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How Thick is Too Thick for Paint?

8 February 2019
Atlanta, GA
Hey all,

I'm looking at getting my own NSX in the near future, and had a PPI done on it where the independent inspector took paint depth measurements around the car. It's a 1991 Formula Red w/Berlina Black roof.

I already knew the car had been in a minor front end accident and those parts at least had been repainted (everything checks out repair wise), but looks like they repainted the whole car.

They did a good job with the final finish (no orange peel, runs, dirt spots, etc.), but the total paint depth ranges from 18 mils (not microns) all the way to 35 mils on one panel. This is super thick by most measures considering I've read factory NSX paint is anywhere from 6-10 mils and modern cars are 3-6 mils normally.

As with anything paint related it's impossible to tell whether this paint will hold up in the long term, but could someone with more knowledge than me in this field provide some insight as to what I might suffer in the future, or if this is a non-issue?

I'm thinking potential lower paint durability (rock chips), cracking from lack of coating flexibility, delamination of layers, having to strip the car in the case of future repaints, etc....Thoughts?

Thanks in advance.
Thanks for the input. The selling dealer (large-ish 25+ yr old imports only specialist) said the Japanese M.O. is to lay on the paint thick during a re-spray. The car is a recent JDM import and was painted in Japan.

Obviously their incentives don't align with mine, just curious if this has some truth to it. There is no other visible accident damage or repairs besides the front corner, so I wouldn't say the body repaint was due to a major incident.
This video can give you an Idea on Original Paint thickness, please look in the beginning of the video:

I think that's the most likely answer, though I'd be interested to see if the high readings continue for the whole panel (or panels) or just a specific repair spot.

I've got my own meter that I can check with, will be interesting to see what readings I get. Maybe it will reveal other specific spots that filler was used.
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Very useful video, thank you! I'm hearing 250-350 microns (9.8-13.7 mils) factory which is thicker than I thought. Guess Honda's 27+ step factory job was more rigorous than most.

It makes sense that a respray would come out to about 18 mils on the thicker side. Some panels are in the low-mid 20's which is a bit more than expected, one or two panels have above 30 which is likely body work related. I will proceed with caution :cool: