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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm trying really hard to get a beautiful paint job done with spray cans. Learned today that I need more than 2 coats of base coat and 2 coats of clear. I have done some practice and looked online at a lot of information on wiki how and youtube. I'm using Valspar primer, base and clear.



I roughed up with 600 then used paint thinner and made sure the surface was clean. Then primed several coats and let dry. Then sanded with 600, cleaned, and did a few coats of base coat. Black primer with black paint. Now I wish I had used red primer but ooh well. Anyway, I didn't let the base coat dry, I sprayed clear right over a semi wet case coat. Hoping the clear would "melt" right in to the base coat. I've heard that letting the base coat fully dry the clear coat may eventually peel off. maybe I should have let the base dry, then sand with 1500 to give the clear something to bite to.



Anyway, so when I looked at my clearcoat in the light, it was not smooth. I sanded with 1500 then used maybe a to fine of a polishing compound with a buffer. But I couldnt seem to get rid of all of the orange peel, or unevenness. I'm thinking I might have to sand it all down flat and smooth to get rid of any uneven ness and then paint several coats so that I don't cut through to the primer when sanding the base coat to make it perfectly even before spraying clear. Then many coats of clear, so that can be sanded and buffed, without cutting into the base coat.



Any suggestions from experianced people who just dont go for "good enough" please. I want to do a good job so that I can do the same for others.
 

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To get rid of orange peel the best way would be to prime, sand, paint, sand, clear and you guessed it sand. It's all about making every coat perfect.
 

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I've had good luck heating the spray cans in hottest tapwater. It makes them spray faster and smoother, and you can get better film build for the gloss. I get a light coat on, wait a few minutes, and then start film build. Get the part in reflected light so you can see the "fog line" just ahead of the gloss build. Keep moving and chase the fog line across the part...do NOT try to add more time/gloss as you are moving. Come back a few minutes later to "chase the fog line" again, all the way across. That seems to be the trick. I let dry a few days before sanding with 600-800 between coats. I do not dry with a cloth...I clean up after sanding by using CLEAN bare hands and water to be sure I get all the dust off. A small electric heater will allow you to skin-wipe all the water off. You use your skin like a chamois (which is a skin).



Clear coat is treated the same way, and is key to getting a deep gloss appearance.



Hope this helps!

JimL
 

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hate to say it, but you're going to have mixed results with Valspar. Paints aren't too great. The orange peel is happening because the paint in the deeper coats is still evaporating their solvents. The thinnest, top layer of your fresh paint coat is drying, and the solvents under it are trying to escape. I am guessing you're using a lacquer too? Often, it helps to coat the lowest layers in the most abrasive paint types (ie primers, lacquers, polys) then enamels over that. I would suggest base coating with your valspar, wed sand with some 2k grit paper, wait 24 hours minimum (if temps are hot and dry) then clear coat with enamel (Krylon's will work well)



+1 to the hot water trick too. I've used a lot of rattle cans for the work I do, and have always done this trick. Just don't leave them in the hot water too long, or use VERY hot water, or your paint can will explode
 

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I used to work as a woodworking finisher many years ago, the concept is exactly the same for wood or metal. You need at minumum 2 layers of primer, 2 layers of color, then two layers of clear. more of the base coats is not a bad thing, too much clear is, three of the clear at the absolute max. It is best not to have a gloss color coat, it does not have a good tooth for the clear coat to bite into. BUT that will not matter if you sand in between each coat and I highly suggest it. Also, you must make sure that each layer is fully cured when you make your transitions to each type of coat, : i.e., prime, color, clear. By the time you get to the clear, you are just supposed to give a very light and quick "scuff" to the finish. all your surface problems are worked out by the second coat of color. Prime coats are where you try to get the surface smooth and flawless, the first color is to be a confirmation of that surface and only to work out the smallest of bugs.



Wet Sand your color AFTER it is FULLY cured and then clean it off with a damp cloth, let dry then wipe down with a pine tar rag. The process should take days, not hours if you want to do it right. most of your time is spent waiting for a good cure. Each layer of paint has its own percentage and types of solvents. they are not necessarily compatible when in a green state. many layers of green solvent laden finshes causes different curing rates which caused gas bubbles, crazing, orange peel, ect. Take your time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I believe you are correct. I was getting gas bubbles, causing the orange peel effect. How long should I let an enamel paint cure before sanding?
 

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Typically, 24 hours. Those bubbles are the solvents evaporating out of the paint, its called "gassing off". Read the can though, there may be instructions specific to time before sanding or "full cure" time. Dont go by the "safe to handle" time. But again, I would say at min. 24 hours.



My suggestion at this point, is let what you have come to a full cure. Come back at it with some sand paper and give it a real good once over to bring your surface back to clean and smooth. Dont worry about cutting back down to the primer but try not to go through the primer. If you do, just spot treat the bare steel with a couple more coats of the primer, sand/prep it for a couple more coats of color. Then let it set for at least 24 hours and give it a quick scuff sand with 800 or greater. Then, give it one very thin coat of clear coat, let that come to its recoat time, then give it one more standard coat of clear, do not try and build up a thick clear coat, that is what will cause it to delaminate later. Let that come to a full cure, 24 hours min. If you want it to be thicker or if there is some blemish, give it one very very light scuff with 1200 min. and give it one last coat of clear. Then, you can take a hand polishing compound after 48 hours.



those are my most course paper recomendations, you can go to bigger numbers if you like. Nce you get to your final stages, it takes very little work to get the proper prep sanded surface.



I believe you are correct. I was getting gas bubbles, causing the orange peel effect. How long should I let an enamel paint cure before sanding?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
So this is going to take weeks to get a mirror like beautiful professional looking job is what you are saying. Should my once a day coatings look wet or dry? The can says to do 2 thin coats, I'm guessing that has to do with the gassing effect? So I don't want to go tooo thick for that reason? What is a thin coat? I'm pretty good at not getting drips-- stopping when it looks wet, right before the dripping would start. I just don't know if making it look wet is to much paint and susceptible to "gassing".

I have an electric heater to bring up the temp in a small room. Any danger of drying and cracking the paint by heating? Can I safely cure enamel base paint faster with dry heat?
 

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Bring it up to wet, no more, leave it to cure. The biggest and most often made mistake is trying to build it up too quickly, thin coats are better, they bond to each other better. The successive coats will actually work with each other. You can have some liberties in the early stages, but when it comes to the final color and clear, give it time, let it cure. Enamels especially take a lot of time to cure, they have much higher percentages of what are called "solids", that is the pigment, the body of the paint that is left after the organics evaporate away. They naturally build faster. The auto companies use a product by PPG, and more akin to a Laquer which can cure in a matter of a few hours, but its hard to get and can be expensive in aerosol.



The clear coat is what gives the depth to the finish and it really does not take much of it to get that candy glaze.



I would expect the process to take me at least 4-5 days to get a good professional finish from scratch with aerosol enamel.



As to heating it, I would be careful, yes you can heat it, but you are not using the kind of paint that can be "baked" like the pros have. You also run the risk of contamination with dirt as space heaters have fans. Raising the temp to say 90 to 100 you will be safe.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I would imagine that a thinner coat would cure faster, but if I am sanding between each coat then the next coat of paint will have a hazy surface to adhere to. My mistake was not letting it cure. had read somewhere that leaving the paint to dry for just 30 minutes or so (depending on humidity and temp) between coats, then the next coat will stick to the last coat because the last coat is still tacky. But doing it this way, my orange peel was so bad I sanded back down to the primer before it all went away. Ok, so paint until I get the wet look and or achieve full coverage, dry 24 hours, wet sand, clean and dry, and do it again. Sand the base coat before applying clear? I had read applying clear to a tacky base coat keeps clear from flacking off latter. but again I don't want gassing.



I don't have a fan on the heater I am using.
 

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Yes, scuff the color before the clear, BUT, very light, very fine.

The clear coat again is one light coat, give it time for re-coat, per the cans instructions (30 mins? 2 hrs?), then one more full coat, to wet/full cover. let it cure 100%, then, IF you want one more clear, give it one more very very light scuff sand and the lightest full cover coat you can achieve.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thank you for taking the time to help me understand these details. After buffing I had a fairly good looking job, but in bright sunlight and up close, I could see my reflection fairly well, but I would like to not have the textured look if I can help it.



How fine is fine for the last sanding before clear is applied? 2000 grit enough or should I get the 3000 grit pad for a sander? I know the sander can "cut" the paint or smear it due to heat if I let it sit in one place for to long
 

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Hand sand only, 2k is a good grit.



as I stated earlier, when you are at the final stages, it takes very little sanding for a preped surface, the whole thing does not need to be 100% deep matte, just make sure it has something there to bite into.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
My link



This the method I used. I got impatient though and skipped some of the sanding on the clear coat but it still turned out nice.


At the bottom of your link there is a photo of a blue sidecover. It's ok, but you can see all the gassing or orange peel in it. About as bad as I had to. It's not a terrible paint job, but put it next to a really good paint job and it wouldn't look so good. I realize the poster was not the same person as to who wrote the thread however. If the top coat has orange peel in it, it won't matter How much the clear is buffed, you will see the peel.

The guy that wrote the how to did not share any photos of his work. Not the process, not the finished result. I wish he had.



I'm going to go and do some prep work and get some colour on today with the tips provided. Not looking forward to the fumes again but looking forward to doing a project I can feel proud of. I just needed a lil guidance
 

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At the bottom of your link there is a photo of a blue sidecover. It's ok, but you can see all the gassing or orange peel in it. About as bad as I had to. It's not a terrible paint job, but put it next to a really good paint job and it wouldn't look so good. I realize the poster was not the same person as to who wrote the thread however. If the top coat has orange peel in it, it won't matter How much the clear is buffed, you will see the peel.

The guy that wrote the how to did not share any photos of his work. Not the process, not the finished result. I wish he had.



I'm going to go and do some prep work and get some colour on today with the tips provided. Not looking forward to the fumes again but looking forward to doing a project I can feel proud of. I just needed a lil guidance
Go to page 15 and scroll down to see the pics from JRK5892. Also page 23 pics from Nein_collins. Thats what this method should look like if done properly. I'm gonna say the blue side cover was not sanded properly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Go to page 15 and scroll down to see the pics from JRK5892. Also page 23 pics from Nein_collins. Thats what this method should look like if done properly. I'm gonna say the blue side cover was not sanded properly.


Agreed. After sanding everything down with 400, I changed to a grey primer so that I can see it if I sand through the black base. I misted it so that it was half black half grey. I don't want the gassing effect again really. So tomorrow when I wake up I will sand with 1500 and get another coat of primer on it. Put it back in my 90 degree room and let sit for 12 hours or so, then sand again. Probably do that until I have a decent layer of primer to sand on. Once I have put on the last coat of base colour, I'm debating if I will put the hardware on and put the trunk on my bike for a month to let the base fully cure before I final sand the base and start with the clear.

How long should I let the clear cure before sanding and buffing it?
 
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