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Old 08-23-2014, 07:32 PM   #1
Dan V. OP
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Fixing a crap paint job

So I find this guy on CL who says that he can give me a "perfect" paint job on my scooter body panels. I do 99% of the prep job to keep the cost down.
Have them done in black, which I know can be difficult.

The guy calls to say they are done - I go to get them, and he gets real defensive when I start pointing out all the flaws. Apparently his "perfect" means sags, runs, orangepeel, holidays, and dirt in the paint is acceptable. He says that if I wanted them flawless it would have been $800- more. Not wanting to deal with this jackass any more, I paid him our agreed upon price and left.

Like I said, being black, every little flaw shows. I could have accepted a few, but there are a lot. The good thing - I think most of the crap is in the clear coat.

Thinking I can do some wet sanding and clean a lot of it up. I need advice on what grits to use, and what kind of polish to use after. That should take care of most of it. Thanks for your input!
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Old 08-24-2014, 12:25 AM   #2
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go to a store that specializes in materials for auto body. buy the quality papers & wet sand. as far grit to use... maybe take a panel along for advise. I might use 600 maybe even 400 for something really gross, but stop early and switch to 800/1000, otherwise you can put in scratches that take a lot to remove. 1000 then 1500, then 2000. then compound. I use Presta compounds but others are good too.

try to find out what paint system was used... you may want to redo the clear
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Old 08-24-2014, 05:00 AM   #3
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Fixing a crap paint job

Yep, 600, 1000, 2000, then 3m machine polish , spot finish or similar fine compound
Not the marine compound!
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Old 08-24-2014, 05:41 AM   #4
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There is not an endless supply of material to work with.......so.......

Of course if you sand or polish through the clear........them your pretty much screwed............or worse break through the black. The material ( paint or clear) is going to be much thinner at the edges. Maybe start with 1000 grit with a lot of water and see if you can fix the problems, 400 grit is going to remove a lot of material quickly.
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Old 08-24-2014, 11:33 AM   #5
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BTW,,,, the reason to buy the sand paper from a specialty store is because on the pro grade paper the grit sizes are held to tighter specification. cheapo sandpapers can have larger bits of grit than the nominal rating & can put in bigger scratches than the ones you are trying to remove

and knowing the paint system.... some systems you can cut through the clear & it will polish out fine, but some will look like crap with obvious lines (hence the need to re-do the clear). some base coats do not cure out completely until the clear is on, so you would need the full system of materials if it got that deep. either that or start over with another system.

Beezer screwed with this post 08-24-2014 at 11:40 AM
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Old 08-24-2014, 07:53 PM   #6
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Sand it all off and start over. Take the parts to an auto body shop for best results.


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Old 08-25-2014, 02:26 AM   #7
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Buy some lower cost equipment ..{compressor and gravity feed gun and good face mask}...get a black scrap body panel or door off something at the scrap yard and learn to paint . It sounds like your already aceing the worst part.. the prep.
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Old 08-25-2014, 03:00 AM   #8
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Thanks for the input. Will chase after some fine paper and get at it soon.
Would have painted it myself, but nowdays the material cost is crazy high - cheaper to have someone do it. Unless they Eff it up and it has to be redone.

That's what I get for dealing with Craigslist flakes.
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Old 08-25-2014, 05:52 AM   #9
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Any good paint store will also have a Nib File. It is a little mini file just for paint mistakes. shaves off dirt particles. Can also be used to shave down runs and drips. It is a bulk screw up remover. levels the field so you can attack it with wet sanding and polishing.
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Old 08-31-2014, 05:06 AM   #10
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Pieces actually turned out pretty good after sanding down to 2500#. A couple of bad spots, but I will have to live with a touch up.

Checked out polishing - would be $ investment in stuff that I probably wouldn't use again in my lifetime. Pay someone else?

Then got to thinking - years ago, in my cubic yards of stuff, I stowed away some Micro Mesh sanding sheets. Found them in short order and went to work.

Wet sanded down to the finest they make - 12000#. Looks pretty good and actually showing some hint of a shine . I'm thinking I may be able to hand polish. Any suggestions on a product that is easily found in the auto section at the chain stores?
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Old 08-31-2014, 10:50 AM   #11
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a compound that removes 2000-3000 sand scratches will work fine, even by hand. most projects I sand to 2000 then compound

the Micromesh works good too, but probably requires more effort than you really need. I've taken out scratches in acrylic plastic the same way as above.... sand to 2000 & compound
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Old 09-01-2014, 08:54 PM   #12
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I am wrestling with a poor powder coat job (my own doing) and had a very orange peel finish, so I sanded with 1,000 1,200 1,500 2,000 then 2,500 followed with buff pads from 3M (3,000. 5,000 grit) finish up with 2 grits of Mcguires polishing compound and it is giving me results I'm finally happy with.


Still requires work but this test section proves it can be done

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Old 09-05-2014, 07:41 PM   #13
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Bought some Maguires compound (can't tell you the flavor, but it was about $12-). Spent some time with my 6" DA Ryobi buffer/polisher and the results came out very nice. The clear coat was thicker and tougher than I imagined it would be.

I'm pretty pleased with the way it came out. Did it myself and saved some $$
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