We left off at Part 1 with a really nasty primer coat. Well, not super nasty (it could have been worse) but definitely far from smooth. After that initial coat of primer dried, I sanded it down with some 600-grit sandpaper to leave a nicer surface for the base color coat. The picture above is what became of it.
Then came the base color, in the factory Subaru Silver. At this point, things were looking OK, but still far from what I’d call professional. Since I’m taking my time, I figure I might as well do something better than what you’d get from a typical 1-Day-Paint place.
Next came the clear coat. Look at that awesome orange peel mmmmm! Custom textured painting, that’s how it’s done! (jk) Actually, this stage looked about right — a few stages of wet sanding and polishing would fix the reflection later on. But…
The problem was that underneat the clearcoat, you could see this nasty undercoat. SO, I basically leveled it off once again, resprayed a smoother layer of color, then I resprayed another few layers of clear on top of that. Geez… what a learning experience. I was not about to let this job turn out poorly.
After giving the rear valences another “once-over,” I was left with this finish, which actually is pretty decent! Now, I could have left it alone at this stage, but I decided to take it a bit further and try out a new technique I’ve been reading about.
Well, normally, you’d wait for the clear to dry, and then follow up with wet-sanding and polishing to get a perfect no-orange-peel reflection on your paint. The problem is that if I were to do this, I’d have to machine-polish these pieces, and since they’re not mounted to a car or anything to hold them steady, that would be total pain! So, I decided that I’d try a technique called flow coating.
With flow coating, you let your clear coat dry. Then, you sand it flat using something like 1000-grit sand paper, leaving the paint dull with no shiny spots. (This is how you know it’s level, I believe.) Then, you spray a final layer of over-reduced clear coat on top of that. The idea is that doing this would leave you with a nearly perfect, flat reflection that doesn’t require wet-sanding and polishing afterwards.