Contrary to popular belief, An expensive paint booth, proper surface preparation, and good equipment and spray tequnique do not always guarantee a "perfect" paint job. In fact, it is virtually impossible to produce one even under the most ideal conditions. We, as collectors that like to do alot of the work ourselves, often are disappointed with the results of our Paint attempts. I wrote this page to help answer the questions of an individual that was painting his own pride and joy. I will address the process of painting the car on another page, but for now...we will only be concerned with one that has already been painted.
Creating "THE" Perfect Paint Job
A: 1200-1500 and 2000 grit wetsanding paper
B: a black foam "wetsanding" pad- about 3" x 6"- ask your paint supplier
C: a watersanding "squeegee"- ask your supplier
D: Buffing Pads: I prefer the 3M "Perfect-It" Polishing system
3M #5718 buffer backing pad-provided it fits your buffer- this is a "Velcro-type" pad, and makes switching between pads very convenient.
3M #5723 Foam compounding pad (2 each will do a car)
3M #5725 Polishing Pad (2 each will do a car)
NOTE:-I prefer the foam pads rather than lambswool, as they do not trap pieces of grit and trash in the nap of the pad and thus drag it across the surface of the paint putting DEEP scratches in the surface.
3M #5954 or 5955 Rough Compound- (2 quarts for a car)
3M #5995 Polishing compound (2-quarts for a car)
LOTS of soft terry towels!
1: Cover the parts of the car you don't want to get compound all over with thin plastic film. Using good quality (3M) masking tape, tape all edges and high spots you don't want to buff/sand through.
2: Watersand the orangepeel until "flat" with NO COARSER than 1200 grit sandpaper. Use PLENTY of running water- it will help carry away the trash particles as you sand. If you have pieces of trash- or fisheyes, you can do them in spots with 1000 then 1200 after. If they are near an edge or body line- leave them- you can go back later after you get a little experience with the buffer and the rate at which your compound/polish is cutting, and reduce the chance of buffing through. Use your squeegee to check your sanding progress- you will see what I mean when you do it. Try not to watersand where the buffing pads cannot reach- it is very difficult to hand compound this paint!
3: PUT ON AN OLD CRAPPY APRON- I have a denim one that has a big pocket in it for the compound bottle, it took my wife about 20 minutes on the sewing machine to make it.- then,With the tape still in place, use a VARIABLE speed buffer, the coarse buffing pad, the rough compound, to begin buffing away your 1200 scratches. use liberal amounts of compound until you are close to a good shine- you cannot make it "scratch-free" with the rough compound, so do not worry about swirl marks! Start the speed pretty slow so you don't sling compound everywhere- and speed up as the compound works it's magic- the compound will break down into finer particles as it works till it reaches a point when it's no longer cutting...add more fresh compound.
4: Do ALL your rough compounding first...don't get anxious to see what it will look like when done! (well, maybe a little spot)..................
5: remove the tape and the tape glue residue(enamel reducer or pre-cleano)
6: CAREFULLY compound away the line where the tape was. You are now working near edges and it is very easy to break through! always buff AWAY from an edge and into thin air! Where this is impossible, be very careful!
See Avanti Image Below!!!!!!!
7: Switch the buffing pad to the Polishing Pad.
8: I like to spread the polishing compound on with a small sponge -sort of like really heavy wet waxing!
9: Using the tip and outer 2" of the polishing pad, do your edges and hard to reach spots, you can then use more of the pad to do the wider-flatter areas. Buff to a high gloss.
10: Wash all spare compound etc off and dry car...rework areas you are not happy with...then HAND polish with the fine
compound- using a tight foam pad similar to the polishing pad- to remove any remaining swirl marks.
TAA DAA.. Put on Sunglasses or you'll burn your eyes from the shine!
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