Tech / Tech Articles

Quick Tech: 6 Most Common Questions About Auto-Air Colors Candy-Pearl Paint

Water-based paints are no longer new; yet, many DIY automotive painters still shy away from it.

That hasn’t stopped Auto Air Colors from going all-in on water-based paints. A top manufacturer of water-based automotive paints for over 25 years, the company has continued to lead the charge into the world of water-based coatings. Colors and resins that were once available only in traditional solvent-based formulations are now water-soluble, and the company has more recently developed the world’s first water-based, aniline dye candy—Candy2O™.

The company took the time to address the top questions and concerns about its water-based candy-pearl paint sets here:

What types of spray guns work with Auto Air Colors?

Auto Air Colors paint works with almost any conventional spray gun, including high-volume, low-pressure guns. The recommended tip size is 1.2-1.3mm for candy and pearl midcoats and 1.3-1.5mm for AutoBorne Sealer basecoats (recommended for use with Candy2O). Inlet psi is approximately 30 psi. Adjust the psi and fluid rate to best atomize the paint.


What is Auto Air Colors compatible with?

It’s compatible with any type of paint, primer, and clear. Applied wet-on-dry (the other paint type is allowed to cure prior to applying Auto Air Colors), Auto Air Colors paint adheres mechanically, not chemically. This allows Auto Air Colors to work with and accept any other paint type including urethane, enamel, and acrylic.


What do you have to add prior to spraying the paint?

Technically, you can use it directly from the bottle; however, Auto Air Colors recommends use of its 4030 balancing clear. This water-soluble urethane additive provides enhanced flow, adhesion, and coating durability. It DOES NOT thin the colors for best atomization, though. You’ll want to reduce the 4030 approximately 10 percent with 4012 high performance reducer.

Auto Air Colors can be applied directly to existing finishes, over any type of primer, and to flexible substrates such as plastic fenders, aluminum, fiberglass, or anything else. You should start by using AutoBorne sealer, which can be color-keyed with the candy-pearl colors for easy, quick application.


Are flex additives, adhesion promoters, and other paint additives required?

No. Auto Air Colors paint has superior flexibility. It’s excellent for tire covers, vinyl banners, leather, and any fender or bumper type. AutoBorne sealer has incredible adhesion directly to any surface including aluminum, fiberglass, and any plastic without the need for adhesion promoter.


How long does it take for this paint to dry?

The AutoBorne Sealers dry as quickly as most urethane, solvent-based primers. Auto Air Colors, when mixed with the 4030 Balancing Clear and reduced with the 4012 reducer, have a re-coat time of approximately 5-10 minutes with temperatures at 70 degrees and humidity under 50 percent.


What happens if water comes into contact with Auto Air Colors?

Nothing. Once cured, Auto Air Colors paint can come into repeated, direct contact with water including going through a car wash.

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One Comment

  1. Keith Wind says:

    Is there a minimum cfm required for candy at 30 psi

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