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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone,

First of all excited to be here as I've already learnt so much by searching through existing posts. Seems like an awesome community and glad to be a part of it!

I have been doing a lot of research over the last two months, and am getting ready to do a base coat/clear coat DIY paintjob on my 2004 Lexus GS300. I live in AZ and it has 215000 mi on it so no surprise but the paint is pretty worn on the roof/hood area with significant clear coat peel.

Here is my current situation - I have found a local paint shop which rents out their booth to the tune of 150 bucks a day. They have a huge 80 gal Campbell Hausfeld compressor so air delivery is sorted. I plan to finish trim removal and sanding the car before I drive it to the shop, and at the shop, clean the surface and apply masking tape. The kind of paint I will be using is:

1. Kirker Low VOC 2k Urethane primer
2. Kirker Low VOC Urethane Basecoat (Dark Jade metallic)
3. Kirker Low VOC Urethane Clear coat

with a TCP global HVLP paint gun (https://www.amazon.com/TCP-Global-Brand-HVLP-Spray/dp/B001N1E9Y8).

So basically I am going to spread the sanding over two weeks or so. Here is my quandary:

How deep do I sand when prepping the car??

If I sand down to bare metal, I cannot protect the car as there is a significant time difference between me finishing sanding and driving it to the paint booth to paint it. Would this be enough time to rust the metal and make primer application difficult?

If I don't sand down to bare metal, where do I stop sanding? At the primer? Of course this begs the question as to how good the existing paint is. AFAIK the paint on the car is oem and it hasn't been resprayed anywhere. From my research I have read that generally factory finishes are good and can be painted over.

Thank you in advance!
 

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You can prime over 150/180 grit.
Block, or DA the original paint down accordingly. Stop blocking when you first hit metal. Be sure to repair dents, and scratches during this first phase. Now is the time to make it straight.
After your first complete prime, you can block it all out or DA it. The choice is up to you. If you block it out nice, it will look better than if you dont.
Were you going to prime it once, or twice?
Also, there are ways to spray primer without a booth.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I see, that makes sense. Just to clarify, before I start my paint job there will be no dents as all the dented panels (fender, door) will be completely replaced with straight junkyard replacements. So I will not be applying body filler of any sort. from my research and what other people have done, here is what I have learnt:

1. Start blocking with 80 grit. I am assuming this is where you mentioned I need to stop when I hit bare metal?

2. Then move to 180 grit.

3. Then move to 240 grit.

4. Then move to 320 grit.

5. Then do a 400 grit wet sand. At this point the car would be driven to the paint booth.

6. After reaching the booth, wash the car, remove all oils, solvents etc. After this apply primer that will stick to bare metal and sand with 600-800 grit to remove imperfections.

7. Prime again.

8. now apply basecoat.

Please let me know if this is a good procedure to follow, and if you have any suggestions to insert/delete steps.
 

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All those steps will work.
You can skip #7, if you don't sand through with your 600. A little around the edges won't hurt.
If you really want, or if its not uniform, you can use sealer for step 7. Especially if your color doesn't cover very well. (Your dark Jade should be fine...)
But keep in mind this is the beginning of your orange peel, so spray it as smooth as possible.
I try not to use sealer for this reason. But it can be used if you need to cover anything funny before the basecoat.
After that clear it, and walk away.
Never leave a freshly painted car in a closed in area with no circulation, or it will solvent pop and need to be redone.
Don't ask how I know...
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
All those steps will work.
You can skip #7, if you don't sand through with your 600. A little around the edges won't hurt.
If you really want, or if its not uniform, you can use sealer for step 7. Especially if your color doesn't cover very well. (Your dark Jade should be fine...)
But keep in mind this is the beginning of your orange peel, so spray it as smooth as possible.
I try not to use sealer for this reason. But it can be used if you need to cover anything funny before the basecoat.
After that clear it, and walk away.
Never leave a freshly painted car in a closed in area with no circulation, or it will solvent pop and need to be redone.
Don't ask how I know...
All those steps will work.
You can skip #7, if you don't sand through with your 600. A little around the edges won't hurt.
If you really want, or if its not uniform, you can use sealer for step 7. Especially if your color doesn't cover very well. (Your dark Jade should be fine...)
But keep in mind this is the beginning of your orange peel, so spray it as smooth as possible.
I try not to use sealer for this reason. But it can be used if you need to cover anything funny before the basecoat.
After that clear it, and walk away.
Never leave a freshly painted car in a closed in area with no circulation, or it will solvent pop and need to be redone.
Don't ask how I know...
Awesome thank you for confirming the steps are good, I’m definitely a newbie to full car painting so glad to have a step guideline to follow!

I probably won’t use a sealer or a second coat of primer. I will keep your point in mind, I think the booth does have constant ventilation but I will check with them just to make sure. Thank you for the advice!

i will continue with sourcing my materials to get ready for the paint job and post back here with updates and hopefully soon, some before / after pictures!
 

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new guy. 4 posts, 2 threads on same subject, same text.... don't do that 🤦‍♂️
you definitely don't want to start block sanding with 80 grit
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I thought as they were slightly different topics and I kinda ended this topic I'd post elsewhere. Apologies, thank you for pointing it out and I'll keep in mind going forward! :) And thank you for the insight!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
So I think I have nailed down most of the specifics for the project. I know I mentioned that there were no spots where body filler would be applied but I totally forgot that I have little rock chips on front of the hood that go down to bare metal. I would like to seal those up. Came up with this procedure for just the hood:

1. Scuff using 180, then 400 grit.
2. SPOT TREAT bare metal chips with epoxy primer to seal bare metal. Spray rest of surface with regular 2k urethane primer.
3. Fill in chips with filler, sand even and seal with primer sealer
4. Block sand with 400, then move to base, clear.


Do you guys think any change in steps/add/delete are warranted? I have a feeling that I may be overcomplicating things but I would prefer to do it right rather than overlook things.

And if I do the above, will the fact that I have primer sealer (over the chips) next to regular 2k urethane primer (over the non chipped areas) cause any issues? I have also shared this concern with Kirker technical support but just wanted to know what you guys think. Of course if I could use just regular 2k primer to seal over the filler and also prime the rest of the hood this issue would be fixed. (also waiting for a response to this proposition from Kirker)

Here are a few pictures of the chips in question:

Automotive parking light Automotive side marker light Vehicle Car Grille

Car Automotive parking light Grille Motor vehicle Automotive lighting

Land vehicle Car Vehicle Grille Automotive lighting
 

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new guy. 4 posts, 2 threads on same subject, same text.... don't do that 🤦‍♂️
you definitely don't want to start block sanding with 80 grit
Good advice. Especially if there is no Plastic Filler involved. 150/180 is plenty sharp to cut out waves, and other imperfections. But if you are starting with nice panels, 320 wet will be a good startig point that will give you alot less work chasing deep scratches that 80 will leave.
Plus the advantage of wetsanding is your paper will not load up like dry paper.
 

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So I think I have nailed down most of the specifics for the project. I know I mentioned that there were no spots where body filler would be applied but I totally forgot that I have little rock chips on front of the hood that go down to bare metal. I would like to seal those up. Came up with this procedure for just the hood:

1. Scuff using 180, then 400 grit.
2. SPOT TREAT bare metal chips with epoxy primer to seal bare metal. Spray rest of surface with regular 2k urethane primer.
3. Fill in chips with filler, sand even and seal with primer sealer
4. Block sand with 400, then move to base, clear.


Do you guys think any change in steps/add/delete are warranted? I have a feeling that I may be overcomplicating things but I would prefer to do it right rather than overlook things.

And if I do the above, will the fact that I have primer sealer (over the chips) next to regular 2k urethane primer (over the non chipped areas) cause any issues? I have also shared this concern with Kirker technical support but just wanted to know what you guys think. Of course if I could use just regular 2k primer to seal over the filler and also prime the rest of the hood this issue would be fixed. (also waiting for a response to this proposition from Kirker)

Here are a few pictures of the chips in question:

View attachment 623569
View attachment 623571
View attachment 623570
If you have a DA, use 180 to get all those chips out.
No need for filler because mostly bare metal will be left where the chips are at.
 

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i see a lot of stone chips with rust in the bottom, you are gonna have to get all the rust out
this is not a simple sand and paint, don't go there or you will be disappointed
 
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