Re: Please Read: Body/Paint FAQ
Q:how should i buff after clearing?
A:Whether or not you want to color sand or not is up to you, but all clears will look better at least having a galze buffed on. The glaze helps the shine and protect the new clear like a hand wax would, but it’s not harsh on new clears like waxes are. Most clears say to wait 90 days before wax is applied, but it can be glazed immediately after it’s cured. But the act of buffing is pretty much the same regardless of whether you’ve wet sanded and are buffing compound, or if you are just buffing a glaze. You will need a buffer, I prefer electric, that will deliver RPM’s in the range of 1200-1800. Buff about a 2 square foot area at a time. Always keep the buffer moving at all times vs. leaving it sitting in the same area, because it is very possible to burn threw the paint. Also try to avoid ridges and edges because they are very easily burned threw. Be careful when buffing curved areas as well. Overlap your buffer passes by 50/50 as if you were painting. Buff only until compound or glaze is gone and try to avoid buffing the paint without the compound or glaze on.
Q:how can i get rid of orange peel?
A: The easiest way is to take a cut down paint stick that’s flat, wrap some 1000 grit sandpaper around it, and use that to wet sand the area, use plenty of water to keep the paper clean. Usually I like to let water run on the area that’s being sanded, as well as having a bucket of water that I can further rinse the paper out in. Always be sure to use a 3M wet sanding squeege to squeege off the water so you can see the dulled clear. Only wetsand in the area until it’s flattened out, and then move on. If you use the 1000 grit paper, you may as well invest in a better compound, like 3m’s perfect it 2 or 3. Otherwise you’ll buff quite a while with a cheaper compound.
Q:how can i get rid of fish eye?
A: If you have a fish eye in the basecoat, it’s usually a little easier to correct than a fish eye in the clear. When it’s in the basecoat, it’s a pretty simple concept, just restrict the trigger flow a little bit and turn up the air pressure a little higher than normal, and back your gun up more than normally, maybe even a foot away from the surface, and dust on very light coats of paint one at a time until the fish eyes have leveled out. You don’t want to wet these coats at all, you want them to be dry coats. Fish eyes in the clear aren’t really as common as people getting fish eyes in the basecoat, but they are still possible. Sometimes if you use the wrong hardener in your clear, the fish eye risks increase. Sometimes if they are small on the first coat, the second coat of clear will fill them in, and then you can wet sand and buff the affected area to level it out, usually though, you’ll have to wet sand and re clear if the fish eyes are bad enough.
Q:how should i position my fans in reference to the angle at which i paint?
A: You always want to hold your gun at a 90 degree angle and run spray parallel to the vehicle. Also don’t be fooled in to trying to follow in curves and body lines because by holding the gun parallel and at a 90 degree angle, paint will get in to all those surfaces you are worried about, and instead of having a heavy spot of paint where you’ve sprayed in the body line, you’ll have an all over even coat of paint, without light dark spots or an un evenness in metallic finishes. If you ever try a true House of Kolor Kandy, and don’t follow this spray pattern process to a science, it’s definitely not going to look right. A lot of painters even like to spray any paint job by walking the length of the car, not just kandy jobs. Jon Kosmoski, the House of Kolor guy, paints everything he does this way, and while I have never tried regular paint jobs in this matter, I can see his point.
Q:how do i create ghost flames?
A: The easiest way to do ghost flames is by using a pearl midcoat. There are a lot of different references to pearls in the custom paint world, dry ice pearls, a pearl in the clear, this, that, and the other, but this is a midcoat that would be used in a tri coat pearl finish, like you would see on more expensive vehicles. To make things more simpler, instead of trying to look threw probably hundreds or different mid coats from the factories, DuPont has a fleet color of about a dozen or so midcoat pearls. One that I use a lot especially on red vehicles is the fleet color, Champagne Gold Mid-Coat, it’s in the Chromabase series. The mid coats reduce 1:1 like the other paints, but sometimes when doing the ghost flames, you want the pearls to be a little less stand outish, so lots of times reducing it 1 part paint 2 parts reducer will kill the pearl a little more and do a lot better. But basically you need to do a let down panel to know how many coats of pearl you will need to do to get your desired ghost look. The let down panel is one of the easiest but most under used concepts in custom painting and can make or break a ghost flame job. To do the panel, take a piece of metal that’s ready to paint, or my personal favorite, an aluminum sign blank that you can buy off the internet, and use that as your panel. If you have a piece of metal you’ll first have to sand it, prime it with some rattle can primer, sand, seal, and then you’re ready for color. Still use the better can primer because a cheaper primer could alter your finished result. If you buy the sign blank, usually they come powder coated white, and you can just scuff it with a gray scotch brite and you are ready for base. You’ll need probably a half pint of paint that’s the same color of your vehicle, and a half pint of the pearl midcoat you want to use. Then once reduced, if using Chromabase, you’ll have a pint of each to play around with. Paint your panel the color of your vehicle first, once you’ve put enough coats on to cover, let it dry, and then mask off half of the panel and cover that half up, so that you will have the color of your truck, next to the coat of pearl on the other half, and have a better ghost reference. Using two inch tape, and starting from the top, mask off two inch section of the half that wasn’t masked, going all the way down the panel, or until you have around 4 or 5 sections. Leaving the bottom section open, spray a coat of the pearl. To further tone down the pearl and let it come on slowly, which is desired, restrict the trigger a little more than normal, cut the air pressure up just a little more than normal, hold the gun back further from the panel, probably a foot away, and also use a fast gun speed. Still maintain your correct 50/50 overlap. As soon as you’ve sprayed your first coat on the unmasked square, immediately take off the taped square above it, and completely spray another coat over all of the exposed area. Then the area that was already sprayed with one coat, will now have two coats, and the above area one. That’s the general idea, continue unmasking and spraying coats in this manner until finished. Then the bottom square will have 5 coats of pearl, then the above squares will have, 4, then 3, then 2, and then finally one coat at the very top. When the pearl is dried you can unmask the other half of the panel, and then clear. I always like to clear my test panels because then you can really see what it’s going to look like a lot better. Once the clear has dried you can look at the panel and see which coat of pearl is going to give you the effect you want the most. You can even put the panel down and walk away from it and see which number of coats is going to be visible at different lengths away and basically that’s how your overall flame job would appear. Once you have decided which coat you like the best, you will know how many coats to put on your flames. After that you need to decide where the flames are going to go and what areas will need to be re-cleared. Some of the most popular ghost flames are usually found on the hood, then running in to the fenders, in the doors and stopping at the end of the doors before getting in to the cab corners or bed. The reason for this is, because it’s not quite so much to have to re clear. If you were wanting to do it that way, you could wet sand the hood, two fenders, and two doors with 1000 grit sandpaper, or you could gray scotch brite the hood, two fenders, and two doors. Which way you want to do it, is up to you. Then you can proceed with the flame outlines, and flame masking, as they are described in the overall flames process question. Then when you are ready to spray your pearl. Remember to have the gun set up to same way you did for your test panel, and hold it the same distance away, and same fast gun speed. Also, when doing the ghost flames with a midcoat pearl, remember to walk to length of the vehicle, or flames, in the case. The reason being is the more coats of pearl the darker, so you want them all to be one nice even coat. Once you’re finished with the pearl, after it’s dry, you can unmask and then clear.
Q:how to paint flexible plastic?
A: Most paint companies have a flexible primer for plastics, and you can use those if you are going to be priming the entire bumper cover or something like that. Or you can add a flex additive in your clear for just sanding down plastic and repainting and re clearing. Sometimes even if you have used the flexible plastic primer, sometimes I like to use the flex additive in the clear as well, depending on the types of job. If you have a car that you want to repaint and it has plastic bumper covers on it, and you can look on the bottom of the cover and see a lot of drag marks where the person has been scraping the road, usually that’s a good indication you will want to use some extra precautions such as the flexible primer and the flex additive. When the bumper covers, or side ground effects, come in contact with the road, they will flex and twist, and could cause the paint to crack if it goes past the flexibility of the paint and clear on the covers. If you are sanding down and painting interior pieces of a car, usually there is no need to do things like this, and your regular urethane primers will work in these situations. If you are doing the work yourself, sometimes it isn’t even necessary to do all the extra steps because there may never be a problem with the paint cracking from flex on the plastic parts. Just like I usually spray on adhesion promoter before painting plastic pieces, there may never be a problem with the paint adhesion with out using the promoter, but for a shop, or a person doing work for someone else, sometimes it’s better to spend a little extra money to take a few extra steps, than risk having to paint those items again later on for free.