How to Cure Paint Using a UV Light

by Karren Doll Tolliver
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Shiny car with silver paint. Water drops on the hood. Car lamp. image by Christopher Meder from <a href=''></a>

Scientists discovered more than 40 years ago that paint can be dried quickly, or cured, with ultraviolet (UV) light. As a result the time saved in the auto industry was drastic, as was the turnaround time for automotive body repairs. In addition, UV curing has found many other uses such as curing scratch-resistant eyeglass lens coating, coating on wood and laminate flooring, coatings for pipe and wire, and even inks on magazine pages and food boxes. Today many paints and coatings are specially formulated to be sensitive to UV light, especially automotive primer.

Step 1

Position the painted item at the recommended distance from the UV lamp. The distance depends on the type of paint and on the lamp strength and rating. Consult the manufacturer's directions for both items to determine the distance you need.

Step 2

Make sure that all painted surfaces of the item will receive even exposure to the lamp. You may have to use more than one lamp or plan to move the item or the lamp during exposure to cover all areas. If the UV light does not reach all areas, the paint on the unexposed areas will not dry.

Step 3

Put on protective goggles rated for the UV lamp system you are using.

Step 4

Connect the UV lamp to an electrical source. Turn on the lamp. Wait the recommended time. This will vary with the paint brand and also the lamp intensity, but it will usually take only a few minutes to cure the paint.

Step 5

Move the lamp, if necessary, to make sure all the painted surfaces receive UV light. Wait the necessary few minutes after repositioning. Turn off the lamp and unplug it when the paint has cured.

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