Male painter spraying paint on a car using a 3M PPS series 2.0 system

Car Paint Application Process

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The 3M™ PPS™ 2.0 System revolutionises paint mixing and spraying.

  • All components of a 3M Performance Spray Gun Kit such as nozzles, adaptors, cups, lids, liners, gun
    • 20 years since its introduction, 3M's Paint Preparation System, 3M™ PPS™, has been recognised as an outstanding new product of its time, bringing a wide range of benefits to our business!

      3M developed the idea of a disposable paint mixing system to do away with traditional spray gun mixing pots and paper filters.

      The 3M Paint Preparation System uses just one liner-cup for both mixing and spraying, ensuring there’s no external contamination as the closed system has a built-in filter. Gun cleaning is easy because there’s no traditional cup to clean. Unused paint can be stored for future use simply by capping the liner.

      The evolution of a revolution continues with the introduction of the next generation 3M™ PPS™ Series 2.0 in combination with the 3M™ Performance Spray Gun. They can help you increase cycle-time in the booth and reduce non-value work time!

      Download 3M™ Performance Spray Gun Brochure (PDF,2.5MB)

      Download 3M Paint Application Process Chart (PDF,0.5MB)


Learn more about 3M™ PPS™ Series 2.0

Experience the joy and benefits of cleaner, easier, faster painting.


Step-by-step process guide for using 3M™ PPS™ Series 2.0 Spray Cup System

Safety first! Please always consult national regulations for suitable Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for use against hazards, including isocyanates. PPE shown may not be adequate or suitable for your specific application or substances used.

  • Basic requirements for a clean paint application:

    • Clean work place
    • Clean tools
    • Clean paint booth
    • Clean pressurised air
    • Clean work clothes

    Tip: don't forget to protect and clean your skin and hands too! The unique 3M™ Skin Care System offers several products suitable for body and paint shop workers.

  • identying colour on a sample card using the Colour Check Light II

    Step 1 - Identify the right colour and shade

    Identify the colour and shade you need by using the 3M™ PPS™ Colour Check Light II.

    Tip: The creation of a personal colour library will make life easier for you in the future as you can reuse your own sprayout cards.

    Recommended products:

    3M™ PPS™ Colour Check Light II

  • Mixing base coat material into a cup

    Step 2 - Mixing of Base Coat

    Different 3M™ PPS™ Series 2.0 spray cup sizes means you can handle most common repairs in your shop. Selecting the right format for your needs will reduce the chance of overmixing of expensive base coat material.

    Recommended products:

    3M™ PPS™ Series 2.0 Spray Cup System

    3M™ PPS™ Series 2.0 Lids

  • setting up an atomising head of a spray gun

    Step 3 - Setup 3M™ Performance Spray Gun

    • Pull the trigger back, making sure the locking collar is in the “+ configuration”. Slide the atomising head over the fluid needle and push towards the spray gun body. Secure the atomising head by rotating the retainer ring clockwise until the retainer ring tabs are locked in the “X configuration”.

      Maximum HVLP Operating Air Pressure: 1.38 bar (20 psi)

      Operating Pressure Range is between 0.5 bar to 2.4 bar (7 psi to 35 psi)

      Recommended products:

      3M™ Performance Spray Gun

      3M™ Performance Gravity HVLP Atomising Heads

  • Painter spraying on a car area using a performance spray gun from 3M

    Step 4 - Base Coat Application

    Please do observe the recommended layer thickness and application procedure of your paint manufacturer!

    With the 3M™ PPS™ System it´s easy to mix and clean up, and it allows spraying at any angle due to the closed system.

    When finished spraying, disconnect the air line, invert the gun and pull the trigger to return any excess paint to the cup.

    Recommended products:

    3M™ PPS™ Series 2.0 Spray Cup System

    3M™ PPS™ Series 2.0 Lids

  • mixing clear coat into a cup

    Step 5 - Mixing of Clear Coat

    Modern clear coat technologies need mixing on demand due to accelerated pot life. Select the right cup size for your needs as this reduces the risk of applying material which has already started the curing process.

    Recommended products:

    3M™ PPS™ Series 2.0 Spray Cup System

    3M™ PPS™ Series 2.0 UV Kit

  • painter sprayin clear coat on car using the performance spray gun from 3M

    Step 6 - Clear Coat Application

    • Please do observe the recommended layer thickness and application procedure of your paint manufacturer!

      Modern clear coat technologies are highly reactive and start cross-linking very quickly! Therefore, it is recommended to mix fresh clear coat on demand for each panel / job!

      If there are several parts in the booth f.e., it can happen that the clear coat already starts to react, which can cause gelling or "thickening" of the material!

      Therefore, this reaction can quickly lead to overcoating, solvent poppings and other errors!

      Recommended products:

      3M™ PPS™ Series 2.0 Spray Cup System

      3M™ PPS™ Series 2.0 UV Kit

  • cleaning a needle of a pray gun with a white cloth

    Step 7 - Cleaning 3M™ Performance Spray Gun

    • Pull the trigger back.

      Rotate the locking collar counter-clockwise and pull the atomising head away from the gun body. Clean the needle with a solvent cross linked cloth.

      Simply put on the new nozzle in the size you need and you’re done.

      Always store the gun with a clean nozzle on to protect the needle.

      The 3M™ Performance Spray Gun reduces cleaning work considerably and lowers your solvent consumption.

      Recommended products:

      3M™ Professional Panel Wipe

  • car in a painth booth during forced drying process

    Step 8 - Forced drying

    Please do observe the recommendations of your paint manufacturer concerning object temperature and drying time.

    The quality of drying has a positive influence on the later finishing properties of the surface.

    Forced drying accelerates the finish process and at the same time ensures an even drying of the paint.

    A clear coat, which has hardened evenly and well can be finished a lot easier.


Technical tips for car paint application process

Here are some valuable insights into specific paint application challenges, including quick tips on preventing common issues such as avoiding material overmix or spillage when refilling a cup. For more in-depth information, click the link below to see each tip.

  • Customer Challenge:
    It can happen that too much base coat is mixed for one application, because the user wants to avoid having to remix it again.


    Technical Tip:
    Different 3M™ PPS™ Series 2.0 spray cup sizes means you can handle most common repairs in your shop. Modern water base coat technologies require order-related mixing, due to the addition of additives. Selecting the right format for your needs will reduce the chance of overmixing of expensive base coat material.

  • Customer Challenge:
    It takes some time between changing the different colours from one application to the next, or when you need to switch from base coat to clear coat.


    Technical Tip:
    Because paint never passes through the body of the 3M™ Performance Spray Gun and only through the disposable cup and nozzle, your cleanup and changeover process can be streamlined. No more paint clogging up internal components, no more breaking down your spray gun or soaking in solvent, no more cross contamination putting your job at risk.

  • Customer Challenge:
    Sometimes it can happen that the amount of material in a PPS™ cup is not sufficient and then the cup must be refilled.


    Technical Tip:
    After spraying is complete, you should allow a little extra time to let the paint drain back into the cup before you remove the lid for tinting or refilling.

    To make it go as quickly as possible:

    • Invert the gun and hold the trigger open to start the paint drain.
    • To speed up the flow, gently tap the gun and cup assembly against a solid surface.
    • If it appears the paint is not draining, tap a little harder. Remember, there is more paint below the full size filter.

Discover more from 3M

  • Haven't found what you're looking for? Or perhaps you would like to arrange a demonstration? Click here to get in touch!

  • Remember to always use appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), including safety eyewear, gloves, hearing and respiratory protection for your job and workplace!

  • We don't just have solutions for repairing bumpers and plastic panels. See our extensive range of solutions for all your car repair needs!


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