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Old 11-13-2011, 01:54:05 PM   #1
Cardinal
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What is "hardener" in paint for?

Like the title says, "what is hardener in the paint for?

Reason that I ask is because five years ago when the "friend" painted JD's custom '83 S10 (350 SBC, TH350), he left the hardener out even though we paid for the paint AND hardener! His "excuse" was that if he put hardener in the paint that he wouldn't be able to use it again!

The paint chips easily. Just bumping into it will knock a chip into the paint. Is this because it doesn't have harnener in it?

JD is just sick about it as he paid $3000 for the paint job. He and I both feel that we need to strip the dime down to bare metal and start from scratch.
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Old 11-13-2011, 02:34:17 PM   #2
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Old lacquer paint "Dries" by evaporation. Mix paint and thinner together and spray it on. The thinner evaporates and leaves the paint behind. The problem is, once you hit that paint with a solvent again like thinner or gasoline, it reactivates to a liquid and bye-bye paint!

Hardener, (Or activator as it is known in the business) drys the paint by chemically cross-linking the paint into the hardener, making a urethane mix that is much more impervious to chemical attack.

Paint will never cure fully if it is not activated. The clear is where this is the most critical. Basecoat can be sprayed without activating it. Clear cannot, unless it is old lacquer clear, which is illegal to even spray in a lot of areas.


The S10 needs stripped and repainted to make it last. That paint on there now is doomed. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news.
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Old 11-13-2011, 02:40:35 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cardinal
Like the title says, "what is hardener in the paint for?

Reason that I ask is because five years ago when the "friend" painted JD's custom '83 S10 (350 SBC, TH350), he left the hardener out even though we paid for the paint AND hardener! His "excuse" was that if he put hardener in the paint that he wouldn't be able to use it again!

The paint chips easily. Just bumping into it will knock a chip into the paint. Is this because it doesn't have harnener in it?

JD is just sick about it as he paid $3000 for the paint job. He and I both feel that we need to strip the dime down to bare metal and start from scratch.

Said "friend" is an idiot
Quote:
Originally Posted by wookie
The S10 needs stripped and repainted to make it last. That paint on there now is doomed. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news.


Couldn't he just put a few coats of clear over it to protect the soft paint underneath. use hardener of course.
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Old 11-13-2011, 03:03:51 PM   #4
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i think the clear would attack the weaker non cross linked paint wouldnt it? and it bubbly bubbly
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Old 11-13-2011, 03:04:20 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cardinal
His "excuse" was that if he put hardener in the paint that he wouldn't be able to use it again!

Wow, some friend! You paid for it, why should he want to use it again?
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Old 11-13-2011, 03:52:19 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Chevrolaine
Wow, some friend! You paid for it, why should he want to use it again?
I'm thinking he's not too bright. Also wondering how he knew enough to pull off a paint job to begin with.
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Old 11-13-2011, 06:37:35 PM   #7
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lol....maybe he should go back to painting houses? a**wipe!
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Old 11-13-2011, 07:35:32 PM   #8
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uh yeah NO to clearing over that. A paint job is only as good as the weakest link...if you clear over that sh*t when you nick it the clear AND undercoat will come off now. Not even worth wasting clear on, it all has to come off.
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Old 11-13-2011, 07:40:02 PM   #9
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I always get a kick out of the geniuses who think they know more than the PHd engineers who spent years and millions of dollars to engineer a product. This clown shouild not be allowed anywhere near a spray gun.
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Old 11-13-2011, 07:40:41 PM   #10
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I am not sure what your friend was thinking. What was he going to do with the "leftover" paint YOU paid for.

BTW harder does not get added to the gallon, it gets measured out and hardened by the mix (usually a quart or some part thereof)

Sadly I agree with the consensus. . .it must come back off and be done properly.

Poor analogy cause it is different BUT that is like taking one tube of JB weld, not mixing the catylist and expecting it to harden. It cannot, as Wookie pointed out the curing requires a chemical reaction. PLUS, most activitor contains chemicals which enhance shine and durabliltiy by adding UV protection.

Sorry it happed this way for you guys. Sombody charging 3K for just a paintjob (if that was the case) should know much better.
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Old 11-13-2011, 11:32:57 PM   #11
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I'm not sure exactly what he was thinking either. JD and this "friend" spent HOURs block sanding it, 40 man hours just to get the Unlimited Products fiberglass hood to fit, put new front fenders on it, etc. just to urinate it away by not putting the hardener in the paint gun????

I was LIVID when I found out! And the "friend" is a good body man (I've seen his work and he is very good) BUT I was flabergasted when JD told me that the "friend" didn't put the hardener in. JD was going to be there when he painted it but he had to work late that night so he wasn't there.

JD and I CANNOT paint vehicles. We have NO patience and don't have the "eye" or feel for body work or paint application. I bow down to all of you who are body workers and painters.
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Old 11-13-2011, 11:35:09 PM   #12
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If he was using cheap old school acrylic enamel, technically hardener is optional, unlike cross-linking modern urethane paints. However if he used acrylic enamel that would point it out as being a bottom of the barrel grade respray job and then I'd still be very angry...
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Old 11-13-2011, 11:57:03 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by earlysecond
BTW harder does not get added to the gallon, it gets measured out and hardened by the mix (usually a quart or some part thereof)

That's the thing that confused me about him "using it later".
Maybe he did not know how to use a disposable plastic measuring cup or what the ratios were.

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Old 11-14-2011, 12:08:33 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BondoSpecial
If he was using cheap old school acrylic enamel, technically hardener is optional, unlike cross-linking modern urethane paints. However if he used acrylic enamel that would point it out as being a bottom of the barrel grade respray job and then I'd still be very angry...
I was going to say that...something like Dupont's Centarri would not "need" hardener...while it is old school now, back in the day it was used for high end paint jobs (just as lacquer was). Before striping it all off I'd find out for sure what paint was used. If it was an acrylic enamel then maybe this paint job could be "saved" in the short term to save up to repaint down the road.

If I'm reading this post correctly then the paints been on for 5 years...why the heartburn now? I would have thought that this issue would have been dealt with long ago.
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Old 11-14-2011, 12:25:04 AM   #15
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[quote=flowjoe]I was going to say that...something like Dupont's Centarri would not "need" hardener...while it is old school now, back in the day it was used for high end paint jobs (just as lacquer was). Before striping it all off I'd find out for sure what paint was used. If it was an acrylic enamel then maybe this paint job could be "saved" in the short term to save up to repaint down the road.

You are correct. The original "Centari" line was to be used without activator. latter they started to say the paint life would be improved if activator was used and last I heard activator is required. (if they still make it) Enamel is a fine base if it was applied correctly.
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