Citroen showroom – cladding recoating in Portsmouth

Re-coat external cladding of showroom

Paint system:
PPG Selemix 2k

Time frame:
4 days

Our objective on this job was to re-coat the external metal cladding for a Citroen showroom. The existing cladding coating was structural sound but had lost its punchy look over the years to UV damage and staining. We worked directly with Citroen management to build a specification that suited their budget and time scale. Due to Citroen running a customer-facing business, speed was an important factor for them. Causing minimal disturbance to Citroen’s business was vital in our planning.

After understanding Citroen’s requirements, we specified a paint system by PPG. PPG Selemix is a 2-pack coating that is very quick drying, gives a top quality finish, and can be applied in one coat.

Stage 1: Safety

Safety was key during this project as we had to work around the public and the employees of Citroen. Great lengths were taken to separate the public from our work areas. This included redirecting the public to temporary footpaths and restricting our work program to quieter times of the day when there was less footfall.

Stage 2: Cleaning and preparation

To test the integrity of the existing Plastisol paint we conducted several adhesion tests over the cladding. The results showed that the existing cladding was sound so there was no need to strip it back to bare metal.
Old signage that was screwed into areas of the cladding had left many screw holes with jagged edges. Our team filed the metal back to a flat surface and applied a 2K metal filler. The 2K filler was then gently sanded back by hand in order not to disrupt the shape of the cladding panel.

Once we were satisfied that the old screw holes had disappeared we applied a gentle alkaline degreaser over all the cladding panels and washed it off with a 3000psi pressure washer. This ensures that we have a perfectly clean substrate for the new coating to adhere to perfectly.

Stage 3: Masking

Although we only use paint systems and equipment that generate little to no overspray, Citroen management had some concerns that overspray might land on their windows and cars. We put the managements mind at rest by wrapping the majority of the building that wasn’t going to be sprayed. Also, we insisted that all of the brand new cars on display outside were moved to the other side of the building.

Stage 4: Spraying

Due to the nature of PPG Selemix, the spray application has to be timed perfectly to get the finish that Citroen expected. PPG Selemix is a 2K paint which means as soon as the base and the harder are mixed together it starts chemically drying. On top of this, we were operating at the peak of summer. In very warm conditions like this, once the paint hits the substrate it can dry almost instantly and leave a patchy finish. For these reasons, we had to complete the spray process before the sun was at its highest in the morning.

The spray equipment used was an air assist gun. This works the same as an airless gun but with the added feature of introducing a steady flow of compressed air over the exiting paint. This means that the finish is closer to car body level with the benefit of being having a large throughput of paint to cover large areas. This system is ideal for flat panel cladding.

Read more about cladding spray painting here.