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Sanding Color Coats


Ripthorn
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I have just put down my color coats and there is some orange peel going on. I am wondering how much I have to sand my color coats before clear coating. Do I need to level sand and then polish some so that it still shines after the clear is on or is that not so important? Thanks.

Edit: there is also a small sag or two, how should I deal with those? Grit suggestions?

Edited by Ripthorn
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typically when you get orange peel, it means you have too heavy of a spray. Sometimes this is inevitable.

The question of whether to sand it down or not (with 400 G at most) boils down to this:

as you add clear, it will conform to the shape of the orange peel...

once you start sanding the clear, you have a greater chance of sanding through... (no bueno)

Plus - the clear is just that - clear. It doesn't hide any pits, major scratches, etc. so having a nice bed for it to lie on is important. IMHO, the color coats need to be quite flat and wiped with naptha before clearcoating.

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I am using acrylic lacquer for the color. I was thinking I should sand it good and flat, but what grit should I be using? KP, were you saying 400 at the highest or lowest?

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400 is about the lowest I'll use for flattening and always with a block. I know it can be difficult and if you're "tool challenged", a toilet paper roll does good wrapped with sandpaper on horns. It forces you to let the sandpaper work.

So how high would you go on the final colour coat before the clear? Would you go as far as 2000 or is that too smooth for the clear to grip?

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I'll go to 600-800 as a final on the color coats, you're right, anything higher seems to allow slippage - even with "dusting" coats. On clear though, 400 (if necessary), 600 wet, 800 wet, 1200 wet, 1500 wet, 2000 wet, compounds after that. I usually have no problems getting a mirror finish out of acrylic lacquer that way. Just make sure any compounds you use for any coat are clear coat safe, otherwise, sagging, melting and general crappiness have happened. Not that I'm the supreme finishing expert - just based on my experience and responses given by people.

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I just put on a color coat a couple hours ago, so I will let it sit a bit before sanding and here hoping for the best. Thanks for the comments and advice.

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