In this paper we discuss the development of a paint applicator system test protocol developed by Ford Motor Company. The test protocol involves spraying commercially available automotive primers, basecoats and clearcoats with known characteristics onto 90 cm long by 30 cm wide phosphated panels (36 in by 12 in) at application conditions necessary to obtain a typical range of film builds. The film builds are then measured at frequent intervals to obtain build averages, standard deviations, and spray pattern sizes. From these, transfer efficiency and pattern uniformity are obtained. In addition, the quality of the applied paint is measured at well defined film builds using several instruments to determine whether the application system being tested is capable of achieving the superb appearance demanded by our customers. Details of the required test matrix, the measurement templates and some comparative results obtained using the Ford protocol will be presented.