- Halo Installation Manual
Halo Installation Manual
Halo Installation Manual
Disclaimer: This "Halo Handbook" has been developed internally and based on feedback and input from the installers here in Australia and the experienced installers in USA, Europe and Asia.
We respect that each installer, however, will have their own technique and skillset.
What is critical, however, is that you MUST ensure enough product has been sprayed onto the surface for peelability and durability (refer Halo EFX Chart). Not following this SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) or deviating form it may result in a less-than-ideal result.
Intro: Halo EFX is a bi-polymer peelable automotive paint - often referred to as liquid wrap or sprayable vinyl. It forms a removable coating that looks, feels, and acts like traditional car paint, and with the ability to be removed like vinyl wraps BUT with no sticky residue or damage.
Halo EFX and Halo True Gloss
There are essentially two systems of Halo EFX:- Matte/Satin and Halo True Gloss.
- Matte/Satin - the easiest, most user-friendly line within Halo EFX. It can be sprayed with an electric HVLP gun or turbine, has minimal overspray, and is easy to clean. Over spray is simply wiped away with a cloth. It has nothing else to bond itself to, as it is just over-spray and is therefore too thin.
Colours in the EFX lineup are Real Clear (unpigmented and perfect for the suspension of pigments, pearls and tints), Bright White, Covert Black, Primer Grey, Killa Red.
Note: Gangsta Black, Sinister Red, and Brilliant White, CAN be used but please ENSURE that you apply a minimum of 8 coats. We recommend spraying a couple of “tack” coats (light) of Real Clear first and then the colour.
HINT - Alternatively, add 10% Gangster Black to your Real Clear and you will have a guideline for your base coats.
As above, pearls, pigments, tints and colour additives can be mix into to Halo Real Clear and applied over any desired base coat. We strongly recommend that any new additive or specialist coating be tested before applying to a project.
- True Gloss – Halo True Gloss (TG) is a high-grade, automotive 2k clear system that works as a 4:1 mixing ratio. It forms a completely removable hard ghloss shell that is highly scratch resistant, chemical and solvent resistant, fuel resistant and can be sanded, buffed, and waxed to a glass-like mirror finish.
Colours in this line: Real Clear, Gangsta Black, Sinister Red, Brilliant White, True Gloss.
NOTE:- The Halo True Gloss system is limited to professional use only and should only be used with professional equipment. A compressor setup is required, as are professional guns and a level of comfort with spraying 2k coatings to get the best results.
While having a background in painting does help, Halo EFX product application does differ as it is applied closer and in heavier coats when compared to traditional car paint.
True Gloss will only be sold and purchased in kits containing a minimum of 1 True Gloss Clear, 1 Activator and any of the 4 glossable gallons listed in the True Gloss product line.
- True Gloss can ONLY be purchased through Halo EFX Australia or an authorised re-seller. If interested please contact us at email@example.com
Halo EFX Gallon Usage guidelines
We have prepared a simple usage chart on this page to help guide customers to the correct of amount of product needed per project application. Using the correct amount of product is EXTREMELY important. Failure to do so could result in less durability and poor peelability, and an overall finish that is below what installers and customers expect.
Let us look at a Toyota Corolla for example. The correct amount of product needed for this project in a satin finish is a minimum of 4 gallons.
THIS AMOUNT OF PRODUCT MUST BE APPLIED REGARDLESS OF NUMBER OF COATS. Coats ultimately mean very little; the only way to know how much product has been sprayed onto the car is by how much product has been sprayed onto the car. There simply is no better way of measuring it.
Please see detailed recommended usage guidelines.
- Clean surface thoroughly and allow to dry (best practice is to allow an overnight drying time). Any leftover residue such as oils, dirt, grease, etc., may impair Halo’s adhesion to the surface/substrate leading to unwanted lifting, frying, texture or cracking. We suggest using a product similar to “Silicone Off”, PrepSol or any 70% or higher isopropyl alcohol and a CLEAN lint-free microfibre or waffle-weave towel. Denatured alcohol also works very well, as does a quality wax/grease remover. Be sure to clean inside cracks and around the edges as well.
Halo and Blou have collaborated on a specially-formulated prep solution called Blou Master Prep. Tested on Halo, it is a very reliable prep solution and strongly recommended.
- **** Please note that although Halo EFX does a fantastic job at helping to fill in and cover small paint damages, as with traditional automotive paint, surface imperfections such as deep scratches, chips, dents, etc., WILL show in the end if not corrected prior to applying Halo EFX.
- Be sure to tape and mask off any areas you do not want painted just as you would with a traditional paint job. This is very important if you are using the Halo True Gloss system. Although not 100% necessary, it is better to remove things like headlights, brake lights, license plates, badges… It is common practice for us to remove bumpers, side skirts, and hoods. Doorjams must also be taped up well if not spraying them.
Any peelable coating can strip plastic of it’s protecting layer, so again we recommend taping or removing headlights and taillights to protect them.
Careful attention must be made to areas where two parts or body panels are either touching or the gaps between them is very small. Take note of these areas, as they will need to be peeled when wet or carefully cut. Areas with a panel gap or break will naturally cut/break with a clean line.
Spray Application for Non-Pearl Satin
- Set up spray gun with a 6-8in spray fan with a distance of no more than 4-6in from surface. Use 50/50 overlap passes.
1.6-1.7 - Cold weather conditions – 12C or less ***Spraying not recommended below 12C.***
1.7/1.8 - Normal to Hot spray conditions – 14C to 25C (Hot is considered over 30C)
Pressure is largely gear/skill dependant, though we recommend about 15psi or higher.
Flash time 10-15minutes depending on temp and humidity.
Panel by panel application is recommended for all base colours unless you are using pearls. If pearls are used, the pearl load can be modified based on product flow rates, and we strongly recommend walking the full car rather than panel-by-panel to avoid pearl build up in the gaps.
- Open gallon cans, stir/mix well. This is a very important step, and a mixing wand bit on a drill is the best method. 2 to 5 minutes stirring time is adequate.
- First 2 coats should be light, even coats. These are your tack coats and will limit sags and runs in heavier coats. It will also give something for the wetter coats to bond to. Ai for 50-75% transparency here.
- Every coat after the second coat should be applied as medium wet coats until all products is used. It is very important to wet out each coat as you are spraying. Failure to do so can lead to unwanted texture. At the same time, applying the product too heavy can lead to Orange Peel. Always be thinking “Wet, but not heavy”.
- ***If using pearls please see below. Then follow step 5***
- On the final coat, while the paint is still wet, peel tape from masked edges to create a clean line. Be careful not to rush this step. If the taped areas appear to have dried, they can be re-wetted by an application of more Halo, or of a quick naptha/xylene mist.
Using pearls to achieve a custom colour
- If using pearls - pearls can be mixed into any base colour to modify the end result. The most popular and recommended usage of pearls is to mix them into the Real Clear and apply over a desired base colour. It is recommended that pearls be used in the final 2-3 top coats with 50 grams of pearls per gallon (Real Clear) used. However as each project is unique, varying the pearl load per gallon and number of coats can yield outstanding but very different results. Always start with the manufacturer’s guideline on the pearl load and go from there.
For example, solid pigments and pearls can call for up to 75g per gallon, whereas a colourshift pearl will be 25g or lower per gallon.
Be extra cautious of white-particle pearls given their tendency to achieve white-out very quickly. We recommend lightening the pearl load and spraying more coats to more accurately judge your colour coverage.
- When applying pearls, it is very important to apply the product evenly with a 50/50 overlap. Walking the length of the vehicle is also recommended. Application in this method will help avoid striping of pearls. It is also advised to apply pearl coats slightly less “heavy” than the base coats, and with a spray gun distance of 7-8 inches from surface. Again, modify your technique by test panels.
Advanced tip - If you want your pearl coats or pigment colour coats to lay out with better consistency and uniformity and avoid blotchiness and mottling, we advise to thin the Real Clear with Xylene and shoot them with a 1.4 tip. This forces the pearls to agglomerate into a tighter matrix.
Said another way - when you thin out the solution you're giving the pearls less room to move thereby forcing them to align in a tighter more refined pattern, thus becoming more uniform. Taking this one step further: You only need to adopt this tool in the final coats of your application. Do not do this from the base up. The first 8-10 coats are simply base building for peel-ability, nothing more. You can always thin some for the first 8-10 coats if ambient temps are so high you're getting unwanted texture.
Texture will magnify itself as each subsequent coat is applied, so keep this in mind.
15% to 20% thinning recommended.
EXAMPLE: To achieve Satin Red Pearl Finish:
Toyota Corolla Sedan:
4-5 Gallons of Halo EFX Product needed – 2-3 gallons Covert Black, 2 gallon Real Clear with up to 100g of Red Pearl.
1st Step – Apply (2) light coats of black base
2nd Step – Apply (2-3) medium wet coats of black
3rd Step – Apply (3-4) coats of Real Clear mixed with pearl of your choice
Halo EFX using True Gloss System
The True Gloss system requires the usage of Halo EFX Top Coats - Gangsta Black, Brilliant White, or Sinister Red, in conjunction with Real Clear.
Real Clear is used as the base to build up product thickness and strength, and because it is slightly cheaper. Once enough product is laid, one of the three Top Coats are applied as the remaining necessary product needed for durability and peelablity. Generally speaking, the first half of your base coats should be Real Clear and second half should be Top Coats.
For example if a customer wanted a Toyota Corolla sprayed gloss black with the True Gloss System, you would need:
2 gallons Real Clear
2 gallons Gangsta Black
1 gallon True Gloss
Application of the base coats/pearl coats is the same as the Satin. Once the base coats are finished, you MUST allow for a minimum of 8 hours to cure before applying Halo True Gloss. The longer the base is allowed to cure, the better the result. The same is also true of the True Gloss cure time before buffing.
True Gloss Application
- TG1 and TG2 are both a 4:1 2K Clear Coat system. The Activator that comes in the TG Kit is a Slow Activator for TG1, and a Medium Activator for TG2.
Note - TG2 is the revised gloss for 2018 formulation and has been released early to Australia.
TG2 is thinner, so if you're used to spraying tg1 you'll want to dial back fluid settings or move faster. Some users have begun to turn pressures down from 30 psi and achieved better results, but this tends to be more gun specific than a hard and fast rule. Naturally, the more you use it the more familiar it becomes.
All Halo installers have picked up on with relative ease and the feedback has been very positive. The biggest change is the improved wait time between base and gloss, which is now 45 min vs. the 8 hours. With TG2 we're finding that less product is used generally, and 2 or 3 coats is still recommended with a 15 min flash time between each coat. Tg2 now uses the Medium Activator in its 2k component system.
This is an entirely new system developed from scratch and was the right fit for cure times versus self-levelling abilities for the new TG2. In general, it stays wet longer so it levels better; allows more solvents to escape (helping to prevent dieback). Dries slower than tg1 also. As for full cure, its softer so you should wait longer to cut and buff if you need/want to. Typically we recommend 24hrs of cure time before cut and buff.
Depending on several factors, the TG2 can still pinch a little. Pinching back is a aspect of curing. The pinching can be dealt with easily with a light wet sand and buff which depending on depth of wet sanding can result in a mirror show car quality finish.
Please do not attempt to use any other chemical products as it could completely ruin the ability to peel.
Bulldog/Adhesion Promoter SOP With TG2 - you can shoot the gloss 45 min after base, but you MUST use BullDog or any other adhesion promoter before shooting the gloss onto the base. This will be in the new SOP for TG2.
The introduction of this step is cheap and easy. It lakes all of 10-15 min to apply 2 dust coats on the halo base before shooting gloss. You pay particular attention to front bumpers etc where road debris abrasion is high. Let's be clear here: for TG1 you ADD the BullDog to the activated Clear at a ratio of 7% For TG2 you spray it down on the before shooting gloss. For TG1 you're using it as a Flex Ad; and for TG2 you're using it as an adhesion promoter. These are Important points that must be clear. You can most certainly use the BullDog as both a Flex add AND adhesion promoter. That is to say you can dust two coats on the base AND mix it into the gloss at 7%.
Recommended tip size is 1.3 -1.4 (Depending on size of the project and temps).
Spray pressure: 26-30 psi
Spray distance: 4-6 inches
Temperature range: 14C - 30C. Over 30C is a tricky application environment.
Applied in thin/medium coats. Typically, we found that the heavier the coat for TG, the greater the risk of orange peel.
Flash time between coats: 10 - 15 minutes
Cure time minimums / recommended-
Sand - 4hrs / 24hrs
Buff - 8-12hrs / 36hrs
Fully cured - 75-90 days
***must NOT apply wax or sealants before 90 days to allow product to breathe***
Most applications will require 4 coats of True Gloss - depending on the skill of the painter. If applied properly and in a clean environment, 3 wet coats might be all that's needed to complete the project. For those planning on light sanding and buffing, apply 4 coats.
For the most optimum and show-car finish, we strongly recommend 3 coats of True Gloss, followed by a wet-sand and then flowcoat the Fourth and last coat.
Some have found great results by 1000 dry sand, 2400/3000 wetsand and final flowcoat or buff. Be very mindful of the amount of TG you have laid down before cutting and buffing the panels.
For a faultless finish, you will definitely need to cut and buff it. So, the more sanding to be done means the more coats are needed to be applied or you'll burn through the top coats of TG.