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-   -   Newbie questions about going Rotary, wet sanding & buffing. (

IPT 01-17-2014 01:51 AM

Newbie questions about going Rotary, wet sanding & buffing.
Hey Guys

Long list here. First off, Id like to get the factory paint on my 2012 SS looking better. Surely the OP can be leveled some without me risking trashing the paint. Second, I have tried my hand at painting some base and clear coat. All in all I did okay (test panels) but have some OP (some places more than others) that I would like to learn to correct.

So I can practice on the test panels. I figure Ill need to wet sand those with 1500 then maybe 2000, then buff? Or should I start with 2000 then 3000?

So far I have experience with the PC 7424 and have used Menzerna FG 400, SI 1500 and either the 3 or 4000. I used orange pads for the first step, then white for the next and used the power lock to seal it. Is the FG 400 harsh enough to be considered buffing? I'm not familiar enough with the terminology of buffing vs polishing.

I was happy with the result using the Menzerna stuff, but there were still some marks (Black Trailblazer). I think (at least on my painted test panels) I want to push myself and learn new skills. Seems like the direct drive machine is faster, and might help me get a better overall finish. I'm thinking this is true for levelling the OP on my test panels, probably to get a better correction on my Truck and then, maybe my Camaro (its SIM so could probably hide some of the newbie errors I am sure to do!)

In a nut shell- newly painted (4 months) to level OP wet sand optimal grits, then what? Will the FG 400 do the job after wet sanding?

Using a rotary tool is it time to graduate and push the envelope? Any particular machine you recomend? Im thinking for where I want to go, (best finish in shortest amount of time) that is the way to go. Am I correct? Any thoughts, links, suggestion, or sharing of personal experience will be appreciated!

Dust Nibs I need to get rid of:

OP right Panel - not too bad for first time painting, but I got a lot to learn!

IPT 01-25-2014 02:44 AM

Well, no one here chimed in but if anyone down the road does a search here this is what I found. I opted for the Flex 3401VRG. Direct drive so on curved surfaces and vertical panels if my form is a little off it won't bog down. With the power I might be able to shave some time of detailing too. The cost is a slightly higer risk of damaging paint and it will likely be a little more effort to control. The Rupes 21 looked real good too but I just was not digging the large throw and the lack of it being "time tested". Who knows, maybe several years down the road I'll get one of those too!

For the Orange Peel leveling it looks like people are doign soem amazing stuff with Denim pads and a good high cut polish/compound like the Menzerna FG400 or Meg 105. I have the Mens, and just ordered the Megs and Denim pads to see what they do!

ihaveacamaro 01-25-2014 11:15 AM

I wouldn't remove orange peel on a factory car without a paint gauge but that's just me. Even with the paint gauge probably wouldn't remove orange peel. The original paint is too thin.

Good_Times 01-25-2014 01:36 PM

I'm not sure where to start but I'm old and easily confused. You discuss multiple grits for wet or color sanding but mention denim pads for leveling. You bought a 3401 flex but are now talking on moving up to a rotary. Lets start with the dirt or dust nibs you posted. There are many dust nib tools on the market . They start with high dollar pneumatic units to simple hand de-nib block units. As ihaveacamaro mentioned wet sanding OEM is not without risk. Can it be done ? Yep. Chance of screwing up. Yep. A paint gauge will increase the odds of success and is cheaper then a paint repair even if you are the painter. We all know paint and materials aren't cheap. So before doing any of this on your baby or a friends ride please grab a hood or used panel at a local bodyshop till you are comfortable with the process. If I can find it my 2002 Firebird was the subject of a thread on MOL ( Meguiarsonline ) of being wet sanded to remove factory orange peel. Chris Dasher out of Evansville In. He used a Porter Cable 7336 and some test Meguiars mf pads, a paint gauge and D300 before being introduced to the public. The car is a 24,000 mile garage queen and the paint still looks fantastic.

Good_Times 01-25-2014 02:04 PM

Found it. Hope this shows you what can be done .

IPT 01-25-2014 04:33 PM

cool, I'll take a look at the thread. Yeah, after reading more I have no intention of doing my Camaro. At least not anytime in the near furture. Though in Alaska the Sun is not very powerful, the car is garage kept and off the road 6 months of the year. I could probably do it and be fine (would use the Velvet probably) with a paint thickness gauge.

That post I originally did was a while ago in hopes of someone pointing me in the right direction. I've read tons since then. No need or desire to go to Rotary anymore. I think the Flex will be more than enough. Going to see what dust nib tools there are.

Yes, either wetsanding or denim to remove OP. This will be on fresh paint though with at least two coats of clear. Well, what I will be practicing on is 6 months old now so we'll see how hard the clear coat got. It is not from the factory and baked on so we'll see. For the most part I need to learn to level OP for projects like art panels, fuse box covers, furniture...stuff I will be painting, like this:

IPT 01-26-2014 03:50 AM

Well, for my first time ever I'd say it went exceptionally well! I could have done a tad more with the 2000 grit probably to get out a few deeper 1500 scratches. Keep in mind these panels are just thin wood (2x4 sheet cut into smaller panles). I scuffed the paint (it was pre painted) and just painting. No high build primer, no block sanding, little prep at all. It was literally my first time spraying paint and using a Turbine on top of that. Got some orange peel and oddly it was worse in bands (yes the gun was always equally distant to the piece). The OP banding happened on all the panels in the same pattern so it's likely I had a small blockage or clog or something with the gun setup.

Anyway, it was painted with PPG paint black base and 2 coats of clear. It cured for 6 months so I thought it might be tough to sand. Nope, sanded down real quickly. I started (all done wet) with 1200, then 1500, then 2000. Then I buffed with my 7424XP an orange pad and Menzerna FG400. Need to do that 3 times to get out all the sanding marks (probably should have started with wool, but I never did that before. Guess I need to read about the wool pads). Then I did one pass with a white pad and Menzerna 4000.

The paint still has a tad of wave to it. Could be so many things since like I said my prep was quite minimal. My final goal is too be doing airbrush work on these panels. Maybe on some car parts, my Home theaters DIY sub-woofers, and anything else that'll stand still long enought to be painted :). Actually, I'd love to paint my snow bike in a Kandy. That'd be sick.

So, I'll post again once I get the Denim pads and use them.

2000 grit - final

Before and after - most of the bad OP is on the top edge - but also look at the lights far right vs far left.

One more.

Todd@Autopia 01-27-2014 10:01 AM

A couple of things...

Sanding paint (putting scratches in) is easy.. Taking the scratches out is the hard and time consuming part.

Keep in mind that you are considering doing something that is aggressive (sanding) and requires something aggressive (compounding) to remove, all on paper thin (literally thinner than paper) clear coat, with very little experience.

Can it be done? Sure? Can you do it without screwing up? Maybe... But IF you do screw it up you are going to be in for either an expensive repair (which will never look as good/correct as factory) or a repaint (which will neverl ook as good/correct as factory).

A rotary will polish faster, but it is a double edged sword as there is far more risk for damage.

As far as stepping up the aggressiveness of your PC, take a look at this comparison.

IPT 01-28-2014 03:42 PM

Hey Todd - thanks for the link. Yeah, I am just doing this on practice panels that I will be airbrushing (practice too) so no worries if I screw it up. Some day down the road I'll be doing it on a tool box I repaint or maybe some speaker boxes and stuff. All stuff if I screw up I can re-clear. After reading and learning more I decided I can live with the OP on the Camaro :).

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