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Centari Paint

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I just returned from my paint supply store. While there they informed me that Dupont CENTARI paint is being discontinued. It is being phased out due to government regulations. If you plan on using it for future projects you should consider purchasing it now. Some of the yellow tints are already not available.

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I was also told that about a year ago by a favorite automobile paint store in New Haven, CT. I was allowed to buy Dupont "Nason" series enamel, which in my opinion is not as good as Centari.

I wonder if we can even buy "Nason" at this point...

I love government!

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Paint technology has so surpassed Centari and other 1980s products, why the resistance to change?

Sorry, I forgot what website I was on for a moment... :rolleyes:

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True, but if you feel good using a product and the results are to your liking, starting from square one again isn't something I enjoy doing. No, I'm not buying a VOLT either. Bob:D

Paint technology has so surpassed Centari and other 1980s products, why the resistance to change?

Sorry, I forgot what website I was on for a moment... :rolleyes:

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True, but if you feel good using a product and the results are to your liking, starting from square one again isn't something I enjoy doing. No, I'm not buying a VOLT either. Bob:D

So true !

I've used Centari at least once, I had good results, nice shine to the finish..

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Centari is full of isocyanates, a relative of cyanide. If you don't use the right protective gear you are risking bad health damage or death. I know one painter, who had the right gear, who got sick in the late 80s and spent a year in hospital. It took a while for the doctors to figure out what was the matter. Eventually they told him he was poisoned. He asked what he should do. They said stay here till you get better or die. There is no medicine and no cure.

He got better eventually but he will never be able to paint a car again or use certain chemicals. The poison stays with you for life.

There is no outward sign, the stuff builds up and builds up until it reaches a critical point then bang. Some people used it for years, others got sick and died after one paint job.

Oh well it's just another working slob. There are millions more where he came from.

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An employee of a bathtub refinishing company owned by a relative died a couple years back. I thought he was younger, not the 52 yr old referenced in the article but same basis; working in confined space, may not have followed proper safety procedures, didn't respond to phone/knocks, found deceased. A relative who formerly owned the company is a 'car guy' going back to the late 50s, he previously owned the company and evidently was exposed to so much chemicals through the years he's become 'sensitized' - as Rusty mentions about his acquaintance, when this happens you cannot be exposed or risk serious health issues.

Fatal Exposure to Methylene Chloride Among Bathtub Refinishers — United States, 2000–2011

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Centari is full of isocyanates, a relative of cyanide. If you don't use the right protective gear you are risking bad health damage or death. I know one painter, who had the right gear, who got sick in the late 80s and spent a year in hospital. It took a while for the doctors to figure out what was the matter. Eventually they told him he was poisoned. He asked what he should do. They said stay here till you get better or die. There is no medicine and no cure.

He got better eventually but he will never be able to paint a car again or use certain chemicals. The poison stays with you for life.

There is no outward sign, the stuff builds up and builds up until it reaches a critical point then bang. Some people used it for years, others got sick and died after one paint job.

Oh well it's just another working slob. There are millions more where he came from.

Like cigarettes, some folks smoke all their lives with no ill effects. While others never smoke or smoke one cigarette & die of cancer or some smoke related death....

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The DuPont Centari I remembered from the later 1960s and into the 1970s was an acrylic enamel. No more, no less. As time progressed, it's great shine and durability could be enhanced with "hardener" additives from DuPont, so that seemed to become the "norm" back then. It was not until DuPont came out with IMRON that isocyan_____ became an issue in the paint's basic chemistry, needing "oxygen masks" to shoot.

Initially, IMRON was a "fleet paint" available in certain non-factory colors, but it had that wet-look shine years later. Later, some OEM colors were added. Isocyanates were what made it that way, although you had to have (basically) haz-mat gear on to shoot it or be near it being shot.

Even by the middle 1980s, Centari was an "antique' paint. Everybody was headed toward the multi-stage basecoat/clearcoat paints, in acrylic enamel. Acrylic lacquer was even more of a "dinosaur"!

Personally, I'd suspect the real reason Centari is going away is not related to the isocyanate issue, but just poorer sales as everybody is now oriented toward basecoat/clearcoat finishes and their hard shine AND decreased VOC content. Not to forget about the upcoming transition to water-based paints "in the field" (although GM's had them OEM since the later 1970s).

The government DOES and has regulated VOC content for quite some time. It might also be that the particular "reducers" which Centari needs are also being phased out . . . as a side issue of sorts . . . but also related to VOC content issues.

Hate to see Centari go, but I figured it had been gone a long time ago, all things considered, as newer paint systems came online and especially as the OEMs haven't used plain acrylic enamel for ages. "Single stage", as they say.

Just some thoughts,

NTX5467

Edited by NTX5467 (see edit history)

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You an stil buy various types of acrylic enamels and laquers,but now almost all acrylic paints require an additive,unlike the older types. One trouble is the price . I checked on a gallon of reg laquer primer the other day and was quoted $150.00 /gal. Wow! I used to pay about $20.00.Same with the new acrylics.I used to buy a quart of basic black for $13.00 and now its close to $100.00. The parts guy told me most all paints are to phased out soon an replaced by water-borne paints. My understanding is that these paints will be very expensive and dangerous to use. You would think that a water borne substance would be water soluable but not so with these paints and that the solvents are extremely toxic. The day is coming that the regular consumer will no longer be able to purchase paints and paint products unless they have a license. PA heavily regulates auto paint shops now and in many areas yo are not permitted to do your own painting. I think alot of it is passed along by politicians that cater to the enviromental crowd always wanting to save us from ourselves. I truly believe that the old car hobby as we know it will soon be a thing of the past for all but the very wealthy who can afford paying for professional services. Also ,like that one other thread mentioned"how long can I really afford this hobby?"

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A few years ago, there was some proposed federal legislation to prevent individuals from purchasing any automotive refinish products at all--period. This created some "concern" in the hobby and SEMA negotiated a deal where an individual could purchase enough materials to refinish two vehicles per year. Usually, there always used to be somebody in almost every car club that did really good paint and body work in their own private facility. But as we've aged, that number has dwindled, I suspect, BUT . . . BUT there are many younger people coming into the hobby whose talents are at least as good as our generation's was, if not better, AND they learned to correctly handle the newer (and allegedly more dangerous) paint systems. So, if they continue to follow in our footsteps, they'll have a smaller house with a detached garage that they'll do their own stuff in and possibly for some friends, too. Usually, spot repairs or such rather than complete repaints.

I'm not sure "Why" this seemed to be an issue, but it became one. Whether it was related to where each paint "fume" source would be or protection of "down winders" from dangerous paint system fumes, I don't know. The issue of the number of "body shop related emissions points" could be an issue in their computer modeling of emissions load into the region's atmosphere. The latter could be a public health and safety issue. Locally, either could be a zoning issue.

It seems that the newer multi-stage paints are infinitely more critical regarding "dust". A good and maintained spray booth are much more mandatory if the paint is to look as good as it can look. But spray booths have their own regulations to meet, usually, like how tall the exhaust stack must be and such. Used to be that you could spray lacquer pretty much anywhere, as you'd need to color sand and polish it for the best results. Acrylic enamel was more picky with dust, but it was not a deal-killer as dust can be now. So, a spray booth is no longer the luxury it used to be, but required.

There are still some places that will mix the OLD-spec nitrocellulose lacquers, but at a price. I suspect the same will eventually happen with the more modern acrylics.

The water borne paints have been out for about 5 years, I believe. A body shop customer of ours noted that it had its own characteristics as to how to spray it, but seems like there were some issues of how to get it to match? But, as much as we might lament the passing of our old paint product "friends", keeping abreast with newer technology is important. Paying for it, as everything has a price, might be an issue, though. Just like the wide-spread change to HVLP equipment was in the later 1980s, but there was allegedly a cost savings in materials due to less overspray and cleanup of such.

As always, we'll get through it somehow. Not to forget that we now have generations of enthusiasts who possibly believe that everything painted HAS to be basecoat/clearcoat, even if it didn't come that way . . . to get that SHINNNEEEE, even if its definitely incorrect for the stock-configuration vehicle. Just as they, with all due respect, might not know what a carburetor is or does.

Just some thoughts,

NTX5467

Edited by NTX5467 (see edit history)

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A body shop customer of ours noted that it had its own characteristics as to how to spray it, but seems like there were some issues of how to get it to match?

Actually I heard quite differently, that a feature of the water-borne paint was supposed to be easier to match. This was told to me by several different PPG Paint Reps.

Such as a friend's (non-stock) vehicle was painted @ a nearby PPG Training Facility over a year ago; they were a sponsor of his. Some time later a few panels required to be repainted and to look at the car it is near impossible to discern any shade difference. The color is a heavy metallic.

My understanding is that these paints will be very expensive and dangerous to use. You would think that a water borne substance would be water soluable but not so with these paints and that the solvents are extremely toxic.

The water borne base paint is not so much dangerous as the isocyanates in the clear coat (same as Centari).

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Its a water-based basecoat but a solvent clear.

I've been to 1/2 dozen paint shops looking for single-stage "washington blue" and nobody can help me. Just a puzzled look on their face.

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I like the paint because it is a close match to the original enamel that was on my car when new. I am aware of the dangers of this product. I use a fresh air respirator and be sure no one else is in the area when I paint.

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I was told that the water borne paints are not really the problem,it's the solvents that are highly toxic. I also saw on a news article several years back that after the mandate on water borne paints,repaints of older cars would require complete removal of original finish for environmental issues,thus tripling or quadrupaling the refinish cost. I don't know for sure that this is gospel as stories of all kind surface when the EPA gets involved. Being in the building trades I've found that alot of environmental"issues" (lead paint,asbestos)have been blown way out of proportion to promote special "causes". While these things ,as well as auto paint can be dangerous,the danger can be minimized by careful handling and a little common sense. Most of the new regs. only seem to reduce freedoms and cost people money,(except the one making the bucks on the regs.!) Getting back to the issue..I've always liked acrylic enamel,easy to use,just thin,add hardener and paint. I do all my small parets and some body parts in this type and it gives a nice ,hard finish that is close to original enamel.

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I remember when Centari was introduced as I was working in a body shop at the time. It had a great shine, and was much easier to apply than previous paints. But we were warned that it was a lot more toxic. At first they sold special breathing masks that neutralized the fumes, a few years later they went to protective coveralls and masks with an outside air supply.

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I don't know if any one here has heard, but Dupont has been trying to get out of the paint and refinishing business and at this time is pondering an offer from another company. I'm not surprised Centari is a victim with the water based products becoming more accepted. Still need solvent based for clear coat, as someone stated. That will undoubtly change soon, as well. Dupont only pulls about 5% of its revenue from auto refinish stuff, way more money in agriculture products.

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Centari is not being discontinued.

It is still readily available from Dupont. What may be the root of the confusion is that 7 low usage toners in the Centari paint line were recently dropped. The formulations containing these discontinued toners were converted to use toners already in the product line. Nothing was lost!

Today Centari is primarily a fleet/truck finish therefor the advent of water borne paint in the collision industry has nothing to do with the viability of Centari.

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I remember when Centari was introduced as I was working in a body shop at the time. It had a great shine, and was much easier to apply than previous paints. But we were warned that it was a lot more toxic. At first they sold special breathing masks that neutralized the fumes, a few years later they went to protective coveralls and masks with an outside air supply.

Centari was one of the first catalyzed automotive paints. Prior to, it was mostly synthetic enamels and lacquer. Let's face it, nobody wore a mask back then. So it was mucho important to get the word out about protective equipment while spraying paint like Centari. Even after these painters were warned of the dangers many ignored the warnings. :(

Edited by South_paw (see edit history)

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Just to clear up a couple of water borne myths,

WB is not always more expensive than solvent. In many cases it is cheaper. One of the reasons why is because it covers extremely well.

You can apply water borne over an existing finish. In fact it is much friendly than solvent in this regard.

To date, solvent has not been pulled from our shelves. IF and when that may happen has yet to be determined.

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Thanks for the additional information, South-Paw.

The Centari I remembered seeing on a vehicle was in about 1972. It was Marina Blue on a '70 El Camino which belonged to the man who ran the auto supply that also sold DuPont paint at the time. It always was parked in front of the store, day in day out. It was painted by the long-time body shop that shared the building with the auto supply. I don't recall him ever waxing it, but it always looked great.

Back then, Centari was ONLY an acrylic enamel. This was well before the "hardener" additives were around, or at least that anybody admitted to. This was also when almost every body shop shot acrylic lacquer. Remember the 'hand rubbing" which many acrylic lacquer paint jobs got (and needed), then polished with an electric buffer? Few really had a spray area clean enough to shoot enamel, but the ones that did did well with it.

Seems like the "hardener" came out after DuPont brought out IMRON in the 1976 time frame? But catalyzed Centari had a shine that was pretty close without all of the expense.

Enjoy!

NTX5467

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