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Jude Fernando

Difference between Putty, Cataloy and Filler

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Hi Guys I'm a newbie for painting. I would like to know the difference between Putty, Cataloy (Body Filler) and Filler available in automotive paint shops in Sri Lanka. 

Edited by Jude Fernando

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Hi Jude, Welcome to the forum.

They're all body fillers. Cataloy is a brand. From my experience, there are two types of body fillers. 

Curing Body Fillers

These are fillers that come with a separate hardener. You basically mix the resin and hardener according to the specified ratio and they react with each other and steer to harden within a few minutes. These types of filler are used mainly as the base body filler since they're good to fill in large dents and form contours on the metal. Because it's a curing filler, they don't shrink after being applied. There are different types of curing fillers - some have fibreglass mixed into it to strengthen it and so on. Cataloy/Apoloy are some famous local brands.

A couple of years ago I used an alloy based curing filler for alloy wheels and the curing process starts when the paste is kneaded like crafting clay. 

Drying Body Fillers

These are body fillers that can be directly applied without having to mix with a hardener. The liquid in the filler evaporates and makes the filler hard. These types of filler are mostly used for glazing or final touch up work after the first type is used and then primer is applied. This is because this type of filler is much more smoother. These are the type of fillers referred to as putty locally. 

So basically the two types are used during two stages of the body work. If the damage is very minor, you could do without cataloy and apply putty on a sanded paint surface. The process of applying filler and preparing a car for paint is different from country to country and even region. For a hot and humid country like Sri Lanka, you can't leave exposed sheet metal for long without it developing surface rust. So we apply a sealer (the brown paint) But in dry climates, body filler is directly applied to the metal, primed, glazed, primed again before painting.

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Whats the order of applying these? Is it Body filler (Cataloy) -> Putty-> Primer -> Base Coat?

Edited by Jude Fernando

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7 hours ago, Jude Fernando said:

Whats the order of applying these? Is it Body filler (Cataloy) -> Putty-> Primer -> Base Coat?

Depends on the job and type of products being used. As I've mentioned above, if it's a minor scratch or ding, once manual straightening is done, you might be able to skip applying cataloy.

For a general job however, after bodywork is done, local mechs use a sealant to prevent the metal from rusting. The sealant is then sanded and cataloy is applied. Some types of cataloy (when I say cataloy, I mean curing Body Fillers. Using cataloy and putty here for ease) can retain moisture. So primer needs to be applied on it to create a moisture barrier. After this, the primer is sanded, then small imperfections are filled with putty. Then goes primer. You can repeat a couple of putty - > primer - > wet sanding cycles to get the surfaces to the level you want. Base coat goes on after this. 

7 hours ago, Jude Fernando said:

@Davy What is the best brand for the primer that we can select here locally?

Sikkens is the best from my experience. 

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1 hour ago, gNaveendra said:

What is a Guide coat?

As the name suggests, it's basically a coat of paint that guides you. 

As you're removing imperfections in the bodywork by applying cataloy and sanding it down, you can run your palm across the bodywork to feel which sections of the area you're working on has high spots and low spots. But there is a limit to what can be felt by doing this. Enter guide coat.

The simplest form of guide coat is a satin black spray paint can that you use to lightly apply a coat of paint on the primer or cataloy. Leave it to dry and then start sanding the black guide coat. As you do this, the black paint in the high spots will be removed while the low spots will still have black paint on it. This will give us a clear visible indication of where exactly high and low spots are. You can then action it by either sanding down the high spots until you're close to hitting bare metal, or by filling up the low spots, applying another guide coat and sanding. After this is done repeatedly, all imperfections will be removed and you will get a smooth and even surface.

There are dry guide coat products by 3M and other popular companies. It's a powdery substance that can be applied using a sponge applicator pad. It sticks to the cataloy/primer, and can be sanded down.

So in summary, it's a contrasting coat that will guide you to properly sand the areas to remove high spots and low spots in the bodywork.

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4 hours ago, Senaka keppetipola said:

What is the basic steps car painting?  Filler-putty-primer-base coat .it's it ok ?

@Senaka keppetipola welcome to the forum. Guess this video provide the answer to your question.

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On 9/17/2018 at 8:36 PM, kusumsiri said:

@Senaka keppetipola welcome to the forum. Guess this video provide the answer to your question.

My dear folks,

It is highly recommended not to attempt any repairs by yourself which can affect the cosmetics (appearance) of your vehicle.  In fact a good paining and tinkering job requires experience and talent on it. Not everyone got that despite the number of youtube videos, mannuals being referred. 

Also it is highly recommended to get a paint job done in a paint booth.  Because entire curing process affects the final color and texture of the paint.  So need to have controlled humidity and temperature conditions. 

Better to seek professional service rather get your vehicle ruined. 

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8 hours ago, trish_auto said:

My dear folks,

It is highly recommended not to attempt any repairs by yourself which can affect the cosmetics (appearance) of your vehicle.  In fact a good paining and tinkering job requires experience and talent on it. Not everyone got that despite the number of youtube videos, mannuals being referred. 

Also it is highly recommended to get a paint job done in a paint booth.  Because entire curing process affects the final color and texture of the paint.  So need to have controlled humidity and temperature conditions. 

Better to seek professional service rather get your vehicle ruined. 

  1. May I know who has highly recommended not to attempt ANY repairs by ourselves ?
  2. I dont think the tinkers, painters in SL have much talent rather they have much more experience. They are joining to the industry as a helper (ගෝලයා) and getting knowledge. Who follow a professional course (even in a technical college) and join to the industry is very less percentage. Body filler container has instruction not to touch the body by naked hand before apply filler. But how many of painters follow it ?
  3. There is a area call DIY (Do It Yourself). If someone have enough capability and will to do a certain job, he can gather knowledge from various sources and do it him selves. The final quality of the job may differ with the persons skill level and tool used. But no one can recommend not to do such DIY jobs. In my case I am restoring a Morris Minor and doing most of the tasks by myself in my free time though I am not a mechanic, electrician and a painter. I dont have skill to do tinkering works. So I hired a tinker and completed tinkering tasks. Now I am in the stage of preparing body for apply final coat. I am doing these things as my hobby and very much happy about the quality I achieved so far.
  4. I agree your comment about paint booth. But in SL how many garages have paint booth ? In Colombo there may be some. How many cars have painted, painting without paint booth so far ? 

To conclude, doing ANY job (not only in automobile industry) by ourselves and not getting so called professional service is up to owners preference. No one can say not to do.

P.S. There is a section in this forum about DIY. This thread also under it.

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8 hours ago, kusumsiri said:
  1. May I know who has highly recommended not to attempt ANY repairs by ourselves ?
  2. I dont think the tinkers, painters in SL have much talent rather they have much more experience. They are joining to the industry as a helper (ගෝලයා) and getting knowledge. Who follow a professional course (even in a technical college) and join to the industry is very less percentage. Body filler container has instruction not to touch the body by naked hand before apply filler. But how many of painters follow it ?
  3. There is a area call DIY (Do It Yourself). If someone have enough capability and will to do a certain job, he can gather knowledge from various sources and do it him selves. The final quality of the job may differ with the persons skill level and tool used. But no one can recommend not to do such DIY jobs. In my case I am restoring a Morris Minor and doing most of the tasks by myself in my free time though I am not a mechanic, electrician and a painter. I dont have skill to do tinkering works. So I hired a tinker and completed tinkering tasks. Now I am in the stage of preparing body for apply final coat. I am doing these things as my hobby and very much happy about the quality I achieved so far.
  4. I agree your comment about paint booth. But in SL how many garages have paint booth ? In Colombo there may be some. How many cars have painted, painting without paint booth so far ? 

To conclude, doing ANY job (not only in automobile industry) by ourselves and not getting so called professional service is up to owners preference. No one can say not to do.

P.S. There is a section in this forum about DIY. This thread also under it.

Well said! :appl:May I suggest creating a thread to share progress and details of your Moris Minor restoration project? :) 

While it can seem daunting to attempt to do bodywork, with the right tools and a bit of perseverance,  you can achieve great results. Of course if you are a first timer, you shouldn't jump in the deep end and attempt to paint an entire car or do bodywork on an expensive Lamborgihin or something. :) It's an art and skill you should master to attempt to do complex repairs. You should start small and make your way up. Carrying out small repairs to start with is not that hard. I am in the process of learning myself.

The thing is, in Sri Lanka, labour is so cheap, so you might as well save your time an effort and get a garage to do the bodywork for you. But I agree with Kusumsiri's comment about how most of the local tinkerers and painters are very poorly skilled. In other countries, labour is expensive (because every tradesman is qualified), so many car owners are driven to do mechanical work as well as a bit of bodywork on their cars.

Below is the most recent body repair I attempted on my own. It's my uncle's Nissan. This is in Australia and I managed to save him more than half the labour charge because I did all the prep work. The pros just had to do a final primer, paint and clear. 

Damage after straightening out a bit with a mallet and hammer. It was worse than this, but I don't have a photo of the original damage. It was caused as a result of reversing the car and hitting a concrete stump.

IMG_20170114_135126.thumb.jpg.3ff4fff6d4095577f9a2a0847154dcba.jpgIMG_20170114_135130.thumb.jpg.d509a50161ab911a1e8b93574e4b793f.jpg

 

And right away you can see my "professional" skills by seeing how I have applied that filler. :D 

IMG_20170114_162935.thumb.jpg.02c732b636877c21102ad47f048acddc.jpg

 

After hours of sanding and re-shaping:

IMG_20170114_173751.thumb.jpg.f8b0008fda048a884c4d54877f5866b1.jpg

 

After primer. Ready to be taken to the painter:

IMG_20170114_174950.thumb.jpg.4c6ba6fe80ed0126d397f8e4fdcf7d2e.jpg

It's holding up pretty well, so I don't think I ruined it. :D 

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12 hours ago, kusumsiri said:
  1. May I know who has highly recommended not to attempt ANY repairs by ourselves ?
  2. I dont think the tinkers, painters in SL have much talent rather they have much more experience. They are joining to the industry as a helper (ගෝලයා) and getting knowledge. Who follow a professional course (even in a technical college) and join to the industry is very less percentage. Body filler container has instruction not to touch the body by naked hand before apply filler. But how many of painters follow it ?
  3. There is a area call DIY (Do It Yourself). If someone have enough capability and will to do a certain job, he can gather knowledge from various sources and do it him selves. The final quality of the job may differ with the persons skill level and tool used. But no one can recommend not to do such DIY jobs. In my case I am restoring a Morris Minor and doing most of the tasks by myself in my free time though I am not a mechanic, electrician and a painter. I dont have skill to do tinkering works. So I hired a tinker and completed tinkering tasks. Now I am in the stage of preparing body for apply final coat. I am doing these things as my hobby and very much happy about the quality I achieved so far.
  4. I agree your comment about paint booth. But in SL how many garages have paint booth ? In Colombo there may be some. How many cars have painted, painting without paint booth so far ? 

To conclude, doing ANY job (not only in automobile industry) by ourselves and not getting so called professional service is up to owners preference. No one can say not to do.

P.S. There is a section in this forum about DIY. This thread also under it.

I think you completely misunderstood the meaning of what I wrote. Right from the beginning this threat was talking about paining rather mechanical repairs. 

 You can attempt DIY  repairs  if you have some sort of talent on it.  Not like early days, now there are lot of youtube , pdf tutorials.   Some are genuine but some are fake.  However if you attempt a job that is not of your specialty, it takes more time and effort than of a experienced mechanic/painter.  Else better to occupy your time in more efficient way and let someone to do that.  It explains in your comment itself >> " I dont have skill to do tinkering works. So I hired a tinker and completed tinkering tasks."

Anyway Its all your passion and level of satisfaction at the end of the day. But it is very rare people attempt DIY jobs on their vehicles  for paining and tinkering if the vehicle is under the company warranty.

There are lot of paint booths with professional and experienced painters in SL. I am not sure about the availability in Embilipitiya. 

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On 9/30/2018 at 8:28 AM, trish_auto said:

I think you completely misunderstood the meaning of what I wrote. Right from the beginning this threat was talking about paining rather mechanical repairs. 

 You can attempt DIY  repairs  if you have some sort of talent on it.  Not like early days, now there are lot of youtube , pdf tutorials.   Some are genuine but some are fake.  However if you attempt a job that is not of your specialty, it takes more time and effort than of a experienced mechanic/painter.  Else better to occupy your time in more efficient way and let someone to do that.  It explains in your comment itself >> " I dont have skill to do tinkering works. So I hired a tinker and completed tinkering tasks."

Anyway Its all your passion and level of satisfaction at the end of the day. But it is very rare people attempt DIY jobs on their vehicles  for paining and tinkering if the vehicle is under the company warranty.

There are lot of paint booths with professional and experienced painters in SL. I am not sure about the availability in Embilipitiya. 

  • I expected direct and clear answers for my points. Your point "not to attempt any repairs by yourself"  is totally frightening. Still you did not say who recommended such.
  • I am not sure what you mean by 'talent' in tinkering and paining. It is require 'skill'. Australia offer skilled migration visas but not talent migration visas even for tinkers and painters.
  • Not only these days, even in 1950's the Morris Minor workshop manual explains the way to do paint jobs (attach a page  herewith for your reference). The thing is there are enough resources. But so called experts not following/using those. How many people read the users manual before operate a newly brought mobile phone ? Most people just power on it, pressing like monkeys and finding the ways. I am not seeing big difference with them and painters, electricians and mechanics in SL. Imagine how many hybrid systems, auto gear boxes, ECUs, car electronics ruined by them.
  • If someone willing to do DIY job we need to encourage and support him by providing good resources rather discourage or frighten. That's what members expecting from a forum like this. Else we can say "go to garages for any mechanical, electrical, painting jobs and they are the expert" and it is recommended not to attempt any repairs by yourself. That will be end of all automobile forums.
  • If people rarely attempting DIY jobs, as a forum we can encourage to do some simple DIY jobs. This is one way to build a knowledgeable and skilled nation. Isnt that worth as a country ? 

painting-instructions.png

Edited by kusumsiri

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13 hours ago, Davy said:

Well said! :appl:May I suggest creating a thread to share progress and details of your Moris Minor restoration project? :) 

While it can seem daunting to attempt to do bodywork, with the right tools and a bit of perseverance,  you can achieve great results. Of course if you are a first timer, you shouldn't jump in the deep end and attempt to paint an entire car or do bodywork on an expensive Lamborgihin or something. :) It's an art and skill you should master to attempt to do complex repairs. You should start small and make your way up. Carrying out small repairs to start with is not that hard. I am in the process of learning myself.

The thing is, in Sri Lanka, labour is so cheap, so you might as well save your time an effort and get a garage to do the bodywork for you. But I agree with Kusumsiri's comment about how most of the local tinkerers and painters are very poorly skilled. In other countries, labour is expensive (because every tradesman is qualified), so many car owners are driven to do mechanical work as well as a bit of bodywork on their cars.

Below is the most recent body repair I attempted on my own. It's my uncle's Nissan. This is in Australia and I managed to save him more than half the labour charge because I did all the prep work. The pros just had to do a final primer, paint and clear. 

 

IMG_20170114_174950.thumb.jpg.4c6ba6fe80ed0126d397f8e4fdcf7d2e.jpg

It's holding up pretty well, so I don't think I ruined it. :D 

  • Thks @Davy for appreciation. Now it is proved there are members who doing DIY paint jobs too in the forum. How nicely you completed the job. According to me the knowledge and skills you gained is invaluable.
  • In a situation when you haired a painter for a complex paint job, you can supervise his work by the knowledge gathered here. Also he may not easily cheat you.
  • I did not think to create a thread to share progress and details of my Morris Minor restoration project as there are enough information available outside the forum. But if forum members willing to read those, I always like to share the details. So waiting for requests. Anyhow here are some images.
  1. Engine bay - original status Engine-bay-1.thumb.jpg.bae24f2b1810bc35dff0b927d09a8575.jpg
  2. Engine bay - after applying primer(Sorry. The image after removing old paint is missed)Engine-bay-2.thumb.jpg.36be6221936652d86491f37f7eaf1fdd.jpg
  3. Engine bay - after applying filler Engine-bay-3.thumb.jpg.ee0e22e3738b868d39fccbae684c8939.jpg
  4. Engine bay - after applying last coat. Next need to apply another coat + clear coat.Engine-bay-4.thumb.jpg.cea9451c5c00be0afa44a7c8376a93e4.jpg
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On 9/30/2018 at 6:42 PM, kusumsiri said:

Most people just power on it, pressing like monkeys and finding the ways. I am not seeing big difference with them and painters, electricians and mechanics in SL. Imagine how many hybrid systems, auto gear boxes, ECUs, car electronics ruined by them.

Exactly !!!

Couldnt agree more. Because the so called "professionals" are acting like nothing but ametures, more and more people are trying the DIY these days. Its a good thing though. You are not easily fooled anymore.

Edited by Chathuranga De Silva

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