standoblue using a Mercedes liquid metal colour Alubeam repair.
Step 1 – Preparation
Apply a Standox VOC filler, please refer to the car manufacturer’s approvals. Drying and sanding should be carried out as normal. Then apply Standocryl VOC Xtra Clear K9560 onto the sanded filler to obtain a smooth surface. The clear coat must dry thoroughly, so give it a little more drying time than usual.
Step 2 – Sanding of the Clear Coat
Sand the clear coat surface of the repaired part and the old coating using P1000 to P1500, but sand corners and edges by hand with P3000. Very important: under no circumstance sand through!
Step 3 – Applying the Colour Blend
Apply Standoblue Colour Blend or Standoblue Color Blend Long to the blending zone. The product should be applied up to approximately 10 – 20 centimetres from the repaired area.
Step 4 – Blending In
Blend in. The ready-for-use setting for Standoblue is as follows: mixed Standoblue colour Alubeam + 50 per cent Standoblue Adjustment Additive Long. Apply the first spray pass up to the edge of the still wet Color Blend. With this spray pass you should almost entirely cover the area of repair.
Step 5 – Fading In
Apply the effect spray pass to the repair area and into the still wet Color Blend at a greater spray gun distance. As long as the Color Blend and Standoblue Basecoat are still wet, this step can be repeated, if required. The basecoat must have dried completely until it is matt before the clear coat can be applied.
Step 6 – Application of the Clear Coat
Apply the Standocryl VOC Xtra Clear K9560 to the entire repair area and then dry it according to the instructions on the technical datasheet.
Full, illustrated guidelines for repairing liquid metal colours can also be found in the Special Colours Standothek. It can be downloaded from www.standox.com.au/standothek. For specific information, the new online reference tool www.standox.com.au/standopedia is extremely useful for practical expert refinish advice. It covers the most important technical topics and is continually updated and expanded by professional Standox refinishers.