Thursday, August 29, 2013

Painting on-car jambs

I had myself another jamb session...several weeks ago now actually, but just now getting around to updating.

The entire car got rolled into the booth, and I painted the door jambs on the car, the inside of the trunk, and the cowl jamb.  When I painted the jambs on the panels I did not mask and just let the overspray go on the rest of the panel.  If you go this route, be sure to sand or scuff the parts of the panel expected to be hit with overspray so there will actually be overspray adhesion.  When the rest of the panel is wet sanded down later, the overspray will be smoothed and leveled but not completely removed, so you will be counting on its adhesion so everything above it does not lift off as well.

On this round, I wanted to see if I liked masking the adjacent panels off better.  The best way to accomplish this is to back mask where the mask is taped down and folded back over itself so as to create a transition and now a hard tape line.  To accomplish this on the cowl for instance, one would lay their mask over the engine bay area and tape it to the cowl.  Now gently fold the mask over the cowl exposing the cowl jamb to spray.  When making the fold take care so as not to make a want a smooth transition.

Anyways, I put down two coats of base and two coats of clear.  I actually got some runs in the base so I had to sand them down wet with 600, and shoot two more coats.  After the base had set up for at least an hour, I measured off the stripes in the cowl jamb, taped them off and sprayed the white.  I'll talk more specifically about spraying stripes later.  After letting the base set up for at least 3 hours, I sprayed the two coats of clear.
The entire car got a final seal coat of lightly reduced epoxy.  This sprayed on as smooth as glass.

All the jambs are based and the cowl stripes are taped off.

Cowl jamb after 2 coats of clear.

Door jambs with base and clear.

Up close on the cowl jamb...very little to no orange peel in the clear.  I am not planning on cutting and buffing the jambs so had to take care in setting up gun adjustments and controlling my distance from the panel and stroke.

Monday, August 12, 2013

First day of clear coat

Referring back to the previous entry, the following day I shot two coats of clear.  Here I am using SPI's Universal Clear, which is beauty in a can and translates very nicely to your body panel.

I will not be cutting and buffing the undersides of the hood and trunk, or the door jambs, so it was important to get the gun adjustments as good as I could so as not to get any orange peel.

Now here's an important tip: don't just set your gun and then immediately start hosing down your panel, only to finish it and be dismayed at all the dry spray or orange peel you have.  Take an obscure section of the panel and just spray a foot swath, then stop and stand back for several minutes.  Watch how it flows out.  A lot of things look real peely at first, and you come back in an hour and it's flowed out and is smooth as glass.  I can swear the clear is going on too dry or peely and I'm not happy, but I come back the next day and it's like a sheet of Saran wrap laying over the entire panel, smooth as glass and  beautiful.

Anyways...if you're happy with it, hose it on.  If not, adjust gun more, and spray another foot section.  If you're getting a lot of peel, start by screwing your fluid tip in to REDUCE the amount of fluid transferred to the panel.  Do a quarter turn at a time.  If you need more, screw it in more, and up the pressure by about 2 psi.  I start at 2 3/4 turns out, with pressure at 28 for the clear, fan set at 80-90%, and I adjust all three accordingly  until I have a consistent pattern.  But enough of this nonsense; I say it like I'm some pro.  I'm not; I've just been through the learning pains.

On to the progress:

The hood under structure after 2 coats of clear.  It came out 90% peel free.

This is a close up of the hood.

Door edges cleared.

Fender jambs done...though this pic just looks like base without the clear.

Trunk under structure cleared.

Even fender and door bolts get base and clear.

Friday, August 2, 2013


Today I sprayed the first of the basecoat.  I sprayed the door edges and underside of the hood, just two coats of base; it covered very well and I didn't want to waste expensive base on these less than essential areas if it wasn't needed.  All parts are given one seal coat of unreduced epoxy before they get base.  This ensures the surface is a consistent color and all filler and bare metal sand through spots are covered.  If the epoxy is sprayed on smooth as glass with no imperfections or dust, then I'll just scuff with red scotchbrite and spray, as I did with these tonight.  However, I can not achieve this level of perfection most of the time (or anywhere it counts) so I just plan on wet sanding the epoxy seal coat with 600, this ensures a perfect surface for base.  More on that later.

As stated, these parts were just scuffed well with red scotchbrite, cleaned with wax and grease remover (SPI), and received two coats of the ProSpray base, with 5-10 min of flash between.  Tomorrow I will clear.

It is so important to not just take your gun and immediately go to town on your panel, especially with a metallic.  In a less visible area, just spray a foot, stand back and watch it for a few minutes and see what it does.  I had some mottling initially, and took me awhile to get my gun dialed in just right, coupled with the right distance from the panel and speed.  Eventually I got it perfect and it was smooth sailing after that.

But tonight I was plagued with technical difficulties; first the ballast went out in one of the angled flourescents in the ceiling, so I did not have that light.  Next, I had an air leak in my filter system from the cheap o-ring in it going bad.  Then, the filters on my exhaust fan got full of overspray because I did not clean them out first, and the exhaust was not doing a good job of clearing the room of fumes and overspray.  Then my mask seal around my face was leaky and I took a big hit, which has left me not feeling well all night.  To make matters worse, the protective cover on my lens made everything blurry so I had to peel it off.  But eventually my facemask started getting covered with overspray so I still had that obstruction.  It was tough and tomorrow will be a new day, starting with repairs.  I'll make an entry on my paintbooth as well.

I have full protection head to toe--also important for keeping your painting clean.  Keep your paint suit clean and all times and store in a plastic bag.  The booties are attached to the suit so I hang them out of the bag.  I fear the full-faced respirator isn't enough, as I'm not confident in its filter effectively capturing all the bad things.
Panels scuffed and ready for base coat.

Base coat on the bottom of the hood completed.  This will sit overnight until it gets cleared tomorrow.

Just two coats, I was happy with the outcome.  No peel, smooth and consistent coat with no mottling or stripes.