Thanks guys. You will be happy to know, I have asked not a single question in this latest installment of the saga!!
I am sorry to hear about the trouble with that paint job, that is very disconcerting, and it makes such a mess when that happens. I have had many cars where the clear came off. Often I just polished up the basecoat and kept driving until the car died. (disposable 1990s american garbage)
I happened to read in my textbook last night about the first days of doing base coat/clear coat paint, and why so many thousands of cars had failures of clearcoat to stay on the cars.
The trouble was, they were using two different types of paint that were not compatible. For the base coat they used a lacquer or enamel based product that was not catalized. it was a "1 pack" paint as they say in England. then for the clear coat they sprayed that on top of the base coat without sanding the basecoat at all. This clear coat was a catalyzed "2 pack" urethane or enamel, which couldn't chemically bond with the base coat. Since the base coat wasn't sanded, there was no mechanical bond either. (sanding base coat before clear coat is a bad situation because the sanding scratches show through unless you use 600, and then they aren't deep enough to provide much mechanical bond, but it probably would be enough to keep paint on the car in the easiest of conditions, and they didn't even do that at these new car factories).
Now these days, in the aftermarket (not at new car factories anymore), some folks still use a single component base coat with a catalyzed clear coat. I am not going to do this! I don't even like the idea of clear coat and don't understand why we used to have metallic single stage paints but now you have to have a clear coat on top of it. I am going to use a catalyzed 2 pack base coat, and a 2 pack clear coat, both from the same company (the best car paint company there is), and those two layers will bond chemically with each other like glue. He will spray them within the recoat window, so no sanding will be necessary and they won't be able to separate layers once they both cure. These catalyzed paints cure without any air needed, so we don't have to worry about the underneath layer getting suffocated by the top layer. This was the problem with some of the new car factories. The lacquer underneath couldn't ever finish drying completely, and it's solvent eventually came up and sat between the two coats and pushed the clear right off. Mainly I am glad that other folks understand this stuff, otherwise I wouldn't even use this newfangled paint.
I miss the lacquer days too, and if I could have gotten good lacquer I would have painted the whole car myself. the new paints are not really paint so much as they are chemicals. They are an accident waiting to happen if you don't follow every direction for each product, plus examine the matrix sheets which tell you which products can go over which other ones, and which products can go under which other products, and what the time windows are for all of those!
Even with all this, even the guru experts have jobs go bad on them, right in the booth. There are other variables, plus the possibility of manufacturing mistakes or more likely, old product. This new stuff has a 1 year shelf life: after that, it's not guaranteed to cure. the better products have dates on the cans. But you have to trust your supplier. At $500 a gallon, it isn't hard to pour old stuff into new cans. Would you like to throw out $25,000 worth of paint just because it is 13 months old? It's all out of control. The whole world. The laws. Everything. Give me some real Acrylic Lacquer, and let me paint my car so it can survive the next 50 years. But NOOO!!! It has lead!!! you will kill us all!!! My dad had his Packard fenders done in acrylic lacquer in 1968, they still look like the day they were painted.
Use your PMC for mental therapy. I replaced my psychiatrist with a PMC. Thirty minutes of driving per day is more effective than doctors and drugs.