Hey! What’s goin’ on!
This is Part 3 of the How To Paint Cars Q&A video series that we’ve been doing for the past weeks. We got a bunch of questions from our subscribers. So I’ll go ahead and go through some more of them today.
Let’s get started! Here’s a question from Malcolm Campbell…
“Okay, so there are lots of questions but the one that has me stumped is, do I color sand before clear coat or wait till after? And what is the ideal temperature to paint?”
When you hear people say color-sanding and buffing, that’s done on your clear coat. So you do not color sand and buff your base coat. The base coat lays on your panel, then your clear coat goes on and you would color sand and buff that to get a gloss finish.
In my experience, the ideal temperature to paint is 70 to 85 °F. If you could paint in that area, that would be great because first, you’re not going to be in a spray booth or in your garage sweating your kahunas off if it’s 90 or 100 °F outside. Secondly, it’s not too cold – if you’re spraying at around 55 to 60 °F, it’s not too cold either. But you don’t want to spray below that unless you’re in a heated spray booth because you’re not going to get the proper flow.
If you can get your garage to about 55 to 60 °F. that’s fine…70 °F is best. Again, ideally it should be 70 to 85 °F. Then you can use a medium reducer in that range and your paint should flow out nicely.
If you’re shooting in colder temperatures, you would want to use a faster reducer so you’re paint doesn’t take too long to dry. On the other hand, if you’re in hot weather, you’d want to make sure that you use a slow reducer. This way, it will give your clear coat a chance to lay out and get glossy. You don’t want it to dry too quickly.
“Tony, I am in the process of doing some rust work, what is the best way to work on panels and move on to the next area? What is the best product to cover the repair areas temporarily until it’s all complete? Thanks, Jim”
Jim is working in sections. I’m guessing he’s doing some metal work and he doesn’t want to leave it because if you leave freshly-grinded metal work out over a couple of days, it’s going to start getting surface rust on it and then, you’ll need to sand it again.
So the best way is to basically, try to finish a panel at a time – grind it all down, do your body work, your metal work, your bondo, get it shaped properly…Then mix up some 2K primer and just put it on the panel and move on to your next part.
After that, you can go back to the previous areas – do some block sanding, you may see some metal areas that you need to tap down and refill, etc.
But to move on and to prevent surface rust, to just have it protected from the weather – you’d want to at least, put some primer on it. Then you could drive it around outside. But primer is not a sealer, okay? Primer is just good enough for a couple of weeks or so. You still need to put paint on it to seal that.
So, go ahead…do sections at at a time, do your body work and prime it. Get a rough draft on, that would be the best way to do it.
Yes, you can use lacquer primer. However, why do lacquer primer if you’ll put some nice 2K primer on it anyway? The only hassle with 2K primer is, you have to mix an activator with it and you have to clean out your gun immediately. With lacquer primer, you know, you can leave the primer in the gun for a little while and it’s not going to hurt it. And of course, it’s just a one-part, you mix it lacquer thinner and spray it on – no need to add hardener to it, that’s why it won’t stick hard to your spray gun. You can leave it like that for a couple of days, re-mix it, clean your tip and spray some more primer on.
Another thing, if you’re doing undercarriages of cars, look into U-POL. They have something called the Raptor Liner undercoating which is also tintable. So if you need to spray the undercoating of your classic car, you could mix some of your urethane base coat with it. It’s an undercoating, not a primer. You can use it to spray the undercoat of your car to give it that nice, rugged look or you could just spray it on as an undercoating for covering grinded areas, welded seams (just make sure you brush it with a wire brush), and the like.
Watch the video below to see how to apply U-Pol Raptor Liner…
Another cool thing about it is, it’s also paintable. You could spray it on, let it dry, then shoot base coat/clear coat on it if you want or just the single-stage enamel.
Alright, so let’s get to the final question for this episode…
“Hi Tony, thanks for your email. As much as I find the painting process interesting, I find that more often than not, painters fall short when it comes to properly buffing the clear coat of a freshly-painted car. So my questions are as follows…Is there a faster way to achieve the clarity and gloss in the paint finish besides sanding it down and buffing on the clear coat? Do you have any tips to properly use a rotary buffer? What is the max grit that can be used to safely remove orange peel without sanding too much of the clear coat? Thanks for your time. Kind regards, Wan”
If you want to have a glossy finish, you have to make sure that when you’re laying your clear coat on, you have the right spraying pressure – 28 to 29 PSI, a good high-end clear coat, and you have to make sure you lay your clear coat on glossy. So, as you have your light on, watch carefully that your clear coat lays on properly. You put 2-3 coats of clear, you let it dry properly and I tell you, it’s going to be glossy.
I just did a complete motorcycle that I really didn’t have to buff out but it’s glossy. It looks like it was buffed out. This is one of my professional traits – what people, other painters always tell me, that I never have runs and I always get my paint jobs glossy. Like I don’t even have to color sand and buff. 🙂
But if you want to get that showroom flat finish, you should color sand and buff.
For Wan’s final question, I think what he’s asking is – how coarse of a sandpaper can you use to cut quickly? Because you will need to sand on top of that, at least 2000-grit to buff over, right…so in my experience, you can use a 1000-grit to cut it down. Some people use 800-grit but that’s not very safe because you can cut through on a corner easily, get to your base coat and might have to redo the whole area.
So, you can use a 1000-grit quickly to just take the high spots off – all the craters and the lumps on the clear coat, cut that and then you’d want to move on to 1200 or 1500-grit, then finally 2000-grit.
For me, I always do 1200 or 1500-grit then wash it down with 2000-grit and you’re ready for buffing. That’s the steps that I usually do. Sometimes, if your clear coat laid on really nice, all you have to do is, hit it with 1500 or 2000-grit and you should be ready for buffing.
So don’t forget to check out the VIP Course. We have tons of hours and crazy amount of information on auto body work and painting that you can take and use right now and apply to your own projects. We have thousands of VIP members from all over the world, learning from our VIP Trainings. We have videos on all areas of body work – body kits, color sanding and buffing, painting with candies, base coat/clear coat, waterborne, single-stage enamels, acryllic enamels, doing complete paint jobs on project cars, installing lambo doors on cars – everything you need to know is in the VIP Course! I invite you to see how it can be beneficial for you.
Plus, you also get access to a live and thriving, like-minded VIP Community. People in this forum are paid members so they really help out, they’re really into it. It’s not like one of those free forums out there where a lot of people are just talking a bunch of garbage and steering you the wrong way.
We also have a live and thriving Facebook Community where you can upload pictures of your projects, videos, etc. You get immediate answers and the help that you’ll need.
It’s just amazing! I’m really happy for all the VIP members who are taking advantage of those right now and helping each other out. Thank you very much, guys!
I hope you like this video! Be sure to click the LIKE button on the YouTube video, share this video with your friends, subscribe for more! And of course, leave your comments below…I always love to hear from you!
Check out the rest of the other blog posts, too. You can get a lot of free information from them. You can also get the FREE 85-Page Auto Body And Paint Manual and a FREE 90-Minute Auto Body And Paint DVD. Just help me with shipping and tell me where to send it.
I think you’re really going to like those.
I’ll see you next time.
Other Helpful Links:
Warwick Spray Gun Review (what we use to paint at LABAP)