BradB

Optimum Paint Prep substitute?

25 posts in this topic

Newbie dilemma. So I finally got my Optimum Gloss Coat and am getting ready to coat my wheels. I have polished the wheels with a compound containing no fillers. BUT, I don't have Optimum Paint Prep. (I'll get some, I promise!) Can I use 91% isopropyl alcohol as a substitute? I'd love to get this project done tomorrow. 

And can I clean the applicator pad with dish soap afterwards? 

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Yes you can use IPA... dillute it down to about 15-30% with distilled water.

If you have any APC at home spray that on the applicator, rinse well and let it dry.  I dont think dish soap is the best idea but use it as a last resort.

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Brad, I got this tip from Anthony Orosco, I usually use a square or rectangle of Scott blue shop (paper) towel to apply coatings to small areas like headlights or wheels...and then you can just throw it away when you're done or if it gets dirty.  You waste less coating because it doesn't absorb much, and it's easy to get in between spokes and see what you are doing (I usually do it off the car on a work bench).  You can fold it over as appropriate to give you the amount of absorbtion you want.

Anthony's method was for larger surfaces, where he put a foam applicator in a nitrile glove, and then wrapped it with the shop towel...that video may be around here somewhere.  Oh wait--here it is:

 

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Great, I was wondering if there was any "magic" in the foam applicator. The paper towel thing makes much more sense for wheel application. And I will check out Anthony's video right away. Appreciate the help! I'm way behind on paint coatings and am trying to get my feet wet. I never could see the advantage for anal-retentives such as myself who dote on their cars all the time by choice. But I am willing to be won over! 

Glad to see friendly "faces" still in the game after all these years! Thanks! 

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Not only "friendly" but uber knowledgeable!  I think you will love your coating results and there's no reason you can't wax and seal Gloss-Coat to your heart's delight, you just won't feel miserable (or be embarrassed by your car's appearance) if you skip a few weeks...or months.

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Well, I Gloss-Coated 4 wheels and I have mixed feelings about the process and results, mostly due to my being an Opti-Virgin. First, I purchased the smaller of the two sizes of syringes and I used close to half of it! I probably  wasted much during the process, but I'm not really sure where or how.

First of all, I did a variation of Anthony's paper towel applicator method. I found what they call a sponge cloth which is a 1/8" thick sponge that I cut into small 2"x3" sections to more easily manipulate inside the wheel surfaces. (I hope this was ok.) I applied several drops into the sponge, wiped on the wheel for a while, then repeated several times for the face of the wheel and the barrels. I used way more than I thought I would. I was hampered by not being to easily see the Gloss-Coat on the surface and I didn't want to miss any area. I could generally tell that I covered the surface initially because of the wet look and then I could sort of see where it was heavier because of a pattern of my wiping motion was left on the surface. I did the whole surface of the wheel like this, being sure it all got "wet". I probably wasted a lot doing this. Then after a minute or so I very lightly ran a microfiber over the surface to spread it around. I really wasn't sure if I was spreading it around, making it even. Or was I actually wiping it off? I really wasn't confident that I was waiting long enough before I spread with the microfiber. Could I have removed it too early?  I tried to do this as lightly as possible. I never really felt it get "sticky" as mentioned in many videos. But it was hard to get a feel because of all the tight areas. I repeated the light wiping until it felt essentially dry. I am not sure if it was really "dry" because I was wearing gloves and didn't want to touch it with my bare fingers. But the towel glided over it easily and I saw no more high spots or lines from my application.  

The wheels are full of so many angles and surfaces that it was really hard to get an even coating. Would it be safe to assume that you would waste more on wheel application because of this?  How can I more efficiently use the Gloss-Coat? I have half a syringe left and two more sets of wheels to do with more complicated and detailed surfaces. I can't see how I can get it done. Yikes. $$

I replaced the black tip in the syringe and reduced the amount of air in the syringe as much as possible. I cleaned the needle tip and set it aside. Is the microfiber I used to wipe and spread the Gloss-Coat essentially dead? Can it be cleaned or should I toss it? The small sponge cloths I used as applicators will be thrown away. 

So how will I be able to tell if my efforts were worth it? Any tests I can do? I mean they look fantastic, but they did before I started, too. 

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Brad, it sounds like you used too much product.  I find it's better to do really thin coats, then go back and do a second maybe a half hour after the first.

It sounds like you wanted to make sure you had enough on, and then wipe down the excess.  You don't really want to have excess to wipe off, the towel wipe is just to make sure you don't have excess that will cause a "high spot".  You've used a WOWA sealant, right?  It's the same idea, you ideally just want it to disappear, but if you apply too much and have a spot that doesn't evaporate, you knock that down later,  but before it...cures.

I have to admit I don't think I've used Gloss-Coat on wheels, because I still have some OC 2.0 that I use for wheels.  I think you'll get the hang of it--just like with all LSP's...less is more.

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I think I will try a different applicator method just to see how it works differently, if at all. And I realize it needs to be thinly applied it is just so hard to see on a wheel with so many angles and hard to see spots. 

I also don't have a real understanding of how long I need to let the initial application dry before I try to wipe down the high spots. I understand the theory but i guess I need more practice.

Regarding using too much or not enough, Is a "thick coat" possible or not? And you mention a second coat, is that only possible in the first half hour? Is there a point when a second coat will not bond to the first coat? And is a second coat even necessary? Or is it just a guarantee that you get everything covered in case you missed something the first time?

I guess I am a bit bummed by the fact that I used so much product on the first try. Expensive mistake. $$ I'm a little leary of moving forward. 

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I have to agree with Setec that you used too much product.  A 10 ml syringe is enough for an SUV.   You should not have to wipe "excess" but going back over is to ensure even distribution.  You can vary the thickness and certainly add a second layer, but they only guarantee coverage and don't affect durability.  Brad, lot's of first timers use too much product thinking it's like waxing and more is better.  And it is hard to see, a penalty of going on perfectly clear.  There is no rule concerning when to level because that's determined by thickness of product and atmospheric conditions (hot/humid cures more quickly than cool/dry).  In good light you can see Gloss-coat flash, a rainbow effect, and that's when you gently wipe down.  The applicator is reusable, just rinse out in hot water/dish detergent.

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Thanks for the tips, guys. I just finished doing four brake calipers and some tailpipes. (Is GC heat resistant?) Finally on the tailpipes (a relatively large single surface coupled with good lighting) I could see the rainbow flashing. And I wiped as you described. I barely used three drops for all the tailpipes. 

I am slowly getting the hang of this. I'll have to order some more to tackle more wheels and then do a car or two. I am putting on a detailing clinic in a few weeks for the Porsche and Audi clubs and there is a lot of interest in coatings. I'd like to demo Optimum products as well as have some feedback for the group. Should be fun. 

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10 hours ago, BradB said:

Regarding using too much or not enough, Is a "thick coat" possible or not? And you mention a second coat, is that only possible in the first half hour? Is there a point when a second coat will not bond to the first coat? And is a second coat even necessary? Or is it just a guarantee that you get everything covered in case you missed something the first time? 

There was a LOT of disagreement with OC Pro and OC 2.0 about recoating.  Back in those days, it was hard to get the same answer twice.  At one time we were told you couldn't do a second layer because it wouldn't stick.  Then it was, you can do a second layer, but it has to be done within a short time (hours) after the first layer.  Then it was you can do a second layer, but it has to be before the coating fully dehydrates, which could be months.

Some of the confusion was because of differences between the Pro and 2.0 versions, some was running changes to the products, some was learning more about the product as time went on.  The good news is, you can't get OC 2.0 anymore, and Gloss-Coat is a hybrid product which I understand can be topped at any time by any thing.

Oh, and as Ron alluded to, there was also some disagreement about whether multiple layers was needed...which was kind of the same round and round.  Pro gave a thicker layer than 2.0, so wasn't that better?   Well...yes...so you could do multiple coats of 2.0 to try and build it up thicker...but you don't need to do that.  But if you don't need to do it why is one of the selling points of getting the Pro coating is that it has a thicker film build?  Well, that's because it has a warranty.  And around and around.

A lot of these discussions were lost from the forum when the member that was supplying a lot of this info left and took his posts with him.

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Thanks for the excellent feedback. That's exactly why I am posting my questions HERE and using Optimum products specifically. I wanted to get as close to the "source" as possible! I'm so used to the original Autopia days when I dealt directly with manufacturers or their sales reps and did so much testing. It's hard to get a straight answer now. Since I am so late to the game with coatings and want to be able to teach it properly I have to get up to speed! 

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Brad, yes Gloss-Coat is heat resistant and has been applied to car and motorcycle engines/exhausts with no issues.  There was early confusion over layering of Opti-Guard (the original Opti-Coat) and 2.0, in part because Dr G felt it was unnecessary and in part because we weren't sure whether it bonded (no way to test).   The issue with Coatings is that because OPT's become one with clear coat, there really isn't much "thickness build". 

OCP is fundamentally a thicker formula than 2.0 and Gloss-Coat, so it's not that it's applied thicker.  All OPT coatings can be topped but there is little durability and the wax/sealant can't bond well.

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Thanks Ron.  I look forward to seeing how much easier it is to remove exhaust tip soot. Interesting thoughts on layering, and I can understand the challenges with it. And it makes sense about layering other products, but why would you bother! Lol! 

I appreciate the quick responses, guys. 

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