How to use UreChem Slikbase Basecoat Color
Slikbase is made from urethane pre-polymer co-reactants of both acrylic and polyester chemistries combined with automotive-grade pigments to make thousands of colors engineered to withstand demanding automotive applications.
The original Slik Base product is not compliant for use in Low VOC regulated markets however we do offer a low VOC version of Slikbase which is compliant in low VOC markets including most of California, Maryland, Delaware, and other areas as regulations evolve. We'll cover the use of Slikbase low-VOC in another blog, so be sure to follow us for more information before deciding which version of Slikbase is best for your application.
Each product is effective at removing a wide range of contaminants so using both is not required but a great practice in your finishing process where regulations allow. Most Low VOC regulated areas do not allow the use of conventional wax and grease removers such as SBWG and therefore WBWG must be used.
The water co-solvent and surfactant blend found in WBWG is effective at removing a wide range of contaminants that are both nonpolar and polar in nature. whether you use the solvent-based version or the water-based version, the technique is the same, You start by selecting the proper personal protective equipment and performing the work in a well-ventilated area free of ignition sources, including heat, sparks, or open flames.
SlickBase is recommended over properly prepared UreChem primer and cured OEM automotive finishes. Use over other brands' primers or existing finishes of unknown quality can result in failure.
Before you start mixing and painting, make sure your parts have been sanded and cleaned properly in conditions that are good for painting. To properly prepare your parts for paint use UreChem’s SBWG Wax and Grease Remover then dry sand with P600 grit and clean again with SBWG. SBWG should be wiped on wet then wipe dry with a separate lint-free cloth. For more details on the proper use of our surface cleaners, refer to our video tech sheet for the proper use of surface cleaners on our website.
As with any automotive finish, proper painting conditions are important for obtaining the best results. It's best to paint temperatures above 60 degrees Fahrenheit part temperature. Keep in mind that outside conditions are brought into your paint booth through your booth intake. Moisture should be a concern when applying automotive finishes, So unless your paint booth has the ability to heat your parts well above the dew point, you should not paint when raining, dew on the ground, or fog in the air. Parts painted at temperatures near the dew point can easily condensate then layers of moisture which are often not visible on the part or in the paint film itself but can cause failure to the finish. Low humidity, blue sky days are the best conditions for painting provided you can get your part temperatures above 60 degrees Fahrenheit.
Spraying Slikbase - Mixing Procedures
Once you have your parts ready to paint and conditions are good start by wearing the appropriate personal protective equipment and only use this product in areas that are free of ignition sources such as heat, sparks, or open flames.
Slikbase should be stirred well prior to mixing for spray. Hand stirring with a paint stick is generally sufficient to reincorporate any solids that may have settled to the bottom over time. Like many of the market-leading European brands, Slikbase mixes 2:1 by volume with urethane reducer. Select UreChem reducers UR-10, UR-11, or UR-12 based on the temperature and the size of the area you are painting.
While not required, adding 10 percent UA-41 activator after reducing improves adhesion, chip resistance, and overall toughness of the paint system. UreChem mixing cups have a 2:1 to ten percent column to easily mix Slikbase accurately. If you are new to paint mixing cups we go into this in more detail with our video on how to use UreChem paint cups. Once you have combined the paint reducer and optionally activator, mix well with a paint stick scraping the sides and bottom occasionally to ensure it all gets mixed in properly then pour through a strainer into your paint gun.
Spraying Slikbase - Spray Gun Configurations
For best atomization spray pressures should be set to 20 to 36 psi at the trigger for gravity-fed HVLP guns or 40-55 psi for siphon fed guns. For reduced pressure spray guns, refer to the gun's manufacturer's recommendations for a good starting point. Paint guns equipped with a 1.3 millimeter or 1.4-millimeter fluid tip are considered optimal but smaller or larger fluid tips may be satisfactory depending on your setup.
One often forgotten setting is your fluid or trigger adjustment. The knob behind the trigger on your spray gun is what controls how much fluid is released to the spray head. Too much material released results in larger droplets and too much material applied and too little material results in smaller droplets, which can lead to dry spray.
Each time you use your gun it's a good practice to screw the fluid adjustment clockwise all the way to hand tight then count the rotations as you turn it counterclockwise to open it up. With Slikbase, three turns out from hand tight is generally a good starting point. Now, spray a test panel to check your settings. Your spray pattern should be a tight and uniform ellipse. If not, then you may need to clean some of the small airways in your spray tip or air cap.
Spraying Slikbase - Test Panel
Once you have a good spray pattern, spray your test panel to make sure the product flows well and you're happy with your settings. Apply two to four medium wet coats with 50 to 75 overlap. Over-application of base coat is a common error so be sure to avoid applying wet or shiny coats. A 6 to 8-inch fan pattern and approximately a 6-inch standoff or distance from the surface is a good general rule.
For harder to spray metallics and pearl colors, a 75 overlap followed with a drop or mist coat for your final coat will help ensure an even appearance. For more on this subject, look for our video on spray practices for applying effect finishes.
Spraying Slikbase - Flash Times & Spray Gun Cleaning
Be sure to allow 15 minutes of flash time between each coat to avoid solvent entrapment. After your last coat, clean your gun immediately with a gun cleaning solvent, lacquer thinner, acetone, or MEK. check local regulations for compliant gun cleaner options.
Slikbase should be allowed to flash for at least one hour at 75 degrees Fahrenheit and not allowed to drive more than 24 hours before applying your next layer. It is safe to apply tape for graphics or two-tone jobs after one hour at 75 degrees Fahrenheit. If Slikbase dries for more than 24hours, it’s recommended to scuff lightly with a sanding pad and reapply at least one more coat of Slikbase.