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Preparing Color-coat For Clear-coat


DokterPeppor
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Hey everyone.

I am currently doing a project where im redoing a Squier. It was origianlly black and i've stripped it down to bare wood, re-finished, sealed, sanded, primed, and put on all of the color coats. I am painting it white.

My question is about how to prep the color surface to apply clearcoat. Before the colo coats, I used 320-grit and sanded the primer nice and level. I have since then put 4-5 coats of white on. How should I prepare the white surface for the clearcoat. Since there is a clearcoat I do not need to polish out the white right? Instead am I going to sand it to a matte finish, and then do my clear coats and polish those out? What grit should I sand my color coats with to prepare for the clearcoat? Thanks.

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The most you need to do is to scuff sand it with like 320 or 400 grit. Just enough to create a little tooth for the clearcoat to grab on to. If your using nitro lacquer, you don't even NEED to do that much. The lacquer melts into the previous coat, so it bonds automatically. Unless there is hair or fuzz or runs in the color coat, I try to get a good build of the clear coat and level that out.

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400 may be a bit too smooth to get much bite back (physical bonding as opposed to a chemical bonding),I would go 320 or 220, 320 probably best.

ihockey is right on, you really don't need to do anything at all as long as your color coats and clear coats are from the same manufacturer.

If they are from different manufacturers, then yes, you should sand it with 320 to get your physical bonding thang going on.

I will usually give a quick wipe with some Naptha just to make sure the surface is clean and dry as well.

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Thanks guys. I will be spraying automotive lacquer, both are from the same manufacturer. I will go ahead and scuff sand with 320. My next question, it doesn't matter if there is a very small amount of texture on the color coat right? I mean, it's not enough to make the clearcoat texture over it but does it need to be completely level for the clear, or can I do my coats of clear, level that down perfectly smooth and buff out?

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Thanks guys. I will be spraying automotive lacquer, both are from the same manufacturer. I will go ahead and scuff sand with 320. My next question, it doesn't matter if there is a very small amount of texture on the color coat right? I mean, it's not enough to make the clearcoat texture over it but does it need to be completely level for the clear, or can I do my coats of clear, level that down perfectly smooth and buff out?

If your colour coats have already been sprayed and set for a few days and you are using automotive clear you definitely do need to sand before spraying the clear on otherwise it will not stick properly. You only do not have to sand the colour coat if it has been recently applied. The clear should cover any sanding swirls but with automotive clear you can go over 320 grit prep no problems. Everyone is going to have different ideas here but 600 grit prep is common and some people like to go up to 800. Like you will hear many times on these pages practise the whole procedure on scrap pieces of wood until you are happy with the finish, then use the procedure on the guitar.

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Now when you say I should be able to go over 320 with automotive clear, do you mean in the sense of painting clear over 320-grit sanded paint, or any grit sanded over(higher than) 320 grit for automotive paint?

I ask this because I used 320, made the paint nice and super smooth. Then I sprayed my first coat of clear today and I see some fine sanding scratches under the clear. Will these get hidden as more coats of clear are sprayed, or should I not spray anymore clear and sand out those scratches with finer grits first?

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Since you have already sanded and applied your clear, just move forward and do the rest of your clear coats.

By the time you do all your clear coats and level sand, what you're seeing now will most likely be gone.

Trying now to go back and repair something that you're not sure is even a problem would most likely be a bad move and invite trouble to your doorstep.

Post some pics if you can!

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I'm assuming that you are not using automotive 2K paint from what you are explaining. If it is spray paint, most manufacturers will have a chemical bond. Others you have to sand. I think that 320 is a bit too much for any type of paint, and most sanding marks will be visible over the clear. What I have done and suggest everybody to do is to paint the base coat until it covers evenly and not a single coat more, if there are no imperfections, start with your clear. If you have a runs or a dry coat, just sand with 400, then shoot only 1 even pass or 2 if necessary to hide the sanding scratches and go to the clear.

If you are painting with 2K, and are asking this questions, then you need to stop and re-evaluate the whole thing. Since this paint is not forgiving on any mistakes that you could do.

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Now when you say I should be able to go over 320 with automotive clear, do you mean in the sense of painting clear over 320-grit sanded paint, or any grit sanded over(higher than) 320 grit for automotive paint?

I ask this because I used 320, made the paint nice and super smooth. Then I sprayed my first coat of clear today and I see some fine sanding scratches under the clear. Will these get hidden as more coats of clear are sprayed, or should I not spray anymore clear and sand out those scratches with finer grits first?

Yep, higher grit rating than 320, eg 600 or 800 grit. This will decrease the sanding scratches you see in the colour coat.

It is spray paint....It has come out amazing until this....I've done two medium-wet coats of clear over it...it's disapeared a bit but maybe I should sand it down a bit, spray a light color coat over it, and then clear over that without sanding?

Yes again, no wucking furries, sand the clear, cover with colour, let dry (check paint instructions), don't sand, soon after spray on clear. Good luck with it. :D

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