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What is Ford's tricoat paint? #4114270 06/03/16 01:00 PM
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Quattro Pete Offline OP
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I see some of Ford's paint colors are listed as tricoat where others are clearcoat.

What exactly is tricoat? I guess it means three coats, literally, but is it somehow better/more durable than other types of paint? How does this type of paint hold up over the years? What are the benefits and drawbacks?



2002 530i   2015 Q5 3.0T   2018 Charger SRT
Re: What is Ford's tricoat paint? [Re: Quattro Pete] #4114282 06/03/16 01:17 PM
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Are you sure it is tri coat ? my Explorer is tri color white - just a mix of metallics with white base ...

Re: What is Ford's tricoat paint? [Re: Quattro Pete] #4114293 06/03/16 01:32 PM
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I believe the official name of the color I'm referring to is called "white platinum metallic tri-coat". Ford/Lincoln charges premium for it, so I'm just curious what it is and why it costs more. Is it just a "pretty" color?


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Re: What is Ford's tricoat paint? [Re: Quattro Pete] #4114301 06/03/16 01:46 PM
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it is a base white coat with a translucent pearl coat over that finished with a clear coat. The increase in price comes from it having a separate step in the process.

Re: What is Ford's tricoat paint? [Re: Quattro Pete] #4114311 06/03/16 01:58 PM
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Yet strangely Dark Side was not a higher cost option and that paint changes color.


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Re: What is Ford's tricoat paint? [Re: Quattro Pete] #4114312 06/03/16 02:02 PM
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Quattro Pete Offline OP
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I've read reports that this tricoat paint is a major PITA to color match, when needed. Also, over time, metal panels and plastic bumpers show differences in color as they age. Sounds like it might just be more trouble down the road....


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Re: What is Ford's tricoat paint? [Re: Quattro Pete] #4114329 06/03/16 02:34 PM
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I've seen a few Lincoln MKZ's in 'white platinum metallic tri-coat' and they look sharp.


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Re: What is Ford's tricoat paint? [Re: Quattro Pete] #4114348 06/03/16 02:50 PM
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A tri Coat is 3 coats of material above the primer....base coat/mid coat/clear coat.The metallic "pearl" on tri coat systems is shot above the base color,makes the metallic more visible.On a 2 step system (base/clear) its mixed into the color and is less visible to the eye.Its a major pain to match,because the # of coats of the mid coat (a clear carrier with the "pearl") can change the light/darkness of the final result.4 applications of a mid coat can darken the base color so much it appears to be a complete different color.

Re: What is Ford's tricoat paint? [Re: Quattro Pete] #4114349 06/03/16 02:52 PM
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After getting a Soul Red for the Mazda, which is a tri-coat. I'll never get a tri-coat again. No simple way to match. Pen type touch up paint doesn't work. I'm hoping Dr. Colorchip will work.


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Re: What is Ford's tricoat paint? [Re: Quattro Pete] #4114375 06/03/16 03:38 PM
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Base coat, titanium dioxide coated mica pearl, clear coat. Looks nice when new is the only plus point the rest are all negatives.
These are almost impossible to match, the paint is ungodly expensive, the prep work is enormous, the painting itself is very difficult.

It is difficult enough to match the base color but the pearl throws a monkey wrench into the mix making that more difficult, the pearl also lays down differently depending on air pressure and nozzle size and settings, even the amount of thinner used.
Its a friggin nightmare, blending usually takes up a large are unless you are very lucky. I did a white Caddy fender that took 7 test panels before I got it close enough to blend, its one of the biggest ball busters of all time.

I have seen body shops give up on this stuff and contract an outside painter and even they curse at it. People don't think about minor dings and accident when they buy these things shiny new on the lot.


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Re: What is Ford's tricoat paint? [Re: Quattro Pete] #4114571 06/03/16 08:44 PM
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I remember people on the ST forums saying how the "Tangerine Scream" (yellow) is tricoat. Thanks for making this thread. Always interested in this. Is this common from most manufacturers with certain colors?


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Re: What is Ford's tricoat paint? [Re: jigen] #4114755 06/04/16 05:17 AM
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There are other tri coat paints, some use silver or gold base then translucent color then clear, some use a different base color like black with translucent cherry pearl then clear.
All are the same PITA to do and just as bad to repair. There are some really evil 2 stage pearlescents as well where a scratch can almost require painting the whole side or top of the car.

I did a Buick door the dealer had painted 6 times and gave up, it had to be stripped, primed and painted. Their body guy didn't use test panels, thankfully he didn't try to blend it and damage other panels.

I use these for spray outs as well as flat panels keeping notes on mixing, pressure and gun settings before painting the panel. Some of these paints are over $100 a pint plus pigment, reducer and activator. Mistakes are costly.

https://www.paintwithpearl.com/shop-custom-paint/speed-shapes/

Look at the drop down menu on the right for examples of different paints.
Almost every manufacturer has a pearl in the lineup, if the color darkens, lightens or you can see different colors flash from it from different angles that's one of them.

Personally I stay with common colors that are not prone to fade, metallic is fine but I avoid pearls, reds, yellows and bronze colors. Dark maroon metallic is okay its not prone to fading and color changing like a guards red for example.


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