I know we have a lot of painting experience on the board. I've been reading up for a few weeks and thought I would consult our own experts. Fiero specific advice (if there is any?) would be awesome:
A little background. 88 gt. I Just finished a panel off paint job 2 weeks ago. Each panel had something unique wrong with it (from cracks and chips, to failing clearcoat and in some places even rattle can coverup). I spent the last few months removing, patching, sanding, and getting everything ready. This was my first ever paint job and I used several different Habour Freight cheap HVLP guns. Because I knew this would take me a number of weeks, I went with the Duplicolor Paint Shop system. It was nice to know I did not have to mix anything, and that I could easily sand out mistakes. I went with their primer, Molten Red, and clear coat. On the first pass of clear I threw in some holographic flake I bought online (my only mistake was purchasing silver flake, which you can see upclose as specks. Red flake would have been a better choice). I covered the flake with at least 5 coats of clear (the first few were light, followed by 2 heaver wet coats, and a final light pass "just incase")
Overall I am VERY pleased with the results. I few mistakes here and there, and as always a few dings when putting everything back together, but it is 1000X better than before. Already lots of compliments.
Now my questions :
As with all first timers, I ended up with some orange peel. Nothing terrible, but before I polish and wax the car to really make it shine, what do you recommend I do to knock that down as much as possible? I have read suggestions from people to hit the clear with 2000 then 3000 then buff, then polish, then wax? I went to the local auto store and was amazed by the variety of products. I believe I want to stay away from the bottled stuff, and stick with the paste (which I have always done for waxing). They have "Polishing Compound", "Rubbing Compound" and a variety of others. What do you guys recommend? Can I start straight with the pastes, should I hit the sandpaper first? Techniques and tricks also appreciated (Please consider the type of paint I used as well).
Things to consider : I would rather go slow and not risk any mistakes, so I am not looking for the fastest way, rather the SAFEST way so I don't ruin something I am already happy with. If doing everything by hand, or slow rpm is safer, than please let me know. I have at my disposal several tools. Sanding block, standard handheld DA Sander, a 10 inch car polisher, and a smaller 5 inch hand held (with a variety of attachments), would like suggestions on what type of pads to use at each step (or if I should be purchasing a new machine?)
Duplicolor needs to dry for a month or so, hot summer may make that a couple of weeks. I wet sand with #1000 to cut the orangepeel and small flaws. Then go back over it with #1200 (#1500/2000 if black or a dark color). Go to an auto paint store and get a quart of 3M Super Duty Compound. Use it first then you can go to some Perfect It Compound. Rubbing compound and polishing compound are 2 different things. Polishing compound is more of a Cleaner/polish, not for shining up new paint. Finish off with a swirl removing glaze, then use wax or polish to protect it. I personally never use wax, only polish. Clean your pad frequently so it wont pile up and burn the paint. Go lightly on edges and always with the wheel going OFF the part your buffing. It dont hurt to put a strip of masking tape on panels alongside as you buff so you wont burn the edge of that panel. I color sand mostly with a DA, but recommend as a beginner you DONT...do it by hand. DA can kill an edge in a few seconds. DONT oversand it...if you do that on metalflakes, they can be hit by sandpaper or buffer and ruin the job. ONLY sand till the orange peel is gone. Dry off each panel as you go and you can tell by shiny spots what needs more sanding. When dry after sanding panel should be completely dull....and shiny dots are low spots. Use a real buffer preferrably a 9". You can buy a cheaper one for $70 at like HF. DONT even try to buff paint out with a DA with a pad (except small areas) or a drill attachment.
Back when I used to do lacquer jobs (in the '70s & '80s) I used 600 wet & buffed it with 3M super duty rubbing compound, finishing with a good swirl remover polish. But I doubt you have enough clear on it to fully smooth out the 'flake.... Might want to try just buffing to bring out the shine & live with the orange peel. ~ Paul aka "Tha Driver"