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2.1.1 Fingerprint ID

Even though the images were magnified to make them easier to see, the contaminants they portray were visible to the naked eye as little specks or bumps on the surface or in the finish itself. Today's finishes and clearcoats are more sophisticated than ever, and the characteristics that enhance the paint finish — the super-smooth finish, the incredible clear depth of topcoats — serve to also magnify contaminants trapped on the surface during the finishing process.

The presence of these contaminants in the finish usually requires that the finish undergo additional buffing and polishing to minimize their visibility — known as "cut-and-buff" in the shop. Once embedded, nothing short of actually stripping the finish can really remove the particles. The key is to do everything possible to make sure few particles make it to the surface finishing in progress.


Contaminants come from all quarters. Some are easier to manage, control or suppress than others. Keeping the "dirt" out of the finish in the first place through good practices and vigilance minimizes cut-and-buff, which pays off in big dollar savings.






These 60x images show actual contamination trapped in finishes.


Gun Spits!






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