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how to apply clear coat?


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12 replies to this topic

#1 grossgary

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Posted 27 September 2010 - 09:15 PM

did some reading about painting/clear coat but curious about some things.

the priming and base coat are all done. so my next step before clear coating is:

1. wet sand with 2000 grit.
2. clean with wax/grease remover stuff.

what's the purpose of the wet sanding? is this to improve the paint finish or for adhesion of the clear coat, or both? i'm not after perfection looks wise, more interested in it lasting (though like welding i realize there's some correlation between the two).

seems odd to sand paint. though i realize it's 2000 grit and wet.

i've heard folks say the paint looks worse after the wet sanding but looks good once the clear is applied?

#2 Fairtax4me

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Posted 27 September 2010 - 10:02 PM

That's the idea. It scuffs the surface to help the clear adhere better to the paint. The paint will be dull but the clear coat should fill in the sanding marks and come out nice and shiny. That's the idea, I've never done it that way, but I've only cleared 1 or 2 things I've ever painted. Usually I just prime, paint and be done with it.

#3 davebugs

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Posted 27 September 2010 - 10:14 PM

I think that's the theory.

Actually I think it's all pretty forgiving until the clear coat goes on.

Gotta be a reason the paint guys wanna use it rather than single stage. I get tired of them wanting to base/clear my antiques that certainly didn't come that way and never see the weather.

#4 bheinen74

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Posted 27 September 2010 - 10:32 PM

usually theres a flash time in the basecolor and the clear has to go on within that time, or it will flake off in due short time. The clear has to blend in with the not yet dried base.
The flash time is usually documented on the back of the can.

Never seen a flash time of longer than 24hours, so that means the clear MUST be put on within 24hours of the last basecoat. Less time of course in less humid enviros.

We need to have a bodywork thread category. And let the experts chime in for us.

Edited by bheinen74, 27 September 2010 - 10:35 PM.


#5 OB99W

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Posted 27 September 2010 - 10:47 PM

Besides allowing the clear coat to adhere better, color sanding the base coat knocks down any orange peel and therefore should result in a topcoat of more-even thickness. It's important to not let the wet-or-dry clog -- keep it well lubricated. If it clogs or dries, it can dig into the finish. You can add a few drops of dishwashing liquid to the water, but more importantly, rinse the paper frequently.

#6 Fairtax4me

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Posted 27 September 2010 - 11:44 PM

The last time I wet sanded a large section on a car (had to sand and buff out a 2 foot long scratch on black paint) I draped a water hose over a large box and let it run constantly across the panel while I sanded. Turned out great, most "even" sanding I've ever done with 2000 grit, but I probably wasted 15 gallons of water, and my fingers were numb when I got done. :lol:

#7 grossgary

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Posted 28 September 2010 - 06:15 AM

it's been 3 days, and will be more by the time i get the clear coat, since i painted the part. so apparently i've waited too long and shouldn't clear coat it? guess i'll just install the panel and plan to sand/paint/clear coat it when it starts to look bad in a year or two.....or two months!

is that my best option, just don't clear coat this now then?

i still have to paint some other areas though so i still need this info now as well.

#8 lmdew

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Posted 28 September 2010 - 06:34 AM

YOu can still clear coat, the sanding levels the paint and preps it for good adhesion of the clear.

#9 davebugs

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Posted 28 September 2010 - 07:47 AM

I'd think abotu a quick sand.
Another coat of color (guessing that color will bond to roughed up color better).

Then clear.

But I'm hardly a bidy guy.

But that would solve the not getting the clear painted in 24 hours.

#10 grossgary

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Posted 28 September 2010 - 08:36 AM

I think I'm going to install the fender as-is without clear coat just to see what happens. I'll sand/paint/clear it later.

I've seen a ton of recommendations - including a couple folks that say don't sand metallic - well mine is metallic, so I should sand but can't?

Still going to paint and clear the hood soon though, I'll do that all the way through.

#11 grossgary

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Posted 15 October 2010 - 10:20 PM

thanks for all the help, i'm really clueless about paint. seems there's 10 zillion ways to do things so i'm glad i got some help.

i ended up doing a light sand and clear coat over the fender and hood, thanks guys. ended up using NAPA auto paint mixed in an aerosol can and then an actual 2 stage clear coat i bought from an online place. you mix it onsite and spray it aerosol style. if i'm lucky the two stage i think should last for awhile and not have to worry about it. it's a daily driver we just beat around in and i don't care much about it. glad i've hit three deer with it and none of the other soobs that i like.

drove it today. doesn't match, is far from perfect but does the trick, WAAAY better than two tone brown and white, i don't care what my cars look like but that's not what i'm after either. :lol:

hit a deer, replaced fender and hood. before and after pic's attached.

Attached Files



#12 Olnick

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Posted 19 October 2010 - 12:44 PM

Looks pretty doggone good, Gary. Nice job!

#13 grossgary

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Posted 19 October 2010 - 01:30 PM

thanks, i appreciated the help from here and subaruxt.com, this is the kind of stuff i dislike and am not good at. and there's tons of varying info on the internet. i figured this might help the next guy like me that wants to try this. it was easier than i thought in some ways, but time consuming too, the prep work. i think i'll do my own rust repair and small stuff but in the future will probably have more paint work done by someone else than me. good learning experience.

one recommendation - don't spray without a shirt on....well at least not if your chest and back have hair, it falls right on the paint. :lol: :lol:




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