Daily Archives: April 12, 2012

A professional touch

Having cleared the booth of the jobs ahead of it, this Saleen Mustang was ready for its touch up.

The first picture shows the areas that had been sanded and primed yesterday. Or to be more accurate, it doesn’t show those areas because they have been painted over. I decided to go ahead and paint the entire roof, less the stripes, because there were several places and the panel was small.

The second and third picture shows the masking coming off the stripes and then the exposed areas remasked to prevent over-spray.

The fourth photo shows the car, after the application of the white paint, but before the application of the clear. The white paint is mostly flat because the base coat, the actual white paint of the car’s finish, dries to a near flat finish. The blue stripes were not painted, but they are also flat because I lightly sanded them to roughen the paint so the clear coat I will be applying over them would have something to grab onto.

One reason for clearing the entire roof is simple. Had I cleared only those areas I painted the blue stripes would have looked a tad dull in comparison because the clear coat on them has several years of exposure to the elements, slightly dulling its shine. The slight dulling isn’t noticeable … unless it were right beside freshly applied clear coat.

But the main reason to clear the entire panel is that it would have been impossible to match the paint thickness exactly so there would have been a slight ridge or bump where the clear I applied transitioned to paint applied at the factory. Even if you couldn’t have seen the difference, you would have been able to feel it, and that’s unacceptable.

The last picture, number five, shows the roof after the application of the clear. As you can clearly (no pun intended) see, the new white paint and the original blue stripes now pop off the roof. The application of a clear coat not only protects the paint underneath, it also adds depth and shine to the paint that it otherwise wouldn’t have.

Now we wait for the paint to dry before we buff the entire car to bring up the shine on the parts of the car I didn’t paint. Just one of those professional touches that a car like this deserves.

That’s better

When a car arrives at the shop with such a minor problem, like this Sonata did, the solution appears to be worse than the problem.

For example, I welded on studs so I could beat and bang on the car. Then I smeared this ugly gray stuff on the car. After that I sanded the whole door and part of the top, parts of the car that weren’t even damaged, until all the shine was gone from the paint.

But then, things started to improve. I put some paint on the banged up place and blended it into the rest of the car until the repair completely disappeared. Finally, the pièce de résistance, I cleared the entire area to bring up the shine.

Now? Without doubt better than it was when it arrived, and I dare say, good as new.

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