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12/14/14 10:14pm - Original Message: 'Wet sanding a clear coat'
rod7515 Lifetime Member
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Red Lion, PA - USA

Vette(s):
1974 White 350 Corvette, TH400 Automatic 1972 Tangerine /Go Mango Convertible 383 Stroker, 2004r Automatic

Joined: 10/27/2006
Posts: 1172
First let me say this is a general question and not one for the vette so if it needs to be moved to the non vette section feel free to do so. I just thought I would get a better quicker answer since it could pertain to any vehicle and many of us do our own paint work when we are restoring our cars. OK with that said here is where I am at. I just paint the engine compartment using a nason full base and clear coat. Was a little nervous since this was my first real attempt at painting but it actually turned out very nice. Now its time to do a wet sanding and buff or as some call it cutting and buff. I have no equipment to do this at all so i'll be buying myself a christmas present! What methods do you use and what equipment should I be looking at. There is very little orange peel but I can see some very small dust or maybe its a slight solvent pop. I will try to post a pic but you cant really see it on pics. I know i'm going to have to do some wet sanding which I hate, but its got to be done. I've wet sanded the thing 3 times so far during the primer process and it is a very time consuming step. As for the wet sanding should I be using a soft block or a hard block for this. I know to cut the first time until any orange peel is gone then go to a finer paper. my steps I was thinking were 1000, 1500, then 2000. This is just the engone compartment but when I do the body I'm sure i'll get the same results. probably use a 3000 to finish for exterior. at what point to I go to a buffer? what buffing compounds and pads do you use and what type of buffer? orbital or rotary? Any suggestions past experiences are greatly welcomed.
Thanks Rodney

Engine compartment pic


(large image modified to link-aapple)


|UPDATED|12/14/2014 8:14:04 PM (AZT)|/UPDATED|


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12/14/14 10:16pm - Reply: 'Re: Wet sanding a clear coat'
Adams' Apple Lifetime Member
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Duncanville, TX - USA

Vette(s):
#1-1974 L-48 4spd Cp Med Red Metallic/Black deluxe int w/AC/tilt/tele./p/w-p/b/ Am-Fm/map light National/Regional/Chapter NCRS "Top Flight" #2-1985 Bright Red/Carmine Cp.L-98/auto Member: NCRS, NCRS Texas, Corvette Legends of Texas

Joined: 11/8/2003
Posts: 19454
Only thing I can suggest is to use a soft sand block...like a foam rubber/sponge. Wet sanding would be best on a clear coat. I'm wondering how the heck you're goin to buff out that whole area after sanding?

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Joel Adams
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12/14/14 11:25pm - Reply: 'Re: Wet sanding a clear coat'
rod7515 Lifetime Member
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Red Lion, PA - USA

Vette(s):
1974 White 350 Corvette, TH400 Automatic 1972 Tangerine /Go Mango Convertible 383 Stroker, 2004r Automatic

Joined: 10/27/2006
Posts: 1172
Im only going to wet sand and buff the top flat area and the front of the shock tower area. They seem to be the only areas that show any flaws. However when I paint the exterior of the car I will need to do that as well. Also I need to do a wet sand and buff to the 72 sometime in the next year or two!
Rodney

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12/16/14 10:15am - Reply: 'Re: Wet sanding a clear coat'
dbarnesid
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Boise, ID - USA

Vette(s):
1972 mille miglia red corvette convertible. This is a car currently under restoration. The pic above is of me and my Ph.D. candidate daughter. She, not my Vette, is my pride and joy. Smile...

Joined: 5/29/2013
Posts: 159
I'm watching this thread carefully. I had mine painted. Base and three coats of clear. Looks good but some slight Orange peel in places. Also you can see what appears to me fiberglass cross hatches in places. My buddies tell me that will buff out after wet sanding. I'm nervous about trying this. One painter said to practice very low on the car where you can't see it. 😧

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12/16/14 5:49pm - Reply: 'Re: Wet sanding a clear coat'
rod7515 Lifetime Member
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Red Lion, PA - USA

Vette(s):
1974 White 350 Corvette, TH400 Automatic 1972 Tangerine /Go Mango Convertible 383 Stroker, 2004r Automatic

Joined: 10/27/2006
Posts: 1172
Dave, Heres a link to an autobody101 forum that I have been looking at for the last week.

http://www.autobody101.com/forums/

Some of the answers we are looking for is in there but I was hoping to get info from someone in this forum because I trust the members here to speak from their experiences and knowledge. Over the years I have found some people just answer questions that they have no expertize in just to ad to a post number! Here that doesnt happen and the info is spot on. I went to my paint supplier last night which is a local auto parts house and they can tell you recommended steps but none of them had actual experience. Tomorrow I am stopping at a body shop that does some restorations and going to see if they can throw any good info my way. I will post if I find anything out.
Rodney

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12/16/14 7:03pm - Reply: 'Re: Wet sanding a clear coat'
johnu
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Eagan, MN - USA

Vette(s):
1981 Corvette Two-Tone Claret color, 4 spd, C7 Vert

Joined: 5/23/2007
Posts: 507
For "rubbing out" If you want to go for what I consider the best, Google up "Flex 3401".  It is a forced rotation random orbital polisher.  I used a Porter Cable polisher for many years but for rubbing out finishes... when you pressed on it, it would stop rotating.
I wet sanded areas on my C7 with 2000 grit on a soft rubber pad. I used the Flex at full power using Meguiers 105 then 205 with an orange pad.  The Flex is tame enough for any finish.  I've used it for 6 years now and would buy it again in a heart beat.
 
 
I'll add that the Pros are using rotary polishers.  They are less forgiving to learn with.  I've had one for many years and use it only to sand wood with.  When you are sitting at a stop light and a new black cars pulls up...when the sun reflects off the side and you see rows of 6 inch "holograms" going back and forth on the finish.....that's a rotary. A pro with a rotary would do better but not that many care to.   A Dual action randon orbital will not leave a "trail".  I cannot hand wax a black finish better then a DA can.  Put them in the sun and you can see my hand movements but only gloss from the machined area.

|UPDATED|12/16/2014 5:03:32 PM (AZT)|/UPDATED|


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12/16/14 10:47pm - Reply: 'Re: Wet sanding a clear coat'
Adams' Apple Lifetime Member
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Duncanville, TX - USA

Vette(s):
#1-1974 L-48 4spd Cp Med Red Metallic/Black deluxe int w/AC/tilt/tele./p/w-p/b/ Am-Fm/map light National/Regional/Chapter NCRS "Top Flight" #2-1985 Bright Red/Carmine Cp.L-98/auto Member: NCRS, NCRS Texas, Corvette Legends of Texas

Joined: 11/8/2003
Posts: 19454
Years ago, back in the time that we had a monthly "Shark Bytes" issue, one of the members did an excellent multi-part article on paint buffing/polishing, as well as after care. I think it was  82dukman, but I'm not sure. Not sure what year/issue of Shark Bytes it was in, either, but I do remember reading it many times. Might be worth looking into the back issues....


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Joel Adams
C3VR Lifetime Member #56    
My Link


(click for Texas-sized view!)
             NCRS

"Money can't buy happiness -- but somehow it's more comforting to cry in a CORVETTE than in a Kia"
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4/4/15 8:09pm - Reply: 'Re: Wet sanding a clear coat'
rod7515 Lifetime Member
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Red Lion, PA - USA

Vette(s):
1974 White 350 Corvette, TH400 Automatic 1972 Tangerine /Go Mango Convertible 383 Stroker, 2004r Automatic

Joined: 10/27/2006
Posts: 1172
Just thought I would update this with how I am making out. I bought myself a small 3" buffing kit for tight areas. It has 2 different sponge type pads that are held on with a velcrow setup. I ended up buffing the entire engine compartment with this. What you really have to watch for or at least from my experience is when wet sanding stay away from edges and any area that has a rise in it. You can sand thru very fast! Dont ask how I know! lol
The buffing is a very simple process and its a matter of using the correct buffing compounds with the correct pads. By the way, the compounds are way too expensive but theres no way around that. I have found out that you can repair some poor paint surfaces with a good wet sand and buff! I bought a sand blocking kit that had 8 different blocks in it and I start with 1500 to 2000 to 3000 grit wet paper. Also Its easier to wet sand with a small amount of dish soap added to the water. Just dont forget to take the bottle back inside so the wife dont know you have it. I painted my dash this week and spent a few hours wet sanding and buffing and it turned out very nice. Heres a few pics if it works of the engine compartment and dash. Nope wont let me add pics. Sorry. Definately the hardest forum to add pics I belong to!
Rodney




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