Originally Posted by Jhereg10
Thanks, that's very helpful, especially the suggestion for the foam block. What about wet-sanding (which I was doing with the 320+ grit paper) rather than blowing out with compressor? Isn't the point of wet-sanding to keep the paper from loading up?
Yeah, I thought a satin, not being quite as glossy as semigloss, wouldn't be toooo bad. Man it's tough getting a clean finish. But the end result is gonna be sweet. Just taking a lot of time and rework on my part due to my noobness.
I thank you, good sir, and welcome to the site. I see you are thinking about doing a mod log yourself. I hope my trial and error is useful to you as you stumble your way through.
When I wet sand I always add a few drops of dishsoap to my water, keeps the paper from loading up (Plus it's fun to have bubbles while you are sanding). Are you using good sandpaper? My favorite is the 3M contractor series stuff, it's purple at all grits, I think it goes up to 600. After that I go to an 800 grit of black paper from 3M. Then it goes 1000, 1500, 2000, all from 3M automotive series I think and they are grey paper. Final step for me is 3000 Trizact from 3m, it's less of a paper and more of a foam strip, but it gives you a glassy finish.
I'm just now learning on how to polish metal, basically I go to to 1000 grit or so because I'm lazy then move or to the polishing wheels. Bobbing>Tripoli>White Diamond>finish it off with a Red Rouge. By the time it's done I go to the sink to clean off the compound and water won't even bead on the surface it's so smooth^^.
The paint job doesn't look too bad from what I can see. The biggest thing when priming is to not worry about sanding it off. Your first coat of primer you'll probably sand 90% or so of it off, then maybe 80% on second coat and so on depending on the need. It's a pretty time consuming process and depending on how much the panel flexes it might be difficult to get a great finish.
Another issue if you are using cheaper sandpaper is that it may be shedding it's grit more then it's actually scratching and removing metal, so that could be the majority of dust and debris you are getting while sanding. Also if I remember right you are painting with rattle cans? If you know someone that has a sprayer you can borrow that will help a lot as well.
Reading over your process it looks like you're using 100, 200, 320,800 grit papers? I've never used a combo like that, but when I'm series about getting a nice finish my process would be: 60, 80,100, 150, 180, 220, 320, 400, 600, 800, 1000, 1500, 2000, 3000 (Yes I keep my sandpaper in my book bag in a file folder). It's kind of a fluid process on where you need to jump back in after a application of putty or primer. It's kind of tough because it's not just the bare metal, you have the Fiberglas on extension. If it was just the metal I wouldn't start with such a low grit since it's a pretty decent surface to begin with.If I were doing it I'd probably start at 220 after applying putty or filling primer. Don't be afraid to sand through your coats of paint either. If you put down a layer of red and sand it and start to see primer through it it's no big deal.It's a super time consuming process, but it is pretty relaxing.