CRR Blog

Quad Coat: Meet the Challenge of Four-Stage Toyota & Lexus Colors

TOYOTA AND LEXUS VEHICLES HAVE A SOLID REPUTATION HISTORICALLY FOR THE QUALITY OF THEIR PAINT FINISHES AND COLOR OPTIONS. Recently, a new “Quad Coat” paint process has been introduced that uses specialized colored tints in the mid-coat clear. As seen on the Lexus RC in Infrared (Code 3T5), the use of the tint produces a very clean candy apple red effect.

In the factory, Toyota and Lexus use a proprietary four-stage paint process also known as a “Quad Coat.” However, duplicating the finish in a three-stage aftermarket refinishing process is a challenge. The three-stage aftermarket repair process begins with a tinted metallic ground coat layer followed by a tinted translucent mid-coat clear which is then followed by a final clear coat layer. At the time of this publication, Lexus offers Quad Coats on two models and Toyota on one. The NX is available with Ultrasonic Blue Mica 2.0 (Code 8X1) and the RC is available in Infrared (Code 3T5) and Ultrasonic Blue Mica 2.0 (Code 8X1). The 2016 Toyota Prius is available in Hypersonic Red (Code 3T7).

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  1. Prepare the substrate. Use the paint company’s correct undercoating system for aluminum steel and plastics. Specific formulas for the metallic ground coat and the tinted mid-coat are available from the paint manufacturers color matching software programs or you can contact their hotlines listed to the right, below.Screen Shot 2016-05-23 at 12.07.52 PM
  1. Determine the correct shade of primer. To do so, you can sand down through the multiple layers of paint on the OEM damaged panel until they reach the OEM factory primer sealer. If the part is not an originally painted part from the factory, then follow your paint manufacturer’s guidelines. Once you have the correct shade of primer sealer, you must create a “Let-Down Panel” described in step 3.
  1. Create a “Let-Down Panel.” This is a required step due to color variations from manufacturing techniques and locations. The “Let-Down Panel” should be prepared as follows:
  • Determine the correct shade of primer sealer as previously mentioned in #1 or per the paint manufacturer’s TDS. Mix and apply the primer sealer.
  • Mix and apply the tinted metallic ground coat per the paint manufacturer’s TDS until proper cover is achieved.
  • Prepare the special tinted mid-coat. This typically requires a special custom toner that isn’t found on basic mixing systems. Please refer to the specific paint line being used. DID YOU KNOW: You should not interchange the product lines and be sure to follow the TDS for the paint system being used.
  1. Check the “Let-Down Panel” against the vehicle.
  • Once you have determined the number of mid-coat layers needed, this also determines the number of tinted mid-coat layers to be considered “blendable” to match the vehicle.
  • Be sure to monitor the exact equipment, air pressure and techniques. This helps achieve what was used to match the section of the “Let-Down Panel” to the vehicle.
  1. Apply the clear coat. For spot repairs or overall panel painting, it is important to remember that when you are completing the repair to apply a minimum of 2 coats of the final clear over the tinted mid-coat clear. This is required to maintain the UV protection.

To further awareness of this and many other important collision repair topics,Toyota’s Collision Repair & Refinish Team of expert trainers offer Web-Based and Instructor-Led Training to all collision repair professionals. Visit to learn how to sign up.