Acrylic Enamel vs. Urethane (Single Stage) - Vintage Mustang Forums

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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-12-2005, 08:12 AM Thread Starter
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Is there any reason to shoot Acrylic Enamel rather than Urethane? Urethan is tougher, more chip resistant, requires less coats, etc. So if I'm shooting a single stage paint, why would I want to shoot Acrylic Enamel (besides the fact that it's a little cheaper)? I am just wondering what the pros to Acrylic Enamel are...

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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-12-2005, 10:44 AM
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Can't do a pro/con analysis, but I painted both my Mustangs in acrylic enamel with one of RM's lines named LIMCO. No regrets! Drove the red Hi-Po (painted near 7 yrs ago now) to Nashville last year, a round trip of some 2,000 miles and was really amazed at how durable the paint turned out to be. Very, very minimumal damage limited to the typical stone pecks on the front valence and of course the qtr's just behind the rear tires.

I went that route because the product was less expensive than others. Given my result, I can't say it was a mistake to do so.

Charlie, CMSGT USAF Ret. 65 Hi-Po F/B, Mustang Owners Club of Austin (MOCA) TX, Member MCA #27479. Now working a '69 M code mach 1.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-12-2005, 11:05 AM
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If you shoot the urethane make sure you have a respirator, and no, those charcoal canister masks wont cut it as they don't filter out the isocyanates used in unrethane hardeners. Unless you want to know what it's like to have an asthma attack. If you choose not to use a fresh air setup plese be very careful. I was told by my paint place that the enamel is actually more chip resistant since the urethane is a harder paint. I painted my car with enamel, mainly for cost reasons, I used Valspar refinish brand (they also make House of Color paints). I think urethane will keep it's finish longer with less work in the long run, I had a car painted in Imron once, that was some durable stuff (it did have qute a few chips in in the grill area). The paint store said I could expect 5 years with enamel and 7 years with the urethane as far as life goes, depending, that would be a driven car, since mine is covered in a garage and driven sparingly I should expect a much longer paint life. I'd recommend finding a knowledgeable paint store and spend some time talking to them.

69 Mach One, 428CJ, Legend 5 Speed, 3.91's.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-12-2005, 12:12 PM
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Urethane is a superior paint; it dries quicker, harder, seems to be more forgiving in the application, and will last longer, but a fresh air respirator is a must if you'll be using it because of the isocyanates, as mentioned. Don't take this caution lightly; you've only got one pair of lungs.

As for acrylic enamel, you can get good results and you can get by with a good-quality mask in lieu of the clean air respirator. Enamel is usually cheaper than urethane but the drawbacks should be considered. By the way, Imron was highly regarded but that too is loaded with isocyanates I'm told by my paint store.

'66 Coupe, 2006 Coupe with Pony Pkg., 2000 Explorer XLT
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-12-2005, 03:42 PM
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If you use a hardener in your acrylic enamel, you're back in the same isocyanate situation as the other paints being discussed. Don't get a false sense of security, as the acrylic enamel can kill you just as quickly.


"Get your facts straight first, then you can distort them as much as you wish"!!

1965 Fastback, Sunlit Gold, I6, T-5, Pertronix, CAA AC, SSBC frt discs
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-13-2005, 12:24 AM
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It must depend on the paint, no isocyantes in the hardener I used with my enamel. Not that there's not some other nasty stuff in it, but no fresh air respirator was required.

69 Mach One, 428CJ, Legend 5 Speed, 3.91's.
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