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Author Topic: Dan Wheeler's 79 Foam Roller / Rustoleum Paint Job  (Read 12145 times)
danwheeler
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« on: November 22, 2011, 01:12:35 PM »

Hi guys, I haven't posted here in a few years.  I bought my 79 many years ago on a whim.  I was in the shower one spring morning and decided it would be fun to have a muscle car for the summer to rip around in and cause some trouble with then sell it in the fall. I ended up really liking the idea of the car even though I rarely drive it. I fixed up the interior but never got around to doing a proper paint job.  It feels naked without the hood bird and I'm hoping that will soon change.

Here's where I'm at so far over the last few years:












After reading that infamous thread on moparts.org that started it all, here is my summary of the foam roller paint job process that I will be following:

prep sand 80
prep sand 100
prep sand 200
prep sand 400
 
body work
 
reduce paint - 20% mineral spirits
 
paint 1st coat
paint 2nd coat
 
wet sand 600
 
paint 3rd coat
paint 4th coat
 
wet sand 800
 
paint 5th coat
paint 6th coat
 
wet sand 1000-1500
polish
wax

Last night I picked up a can of "Safety Red" Rustoleum from Home Depot. The color I really wanted was more of a fiery orange/red but I went with "Safety Red" because it was available and I can get another can in 5 years and be fairly certain it will match. I can also buy "Safety Red" rattle can off the shelf for hard to roll spots. My 69 Bronco is rattle-can "Safety Blue":



Last night I removed the trunk lid and started prepping it for paint.







I know I should be stripping it down to metal. I'm sure I will be able to see the transition between metal, original coat and the coat that was put on before I bought it.  But this trunk lid is an experiment so we'll see how it turns out.  I'm not looking for show quality - just something I'm not embarassed to be seen in.

The Safety Red is coming out better than I expected.  It is exactly the red with a bit of orange I wanted in the first place.



this picture is deceiving - it doesn't actually look that good. There are specks and bubbles and some swirl marks are visible from the 80 grit on the orbital sander.  Not too sure what to do about those or if they will cover up on the 6th coat.



I went out this morning to put a 2nd coat on but it was still tacky.  So thats where I'm at right now.  More to come.

Dan


Soooooooooon:

(yes, I know its the wrong year decal but I like it better than the 79)

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mrbandit
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mike.barefoot
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« Reply #1 on: November 22, 2011, 02:46:03 PM »

What seats are those?
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danwheeler
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« Reply #2 on: November 22, 2011, 02:54:59 PM »

What seats are those?

Scat/Procar Rally:
http://www.procarbyscat.com/Products_Rally.asp

wanted to match the vertical pleats:



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LeighP
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« Reply #3 on: November 23, 2011, 12:44:59 AM »

I've seen a couple of cars painted this way, and they all looked pretty good....secret seems to be letting them cure/harden up before colour sanding htem prior to the next coats.

once apon a time, all cars were hand painted with brushes and enamel.
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Regards,
Leigh

Sydney, Australia
Former Firebirds -
1971 Pontiac Firebird 455
1977 Pontiac Trans Am
1976 Pontiac Trans Am
1967 Pontiac Firebird 400 convertible
1967 Pontiac Firebird 400 coupe

Aldo
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« Reply #4 on: November 23, 2011, 04:56:57 AM »

Nice paint but i read somewhere that Rustoleum mixed with mineral spirits paint is high maintance as it tends to dull out fast and will need polishing often,i would be worried for decals .
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danwheeler
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« Reply #5 on: November 23, 2011, 03:40:49 PM »

Did my wetsanding this morning with 320 grit.  I'm having trouble getting rid of the specks of dust or whatever it is.  It's definitely better now that I've wet sanded and put down my 3rd coat.  Hopefully all that will get worked out by coat #6.

put the 3rd coat on after wet sanding and it's looking really good.

ALDO - you may be right but this car sits in the garage 355 days a year so I'm not too concerned about durability or fading. I guess if the paint comes out looking nice I may drive it more often but it never sits in direct sunlight for more than an hour or so.  When I commute, it goes from one garage to another.







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danwheeler
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« Reply #6 on: November 24, 2011, 01:16:47 AM »

Just put down coat #5.  The dust is killin' me.  I've been painting with a ceiling fan and two electric heaters (w/ fans) running and I think that may be part of the problem.  The ceiling in my garage has no sheetrock so I may have some fallout from that too.  I may have to build a little PVC/clear plastic paint tent suspended from the ceiling.  Shouldn't be too difficult - right now I can't pick it out and re-roll it as fast as new flecks are appearing. Sad

looking good otherwise.
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LeighP
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« Reply #7 on: November 24, 2011, 01:25:50 AM »

Sheet plastic...staple it to the underside of the roof trusses. Common problem when painting a car in the garage.

Set your fans up so they blow air out of the door or window and act as an extractor...try and get something open on the other side of the car so you set up a laminar flow within the garage....hopefully minimise the dust recirculating.

Good luck, its looking great!
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Regards,
Leigh

Sydney, Australia
Former Firebirds -
1971 Pontiac Firebird 455
1977 Pontiac Trans Am
1976 Pontiac Trans Am
1967 Pontiac Firebird 400 convertible
1967 Pontiac Firebird 400 coupe

musclecaralley
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« Reply #8 on: November 24, 2011, 06:25:13 AM »

i have a paint booth, i still get crap flying around....very annoying.
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1999 30th 6 spd
1998 T/A 408 auto
1995 Z/28 6 spd
94smasher
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Jay Slater
« Reply #9 on: November 25, 2011, 06:25:28 PM »

way way back, (pre-wwII I think) Rolls Royces were painted with brushes and heavily sanded and polished. I've never done one, but a buddy of mine actually had to paint one like that because the owner wanted the car restored "exactly" like it was...I painted my '70 Suburban with Trem-clad (rustoleum) but thinned it out and sprayed it because I have a booth and the guns. Got a lot of compliments on it, actually...
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1979 Trans Am (current project)
1970 GTO
1958 Parisienne
1970 Electra 225 convertible
2004 Suburban Z71
2005 Mustang GT
Turbo Steve
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« Reply #10 on: November 26, 2011, 07:47:04 AM »

my buddy paints in his garage.  He wets the garage floor with water and runs an evac fan to suck the dust out.  incoming fresh air is filtered with furnace filters.
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Turbo Steve
Black 1979 4spd W72 WS6 Numbers
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Blue 87 Buick
danwheeler
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« Reply #11 on: November 27, 2011, 05:29:38 PM »

well this paint train has just fallen off the tracks and I can't get it back on.  I had a great looking finish following my last coat.  I got some 1000 grit sandpaper and polishing compound to finish things off.  I wetsanded with 1000 grit, dried, cleaned then polished with my 6" buffer.

Now I have a dull looking finish and nothing I do can bring it back to shiny.  I've tried rubbing compound, polishing compound then a finer scratch/swirl cream then wax and it is still dull.

Did I completely screw this up by wetsanding 1000?  I thought thats what the guy said AFTER the final coat.  Is that bogus?  Should I do another coat then just polish and wax?

thanks,
Dan
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« Reply #12 on: November 27, 2011, 06:23:05 PM »

Based on the timing of your posts my guess would be that the paint was not hardened enough to cut & buff. So sanding created deeper scratches than 1000 normally would. Scratches that deep (just looks dull to the eye) are hard to buff out without using compound with an aggressive grit. Did the 1000 grit paper load right up when sanding?

At this point, I would wash thoroughly, clean with a wax and grease remover, sand with the 320 again to give another coat something to bite, use a tack rag, apply another coat. Let dry several days (if heated), a week, or more. Then block sand wet with 800 lightly, then 1000, then 1200 or 1500 and after that buff. Let the paper cut and change it frequently, don't press hard to get the cut. The colder it is, the longer you should wait to sand.
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John Paige
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« Reply #13 on: November 27, 2011, 06:51:42 PM »

Yep, sounds exactly like the paint is too soft. I agree, another coat!
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Regards,
Leigh

Sydney, Australia
Former Firebirds -
1971 Pontiac Firebird 455
1977 Pontiac Trans Am
1976 Pontiac Trans Am
1967 Pontiac Firebird 400 convertible
1967 Pontiac Firebird 400 coupe

danwheeler
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« Reply #14 on: November 27, 2011, 06:58:15 PM »

Thanks for your help, guys - I appreciate it.  Guess I am learning through mistakes.

I put another coat on. I think the paint is thickening up in the can. This coat went on with lots of bubbles that didn't pop until 10-15 minutes later and now it has left behind some orange peel and bubble marks.  I had been adding mineral spirits to previous coats but forgot to check the thickness for this coat. Guess I might have a few more coats to do.  I also need to find somewhere around here that has finer sandpaper (more than 1000)

I got my paint fort done today.  Looks like its helping a bit with the dust although I'm still getting some.





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Grand73Am
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« Reply #15 on: November 27, 2011, 07:00:19 PM »

This may be an indication that it's not worth the work to do it this way. Even the cheapest automotive acrylic enamel with hardener would have been finished by now, and with far less work and much better results. The hardener is so it will harden quicker and allow buffing. I'd strip that off and start over, and since you want to save money, get some economy automotive paint from a real automotive body and paint supply store. Either some acrylic enamel with the hardener additive, or the economy urethane would be what I'd look at. If you have an air compressor, you can get an inexpensive spray gun to do it.
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Steve F.
danwheeler
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« Reply #16 on: November 28, 2011, 12:25:02 PM »

This may be an indication that it's not worth the work to do it this way. Even the cheapest automotive acrylic enamel with hardener would have been finished by now, and with far less work and much better results. The hardener is so it will harden quicker and allow buffing. I'd strip that off and start over, and since you want to save money, get some economy automotive paint from a real automotive body and paint supply store. Either some acrylic enamel with the hardener additive, or the economy urethane would be what I'd look at. If you have an air compressor, you can get an inexpensive spray gun to do it.

You may be right but I have all winter to do this so I'm going to finish out this trunk lid and see if I can get this process to work.

Money is not a concern - I have no problem spending hundreds of dollars on paint.  The problem for me is technique, mess and equipment.  Now that I have a spray booth, I'll be more inclined to ditch the roller method and just spray it.  My dad is a commercial office space painter and offered to help me spray it with one of his airless guns - not sure if that would even work but he said it would.

I do have an air compressor but it is not high CFM.
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Grand73Am
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« Reply #17 on: November 28, 2011, 05:13:24 PM »

It doesn't have to be high cfm, if you paint a section or panel of the car at a time. That way you don't run out of air as you would trying to spray the whole car at once. With a little practice, you'd figure out the technique. A few quick tips would be to spray the first coat on light, overlap your passes 50%, wait the appropriate flash time before the next coat, usually 15-20 minutes which gives the paint time to dry a bit so it will hold up the next coat without running, the 2nd and 3rd coats can be full coats, again allowing the flash time between the coats.
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Steve F.
danwheeler
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« Reply #18 on: November 29, 2011, 04:37:10 PM »

That last coat I put on not thinned down really made a mess.  I wetsanded 320 this morning but there are still a lot of bubble marks left.

Is there any recommended reading on standard automotive painting procedures?  I didn't really want to come out of this learning a new skill and getting too involved but it looks like this is where its going.

I know there's a lot to it and I dont want to just ask you guys a million questions you've already answered a million times so where can I go to do some reading about the right way to paint a car?

not sure if I'm bailing on the roller method yet but I want to have a backup ready and know what I'd be getting myself into with a more traditional procedure.

thanks,
Dan
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76Silver455
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« Reply #19 on: November 29, 2011, 10:47:02 PM »

You will be amazed at how quick and easy you can pick up on the basic skills of painting with a sprayer. Follow the very basic technique of first coat is see through, the next is the color coat, and the third thin it down and go light to get your shine (enamel-follow what earlier poster said about cheap paint store real automotive paint with hardener). Now, to get good takes many years of experience, but what I'm suggesting is better than a roller hands down. Watch you don't lay it on too thick, a common beginners mistake.
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Grand73Am
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« Reply #20 on: November 29, 2011, 11:14:42 PM »

With the trouble you're having with the simplest part to paint on your car...imagine how it would be doing the curved, vertical parts of the body that way.

For resources about auto painting, you could go to a local bookstore like Borders or Barnes and Noble, and they have automotive sections with books about body work and paint. Look through them and pick one that gives good explanations, easy to read, and has good color photos. You can look on Youtube.com and find videos of peoples giving advice on spraying. There are videos available, like from paintucation.com . Probably lots of written info can be found by googling painting a car.
« Last Edit: November 29, 2011, 11:16:59 PM by Grand73Am » Logged

Steve F.
danwheeler
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« Reply #21 on: December 05, 2011, 05:12:29 PM »

Well I haven't given up on this method yet. I think you guys are right that I sanded with 1000 grit too soon after what was going to be my last coat. Now the scratches are too deep.  To make things worse, I let it sit and harden with those deep scratches.  Today, as a test, before applying another coat after the last one I screwed up, I tried wet sanding a small area with 600, 1000, 1500, buffing and polishing.  You can see below that it came out OK but the pictures dont show all the fine scratches in the polished area.

I'm going to sand this back down to 320 or 600 to get rid of the remaining orange beel and bubble marks from not thinning the paint enough last time then I will let it sit for several days then try again with the 1500, buff and polish. (should I wet sand with 1000 and 1500 on final coat or just 1500?)



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danwheeler
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« Reply #22 on: December 07, 2011, 08:42:15 PM »

OK - I think I'm finally back to par and have things in order now.  After taking it down to 320 and putting down a thin coat, I could still see the scratches from the 320. I wet sanded 1000, put down another coat, wet sanded 1000 and put down the coat in the picture below and things look really good.  I may wet sand 1500 then do one more coat and then let it sit there for a couple days.

the big question is, how will it do when I do my final wet sanding, buffing and polishing.

still lots of dust  Confused

I picked up a wool buffer cap and foam buffer from the local autobody shop.  I got a buffer from Harbor Freight that sounds like the bearings are shot right out of the box  Shocked

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danwheeler
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« Reply #23 on: December 08, 2011, 01:59:05 PM »

Decided to try wetsanding after waiting 24 hours following a final coat.  Buffed, polished and it came out OK.  It looks amazing from 1 foot and beyond.  If you get any closer than that you can see scratches and swirls from wetsanding, buffing and polishing.  I think for what this car is, I'm just going to call it good.  It will look a million times better than it does now.



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LeighP
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« Reply #24 on: December 08, 2011, 04:44:01 PM »

Looks pretty good in the pics...do yourself a favour....step away from the car for a week and let that paint harden up...if you can heat the space where the car is, all that much better. The harder it is, the better the glass will be.
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Regards,
Leigh

Sydney, Australia
Former Firebirds -
1971 Pontiac Firebird 455
1977 Pontiac Trans Am
1976 Pontiac Trans Am
1967 Pontiac Firebird 400 convertible
1967 Pontiac Firebird 400 coupe

norwood
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« Reply #25 on: December 08, 2011, 07:26:38 PM »

Anybody see any reason why you could not do this same type of job using automotive enamal w/hardner?
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danwheeler
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« Reply #26 on: December 08, 2011, 08:17:16 PM »

Looks pretty good in the pics...do yourself a favour....step away from the car for a week and let that paint harden up...if you can heat the space where the car is, all that much better. The harder it is, the better the glass will be.

I know... but I've been off work all week and it's between painting the Trans Am or picking up thousands of leaves  Very Happy

When I do the other parts, they will definitely sit for a week or more before finishing them off.  Mainly I just wanted to prove to myself that this method can work so I can stop worrying about getting spray equipment and learning how to use it.  I think I can improve on the trunk lid but even if I can't, it looks good enough... it looks darn good actually.

I started sanding down the rear center spoiler section.  Did some reading and saw at least one person suggest a stripper safe for use on fiberglass.  I've also read a lot of warnings over the years on this site about using paint strippers... whats a newb to do?  If I wanted to avoid stripper on the fiberglass center section, whats the best way to take it down? I tried a paint stripper wheel and it made a mess and cuts into the fiberglass. Looks like it has primer, original paint, new primer and new paint.  I'm not sure I want to go over the top of all that although I already did on the trunk lid and it turned out good.
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94smasher
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Jay Slater
« Reply #27 on: December 08, 2011, 09:54:41 PM »

honestly, you're painting the car with a roller (looks like a good start, tho) I wouldn't worry about stripping old paint...
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1979 Trans Am (current project)
1970 GTO
1958 Parisienne
1970 Electra 225 convertible
2004 Suburban Z71
2005 Mustang GT
danwheeler
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« Reply #28 on: December 08, 2011, 10:59:30 PM »

Got out the palm sander and went to town.

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« Reply #29 on: December 09, 2011, 10:28:53 AM »

Anybody see any reason why you could not do this same type of job using automotive enamal w/hardner?

It can be done with a solid color lacquer, enamel, or urethane. It's very difficult not to get drips or runs on vertical surfaces if you mix to the recommended spray consistency so you have to play with reducer proportions. You use a lot more paint material because of all the sanding between coats and the losses due to unused paint each coat that hardens because the pot life isn't long enough to use for another coat.  I've never tried to clear coat anything with the method however I did use PPG base coat with a brush/sand procedure for my roll cage, interior stuff doesn't require the clear coat.
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John Paige
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« Reply #30 on: December 09, 2011, 12:31:05 PM »

Could you use a hardener in the paint?  I see it for sale at Tractor Supply for adding to farm equipment paint.
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danwheeler
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« Reply #31 on: December 20, 2011, 02:25:10 PM »

This is, undoubtedly, the LEAST efficient method of painting a car.

but... it is very effective and is coming out really nicely as I get familiar with the process. Because it is such a slow process, each piece gets an incredible amount of attention.

For the last week or so, I've been working on the rear spoiler and that piece between the trunk lid and the rear glass.  I've lost track of how many coast I've put on the spoiler... a lot.  Painting on an inverted surface (the back of the spoiler) seems to be just about as much fun as welding upside down. Lots of runs if you lay it on too thick.

This is right after painting so it hasn't self-leveled yet but its looking incredible (IMO)








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LeighP
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« Reply #32 on: December 20, 2011, 09:53:03 PM »

Very nice.
I kinda think I'd be inclined to spray the car with auto paint, lay on a lot of coats then colour sand the heack out of it to get it smooth, then buff....lol.
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Regards,
Leigh

Sydney, Australia
Former Firebirds -
1971 Pontiac Firebird 455
1977 Pontiac Trans Am
1976 Pontiac Trans Am
1967 Pontiac Firebird 400 convertible
1967 Pontiac Firebird 400 coupe

danwheeler
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« Reply #33 on: December 20, 2011, 11:15:59 PM »

I pulled my trunk lid out to take a look at it.  It didn't look as good as I remembered.  After looking at the recently painted pieces, the trunk lid that I had wet sanded, buffed and polished looked full of scratches.  It looks good from 2 feet away at an angle but if you get up close you can see swirls and scratches.  The freshly painted pieces are perfect glass - they look way better than the trunk lid.

I took the trunk lid down to 320, then up to 600, 1000 and 1500.  I buffed it again then polished and got the same thing even though the paint has been drying/hardening for 2 weeks now.

I took it down again and brought it back up and skipped the buffing and got better results although I could still see the linear scratches from the 1500 wet sanding but not as bad as the swirl pattern from the buffing I did before.

I'm using Turtle Wax brand buffing compound from the local parts store.  Could that be my problem?  Maybe its too gritty or low quality?

any thoughts or ideas appreciated

thanks,
Dan
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MikeS
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« Reply #34 on: December 20, 2011, 11:25:23 PM »

I'm using Turtle Wax brand buffing compound from the local parts store.  Could that be my problem?  Maybe its too gritty or low quality?

Yeah....there are much better compounds out there than Turtle Wax....I use Mequiras Ultimate compound, followed by Mequiras Swirl Remover 2.0, and a final buff using a polish or paste wax...the Mequiars is by far the easiest and best I've used....you can see the results on my '79 here....

http://transamcountry.com/community/index.php?topic=46578.0

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danwheeler
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« Reply #35 on: December 21, 2011, 08:47:16 PM »

thanks, MikeS

well - I've learned a very important lesson about the quality of compounds tonight.  I picked up a bottle of 3M rubbing compound and 3M finishing material and HOLY COW what a difference!

Just using a paper towel and doing it manually without the machine I was able to wet sand with 2000, buff then polish and get a perfect glass finish on paint that has only been drying overnight.

I can still see very minor scratches if I look extremely close but it is now as glossy as the freshly painted pieces.  I could count my own hairs in the reflection.
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danwheeler
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« Reply #36 on: December 21, 2011, 08:48:35 PM »

Dust is still a big problem even with a positive pressure filtered box fan and an exit fan  Confused

the wet sanding helps but it still leaves behind noticeable traces of the dust.
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danwheeler
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« Reply #37 on: December 22, 2011, 12:00:55 AM »

I washed my wool buffer pad and foam polishing pad to get that turtle wax crap off of it and hit the trunk lid with the new compounds and wow it looks great.  I couldn't resist putting the trunk lid on the car to see how it looks. I think my heart skipped a beat when I took it out of the paint booth - the plastic really obsures everything and makes it hard to see just how reflective it is. It is GLOSSY.





Thanks for all your help so far, guys.  This should go much faster now that I'm not experimenting as much.  Now I just need to find a stripper for the bumpers.

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LeighP
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« Reply #38 on: December 22, 2011, 03:31:20 AM »

Really nice....I gave up on Turtle Wax years ago.....most panel shops use 3M stuff, shows how much of a difference it makes.

I think you have to hand sand the bumpers, I'm not sure if you can safely strip the paint over the urethane.
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Regards,
Leigh

Sydney, Australia
Former Firebirds -
1971 Pontiac Firebird 455
1977 Pontiac Trans Am
1976 Pontiac Trans Am
1967 Pontiac Firebird 400 convertible
1967 Pontiac Firebird 400 coupe

Aldo
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« Reply #39 on: December 22, 2011, 05:02:34 AM »

Hand sanding the bumper seems to be the only way ,i tryed stripper it doesnt like the rubber / plastic bumpers.
paint is looken good so far .
« Last Edit: December 22, 2011, 04:36:21 PM by ALDO » Logged


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