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Paints & Painting

General notes

The harder the paint, the longer it will last, the more expensive, and the more toxic. Wear a respirator!!

No matter how good you are, the sprayed-on paint will always look better than the brushed-on.

Your paint job will only be as good as your prep work. Prepping is 95% of the paint job.

A primer will reduce the chance of adverse paint interaction. It will also show up any imperfections, so that you can touch up the last pin holes etc before committing to the final paint.

Spending 10 minutes to mask off everything that is not going to be painted will save you 1 hour later of not totally getting rid of the overspray.



The repair is filled, primed, sanded to 120grit, checked for pinholes, touched up with a glazing compound as needed (shown 3M Acrylic), sanded again with 120, then 220, then cleaned.

From this point on, do not touch the site anymore with bare hands, lest you leave oils or moisture or other contaminants behind that would cause fish eyes or similar unpleasantness.

Anything within 3ft of the site is taped off. If you use cheap masking tape, the paint will run under its edges. And it will likely leave a sticky residue when you peel it off later. Pre-taped masking film is a real timesaver!

To match the paint (especially greys!) I use a Pantone guide. No way could I actually apply the percentages listed (how many cc of yellow, if I am mixing 5cc altogether and am supposed to use 1.7%? (the answer is .085 - I have no means of measuring that)). But at least I can find out which basic colors need to go in there. Big help, especially with greys!

All of this for a thimble full of grey paint?? yup

Blend the color, then add converter, thinner etc exactly as per directions on can (and if it recommends 1 drop of rocket fuel for your batch size, DO NOT add 5!), dial in the proper pressure (you did drain the compressor last night, right?)

put on the respirator

and apply paint

A light tack-coat to start, give it 30sec, then a wet coat, wait 2mins, another wet coat, etc etc until full coverage is achieved, which may take 4 or 5 coats, depending on the color and type of paint. If you make each subsequent coat just a bit wider, you will end up with a nice, soft edge.

Should a bug blunder into the wet paint, or a piece of dust, or hair settle in your perfect paint job, pick it out immediately with sharpened tweezers. Most small disturbances will flow out. Some may need a little nudge with a touch-up brush, or a toothpick. Do not give in to temptation and pile on more paint - you may well end up with a run in addition to bugs wings...
Pull tape and masking film after about 1 hour

Let cure overnight, feather out with 400grit wet-and-dry, followed by 600, then 1200 grit. Finish by polishing.

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