26. BETTER LATE THAN NEVER - JHEREG FIGURES OUT HOW HE SHOULD HAVE DONE IT
I finally figured out what I was doing wrong with my painting...
It seemed like it was taking far too many coats (and far too much paint) to get a decent finish on the parts. I think I was up to coat #8 or something insane like that, and was falling into an infinite GOTO loop.10 Degrease w/ Isopropyl
20 Spray paint
30 Let dry
40 Spot imperfections
50 Sand with 400 grit until smooth, revealing primer on corners and edges
60 GOTO 10
On top of that, I was getting in some spots a rough sandpapery look, and in others an orange peel look.
After some research (both on several threads here and elsewhere) I determined I'd made two significant errors:
1) After using a self-etching primer, it's important to sand smooth and in some cases use a filler/primer on top of the self-etching primer. This would have prevented the sandpaper effect, reduced the need to sand down, and reduced the number of coats of enamel required.
2) I was applying my coats too "dry". I was so afraid of runs (which has historically been my failure along with insufficient prep) that I was avoiding getting the coats wet enough. As a result, the paint didn't have enough of a layer to "level itself" after application.
So I set out to experiment with this on coat #546, and learned how to spray paint (finally)
See that shine? That's a "wet coat" and I had not been getting that effect before. Silly Jhereg, so afraid of making the paint run, that he sabotaged his own paintjob.
Once those coats dried, I got this result:
*rubs nose in it* "See that?! That's what a finish should look like after a proper application of spray paint."
So after applying my hard-learned lesson, here are the rest of the internals of the case, all finally painted with flat black enamel:
^^ Top panel bracket, motherboard tray brace, front panel filler plate
^^ Bottom panel both sides and front panel both sides
^^ 5.25" Drive Cage, 3.5" Drive Cage, and back panel both sides
Not shown is the top panel, because I have it masked off in preparation for the next step for it.
Next step you ask? Well that would be to degrease them, mask off most of the surface, sand the remaining spots VERY VERY LIGHTLY, and apply some accent colors that fit with the overall scheme.
I'm thinking a medium red color in some of the recessed areas and on some of the rolled parts of the drive cages. What do you guys think of that? Seriously, any suggestions on accents?
After that, a satin enamel clearcoat to help protect the entire finish from scratches down the road.
Pray that the painting gods will have mercy on my poor orange-peeled soul.