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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Alright guys if you read my other thread "What color is my car?" You'll know the boat I'm in. I found touch up paint that matches my car. Plan on buying a couple of cans and spraying the new fender I have and installing it myself to replace the cracked fender that's there. I do plan on getting a full car paint job sometime in the summer, but I'm just tired of having a eff up in the front end now. Figured this'll look decent and buy me some time till I get it all fixed.
I'm sure I'll get mixed reviews for doing this, and I welcome all your opinions, but what I'm really after is an explanation.
How do I go about prepping the fender? The painting part is easy, follow directions on the can, light coats instead of heavy, make sure they're even, etc. I plan on doing like 3-5 coats of paint, and then 3-4 coats of clear coat. Should I use primer before hand? The fender is brand new (still in box), made of fiberglass, and is a gray color. I was told it's ready to paint. Should I primer it? If so, how many coats, what sand paper grit, etc.
 

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Ok, My expertise in paint is metal, not extremely familiar with fiberglass. But I'll tell you what I'd do if it was metal, it might be the same it might be totally wrong, but it'll give you an idea at least. Alright, Yes use primer, I'd recommend using gray not red - oxide (being your car is a dark color), After that wetsand it down a 400 gritt paper. Then another coat of primer if all is smooth then your ok to go onto paint, if not sand that coat with the same paper. Then your ok to paint after tacking it down and go on to clear, DO NOT try to buff your clear after you are done unless your spraying a clear with a hardener in it with a gun, it will ruin your finish and will have to start over, I don't know if you are planning to but thought I'd give you a FYI. Also Don't try to color sand your touch up paint, it won't work well using a rattle can. Hope this helps you out some! Good Luck!:icon15:
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Ok, My expertise in paint is metal, not extremely familiar with fiberglass. But I'll tell you what I'd do if it was metal, it might be the same it might be totally wrong, but it'll give you an idea at least. Alright, Yes use primer, I'd recommend using gray not red - oxide (being your car is a dark color), After that scuff it down a 400 gritt paper. Then another coat of primer if all is smooth then your ok to go onto paint, if not sand that coat with the same paper. Then your ok to paint and go on to clear, DO NOT try to buff your clear unless your using a clear with a hardener in it, it will ruin your finish and will have to start over, I don't know if you are planning to but thought I'd give you a FYI. Also Don't try to color sand your touch up paint, it won't work well using a rattle can. Hope this helps you out some!
Alright thanks for the info. Gray-oxide primer. I'll have to look for that. What is color sand-ing?
 

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Ask for gray, If using a rattle can go for krylon, I've had the best luck with it painting small parts. Color sanding is when You sand the color coat for recoat,smoothing and apply more color.
 

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ive read into paint fiberglass and everything that ive read says that its hard to get the fiberglass/platic part to color match the metal part..i have some scratches in my rear bumper but decided id live with them for now because i didnt want to have a fresh bumper that didnt match lol.. i still havnt found the exact color of my car all the damn stickers r gone so i can match the color code to anything
 

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alot of the fenders and so on ive seen for sale have already been primered which might be y its ready to paint or it could have a gel coat.. im not tryin to say dont follow 82's advice lol to relayin wat ive seen
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Ask for gray, If using a rattle can go for krylon, I've had the best luck with it painting small parts. Color sanding is when You sand the color coat for recoat,smoothing and apply more color.
Got it. So just to make sure I'm understanding (it's late and i'm kinda tired) I'm going to paint the separate coats of paint without sanding in between coats. Should I get a finer grit sand paper? I've read that the finer the better.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
ive read into paint fiberglass and everything that ive read says that its hard to get the fiberglass/platic part to color match the metal part..i have some scratches in my rear bumper but decided id live with them for now because i didnt want to have a fresh bumper that didnt match lol.. i still havnt found the exact color of my car all the damn stickers r gone so i can match the color code to anything
Depending on what material you're painting on will cause a slight difference in how the paint will stick/set. If you look closely to any car, the plastic parts will never look the same as the metal parts. I realize the fender probably wont match the rest of the car exactly, but given that the car is almost 9 years old I figure it might be close. Plus, a close paint match on a new fender sure beats a crack in the fender that's on there now. Good luck on your search for your color. I know how that goes. Try paintscratch.com i think is the site. Look at my other thread on "What color is my car?" for a few good sites to find your paint color.
alot of the fenders and so on ive seen for sale have already been primered which might be y its ready to paint or it could have a gel coat.. im not tryin to say dont follow 82's advice lol to relayin wat ive seen
I think mine may have been primered, but I'm not positive. I'm assuming it is, but does it hurt to "re-prime" it? The surface isn't really really smooth, should I leave it that way or sand it down till it's nice and smooth?
 

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No you don't have to sand in between coats of final paint, Yes scuff your fender down with 400 or milder then spray first coat of primer, then repeat, wipe down, then graduate onto finer paper and a more coats of primer until toatally smooth, then sand and tack down for final paint. And yes finer is better but only after your surface becomes smoother.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Alright, I do appreciate your help 82Firebird. Thanks. I'm probably going to swing by Autozone tomorrow morning and pick up a few sheets of different grit sand paper and some primer. How long should I wait between coats of primer? How long does it usually take to dry before I can move on to the base coat?
Tell me this. I've heard that touch up paint will fade faster/not last as long. Would adding more coats of paint or clear coat, or both help prevent this, or extend the life of the paint a bit?
 

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Alright, I do appreciate your help 82Firebird. Thanks. I'm probably going to swing by Autozone tomorrow morning and pick up a few sheets of different grit sand paper and some primer. How long should I wait between coats of primer? How long does it usually take to dry before I can move on to the base coat?
Tell me this. I've heard that touch up paint will fade faster/not last as long. Would adding more coats of paint or clear coat, or both help prevent this, or extend the life of the paint a bit?
It all depends on the temp and the primer you are using. I'd test spray your primer on a piece of scrap fiberglass and see how long it takes to dry completely. FIX: Use a compatible primer with your paint, ask your parts store which are compatible. Yes spraying more coats will extend the life a LITTLE, not a lot. You should wait till the surface is dry for another coat. Wait longer for your primer to dry completely before your first base coat. PLEASE get a second opinion about painting fiberglass though, I don't want to give you advice that doesn't apply to you and waste your time and hard earned money! Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks alot for the info. Alright, you heard the man, any second opinions? One more thing I thought of. Should I do the backside of the fender? Should I bother painting it? I'll probably come up with alot more questions as it gets closer time to start painting, but I hope I'm getting most of them out of the way now. haha!
 

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Fiberglass is alot trickier to paint. Brand new in the box doesnt mean ready to paint even though they say it is. Just like metal fenders.
Steps Id take.
1 run water over it to give it a shiny appearance so you can see of it has any ripples or flaws. This makes it look like its been cleared.
2 If its good to go and no repairs are needed use a red scotch bright pad to scuff the exsisting surface. Carefully so you dont break into the fiberglass through the resin.
3 Wash off the dust then using a 50/50 mix of rubbing alcohol and water and a lint free towel wipe down the fender.
4 primer
5 wetsand to smooth out primer if youve got runs Id start with 600-800 then finish with 1000 for a good rough surface for your new paint to adhere to. (reason is that you need a mechanical bond for the new paint to stick to)
6 Wash with mild soap and water followed by the 50/50 mix. Dont handle it with bare hands from here on out. This way you dont have any oils off your hands on the panel.
7 Paint using a light coat to start with Then a couple of medium coats.
8 If you have any imperfections wetsand starting with 1000 grit and move up as needed
9 Goto a paint supply store and buy a can of upol spraybomb clear. Clear it following the directions on the can. This stuff gives a pretty good shine out of the can but you can cut and buff if you need to after it dries for 24-48 hours.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Fiberglass is alot trickier to paint. Brand new in the box doesnt mean ready to paint even though they say it is. Just like metal fenders.
Steps Id take.
1 run water over it to give it a shiny appearance so you can see of it has any ripples or flaws. This makes it look like its been cleared.
2 If its good to go and no repairs are needed use a red scotch bright pad to scuff the exsisting surface. Carefully so you dont break into the fiberglass through the resin.
3 Wash off the dust then using a 50/50 mix of rubbing alcohol and water and a lint free towel wipe down the fender.
4 primer
5 wetsand to smooth out primer if youve got runs Id start with 600-800 then finish with 1000 for a good rough surface for your new paint to adhere to. (reason is that you need a mechanical bond for the new paint to stick to)
6 Wash with mild soap and water followed by the 50/50 mix. Dont handle it with bare hands from here on out. This way you dont have any oils off your hands on the panel.
7 Paint using a light coat to start with Then a couple of medium coats.
8 If you have any imperfections wetsand starting with 1000 grit and move up as needed
9 Goto a paint supply store and buy a can of upol spraybomb clear. Clear it following the directions on the can. This stuff gives a pretty good shine out of the can but you can cut and buff if you need to after it dries for 24-48 hours.
Thanks corey! This spraybomb clear is better than the duplicolor clear coat that I got from Autozone? Do i start working on the primed surface when it's dry to the touch or do I have to wait a specific time period?
 

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more info

NOW IT'S TIME FOR PAINT!

PAINT

You'll need:
-primer
-base coat (i used enamel) [unfortunately for this one, chances are your not going to get a close match unless your car is black. Even white, there are many shades of, and you won't be guaranteed a match. You can go to http://www.paintscratch.com and pick up an aerosol can of the factory colors to match your car]
-clear coat(the same type as the base, enamel in my case) [I haven't checked the paintscratch website, but whatever kind of paint that is, get the same kind of clear coat, as the paints won't bond correctly if they are different types. (i.e. lacquer, enamel)]
-Sand paper. [I bought an assortment of auto sand papers. You're going to need 400, 800, 1000, for this part]
-a bucket for water
-painters tape and some old newspapers (not pictured)
-an (clean) old towel or rag


STEP 1:
First, your going to want to tape off everything where you don't want to paint. If your not going to paint the whole body panel, tape a good 3-5 inches from the repaired damage to allow for proper blending. Tape the newspapers around the area to cover more area, and take your time on this one to prevent more work later on. You're going to want to cover up a large area around the paint, because the over spray (from primer especially) can be pretty major.

STEP 2:
Now that everything is taped off, shake up your can of primer real good for about a minute, and test spray somewhere on the paper to make sure it's properly mixed and spraying correctly. If all is well, start spraying the area with the primer. If your not painting the whole panel, don't prime everything up to the tape, as you will be left with a line of paint when your done, so let the outer few inches be over spray, as we can work with that later. Don't cake it on, but with this, a little too much is still workable, but less is more. Let dry. (allow at least 30 minutes to be safe)

STEP 3:
Now your gonna want to go ahead and wet sand this first coat of primer down with the 400 grit and make it as smooth as possible. Towel dry it off.
-If not painting the whole panel: don't worry about the over spray on this one as you don't want to take off the original clear coat around it.
Now put another coat of primer on, and let that dry. (again, leave the outer inches for over spray)

STEP 4:
Once the second coat of primer is dry, wet sand this one down with 400 if necessary, and go on to 800 grit. Make sure when you are sanding, you're not stripping the paint, simply getting it smooth and flat as possible. the primer should be a solid color in the area you are repairing. Now get out the 1000 grit and lightly wet sand the primed area, this time lightly removing the over spray from the primer. Be sure you are only removing the over spray, and not actually sanding the original finish. Towel dry.

STEP 5:
Now it's time for your base coat! Shake this can up really good like you did with the primer and test it on the newspaper. If all looks good, put a very light coat of base on the primed area.
-If not painting the whole panel: Again, and this goes for all of the painting, don't paint up to the tape, allow the outer couple inches for over spray.
After this first coat, you are going to see primer through it. It's that light. Let that dry 5-10 minutes and add a new coat of base. This one can mostly cover up the primer and you can now check to see if your body work looks good. Check it from all angles and make sure it's flat and even. If it's not, sand it off and try again!

Repeat step 5 with light to medium coats for at least 3 or 4 coats total.



Allow your final base coat to dry a good 2-2.5 hours to an before messing with it.

STEP 6:
Now your going to want to wet sand this down with 1000 grit and get it completely smooth. Again, we are not trying to sand the paint off, so don't use too much pressure, just get it smooth. When you think you are done, use the towel to dry off, and make sure there are minimal low spots (shiny spots). Lightly wet sand the low spots (if any) until it's all dull.
Wait another hour at least before clear coating.

STEP 7:
Now let's get that shine back shall we? After the base coat has dried for 3-5 hours, it's time for clear coat. Shake the can up and test it on the newspaper. Now start applying clear with a first coat of medium-light, and about 5-10 minutes apart, more coats with moderate thickness. Make sure your not dripping, but if you do, give it an hour to dry, and carefully wet sand that spot with 1000 grit until it's smooth again. Continue the coats for 4-5 total. (remember to leave the outside inches for over spray).

Let this dry for a while, and peel off the tape and remove the newspaper. If it's nice outside, park it with the painted area facing the sun, this will help the paint cure faster.

Before going at it to make it smooth and shiny and remove the over spray, your going to want to let it cure for a few days. In the very least, allow 3 full days drying time, but I would suggest 4 or 5.

COLOR SANDING

Now that a few days have passed, it's time to make this part smooth and shiny as the rest of the car (or more so). This is called color sanding.

For this your going to need the following:
-1500, 2000 and 2500 grit wet/dry sandpaper
-a sanding block (i used a foam sanding block, and it worked perfectly)
-that bucket for water, or a hose
-a clean towel
-rubbing compound (I used turtle wax)
-polishing compound (also turtle wax)
-swirl remover ( I used Meguiars)
-polish (optional[I used Nu Finish])
-your choice of wax (I used Mothers cleaner wax)
-(optional) a buffer



Note: I've found this step works best outside in the sun, but a well lit area should work too.

STEP 1:
Start by washing your car, or at least the area your going to be color sanding. Make sure it is as clean as possible, and towel dry the area.

STEP 2:
This is where you'll be removing the over spray and orange peel. Use your sanding block to lightly sand down the area with 1500 grit, making sure the area is always wet. I've found it works best when water is constantly running over the area, so i had a hose in one hand and sandpaper in the other. Be very careful and don't push too hard. Let the sand paper do the work, as you don't want to cut through the clear coat.

STEP 3:
When you think everything is level and smooth, towel dry the area, and use the sun to reflect on the area and search for low spots (shiny spots). These represent orange peel or unevenness in the paint. If you see any of these, go at those spots again with the 1500 grit until they are dull like the rest of the area.

STEP 4:
Once there are no low spots left, move up to 2000 grit. Again, keep the area wet all the time and let the sand paper do the work. Go over the whole area with the 2000 grit, and you should notice a difference in the feel of the paper. It should start grabbing less and go over smoother.

STEP 5:
Repeat STEP 4 with 2500 grit.

STEP 6:
Now that your done sanding, towel dry the area and check in the light for any deep scratches that you may need to sand out. If you see any, use the 2000 to remove them and go back up to 2500.

STEP 7:
Once the area is clear from scratches, it's time to go at it with rubbing compound. Rubbing compound is a cutting agent that can burn through your paint if your not careful. I won't recommend you to use a buffer for this step unless you have experience with a buffer and know it's proper uses. If you are going to use a buffer, apply the rubbing compound and begin buffing with medium-light pressure. If your not using a random orbital buffer, be extra careful to not stay in one place too long, as you may actually melt the paint and ruin your finish. Keep the buffer moving, and when you think your done, use a terry cloth to buff off the compound.

It should look dull, but not nearly as dull as it was after sanding.

STEP 8:
Now it's time for polishing compound. This is also a cutting agent, but not as much as the rubbing compound, so it is safer to use with a buffer, but still not necessary. Repeat STEP 7 with the polishing compound. Keep in mind it's not going to be mirror shiny just yet. Here is a picture of how mine looked after this step:



STEP 9:
I did this one by hand, partly because I like the added control of doing it by hand, and partly because I got tired of changing the buffing bonnets. This is swirl remover. I used Meguiars swirl remover on the area, and I found this was by far the most effective step in the process at shining the area. Apply it just like you would wax.

STEP 10:
This one doesn't seem to be completely necessary, but I wanted my paint to really shine, so at this point I applied a polish (Nu Finish) that increased the shine a little bit more.

STEP 11:
Apply your choice of wax. Here is my finished product:


STEP 12:
Stand back and admire your work!

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Nice write up. Thanks Kris! I want to start working on it today (first sunny warm day all week!) But the weather is supposed to get bad after today, and I want at least a few days of sunlight so I can work outside.
 

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Yes the upol is a better aerosol clear. The steps I gave you were for the aerosol touch up spray bombs. I would deffinately use the upol because it has a real high uv rating and is design for prolonged sun exposure. I use it when I am airbrushing helmets and small projects and dont want to break out the guns and mess of it all. The reason I say mechanical bond for the paint to stick is that the paint may not have enough solvent to burn into the primer. I would let the primer dry fully before painting due to solvents gassing out of it and also the same for letting the paint cure before clear. Dont want any solvent pop.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
The thing is I didn't really plan on spending alot of money. Funds are pretty tight right now... correction funds are pretty tight, period, all the time. lol. 5 bucks a can for paint didn't seem bad at all, but if I'm going to go hunt down some other brand, I can pretty much guarantee it'll make it's way over budget. I do really appreciate the help though.
 

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I can understand about money being tight. the upol is generally $13 a can so if your planning on a future perminant job I would just go with the duplicolor.
 
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