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BarryK 09-22-2010 07:17 AM

Newer painters-sanding and buffing.
Did not want to waste space here but this may be of interest for new or newer painters.

gto_ron 09-23-2010 03:20 PM

sanding & buffing
Hi Barry

I read every word of the reference since I'm a hobbyist and not a pro. Did I understand the article correctly; you always start color sanding with 600? Anything finer won't level the clear? How many coats of clear is the minimum? I've been starting with 1200 and finishing up with 2000 so I'll probably get urethane wave in my jobs. Thanks, answers from the pros are always appreciated.



BarryK 09-23-2010 06:10 PM

First Ron, two to three coats of clear are normally enough but a lot depends on solid content of the clear and urethane wave is a result of solids, when you hear someone say reduce the clear, yes but why not just save the money and buy a medium solids clear. Over atomization is a another key word to get rid of urethane wave but here again, what is the point as we are not doing a standard insurance repair where with 2-3 coats of the average production shop clear will not cause urethane wave.

The whole point is, it will never be a show car without mils.

If this car was going to Barrett/Jackson I would have started with 400 but this is going to be my play car and even promised the kid he could take it once to the quarter mile, since he dino'd it for me when I was done ( it will whip his Cobra,LOL)
My decision to start with 600 was because when I went to get the 400, I was out.

To answer the question, 400, 500, 600, 800, will remove urethane wave, 1000 will if you kill yourself but it takes a lot of work, with a 1000 wet.

Another theory I learned or think I have, you never know when painting!
It took me exactly 7 hours to wet sand with the 600, the most important step to me as any imperfection was coming out at this point and I even wet sanded the edges with 600 as you can tell in the picture.
It then only took about 45 minutes to go over with 1000 and the 1500 I was interrupted too many times to know but not long.
My theory is, you don't burn through edges or clear if everything is perfect and all you are doing is putting on a shine. I buff my edges and do not tape, so door edge and quarter are hit the same time.

Hope I covered everything??

mr4speed 09-23-2010 09:42 PM

Urethane wave, I hate it with a passion. All urethane clears will cause this, just look at the reflections under a floresent light and you will see all that ugly distortion. The hardest places to eliminate this is on those inside curves were the ajoining curves are acting like a mirror against itself. Nothing beats that glass like finish on a super straight body. But I see it all the time real straight bodywork and then you see all that terrible thane peel, just kills it.

deadbodyman 09-24-2010 05:49 AM


Originally Posted by BarryK

Hope I covered everything??

When you sand with the600 ,are you using a hard block to get the waves out???
And do you apply all your clear at once or two coats at a time and sand dirt out between coats...

BarryK 09-24-2010 06:19 AM

I never use a hard block on clear, always a soft pad.
In this case I put all four coats on at once with exactly 30 minutes between coats.

deadbodyman 09-24-2010 06:27 AM

Thanks Barry, is there a soft block you prefer???? Oh ,and what about your compounds whats your preferences??? I dont mind the sanding but I hate buffing .its a lot of work and anything that'll make it easier is a big help...

BarryK 09-24-2010 06:43 AM

I think its a Maguires.

First pass is with Presta Ultra cutting cream with black cutting pad.
Just got a new pad and will do one more pass with the Ultra and then go to the presta 1500 with the blue green medium cut pad.
Will do go over car twice with that and then go over care with the 1500 and the white wool polishing or fine cut pad.

Then one time with the 2000 compound and the white wool pad and be done.

I'm really sucking up at home, so hopefully wife will let me play in garage all weekend and get the buffing done.

deadbodyman 09-24-2010 05:25 PM

When your done you can come up to Augusta and buff one for me. it's to much like work for my taste ,I must be doing something wrong...

nmcgrawj 09-25-2010 01:05 PM


Originally Posted by BarryK
To answer the question, 400, 500, 600, 800, will remove urethane wave, 1000 will if you kill yourself but it takes a lot of work, with a 1000 wet.

is the 400,500,600,800 wet? Or dry?

Is it ever ok to use an DA orbital on post paint processes? Or are those just ok for post work....priming/body work/etc before you lay down any base/clear?

TucsonJay 09-25-2010 01:53 PM

Until the current project, I have used just 1200 on a semi-hard block. My R-M Diamont clear cures slow, so it sands easily, and the surface has been what I consider "street & show" quality. This has worked great for about 15 years.

On this one, (which is a big car) I switched to an HVLP for the clear coats... instead of my usual siphon feed (which atomizes the paint better). Now I have to block it with 800 to level it enough for final sanding with 1200.

As always... with paint materials and techniques... it depends on what works for you.

BarryK 09-25-2010 02:20 PM


Originally Posted by nmcgrawj
is the 400,500,600,800 wet? Or dry?

Is it ever OK to use an DA orbital on post paint processes? Or are those just ok for post work....priming/body work/etc before you lay down any base/clear?

I have a couple of times with 320 and 800, I'm not a real fan of doing that but it does work.
A lot of high dollar painters do use the DA at different grits and steps, so I do know it works.
One of the best cycle and helmet painters in the country, JimC from Xtreame Kreations, uses a DA through different processes, got to tell you I have four of his helmets in the office display and to this day never have seen another as good or even close to one of his.

So if it works for you, why not, the paint books are written by people that don't paint, so break the rules and test the process.

302 Z28 09-25-2010 04:02 PM

Barry, after going through the 400, 600, 1500 block sanding step program I used a DA with the Mirka Abralon 4000 pads. What I was left with was a dull sheen that was markedly easier to buff out to a brilliant shine over starting buffing after 1500. FWIW I would never attempt a DA cut with 400, 600, or even 1500, I don't trust myself that much :D


BarryK 09-25-2010 04:42 PM

Yes the 2000 and 4000 Avalon I have used a lot but do not consider them to be the same a sandpaper on a DA. I love those things!

This job was such a drawn out cluster ++ that i thought I had 400 and the 2000 and 4000 in the cabinet but all I had were three 4000's.
Car buffed like butter so no need to hold up job and just completed my second round of buffing and hope to get three more rounds done tomorrow.

302 Z28 09-25-2010 08:15 PM

How bout some pics Barry?


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