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Thread: How to finish a paint job after clear coat has been applied?

          
  1. #1
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    How to finish a paint job after clear coat has been applied?

    Hello. I have never done any automotive painting until this project. Someone hit my car. I just finished repairing the front fender of my 2001 Buick LeSabre, medium blue(417g) I found a cheap bumper at Pick N Pull for $65 with matching paint. However, I had no luck finding a good fender. For this reason, I decided to purchase a new, unpainted fender online. I found one for $50.94. I bought aerosol primer, base coat and clear coat from Automotivetouchup.com. I followed instructions provided on their site. It looks good for my first attempt...but my fender is somewhat darker than the rest of the vehicle. That is background for my 2 questions:

    1) What Meguiar's compounds and/or polishing products do I use on this fender? I have heard about 3 step process using compounds and polishing agents, beginning with rougher course stuff then moving to more gentle or finer cuts in the final 2 steps. Also heard about using the least aggressive products first to see if the desired result can be achieved without overworking the new paint job. I want to know if I need 205, 105, 83, etc. so I can know what exactly to buy to finalize this project. I also need to know about buffers and which pads to buy to use with which product.

    2) Is there a technique or product that can help to make my slightly darker fender a little lighter in appearance to blend with the rest of the car? Side not: this car has only 51k miles and is really nice.
    Thanks and I appreciate any advice I can get.

    Newby1
    Read more at http://www.meguiarsonline.com/forums...2e2bmsdCtTJ.99

  2. #2
    Global Product & Training Spec Michael Stoops's Avatar
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    Re: How to finish a paint job after clear coat has been applied?

    Hi Newby1, and welcome to MOL!!

    The proper response to your question is rather lengthy and involved and unfortunately I have a full day of meetings scheduled today. I want to address this for you in depth but the timing is a bit off right now. If you can sit tight until either later today or tomorrow morning I'll put something together for you. Until then, if some of our forum members experienced in this would like to chime in, feel free to do so. Keep in mind, the OP is not experienced with these advanced processes, so don't just through generalities at him - that's not really very helpful.
    Michael Stoops
    Senior Global Product & Training Specialist | Meguiar's Inc.

    Remember, this hobby is supposed to be your therapy, not the reason you need therapy.

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    Global Product & Training Spec Michael Stoops's Avatar
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    Re: How to finish a paint job after clear coat has been applied?

    OK, the weekend sorta kinda got away from me and I wasn't able to respond as expected - sorry about that!!


    So here's the thing - I actually have some experience with this particular brand of rattle can paint. It's actually pretty good stuff, they generally do a very nice job with color matching, and it tends to lay down quite nice for a rattle can paint. The only real problem I've seen with it is that it's extremely soft and easily prone to rock chipping.

    Let's address the really easy part first: you mention the color is actually a bit off on your car. Well, some colors are more prone to fading due to UV exposure, even under the clear, and the paint you bought is matched to the original color code. There really is nothing you can do to shift the shade of the paint you've already applied, sorry.

    Now for the fun stuff!!!

    You most likely won't have a huge amount of clear laid down on the panel using the rattle can method so you want to go super easy on the sanding. If you've never sanded before, be prepared to sand through someplace - it's bound to happen. But with this paint being as soft as it is, in my personal experience sanding it I've never gone more aggressive than 3000 grit DA sanding. And while machine sanding may sound extremely daunting to a newbie, it's actually less aggressive than hand sanding when done correctly. This is assuming, of course, that you have a DA to sand with. The DA can be less aggressive because we use a foam interface pad between the backing plate and the abrasive media, and the abrasive media itself (in the case of 3000 grit discs) has a thin layer of foam integral to the disc itself. Further, the abrasives are designed to move freely and not just dig into the paint. We normally use this method for spot correction and texture matching, but in the case of a soft rattle can applied paint, you'll still level out the micro texture and massive increase the clarity of the finish. Now, don't expect this to look like a fully professional job - you're new to this and, let's face it, we're talking about a rattle can application. Still, it can come out so good that people will be hard pressed to believe either of those statements, and that's a good thing.

    If you have a DA polisher or sander, get yourself a foam interface pad and some 3000 grit sanding discs. Ours are all but discontinued, but 3M Trizact is the way to go if can't find the Meguiar's Unigrit discs anywhere. Oh, and you'll most likely have to shop online at either detailing.com, autogeek.net, or amazon.com to find this stuff. That foam interface pad is mandatory by the way!!!! This process uses very little water so it can be done even with an electric DA. Just keep in mind that water and electricity tend to mix in a very, very bad way so always be super diligent about what you're doing if you choose to go this route. Minimal water means no more than a couple sprays of water onto your work area, and one or two more onto the face of the abrasive disc. Do this for each area you sand. Use only moderate speed on the tool (like 3500 to maybe 3800 opm) and no more pressure than the weight of the tool. Work areas no larger than about 2' x 2' or stay within the width of your shoulders as a guide. You shouldn't have to sand for very long at all, maybe just back and forth over the area two or three times. Wipe off the residue and check your work. The paint should now have a very uniform matte appearance to it. You'll bring the gloss back when you compound it, so don't worry.

    If you're going to be hand sanding, stick with 3000 grit sanding papers - and don't try to save a couple dollars here by buying the cheap stuff at the hardware store. Stick with quality sandpapers like Meguiar's Unigrit papers - it will make a huge difference. Unlike DA sanding, this is true wet sanding and there's almost no such thing as "too much water". You'll need to soak the sandpapers in water for at least 15 minutes to allow the backer to swell and the papers to curl up. You will also need an appropriate backing pad - using your bare hands with the paper is recipe for disaster. Don't do it!!! Our E7200 pads are perfect for this. They have enough give to contour around panel curves yet provide great uniformity of contact across all surface shapes. They can be easily cut to smaller sizes with basic scissors, and they're cheap. Get a few. You'll want to wet down your work space on the paint very thoroughly before sanding, and keep it very wet. Sand in straight lines only, using just light to moderate pressure. Again, keep the sanding to a minimum as this paint is likely going to be very thin and quite soft.

    I'll stop here and we can get into compounding and polishing later on. Don't want to overwhelm you with info and/or confuse the issue here!!
    Michael Stoops
    Senior Global Product & Training Specialist | Meguiar's Inc.

    Remember, this hobby is supposed to be your therapy, not the reason you need therapy.

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    Re: How to finish a paint job after clear coat has been applied?

    Thank you very much for giving your time in providing a thoughtful, easy to understand reply. I am going to purchase a DA polisher and do this job that way. I plan on fixing some deep scratches on another vehicle as well. I pocketed $1, 800 after all paint and supplies for this job so I can spend some of that on high quality tools and products to finish it out. I am looking forward to your advice regarding what Mequiar's polishers and/or compounds to use and exactly how to apply them to achieve the best result possible. Oh, and if you can direct me to a website to purchase pinstriping that would be extremely helpful. I have not been able to match either color or width of stripe. Also helpful would be any tips or tricks on how to apply pinstripes so they look good and follow the lines. Thanks!

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    Global Product & Training Spec Michael Stoops's Avatar
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    Re: How to finish a paint job after clear coat has been applied?

    Happy to assist, but I'm going to fail you miserably on the pin striping part of this as I have no clue where to source anything specific there!!

    Pick up a Meguiar's MT300 DA polisher, our DBP5 backing plate and some 5" microfiber discs and you'll knock down your sanding marks in that paint pretty quickly. M100 will most likely be the best choice in compounds for the task, followed by M205 with either the microfiber finishing disc or a foam disc. We'll cross that bridge when we get to it though!
    Michael Stoops
    Senior Global Product & Training Specialist | Meguiar's Inc.

    Remember, this hobby is supposed to be your therapy, not the reason you need therapy.

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    Re: How to finish a paint job after clear coat has been applied?

    Thanks for your guidance. I ordered the Meguiar’s M100 and M205 from Amazon. I’ll take a couple before and after pics of the car and fender I made some mistakes on this fender job all relating to drips(sweat, base coat and clear coat). I did my best to sand theses drip spots away but I was not 100% successful.

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