Following on from my previous posts I figured I’d post a little update on the paint project.

It’s not going well.

After much experimenting, testing, sanding, painting, buffing I keep running into problems.

The priming stage is fine, and went really really well. For instance the dent I filled was not visible and the surface was beautifully flat as one would want.

The paint was much trickier, it’s lack of knowledge and skill. I was initially going to spray all parts white, then mask and paint all parts blue but had constant issues with the white paint. It would either go on too glooby  and go to orange peel or too fine and no shine up – after lots of attempts I gave up and figured I’d do it the other way around – add the white details later and paint the blue. I rang my paint guys who were very helpful but we couldn’t get the the bottom of it. I ended up burning through 1L of white paint before calling it quits.

This is where it gets a bit strange. The blue went on beautifully. A light sand between coats was all it took and it had a lovely metallic shine to it.

I have a feeling it I had issues with the white paint as cellulose based paint but I’m not sure.

Next came a difficult decision. Do I try to paint the white over the blue or go to clear coat… I decided to go to clear coat and thats where the real problems started.

For the life of me I could not stop getting bits in the clear coat. Now many people say thats fine and you can sand then buff them out. Which you can.

However this only works well if you have very even paint and clear coat. I discovered I did not, and on many times went through the clear coat into the paint, and when that happens it’s pretty much back to square one to paint then clear coat over. Sand then buff, but this is incredibly time consuming and not what I’d call a best practice and one wrong move with the buffer and your back to square one.

This project is taking over my life and I can really appreciate the level of skill that goes into something so simple. I’m not really sure what to do with it and am tempted to chuck in the towel.

It’s agonising as my tank looks wonderful, but it needs to be better for my stamp to go on it….

From this there are some lessons learnt which are as follows.

  • There is no need to use a proper air compressor and gun for the primer – rattle can is fine and probably allot easier. There is less clean up and whilst it might be slightly more expensive for the paint it’s probably easier for small projects.
  • Always wet sand between paint layers – 1000p grit is perfect for this. The final layer should not be sanded.
  • Always clean your equipment after use – if you don’t it will semi jam and spray badly – and this will mess up your work.
  • Always wear a mask and make sure you spray in a well ventilated area. Outside would be even better.
  • Let each coat dry
  • Many thin coats
  • Keep all spraying uniformed and controlled.
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