FAQ Do-It-Yourself

How compatible are the different paint qualities?

  • All paints (acrylic, nitro combination, synthetic resin, water-based paint) can be painted over with synthetic paint.
  • Synthetic resin paint can only be painted over with synthetic resin paint. Acrylic paint and/or nitro combination paint cannot be painted over synthetic resin paint. For reasons of incompatibility, this would lead to the paint "lifting".

How do acrylic, nitro combination and synthetic resin paints differ? Which paint is right for me?

  • Acrylic and nitro combination paints are primarily distinguished by faster drying times and harder surfaces. Such paints are therefore used predominantly in the automotive sector.
  • Synthetic resin paint (= alkyd resin)are easier to use for "inexperienced sprayers" because the paint dries more slowly, and therefore, no visible transitions result when one re-starts with the spray can. This is an advantage in particular when spraying larger surfaces (e.g. tabletops, wardrobe fronts).

What is the quality of the paint (acrylic, synthetic resin etc.) in my spray can?

With most products, this information is available on the can label. If this is not the case, you will find the information on our website, which hosts technical data sheets indicating the paint quality for each product.

How can one apply a perfect coating on polystyrene?

  • Paints, i.e. including paint aerosols, contain as a rule solvents that attack the polystyrene and cause it to start detaching. One exception here are the water-based paints (DUPLI-COLOR AQUA). These can be applied unhesitatingly to polystyrene.
  • The DUPLI-COLOR line includes a special colour tone range called "Deco Matt". These paints include a special solvent that does not attack the polystyrene surface.
  • When using the special DUPLI-COLOR Polystyrene Primer, the polystyrene object may subsequently be coated with any solvent-based paint. Important note: the entire surface of the polystyrene must be completely covered by the primer to separate it from the follow-on paint coat.

When coating hard plastics, what needs to be taken into account?
Synthetics are sensitive to solvents and have a strong reaction to temperature fluctuations (flexibility). In addition, they have a very smooth surface to which paint does not adhere well. Pretreatment with plastic primer is therefore required, without exception. This primer forms a coatable bridge between the plastics substrate and the follow-on paint coat.

What is important to note in the drying time information?

Drying time information is available in the technical data sheet for the respective product on this website. The drying times are always dependent on the ambient temperature and humidity and the thickness of the paint coat applied. Our drying data were recorded at an ambient temperature of 20°C and relative humidity of 50 percent.

Dust-dry --> The paint coat has dried to the point that dust particles can no longer encapsulate in the paint.
Touch dry --> The paint has not yet fully hardened and become resilient; it can, however, be touched.
Reworkable --> The paint can be sanded and coated over.
Thoroughly dry/cured --> The paint has achieved its maximum final hardness.

What weather conditions are suitable for spraying?

In dry weather, of course, and/or in dry surroundings sheltered from the wind. The can should be at room temperature. Optimum results are achieved at ambient temperatures between +15° and 25°C. Humidity should not exceed 60 percent; otherwise, the drying period would be delayed considerably.

What is the zinc content for the zinc spray?

The share of zinc-dust in the dry paint film is more than 90 percent.

Can zinc spray be painted over directly or is a primer needed first?
A primer, e.g. a metal primer or universal primer, is to be sprayed on in any case before coating.

How do colour deviations between the vehicle and the automotive car spray result?

Our automotive car spray paints have been simulated and classified according to the specifications of the car manufacturers to the best of our knowledge and belief. Still, deviations from the colour tone of your vehicle may result for the following reasons:

  • During the production of the cars at different production locations of the car manufacturers, there may be colour tolerances.
  • The different construction years may also give rise to colour tolerances.
  • Older vehicles have been exposed to the weather (sun, rain, hail and storms) for some time and the original paintwork has hence often lost some of its lustre and intensity.

What needs to be observed in the allocation of car colour tones to the search numbers (DUPLI-COLOR Auto-Color, MoTip Kompakt)?

It may happen that different article numbers are provided for the same car colour tone in our car catalogues. This is because there can be different variations of apparently the same car colour tone. The reasons for such variations may be as follows:

  • During the production of the cars at different production locations of the car manufacturers, there may be colour tolerances. 
  • The different construction years mey also rise to colour tolerances.

Where does one discover the correct colour code for one's vehicle?

The colour code can sometimes be found in the motor vehicle registration certificate. However, the colour tone may also be "hidden" in different vehicle locations. It is usually made up of figures or a combination of figures and letters - depending on manufacturer brand. Information on this can be found in our colour tone program, which is usually hung on the shelves of your specialist dealer. If you cannot discover anything there, you still have the option of asking for the colour tone at your car dealer.

Are there pain colour tone deviations from the original paintwork in the case of older vehicles?

Yes, this must be taken into account. UV influence has an impact on lustre and intensity of the paint. The older the vehicle is, the larger may be the colour tone deviation.

Why does polyester resin fail to dry?

This is no reason for complaint, for it is intended. The adhesive surface forms a bonding bridge for the subsequent putty structure. If this adhesive surface is not desired, it can be rinsed with nitro dilution.

Are paints/putty/resins food-safe?

No, our paints/putty/resins are not food-safe.

How temperature-resistant is the paint/putty?
As a rule, acrylic, nitro combination and synthetic resin paints are temperature-resistant up to 80°C.
In addition, we have developed products for special application areas that can be subjected to even higher temperatures. For instance, heat-resistant spray paint (300°C - 690°C depending on colour tone), Tuning Supertherm (300°C - 800°C depending on colour tone), aluminium spray (600°C), zinc spray (600°C), zinc-alu spray (300°C), brake caliper paint spray  (140°C), putty products (120°C). These values relate to the fully dried and hardened state of the respective material.

How do I coat objects that are exposed to a lot of heat?
For this, please use the spray paints from our Deko range or, if good levels of fuel-resistance are also desired, the Supertherm products from our Tuning range. Derust the substrate, clean of oil and grease and grind and/or sandblast well; the surface must be metallic bright! The surface must be dry and free of dust and grease. Prior to use, shake the can well for at least 2 - 3 minutes. From a distance of approx. 25 cm, spray on two thin coats. Allow to dry. Important: The thinner the coat of paint, the better the temperature resistance and adhesion. Do not prime! Do not use on chrome-plated parts! Heating to 160 - 200°C for approx. 30 - 60 min. is required for full hardening and thus full resilience of the paint coat.
Some temperature information as pointers: Motorcycle exhaust at the manifold, up to 800°C; cookers/cooker pipes, up to 500°C; barbecue grills, 500 - 800°C.

How can the processing time of putty and/or resin be extended a bit?
The full hardening time of putty and/or resin, as a rule, is four minutes after blending with the hardener, provided that one uses the red or white hardener. When using the blue hardener, this processing time can be extended to six minutes.

How can one identify the shelf life of spray cans and touch-up sticks? How long can I keep and use these products?

There is an imprint in the bottom of our products, which may look as follows:

P 25/10

The P stands for production; 25/10 means calendar week 25 in the year 2010.
EXP stands for the expiry date, in this case calendar week 25 in the year 2020.

Under proper storage (10 - 25°C, relative humidity of a max. of 60 percent) we guarantee a minimum shelf life of:

- ten years   for our solvent-based paint aerosols.
- ten years   for the technical aerosols and underseal protection sprays.
- five years  for the water-based paint aerosols.
- five years  for the touch-up sticks and/or underseal protection sprays.
- two years  for the putty products.

Where can one find Technical Information and Safety Data Sheets?
The Technical Information and Safety Data Sheets for each product are available through this website at the respective product description page.
In addition, the Safety Data Sheets can be searched for through the service area.

Why do many products have an anti-spray ring? What needs to be considered in this?
The red anti-spray ring was developed to prevent unintentional spraying (e.g. by children or through vandalism on the sales shelf).
This small red ring is located under the tamper-proof cap and under the spray head. When the spray head is removed, the ring can be very easily lifted and removed with a pointed object, e.g. a screwdriver. Please do not use force when doing so as this could damage the can and the contents could leak. Important: The anti-spray ring can be re-inserted afterwards.

Is AQUA spray paint weather-resistant?
The new generation of our Aqua spray paints can also be used for spraying outdoors objects. A precondition for weather-resistance is the full hardening of the paint, which is achieved after five days.

How and with which products can one coat chrome parts?
Basically, coating chrome parts is difficult. If you wish to coat chrome parts nevertheless, then – as with any other coating process – you need to clean and grind them first. Afterwards, prime with the universal primer or the protective primer for aluminium. When the primer is dry, you can in principle paint over it with any acrylic, nitro combination or synthetic resin paint. Since vehicle parts are mostly concerned here, the use of acrylic or nitro combination paints is recommended. Adhesion, even to ground chrome parts, is not comparable to that on regular metal substrates.

Chrome Effect/Silver Chrome: What is the difference between these two products?
Chrome effect quality is not resistant to weathering and to abrasion. This product, therefore, ought to be used for decorative purposes only. Chrome effect (also gold and copper effect) cannot be re-coated with clear coat to maintain the lustre! Once the lustre has faded, there is only one thing to do: re-coat with a new layer of effect spray!

With Silver Chrome, European Aerosols has succeeded for the first time in developing a high-gloss paint aerosol that gives a look similar to chrome and which is resistant to weathering and to abrasion! Lustre is almost as good as with Chrome Effect.

What is spray mist and how do I reduce its effects?
At warmer temperatures, but also when the distance to the object to be coated is too great, the paint already dries while in the air and does not even arrive at the object to be coated. This paint deposits on the surface as so-called spray mist. Please therefore observe the spraying distance instructions in the product instruction information.

You should always spray at a location sheltered from the wind, to avoid spray mist particles being deposited on the coated surface while it is still wet. The amount of spray mist that might be generated depends on the amount of paint, the ventilation conditions (wind conditions) and the type of application. Inside a room, spray mist may disperse to a radius of 10 metres. Therefore, we definitely recommend that protective covers be placed carefully and abundantly in the surroundings.

Can spray paints be used inside the flat?
If you don't want to spray large areas, then the answer is basically yes. However, you need to ensure adequate ventilation. Please observe the instructions on the can. Furthermore, you need to generously cover the surrounding area to protect it from spray mist.

Are the spray paints conductive (electrical weldability)?
Zinc spray and aluminium spray are conductive. Our protective primer sprays are also electrically weldable at respective layer thicknesses. The electrical current penetrates the paint coat, thus neutralising the insulation effect.

Are the spray paints gasoline-proof?

  • The acrylic paints are comparatively resistant to gasoline spills. There may be slight swelling, but this will disappear within approx. 24 hours. In this event you must not wipe off the gasoline but should wait 24 hours to allow the gasoline to escape from the paint coat. If this is observed, the 2-coat clear lacquer can be considered to have good gasoline resistance.
  • Synthetic resin-based and waterbased qualities are not gasoline-proof, nor is the Zapon Cristal Spray.
  • The best gasoline resistance is given by the 2K clear coat from the ColorMatic product range.

Which clear coat is the right one to use?

  • All paints (acrylic, nitro combination, synthetic resin) can be re-coated with synthetic resin paints.
  • Synthetic resin paints can only be re-coated with synthetic resin paints. Acrylic paint and/or nitro combination paint cannot be painted over synthetic resin. Because of the different drying times, this would lead to the paint "lifting".
  • Car repair paint (Acrylic, nitro combination) is best re-coated with a 2-coat clear lacquer; this has the greatest gasoline-resistance of the 1-component clear coats.
  • Effect paint such as 3D effect, diamond effect, light-up spray, metallic should be re-coated with clear coat to protect the effect pigments. If it is a matter of painting a fuel-driven vehicle and/or parts thereof, the 2-coat clear lacquer is best suited. For decorative purposes, we rather recommend the Zapon Crystal Spray, which has the greatest gloss properties.
  • Granite effect spray: After drying (approx. 24 hours) the granite structure must without exception be sealed and, for protection, re-coated with DUPLI-COLOR Granit Clear Coat or another DUPLI-COLOR clear coat (especially when painting objects to be used outdoors).
  • Bronze effect, gold/chrome/copper effect: These effect paints cannot be protected by a clear coat. The clear coat would destroy the effect.
  • 2K Clear Coat (e.g. ColorMatic 2K Clear Coat) is primarily used in professional environments. It is especially gasoline and weather-resistant.

Special metallic substrates (stainless steel, zinc, non-ferrous metals) – which spray paints can I use?

  • After sanding with fine abrasive paper and thorough degreasing, stainless steel can be coated. The same applies for zinc-plated surfaces. A protective primer is recommended for better adhesion on stainless steel.
  • On zinc, one should use an aluminium protective primer. On hot-dip galvanised surfaces, it is best to apply the coat without sanding, following degreasing. Fresh, undecayed, hot-dip galvanised surfaces are hard to coat. Following sanding and degreasing, one can apply protective primer for aluminium and a covering lacquer. However, adhesion will always be worse than on a different substrate.
  • Non-ferrous metals can be protected against corrosion by re-coating with Zapon Crystal Spray. Other than that, use the same approach as for stainless steel. No water-based clear coat should be applied directly onto non-ferrous metals, since this could result in discolouration.

Why does the paint fail to stick properly?
Perhaps the substrate was not completely clean, dry and free from grease (silicone-free)? If applicable, use a degreasing agent or silicone removal agent prior to coating.

For problematic substrates, use specialist primers; e.g. for coatable plastics, a plastic primer or, for polystyrene, the polystyrene primer.

My coat has runs. How can I avoid this?
Spray in crosswise layers (horizontally and vertically). Start spraying beyond the edges of the object. Keep the spray head pressed firmly down throughout the motion. Evenly and slowly move the spray can back and forth, and carry out the turning motion beyond the edges of the object. This is how you can best dose the spray jet and avoid too much paint getting onto the surface, resulting in "tears" or "runs".

The spray head must not be too close to the object. Spraying distance instructions can be found on the respective product label; as a rule, the distance should be between 15 - 25 cm.

Optimum processing temperature is between 15° and 25°C (room temperature). The spray can, the object to be sprayed and the ambient environment should all be at this temperature.

Do not try to achieve an even, smooth surface with the first spraying procedure. It is better to spray on several thin layers than attempt to apply the paint in one thick coat.

My paintwork looks like the surface of an orange.
How can I avoid this?When the spraying distance is too great, the paint dries in the air on its way to the object. This spray mist can settle on your coated object initially as a mat surface. If you now apply another coat, little elevations form – the so-called "orange peel".

Why does the paint peel?

There should always be more pigments in the substrate than in the subsequent coating. Primers are highly pigmented; clear coats have no colour pigments. The optimum structure, therefore, is as follows: Primer, colour coat, clear coat. Incompatibility may also result when using paints from different manufacturers. Hence, always use products from the same manufacturer for the same object.

The paint cannot bond to smooth plastic surfaces. To prevent peeling, the object must always be pre-treated with a plastic primer. For best results, use a plastic cleaning agent beforehand as well.

Why are there wrinkles in my paintwork (paint "lifts")?

Synthetic resin paint may only be re-coated with synthetic resin paint. The solvents contained in synthetic resin paint evaporate slowly, while solvents in the faster-drying acrylic paints evaporate quickly. If you now apply a fast-drying acrylic paint over a slow-drying synthetic resin paint, the solvents in the acrylic paint start dissolving the layer underneath. Since the fast-drying acrylic paint surface dries more quickly than the synthetic resin paint below, which has started to dissolve, the paintwork rises and forms undesired wrinkles.

When re-coating synthetic resin paint  with synthetic resin paint, please consider that this either needs to be done within two hours of applying the initial coat or, otherwise, after a 24-hour waiting period. If this is not observed, the same "lifting" effect will result.

I do not like the paintwork.
Can I remove the paint again?It is best to remove the paint again immediately after coating, either with nitro diluent or acetone.

AQUA spray paint can be washed off within 20 minutes with water and a surfactant-based cleaning agent.

What is the difference between 1-coat and 2-coat paintwork?

1-coat (single-layer) paintwork does not require re-coating with clear coat.
2-coat (dual-layer) paintwork, as a rule, is required wherever effect paints with special pigments are used – for instance, for metallic/pearl/mica colour tones in the automotive field. The clear coat protects the pigments from adverse weather and optimises the top coat gloss.

What is the difference between 1K (single-component) and 2K (dual-component) products?
Single-component products require no extra hardener.

2-component products, prior to using a hardener, are blended at the ratio indicated on the label and then must be used within a specified period. Nearly all presto putty products are 2-component products.

In the field of paint technology, we have developed a special production process under the ColorMatic brand name. The hardener is integrated in the can and, owing to a special cutting technology, is activated inside the can during first-time use. Here, too, following activation of the hardener, the content can no longer be used after the expiry period indicated on the label. Dual-component paints are distinguished by particularly high gasoline- and scratch-resistance.

I did not use all the spray in the can. Can I keep it and use it again later?
Spray paints are self-contained painting systems. This prevents the paint from drying out, and we can guarantee a shelf life of ten years. In practice, however, it has been shown that spray paints can also function perfectly after 15-20 years! Of course, proper storage is important.

With most European Aerosols sprays, self-cleaning valves ensure empty spray heads. However, if you want to make sure, just turn the can upside down and press the spray head for 2-3 seconds. That way, only propellant is sprayed out and the valve is cleaned of residues of active ingredients (remainders of paint).

How does one properly dispose of European Aerosols products?
Product packaging (aerosol cans, putty cans etc.), the contents of which have been fully used, can be disposed of in the household waste. Please bring cans with remainders of paint to the special refuse disposal. Please observe the instructions of the DSD (Green Dot) waste disposal contractors.

How should I store European Aerosols products?
Storage should be in the unopened package, in a dry room (max. 60 percent humidity), at temperatures between 10° – 25°C. Aqua spray paints must be protected from frost. The products must be protected from light and direct sunlight. Careful: Aerosols must never be exposed to temperatures in excess of 50°C and must be kept away from ignition sources.

What safety precautions should I take when spraying?The required safety precautions vary from product to product. Please observe the respective information on the product labels.

Generally, aerosols must be protected from light and direct sunlight and must never be exposed to temperatures above 50°C. The sprays must be kept away from ignition sources. Never spray on open flame or glowing objects.

Aerosol cans must never be forcefully opened or burnt, not even when the can is empty.

Always ensure adequate ventilation. When using spray paint, explosive mixtures can form on contact with the air.

Keep the products away from children.



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