Originally Posted by the_M_man
So this is what i got done so far
I did it for about 5 minutes. It looks like junk still but I am still working on it. Anyways I should sand that spot until it is completley smooth? Even that will still show up if I spray over it huh? Thanks for the directions and if I continue to fail, which I probably will, I will take it to Earl Shieb. and get an estimate.
At least it looks pretty cool at night
It's your first attempt, so don't be too hard on yourself. You are also trying without the right tools, so that makes it extremely hard. Having a decent job depends on what your are willing to do, and if you are willing to invest in some tools and good paint. The hood from the pic you show doesn't look that bad either. If you decide to do more then I would suggest a few things...
Do you have an air compressor that can run an impact gun? If so, you could get a small (and cheap $30) gun. Get a gravity feed, HVLP (High Volume Low Pressure) gun. Also, get a disposable filter for moisture.
Commercial paints are far superior to rattle can for a few reasons. One, you can use different "reducers" that help thin the paint so it sprays. These are based on outside temperature and help the paint from drying too fast or slow. The primers come in different types as well. From epoxy, that can be used to seal old paint, bond to metal to high build primer that allows sanding for a very smooth finish. Base coats are designed to work with these primers and bond to them as well. So, you want to use an entire system (from one paint supplier, PPG, Sherwin Williams, Valspar, others).
Here are the basic steps to achieve a good finish: (this assumes no body putty is needed, the surface is in good shape)
1). initial sanding - sand the entire area with 180 grit. This is to break the surface and give the new paint something to adhere.
2). Spot prime where needed. If you have bare metal in areas, prime it before you spot fix dents, paint chips.
3). Spot puddy chips and dents on hood - I use "Body Icing" for this. It is a glazing putty that can be applied right over paint. Unlike body filler that needs bare metal. Get each spot, chip with a small amount. Wait for the catalyst to setup and it will be hard enough to sand. Sand down those spots with 220/400 grit sand paper until smooth.
4). Prime the surface - I use a "high build" primer for this. It will lay down with thicker layers so some block sanding can occur.
5). Block sand the surface - I take a rattle can of opposite color paint and spray over the surface of the primer. I let the can "spit" as opposed to spray to create little dots all over the surface. Next, I use a block (I have "Durablocks" in several sizes and lengths) for this and usually use 400 wet/dry paper, Spray bottle w/ Water. Spray the work area with water, use an X pattern of sanding and wet sand the area until the dots disappear. The dots will stay in the low areas and as the disappear, the surfaces are even. I do this process twice at least until I am satisfied the area is smooth with no dips, waves or ridges.
6). wash the entire area with soap and water, let dry.
7.) tape off everything you don't want paint on. (and I mean everything).Paint will get places you can't imagine.
8). Clean the surface with a surface prep solvent (Prepsol), use a tac rag to get any dirt off the surface.
9). spray the base coat, let flash and reapply. Use a 50% stroke, (overlap previous stroke 50%), keep your distance from the paint even across the hood. Also, guns have two positions on the trigger, air and paint. You always have the air flowing while painting, but only paint while you are moving across the hood. If you stop and don't let up from the paint, you will build extra paint where you stop and get a run.
10). Apply the clear coat, 3 coats with a 20 min flash time between them. Commercial clears go down much thicker than a rattle can (about 1mm per coat), you have to take care not to put down too much or it will run, too little with show up as a sandy surface. Practice on something you can throw out first.
11). After it hardens (usually 24 hours), wet sand again. This is called "color sanding" and it takes out the "orange peel" in the surface. The better you are at painting, the less orange peel you will have. But, this step is what really makes the paint stand out. I use 1000 grit wet/dry, a bottle of water with a few drops of soap for lubrication, a soft rubber blade, and a block to keep the sanding even. I use the largest block I can (12" if possible). Work the surface as before with an X pattern, sand the area keeping it wet to allow the sand paper to cut, but not dig into the surface. Use the rubber blade to pull off the water. When you no longer see little darker spots (low spots that are wet), you have it smooth. That is why 3 coats of clear is important. You need enough to sand smooth without going through the clear coat. I do this 3 times, 1000, 1500, and 2000 grit paper.
12). Buff - I use 3M compounds for this, but others work too. I have also used Meguiars and have gotten good results.
A). First buff is with rubbing compound and a buffer. Work a little area at a time and let the compound cut the surface. Be VERY CAREFUL at the edges as it will burn right through the paint. Always when near the edge have the buffer direction going off the surface, never on to the surface. When the buffer direction is running onto the surface it cuts the edge very quickly and burns through. I would recommend only sanding and buffing to 1/4 in of the edge so not to have this problem.
B). Intermediate compound buffing - This will further reduce the scratches in the surface from the buffing compound (buffing compound reduces the scratches from the wet sanding). Do exactly the same process but with a new buffing pad.
C). Swirl mark remover - This is the last step and done as the other two with a new pad.
When you finish these steps, done properly, your paint will look BETTER than factory. The finish will be amazing.
Here are some pics from when I shot my "fun" car...
Paint booth I built (it was almost a disaster, another story)
Primed ready for paint
Painted - Notice the nice paint booth falling down!