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91 500SL 37k,90 300SE sold, 91 300E sold , 92 300E137k ,02 Kia Sedona ,I know..... its a Mini van.
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Discussion Starter #1
I've heard its single stage for solid colors and two stage for metallic's I 'm asking because eventually I want to fix a nasty down to the primer key scratch on my 1991 arctic white paint.
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R129 500 SL 1991
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I’m not in the paint / spray trade, but I have made many such DIY repairs myself in the past. I would use a single stage. Metallics are two stage to get the flakes to lay right. Also once a metallic is down you cannot flat it off, but you can flat off a solid before the last coat. Lacquer on top of a solid would produce a lustre that would be too deep and would not match the other panels in my opinion.

Are you going to have a go yourself? A shop would sand down the scratch, prime and paint the whole door panel. Maybe blend in other panels. Quick, but costly. If I was going to do it I would be thinking about my wallet if it wasn’t an insurance job. I would probably flat off just the local area, fill scratch, flat off again, prime, flat off, colour coat (3) while laying off the spray to blend in with the rest of the panel. Then finally compound with either 2500-7500 wet and dry or rubbing compound to blend in. My process is longer, but cheaper if I don’t include my own time, and leaves more original paint on the panel so you can’t tell it’s been repainted at shut lines.
 

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1996 SL500, 2000 E430
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I think you are right John - in any event when I have touched up scratches and dings on my smoke silver (using the factory touch up) I don't even worry about putting the "clearcoat" on
 

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91 500SL 37k,90 300SE sold, 91 300E sold , 92 300E137k ,02 Kia Sedona ,I know..... its a Mini van.
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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Well I've been watching a ton of youtube video's on painting, I have most of my own equipment 2 new guns and a compressor, I follow a guy in Australia on YouTube,called the Gunman, he paints cars for a living and knows his stuff, he's advising me on my project, I have 2 other cars that need some touch up in various ways, the 92 300E needs trunk painted, my 02 KIA Sedona needs bumpers and side panels painted , the 300E is Arctic white and my van is white also so just getting a Arctic white gallon kit of single stage paint, you can add a clear coat to single stage if it needs it to be shinier, doing this at home outside lol, can't do it in driveway the homeowners association would have a fit!
So my back yard has a nice brick patio plus a 10X10 easy up tent thing, there I will test my skills on the KIA parts, I like single stage because it drys in 4 hours, less chance of bugs and debris getting on parts, if it comes out OK I will do the SL door, color matching a 28 year old car will be challenging , worst that can happen if I screw it up, off to the shop to have it done.
Here's my test vehicle, I'm repainting nasty gold color, taking bumpers and trim off to paint.



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91 500SL 37k,90 300SE sold, 91 300E sold , 92 300E137k ,02 Kia Sedona ,I know..... its a Mini van.
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Discussion Starter #7
I did find out you can add a clear coat to single stage if needed.
 

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91 500SL 37k,90 300SE sold, 91 300E sold , 92 300E137k ,02 Kia Sedona ,I know..... its a Mini van.
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Discussion Starter #8
I'm still trying to figure out how Mercedes gets that shine with single stage? for those who don't know single stage paint is base color and clear mixed together, you lay down 2-3 coats of paint, two stage you lay down base color 2 coats, then lay down clear over it, multiple coats, that gives you the best deepest shine out there.
Both systems can be cut and buffed to get that super high gloss , single stage paint can get dull after a few years, two stage keeps it shine longer.
So thinking Benz must have put a few coats of clear over their single stage paint jobs, I need to ask the Gunman, he loves the older Benz's and has painted a lot of them.
 

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2001 SL500
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I used a 2 part single stage paint called DuPont "Imron" on my boat ... amazing gloss and long lasting shine, even in a marine environment. I understand it's used on commercial trucks and aircraft too. I wonder if Mercedes used something similar.

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91 500SL 37k,90 300SE sold, 91 300E sold , 92 300E137k ,02 Kia Sedona ,I know..... its a Mini van.
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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Boat came out niceeee! I’ll spray a color sample board and compare it to SL, it’s paint is in super good shape, never sits in the hot sun, covered indoors when not in use.
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Imron has had a great reputation with aircraft owners, whose planes sit out in the sun. Mercedes has traditionally used Glasurit and one other, my old brain cells are failing at the moment. You could tell which by the number plate by the radiator. These days it could be quite different.
 

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R129 500 SL 1991
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I'm still trying to figure out how Mercedes gets that shine with single stage?
Do you mean the flatness and almost perfect reflection? Cellulose based paint. Lays on differently to modern water based paint.

You can achieve similar result with modern water based paint by flatting and compounding. Apply a few more coats than you would normally do to get a decent dft after working the surface.
 

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91 500SL 37k,90 300SE sold, 91 300E sold , 92 300E137k ,02 Kia Sedona ,I know..... its a Mini van.
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Discussion Starter #13
Yes, color sanding, when I was in my late 20's my neighbor was a painter by trade, and I helped him paint my VW bug Guards red, boy was that a job! I did all the color sanding in my garage under a florescent light, then buffed it out with a high speed wheel, it came out perfect with a deep shine and flat, I don't remember any clear coats at all, so must have been single stage.
From start to finish of restoration I counted sanding that round bug 36 times! what a nightmare lol.
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2002 Black SL500, 2000 Azure blue SL500, 2005 Silver (A209) CLK500
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Well I've been watching a ton of youtube video's on painting, I have most of my own equipment 2 new guns and a compressor, I follow a guy in Australia on YouTube,called the Gunman, he paints cars for a living and knows his stuff, he's advising me on my project, I have 2 other cars that need some touch up in various ways, the 92 300E needs trunk painted, my 02 KIA Sedona needs bumpers and side panels painted , the 300E is Arctic white and my van is white also so just getting a Arctic white gallon kit of single stage paint, you can add a clear coat to single stage if it needs it to be shinier, doing this at home outside lol, can't do it in driveway the homeowners association would have a fit!
So my back yard has a nice brick patio plus a 10X10 easy up tent thing, there I will test my skills on the KIA parts, I like single stage because it drys in 4 hours, less chance of bugs and debris getting on parts, if it comes out OK I will do the SL door, color matching a 28 year old car will be challenging , worst that can happen if I screw it up, off to the shop to have it done.
Here's my test vehicle, I'm repainting nasty gold color, taking bumpers and trim off to paint.

I am looking at your paint set up...compressor and gun...where is the filter?? Don't want water in the lines.
A buddy of mine uses his air compressor that fills Scuba tanks..4 large tall filters...zero water in his lines!



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91 500SL 37k,90 300SE sold, 91 300E sold , 92 300E137k ,02 Kia Sedona ,I know..... its a Mini van.
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8,142 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
I still have to list of stuff to buy, I'm putting the water filter at compressor , so far need a good primer sealer , single paint stage kit, few more items, work will be in May or April hopefully!
I've been an artist on the side for years, I fund all my repairs on this car by selling art, whenever I need money I paint something and it sells! lol, painted a Jimi Hendrix 3 days ago and it sold in 12 hours on the net! $320.
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