HAVE A QUESTION? CHECK HERE FIRST. WE’VE COMPILED A LIST OF THE MOST FREQUENTLY ASKED WATERBORNE PAINT QUESTIONS.
Technology / Product
1. What is the difference between water-based and waterborne automotive basecoats?
Answer: There isn’t a difference. Water-based and waterborne mean virtually the same thing.
2. How many toners are in the Pro-Spray® H2O Waterborne Automotive Paint System?
Answer: The Pro-Spray H2O Waterborne Basecoat System comprises 70 shake-and-pour toners. Total volume equals 42 litres. (As opposed to our solventborne system which has 80 toners equaling 122 litres of automotive refinishing paint.)
3. Pro-Spray Automotive Finishes is a European technology paint line; in what sizes are the toners available?
Answer: Pro-Spray H2O Waterborne Toners are available in 1 litre and/or 500 ml bottles.
4. How complete is the waterborne color palette? How many vehicle color formulas are available?
Answer: The Pro-Spray H2O Waterborne Basecoat color system has one of the most comprehensive color databases in the automotive refinish industry. More than 55,000 waterborne basecoat formulations—primarily 1985 to present-year color offerings—are available on the Pro-Spray Color Software. More waterborne color formulas are added daily.
5. Is waterborne basecoat flammable?
Answer: No. Waterborne automotive paint is classified by the Department of Transportation (DOT) as COMBUSTIBLE. This classification is less hazardous than the FLAMMABLE warnings prescribed to most solventborne automotive finishes.
6. Are waterborne automotive paints zero VOC?
Answer: No. Waterborne basecoat still contains scant amounts of solvents.
7. What is the shelf life of Pro-Spray H2O Waterborne Basecoat?
Answer: Mixed color has a shelf life of one month (@ 72°F / 22°C). Unopened Pro-Spray H2O Toners have a shelf life of 3.5 years from date of manufacture (@ 72°F / 22°C).
1. Does my body shop need to purchase special drying equipment for waterborne automotive paint?
Answer: We recommend purchasing equipment to increase “air velocity.” Waterborne basecoats dry differently than solventborne basecoats. Water remains on the repair surface and must evaporate to fully cure. Adequate air velocity moving over the surface of the vehicle, along with warm temperatures, could improve productivity. Towers, fans and hand-held dryers are all available.
2. What kind of spray gun should I use to apply Pro-Spray H2O Waterborne Basecoat?
Answer: You must have a separate spray gun dedicated for spraying waterborne color. DO NOT use the same gun to apply waterborne and solventborne basecoat. Solvent, when mixed with water-based paint, can cause gelling in your spray gun. Therefore have a spray gun solely for spraying waterborne basecoat. Note: Refer to your spray gun manufacturer’s recommendations for the best model. Use only non-corrosive, stainless steel spray guns.
3. Do I need special mixing equipment for Pro-Spray H20 Waterborne Basecoat?
Answer: No. Pro-Spray waterborne toners do not require agitation; simply shake and pour. While not required, we use Dedoes waterborne cabinets and pouring lids. Important: Do not agitate, or put on a shaker, any toners or mixed color.
4. Do I need a special gun washer?
Answer: Yes. You must have a gun washer dedicated for waterborne coatings.
5. What other equipment do I need?
Answer: Clean, dry air is critical. Waterborne paint is sensitive to contamination. Perform a shop audit and test your air quality. Purchase any necessary equipment and implement a regular maintenance schedule.
1. Does waterborne automotive paint require special vehicle preparation?
Answer: Yes. Prepping a vehicle for waterborne basecoat application comes down to one simple factor: the spray booth and repair area must be extremely clean and free of all contaminants. Because waterborne coatings are susceptible to contamination from a variety of sources, every job needs to be meticulously clean and dry. Use only waterborne approved and compatible masking products. We recommend U.S. Chemical & Plastics Blue Polycoated Masking Paper.
2. What should I use to mask my vehicle before painting?
Answer: Use only waterborne approved and compatible masking products. We recommend U.S. Chemical & Plastics Blue Polycoated Masking Paper because it features a polyfilm coating that offers superior anchorage and water resistance.
1. Do I need special mixing equipment for Pro-Spray H20 Waterborne Basecoat?
Answer: Pro-Spray waterborne toners do not require agitation; simply shake and pour. While not required, we use Dedoes waterborne cabinets and pouring lids.
2. Do I need to agitate or shake these toners?
Answer: No. Just a quick gentle shake before pouring is required.
3. Can I put products on a paint shaker for better agitation?
Answer: No. DO NOT put toners or mixed paint on a paint shaker. Foaming will occur resulting in basecoat defects. Before using, hand stir all mixes to ensure the waterborne paint is thoroughly mixed.
4. Why do some paint systems require you to agitate toners?
Answer: These were based on “first generation” water-based technology. Pro-Spray H2O Waterborne Basecoat utilizes new-generation, advanced pigment and resin systems.
5. What is the mixing ratio for Pro-Spray H2O?
Answer: Pro-Spray H20 Waterborne Baseoat is mixed one part color to up to 10% Pro-Spray Thinner. (1 Part Color: up to 10% Thinner)
6. Are Pro-Spray H2O Thinners available in multiple speeds?
Answer: Yes. Pro-Spray H2O Thinners are available in two speeds: normal and fast. Thinner selection is based on repair size, temperature and humidity.
7. Can I use tap water to thin waterborne basecoat?
Answer: No. Mix only Pro-Spray H20 Thinners with Pro-Spray H20 Waterborne Color. H2O thinners are specially designed to work with H20 waterborne basecoats to give the proper spraying and drying characteristics. Using any other type of water or water-based thinner will produce poor results that may include: gelling of paint, poor spraying, poor metallic control and very limited shelf life.
8. Can I mix waterborne color in a metal container?
Answer: No. Use only plastic mixing containers with waterborne paints. Metal containers rust.
Important note: Please refer to Pro-Spray H2O Waterborne Basecoat Technical Data Sheets and the Pro-Spray H2O Instructional Guide to Converting to Waterborne Basecoat for detailed instructions.
1. Can I use my solvent spray gun to spray waterborne paint?
Answer: No. Solventborne and waterborne systems are not compatible. The use of completely separate spray equipment is mandatory. Trace amounts of solvent, left in a spray gun, can cause problems in waterborne paint finishes. Refer to your spray gun manufacturer’s recommendation for the best model.
2. What type of gloves should I wear?
Answer: DO NOT wear latex gloves when applying Pro-Spray H2O Waterborne automotive paint. Wear nitrile gloves.
3. Do I need to test the color match before spraying?
Answer: Yes. Before applying color, always spray a test panel with basecoat and clearcoat.
4. What are the spray techniques?
Answer: For solid and metallic basecoat color, we recommend one light coat followed by one medium coat and a light control coat. Allow paint to fully flash between coats before applying the next coat. Refer to the Technical Data Sheet for complete application details.
5. How many coats of color should I apply?
Answer: Generally two to three coats. Apply waterborne basecoat in light to medium wet coats. You may find that waterborne colors provide better metallic control and increased opacity.
6. What are the dry times for Pro-Spray H2O Waterborne Basecoat?
Answer: Dry times greatly depend on air movement and temperature.
7. Can I “blend” waterborne basecoat color?
Answer: Yes. One great advantage waterborne basecoat has over conventional solvent systems is the superior ease of blending.
8. Do I have to wear personal protective equipment while spraying waterborne paint?
Clean-up and Storage
1. Can I leave Pro-Spray H20 Thinner in my spray gun?
Answer: No. After applying the final color coat, immediately clean the waterborne spray gun with Pro-Spray HGC-120 H2O Spray Gun Cleaner.
2. Can I pour remaining waterborne paint down the drain?
Answer: No. DO NOT pour waterborne color, or waste liquid, down the drain. Dispose of waterborne waste according to federal, state and local regulations.
Converting to Waterborne
1. How do I convert to waterborne paint?
Answer: Contact your local Pro-Spray representative or call 1-800-776-0933 to talk with our in-house expert. We will help you through the process. Shops that have converted say they would never look back!
2. How long will it take my body shop / collision repair shop to convert and return to normal production levels?
Answer: Conversion rates depend on preparation, training and equipment. Some shops go “cold turkey” (spray solvent one day and waterborne the next). Others spray solvent and water until they have reached an acceptable comfort level. Results vary; some shops maintain productivity, while others have touted increased productivity and yet some experience a slight learning curve.
3. What is the cost of an average pint of color?
Answer: Pro-Spray H2O Waterborne Paint is priced approximately 30% below the major paint brands.