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The Latest Automotive Refinish Technology

We’ve all heard today’s vehicles are not your father’s vehicles. They’re highly complex rolling computers with more lines of code than Facebook. But this isn’t your father’s paint today either. Refinish technology has made leaps and bounds as well. Here is some of the latest refinish technology on the market.


Kuczkowski has previously served on the editorial staff of Babcox Media’s Tire Review, ShopOwner and Tech Group publications, while finishing her degree multi-media journalism at Kent State University. Kuczkowski has a background in photography, videography and innovative digital content creation. Prior to joining the Babcox Media team, she also served as managing editor of Kent State's independent student newspaper, The Kent Stater.

We’ve all heard today’s vehicles are not your father’s vehicles. They’re highly complex rolling computers with more lines of code than Facebook. But this isn’t your father’s paint today either. Refinish technology has made leaps and bounds as well. Here is some of the latest refinish technology on the market.

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Sherwin-Williams’ new Ultra 9K Waterborne Basecoat System has improved upon previous systems to increase coverage and efficiency as well as consistency. The system features efficient processes and products that can help decrease cycle times and achieve consistent color match.


The company’s Global Color Box is organized by manufacturer, thus allowing quicker access to the chips shops need. To further help shops color match jobs, the system also includes Color Access, a matching software, and its spectrophotometer that’s coupled with its metallic size selection fan deck.

Marketed as “one of the most user-friendly water-based coating systems available,” the basecoat system uses a wet-on-wet application process to increase shop productivity. The company said that this system was deliberately kept simple with only 68 toners and one reducer.

A minimal number of toners are required for this basecoat system, which utilizes Sherwin-Williams’ undercoats and clearcoats and is usable in both National Rule and VOC-regulated areas. The waterborne basecoat system does not require any stirring – gently tipping the container suffices.



Axalta’s Spies Hecker Permahyd Hi-TEC waterborne paint system brings its high-volume pigment to the table. The system can achieve full coverage of most colors in just one-and-a-half coats of continuous basecoat application with no flash time.


The system was designed with KPI-driven MSOs in mind who value high-productivity and material profitability.

Clearcoat is applied in a coat-and-a-half of continuous application with no flash time needed. With a consolidated product range, it is designed to require less inventory than competitive systems, thereby reducing cost and storage space needed. Additionally, Spies Hecker products share a common set of reducers and hardeners, making it a simple system to use with fewer products in any environment and climate.


SEM has expanded its weld-through primers line with its new Zincweld aerosol primer. It’s formulated to provide excellent corrosion protection through its enhanced adhesion to bare metal, all-zinc formula and high film build. The formula goes on smooth for easy covering. It also does not flake or peel and is not affected by cavity wax.


Additionally, the proprietary formula minimizes the heat-affected zone, reduces weld spatter and minimizes post-weld grinding and clean-up.

Zincweld aerosol primer is compatible with MIG and STRSW welding. The primer (part no. 40773) is available in a 16-oz. aerosol can.


DeBeer’s Matte Clearcoat System is a high-solids, intermix system that is designed to give the flexibility to cover the gloss range with two clearcoats as opposed to the alternative combination of clearcoat and matting agent/additive.


In addition, the system has a dedicated hardener and thinner that allow shops to achieve a full range of sheen levels from a true matte finish to high satin. The system is compatible with both DeBeer Refinish BeroBase 500 Series and WaterBase 900+ Series.

The clearcoat may be applied directly over these basecoat systems and does not require an intermediate clearcoat. In addition, the system is suitable for use over all OEM substrates, including ridged plastics. The system does not alter the basecoat color, ensuring consistent color particularly where a matte finish may be used on individual components.


BASF’s passive temperature management coating technology has added functional properties to the company’s paints in light of modern mobility. A special formula used to make the paint not only provides a high-level finish for vehicles, but it also now ensures additional comfort of the user and better efficiency.


The paint system utilizes a basecoat that is transparent to high-energy near infrared (NIR) radiation, and an NIR-reflecting filler. As a result, the vehicle surface temperature is reduced by up to 20° C on hot summer days, which has a positive effect on the temperature inside the vehicle.

“Factors such as A/C regulation have a major impact on the range of a vehicle, particularly in the field of electromobility,” said Stephan Schwarte, head of pigments, dispersions and innovative colors EMEA at BASF. “Our technology reduces energy consumption and thus optimizes the vehicle’s efficiency.”

The coatings come in both light and dark colors that don’t compromise the quality of the product or heat reduction.


PPG’s Envirobase High Performance basecoat system features micro-gel, true latex technology to enhance a shop’s ability to match today’s sophisticated vehicle finishes.


Some of the other highlights of the basecoat include anti-settle toners, eliminating the pitfalls of inconsistent mechanical mixing to ensure more consistent color mixes job to job. Instead, these advanced toners only require a few shakes by hand to be ready.

The system’s waterborne toners are made with the same pigments as used by OE manufacturers and provide coverage for a full range of spectrums. In addition, it also provides special-effect toners needed to match certain OE vehicles. Effects like metallic and pearl also lay down thinner and smoother than other basecoat systems to create a tighter, crisper look, mirroring the factory finish with no mottling.


To prime, the system utilizes a specific shade of gray primer recommended for each OEM prime and variant formula to successfully recreate OEM translucent colors.


AkzoNobel’s TeslaCure UVA R100 lamp for the Sikkens Autosurfacer UV Primer can be used in both National Rule and Regulated Markets, offering dry to sand in less than two minutes light exposure.


If a shop does 20 jobs per week, it saves an average of 10 hours of flash time, which can be turned into billable work time. Features include:

  • R100 cordless rechargeable handheld UVA lamp
  • Battery charger pack
  • UVA Safety glasses
  • Professional aluminum carry case
  • Autosurfacer UV Aerosol
  • Autosurfacer UV Light Gray
  • Autosurfacer UV Dark Gray

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