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Old 06-05-2024, 10:13 AM   #1
His ZL1
Drives: 92 B4C, 21 1LE, 24 2SS
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Location: Indiana
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Production Paint - You Get What You Pay For

In doing paint correction in preparation to ceramic coat my new 24 (less than 100 miles), I ran across information on the "baggie test". I thought I would try it prior to coating application. I was very surprised at the results!

I had done a thorough job of paint prep. The paint visibly was very nice. It felt fine to the bare hand. At that point I would have proceeded with coating had I not stumbled across information about the "baggie test". I decided to try it and see what it revealed?

What it demonstrated is the hand and eye test is good. If you want to go to extreme lengths to present exceptional paint, this provides that ability. Once aware of the results, then you get to decide what to do?

What I found was "bumps" through the whole paint job when checked using the "baggie test". I tried multiple solutions to remove them but was unable to. As a last resort, I sanded and polished a small section. The "baggie test" still detected very minor surface irregularities. At that point I concluded this was embedded in the paint and I was not going to eliminate these defects with out exceptional measures.

I understand production painting vehicles is going to result in paint imperfection. The question becomes "how good is good enough"? To avoid defects would require extreme measures not at all in line with mass production. Honestly, I am satisfied with the paint on the last few Camaros I bought. This revelation occurred while trying to take things a little further.

I am going to live with the knowledge the paint could be better but not without paying incredibly more.
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Old 06-05-2024, 03:35 PM   #2
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Interesting. I belong to a couple of high-traffic detailing pages on Facebook, but I've never heard the baggie test mentioned. Pretty cool tip.

I assume you did iron decon, clay, and at least a 1-step polish as part of your paint prep?
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Old 06-05-2024, 04:24 PM   #3
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Drives: 92 B4C, 21 1LE, 24 2SS
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Production Paint

I did all those steps and more to get the paint prepped.

I have successfully ceramic coated multiple cars. I understand the level of detail and meticulous preparation required. At least until finding out about the "baggie test". That revealed paint defects requiring correction beyond what is practical to remove.

So for this car, unless someone does a "baggie test", the only that will be aware of lurking paint defects is me.
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Old 06-05-2024, 06:34 PM   #4
Drives: 2022 1SS 1LE 6M
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baggie test is very old and can use a credit card same way. Its to determine the amount of build of contamination.
Most likely you are feeling a very faint peaks and valleys of the orange peel that EVERY car has.
it is there by design to help hid some minor imperfections. If your paint was dead glass flat it would be a nightmare on what you would see defect wise. You would most likely damage the clear by removing to much thinking you want i perfect and then clearcoat failure
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Old 06-06-2024, 08:50 AM   #5
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Drives: 92 B4C, 21 1LE, 24 2SS
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Location: Indiana
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Production Paint

I tried the credit card. The defects were not as pronounced as with the baggie.

What I am detecting is not surface contamination. The car has been cleaned and clay barred multiple times in preparation for coating. I have machine polished with a coarse pad hoping to eliminate what I found. I went as far as sanding a sample space with 2000 grit paper but the defects have not been removed.

I have also tracked paint thickness to make sure I wasn't getting too thin. Thickness on the majority of the vehicle is 125-130 microns. The sanded area has a min thickness of 118.

This is likely small airborne particles embedded in the paint from the process. I know the paint process is pretty sterile but there seems to be some contamination that sneaked into the paint and is only detectable using extreme methods.

Overall, the paint looks good.
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Old 06-06-2024, 10:28 AM   #6

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Yeah, all modern paint has peel and minor imperfections at best.

I did recently see a McLaren with an optional $115k paint job that was perfect.

If it's important to you, I think the best option is to do full PPF and forget about spending a lot of time and money on paint correction. A friend in the detail industry told me most PPF has some orange peel so it matches modern paint, but there's some that do not. It'll cost big-$ to wet sand your entire car anyways, which will reduce cc thickness and then you don't have PPF anyways.
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Old 06-06-2024, 05:08 PM   #7
His ZL1
Drives: 92 B4C, 21 1LE, 24 2SS
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Location: Indiana
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Production Paint

I have no expectation of perfection in production paint. This thread was started to express my surprise at what I found when using the baggie test.

Surprised because I perceived all the late model Camaros I have purchased as having decent paint jobs. The paint on this car will be fine for many years when driven only a few hundred miles a year.

Had the sanding sample removed the embedded defects, I may have done that to the entire car. Since it was unproductive, the car will be coated with the imperfections I know are there. They are not visible.
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Old 06-24-2024, 05:14 PM   #8

Drives: 2024 Riverside Blue 2SS 1LE
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I have found the clay mitts don't do as good as a clay bar. I only do my cars so I take a bit of extra time and use the bar.
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