Candy (midcoat/tricoat) Application Questions

What is a 3-stage candy paint?

A candy paint finish consists of applying a metallic base color, then a translucent candy layer, and lastly an application of a protective clear coat to help extend the life of the candy finish and magnify the depth of the metallic finish. Each layer of candy coverage creates a darker tint. Most candies provide a deep metallic finish and a difference in the shade contrast when viewed under different light. Candy coats, sometimes referred to as a midcoats or topcoats, are usually very translucent and may contain an intercoat with pearls or flakes.

What type or color base coat do I use for a candy paint?

Each Candy midcoat requires a different basecoat mixed specifically for that particular finish. We will say there are typically 15 different shades of base coats in our system. Each of our basecoats are custom mixed, just like each of our paint orders. 

How can I be sure the color will match the original color?

Paint used in many early productions of vintage bikes are no longer available. The FDA banned the use of lacquer products containing high VOCs. Also, the original application is considered to be a two-stage process. Today's Candy paints have undergone a serious makeover. Companies such as House of Kolor have over the years mastered the art of creating Candy systems by using only the best pigments and pearls. Our candies use these high quality toners to match OEM colors, providing years of protection and glisten. It is recommended to have either a paint chip or OEM part available for your painter to use as comparison when applying the candy layers to achieve your desired depth of color.

How many coats will it take to achieve the proper color?

The number of coats will vary depending on the color of the basecoat and candy color. It's always recommended to do a sprayout test first on a virgin panel.

Is this the same original OEM paint used on the earlier model bikes?

No, the original candy paints are a lacquer base applied as a two-stage application. Today's paints are urethane enamel based that are easier to apply and show more contrast and depth in the metallic finish. Honda never sold any of their paints to the public or industrial market. One private business did however market a 3 oz. touch-up custom mixed paint in small touch-up amounts for resale. Note--the touch-up cans were custom mixed from OEM parts purchased from Honda factories and are NOT the original paint used on Honda bikes.

Can I use my own primer, clearcoat or any others with VMR Paints products?

They should be compatible as long as they are a urethane product that requires a catalyst (2K or 2-part). We recommend to always do a sprayout test prior to painting your bike parts.

Where do I find the paint code for my vintage motorcycle color?

There are no paint codes used prior to 1982. Virtually all paint codes found for vintage productions thereafter are irrelevant to modern paint systems.

Can I take the product code number from the VMR paint can to my local paint shop?

No, the code number associated with each of our products are for VMR Paints only. They are used to identify the mixing formula in our system. These codes have no value to other paint companies.

I have seen on the Internet a list of paint codes, are these codes legit?

Not necessarily, any vintage codes related to motorcycles are most likely the product code number issued by Lubritech Corp in the early 1970's. These numbers have no meaning in the automotive and motorcycle paint industry. All our paint is careful custom mix to match the preserved OEM colors. We have purchased OEM parts in excellent condition to color match.

What is meant by a Sprayout Test?

Before you proceed with the applications, prep a piece of metal sheet or test panel with primer and basecoat. Count the number of candy coats you will need to apply the achieve the proper depth of color. Use this sprayout test to adjust all your settings on the air flow and regulators on the gun and take not of the spray pattern used.

Can the average handyman painter apply the candy process with professional results?

Unlike a two-stage paint, three-stage paints are more difficult to apply correctly since the candy coats (midcoats) are translucent and watery which may cause runs and streaking. If you are not confident with the process or have experience with candies, we might suggest hiring a local paint professional to save time and money up front.

Are these candy paint chemical resistant to gas and oil?

Yes, the paints are chemical resistant. These paints provide the same finish applied to automobiles. All VMR Paint require a clear coat, preferably 2K, that seals the finish and provides long lasting protection.

What is Flash Time?

Technically, it is the time required for solvents in the paint to evaporate. In practice, it is a reference to the the amount of time needed between coats. Proper flash time prevents solvents from being trapped and cause problems like solvent pop, sand scratch swelling, and low gloss appearance for topcoats.

Who distributes your candy colors?

We use only the very best House of Kolor, PPG and DuPont (Axalta) refinishing paints and products. All made from top grade pigments and advanced acrylic urethane technology.