So… painting is pretty fun. Here’s my awesome paint gun all taken apart. It’s important to keep ’em clean or else you get all funky sorts of spraying problems. Now I know why painters have more than 1 gun. Anyways, it was a pretty fun and tiring day this past Sunday, painting my front bumper. Without further blah blah blah, here’s the story —
After accidentally screwing up one of my rear fenders trying to fit fluffier tires on my Gramlights, I decided it was time to get some painting tools and fix it myself. I already had two books about auto-body work, and the advice of the glorious talented Matt Combs on my side, so I figured why the hell not.
$420-ish bucks later, I had a paint gun, a 21 gallon air compressor, and all the adhesion promoter, primer, paint, and clear coat to fix my fender, as well as the nasty paint chip on my front bumper, and enough paint to finally paint my Greddy front lip. I decided to start with the bumper.
Here’s that nasty bumper chip that I aimed to take care of. Curse its bastardliness, sticking out like a sore thumb on an otherwise decent paintjob.
I started by removing that beast from the car, which is really a piece of cake on S14s because ejecting bumpers is what we do best. (time: 15 minutes ) LoL 🙂
Then, I sanded down the bumper on parts that were to be fixed, like cracks, chips, spider-webbing, and especially that gash of a paint chip at the middle of the bumper. The other parts were just scuffed to help the paint stick better. (time: 30 minutes-ish)
Then, I washed the bumper using dish soap to get the remaining oil and sanding powder off of the bumper. This part is supposedly important. If you paint on top of powder or and oily surface, you’ll be sad later. (time: 10 minutes)
After I cleaned the bumper, I started with one coat of Bulldog Adhesion Promoter. Then, I let that set for about 30 minutes. Next I sprated it with a coat of primer. I let that set for about 30 minutes. Then, I sprayed the color coat. I did about 2 or 3 (can’t remember) coats of color, with about 10 minutes in between each coat. Again, I let it sit for about 30 minutes. Lastly, I did 2 nice wet coats of clear, 10 minutes between each coat, and finally let it sit out to dry.
You’ll notice the awesome orange-peely parts on the bumper.
After about 4 hours, I wet-sanded it, and then I buffed it with rubbing compound, and finally buffed it again with polishing compound. The results are… eh pretty decent! You might be wondering why I’m doing this chit by hand. The buffing pad I bought didn’t fit onto the old buffer I bought years ago… so… both the bumper and my arms got… buffer! Ho ho hooo… yes…
Here’s the final result. I know it’s kind of a potato photo, but eh, it’s ok. I can say that the color match was pretty decent, and the reflections on the bumper are decent as well, considering I’ll probably destroy it drifting or hitting random crap on the freeway again in about a year or two.
Actually, I kind of cheated. I only wet-sanded and polished the top half of the bumper. The reason I didn’t do it to the lower parts is because the bottom half of the bumper is going to be covered by the Greddy front lip that I’ll be painting and installing sometime this week.