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Discussion Starter #1
Hello, my '84 Spider has it's original single-stage Alfa Rosso paint. I believe it's always been garaged and the car presents beautifully. HOWEVER, on the R rear fender maybe some battery acid was spilled, and it looks like a PO tried to touch it up with nail polish. It's only a few square inches, but not even close. I'd really like it fixed.

My friend with a body & paint shop has been having fits trying to match the 31-year old paint. He's had the car 4 days and I'm not confident he can get a good match. He says the problem is single-stage paints are NLA.

Is this true for just California, or nationwide? Am I working with the wrong shop? I don't want and can't afford to repaint the entire car.

Any suggestions?

David O'D
Irvine CA
 

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Single stage paint is just a base coat. Two stage is a base coat with clear. No issue with either one in CA. However, CA is required to use waterbase paint. Back in 1984, all paints were thinner based lacquers or acrylic enamels. Acrylic enamels were a dream as they could be easily spotted by a pro without leaving much tell tales of the spot area, and they dried much quicker avoiding too much dirt landing on a wet surface. As a suggestion, have your friend remove the fuel door and send it to his local paint supplier for a match.

With a proper color match you may avoid repainting the whole car but it would most likely require a panel repaint and depending on where damage is, you may need to blend adjacent panel(s). What it sounds like is that your friend is having a hard time to blend within a panel but I wouldn't fault him for that as red is perhaps one of the most difficult colors to match due to amount of toners required, you are matching a 32 year old red paint acrylic enamel paint using water based.

If you are in OC, you may roll the dice and go south of the boarder where thinner based paints are readily sold. Sort of risky but can be a good alternative if you can find the right shop there.
 

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If you are in OC, you may roll the dice and go south of the boarder where thinner based paints are readily sold.
You don't have to go that far.

- Some California counties still allowed oil-based paints a couple of years ago. The more rural / less smog-prone places. Not sure if that is still true - if not, you can import it from Arizona or Nevada.

- Some OC bodyshops are still using oil-base, at least for touch up. I don't know the legality and I'm not naming names on a public forum. Would suggest that you ask around.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks to all for the responses. I think I've been less-than-clear - my Spider has the original 1984 paint, and I assume it's a one-stage oil-based material. The shop I'm dealing with now uses a water-based base, coat-clear two stage system. The painter's put a lot of time into tweaking mixtures and still isn't satisfied he's found a good match.

One responder posted:

"Some OC bodyshops are still using oil-base, at least for touch up. I don't know the legality and I'm not naming names on a public forum. Would suggest that you ask around."

This might be the way to go for me. Any one with a suggestion of two, please PM me.

Thanks again -

David O'D
Irvine CA
 

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Thanks to all for the responses. I think I've been less-than-clear - my Spider has the original 1984 paint, and I assume it's a one-stage oil-based material. The shop I'm dealing with now uses a water-based base, coat-clear two stage system. The painter's put a lot of time into tweaking mixtures and still isn't satisfied he's found a good match.

One responder posted:

"Some OC bodyshops are still using oil-base, at least for touch up. I don't know the legality and I'm not naming names on a public forum. Would suggest that you ask around."

This might be the way to go for me. Any one with a suggestion of two, please PM me.

Thanks again -

David O'D
Irvine CA
PPG Omni has a single stage top coat system in either acrylic or urethane. They also have a color/clear coat system. I'm in Norcal (BAAQMD) and did my 1978 Alfetta in Ruby Metallic urethane only mixed to the color code and only an expert can tell the difference. If your paint is faded significantly, you might have to match, but it's not easy.

What the others said about doing the whole panel applies.
 

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Oil based acrylic enamels and acrylic urethane paints are available with low voc in CA. Both are available single stage or base/clear. Also, oil based acrylic lacquer. Your challenge will be getting a good match. (I currently have 3 slightly different shades of Rosso Alfa on mine.)
 
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