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Discussion Starter #1
Well I sanded, primed, and painted some stainless steel pillars gloss black and for not being a professional, I think they came out very good. I can see my reflection in them. However, I want to bring them to a high/mirror gloss. I used Dupli Color clear coat and it says to use a rubbing compound after 48 hours. I've been looking on the net and don't know if a rubbing compound will leave small scratches or what. This is the rubbing compound I currently have

Rubbing Compound

I'm thinking/hoping this is the right section to post in. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!!!!!!!!!!!
 

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The best way to achieve a high gloss wet finish in a clear coat urethane is to "color sand"
This process involves using progressively finer wet/dry sandpaper first. If you do not have a lot of orange peel (bumps in paint = high and low spots) start with 1000 grit and finish with 2000 grit.After you have sanded the piece it will be dull.There should be NO shiny area's. If there are you haven't leveled the clear. Once that is done use a mind cutting compound to buff to a dull gloss. Adding water will increase the cutting ability of the compound.Do this until you see a nice finish and no mark left from sanding.Next would be a machine polish. Polishes are what bring a shine to clears-not wax.After you complete this step it should look very shiny. Finish it with a Glaze.It's not a good idea to put wax to a freshly painted area as it will trap any solvents trying to evaporate.
I use 3M products in the Finesse-It 2 line. I start with the Fine Cut. For glaze I use Mequairs. Hope this helps
 

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Discussion Starter #4
The best way to achieve a high gloss wet finish in a clear coat urethane is to "color sand"
This process involves using progressively finer wet/dry sandpaper first. If you do not have a lot of orange peel (bumps in paint = high and low spots) start with 1000 grit and finish with 2000 grit.After you have sanded the piece it will be dull.There should be NO shiny area's. If there are you haven't leveled the clear. Once that is done use a mind cutting compound to buff to a dull gloss. Adding water will increase the cutting ability of the compound.Do this until you see a nice finish and no mark left from sanding.Next would be a machine polish. Polishes are what bring a shine to clears-not wax.After you complete this step it should look very shiny. Finish it with a Glaze.It's not a good idea to put wax to a freshly painted area as it will trap any solvents trying to evaporate.
I use 3M products in the Finesse-It 2 line. I start with the Fine Cut. For glaze I use Mequairs. Hope this helps
That does help. However, you said the one thing I thought you were going to say but didn't want to hear: SAND. They look very good as is and I don't want to risk sanding them. I'll probably either leave them as is or see if a body shop will finish them. I don't know if they'll touch them considering they didn't work on them to begin with but you never know. THANKS!!!!!!!!!
 

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It's not as bad as ya might think.The key is to soak the paper for a while first. I go half an hour. Then add some dish soap to the water. This will help it glide and stop it from loading up.Use lots of water. Remember you'll start with 1000 grit if it's not bad as you state.. The results are well worth it. I do it to everything I paint(race bikes and some car parts for friends).
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I owe that guy a dinner because I somewhat used that as the Bible when doing my pillars. I have it booked marked and everything.

However, he color didn't do anything to the clear coat and you can see that his pillars are glossy but not glossy with a mirror finish which is what I want. Thanks for the help though. Keep it coming!!!!!!!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
It's not as bad as ya might think.The key is to soak the paper for a while first. I go half an hour. Then add some dish soap to the water. This will help it glide and stop it from loading up.Use lots of water. Remember you'll start with 1000 grit if it's not bad as you state.. The results are well worth it. I do it to everything I paint(race bikes and some car parts for friends).
I know the results will be worth it. I'm just scared of sanding through the clear. :pat: I don't know. I'm going to have to think about this one..............
 

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You should have put 3 coats of clear on. Never sanded thru the clear myself. GO for it!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
You should have put 3 coats of clear on. Never sanded thru the clear myself. GO for it!!!
I put on either 3 or 4......a coule of light to medium coats then one wet coat. What happens if I just use a rubbing compound and polish?
 

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First-If you put that much clear on,start with 800 grit:)
You can do that but( compound and polish) Compound is polish just a more aggressive cut. However it really won't do much to level the paint. You're just using the wet/dry paper to remove any high spots-NOT strip the paint.With grit as mild as the ones I stated you'd need a truckload to strip the clear off.This is the method used on ALL show finishes.I shot one tack coat,and 2 flow coats. That it.It's only several mils before I color sand.Remember-Wet-Soapy-Wet. You're just knocking down the high spots.I won't lead ya astray! If ya want or need I'll walk ya thru each step.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
First-If you put that much clear on,start with 800 grit:)
You can do that but( compound and polish) Compound is polish just a more aggressive cut. However it really won't do much to level the paint. You're just using the wet/dry paper to remove any high spots-NOT strip the paint.With grit as mild as the ones I stated you'd need a truckload to strip the clear off.This is the method used on ALL show finishes.I shot one tack coat,and 2 flow coats. That it.It's only several mils before I color sand.Remember-Wet-Soapy-Wet. You're just knocking down the high spots.I won't lead ya astray! If ya want or need I'll walk ya thru each step.
Hahaha.....you're the man. I love the confidence you have in me because I'm not sure. The paint came out great which I'm proud of but I'm not sure about sanding. I wet sanded the primer with no problems but wet sanding the base coat gave me fits. I kept going through to the primer but now that I hear you say it, I probably wasn't using enough water and I didn't use any soap.

I have a couple of questions.

1. The directions on the clear coat say to wait 48 hours until applying rubbing compound. Is that accurate? I'm in NC and my parts are in my garage so needless to say there's plenty of heat.

2. IF (notice that's in all caps) I decide to wet sand the parts, do I need to wait the 48 hours?

3. Can I just go straight to 2000 grit sandpaper w/o doing the 800 or 1500?

4. Lastly, take a look at the link for the rubbing compound I have and tell me if you think that will be too harsh.

Yamabob, I owe you one. I appreciate all your help!!!!

I'm about to head out for awhile but I'll check back when I get in. Thanks again!!!!!!
 

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I'd follow the timetable set forth. There are many variables that determine when it's hard enough to work up the clear.Temp is only one such factor.
Base coats sand off WAY (notice caps) easier than the urethane clear coat.
Really shouldn't sand a base coat by the way.You could go to 2000 right off the bat but it's WAY (notice caps-hmm a theme here) too smooth to really level it off. Usually you'd start with 800,but I stated 1000 should be ok.With that much clear you should not have any problems. If you are that nervous-try 1500 first to get a feel for what's going on.Sand-rinse and wipe area dry.You'll see little shiny spots.That is the low area. You need to sand down to them.You can go to 2000 when you are close to having them eliminated.
Not familiar with what you purchased as I get my 3m from my local jobber(paint supplier).What I use I would consider a pro line,but I like excellent results in my work.
Just don't rub out at the edges which is where you could have a problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I'd follow the timetable set forth. There are many variables that determine when it's hard enough to work up the clear.Temp is only one such factor.
Base coats sand off WAY (notice caps) easier than the urethane clear coat.
Really shouldn't sand a base coat by the way.You could go to 2000 right off the bat but it's WAY (notice caps-hmm a theme here) too smooth to really level it off. Usually you'd start with 800,but I stated 1000 should be ok.With that much clear you should not have any problems. If you are that nervous-try 1500 first to get a feel for what's going on.Sand-rinse and wipe area dry.You'll see little shiny spots.That is the low area. You need to sand down to them.You can go to 2000 when you are close to having them eliminated.
Not familiar with what you purchased as I get my 3m from my local jobber(paint supplier).What I use I would consider a pro line,but I like excellent results in my work.
Just don't rub out at the edges which is where you could have a problem.
Well I went to the gym and I guess lifting weights somehow gave me the courage because I stopped at Autozone and got some 2000 grit paper. I already have 1500. I agree that it is probably too fine to level off the clear.

It's funny that you mentioned not sanding the base coat because after sanding to the primer twice, I didn't even try to sand it again. The coats looked good so I was like "Forget it" and moved on. It's also funny that you mentioned to be careful around the edges because that's where I've had the most problems with wet sanding.

Alright. 48 hours won't be until tomorrow night but since I'll be at work, I probably won't do it until Wednesday morning (I really wish I could do it now). I want to make sure I have the process down.

1. Let the 1500 grit paper (I am going to start with this) soak in water and soap for about 30 minutes. Then gently and lightly wetsand the pieces until they are dull. If I see any shiny spots, then those areas that need to be sanded some more.

2. Once the pieces are dull, smooth, and even, gently wetsand the pieces after letting the 2000 grit paper soak in water and soap for 30 minutes.

3. After everything looks good, clean the pieces with soap and water? I have a prep solution. Should I use that?

4. After the pieces are cleaned, use a rubbing compound to bring back the gloss. **Now, I need some help with this because I will be doing it by hand, I've never done it, and I've read that if you don't use it correctly, you can mess up the parts because the compound will soak through to the base coat or something like that. Help me out with this part please.

5. Clean the pieces again to wash off the rubbing compound and then polish them. I have some Meguairs Deep Crystal Polish left over from a detail job a few weeks ago. I'm guessing that will do the trick.

How does that sound? Also, these are/were chrome pillars that have 3M tape on the back. I am impatient. One reason I didn't want to do this myself is because I know painting takes patience.........but when I went to a body shop and they quoted me $150, I decided to try myself. Anyway, since these are pieces I have in my hand, can I stick them in an oven to speed up the curing process or do I just need to sit tight?

Once again, thank you for all the help. You are a life saver. Seeing that the sandpaper is really fine, I'm filling a bit more confident. You telling me it's not that hard didn't hurt either.

Thanks again!!!!!!!!!
 

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No Problem!
You have all the steps done correctly.No need to do a prep wash.Good old soapy water(not heavy on the soap).
Never heard of compound going thru the clear coat. That's it's job to protect the base under it.
If your gonna compound out by hand,use a towel with texture such as a terry cloth-not an old t-shirt or diaper.They are bad to use as particules will stay on surface to scratch.
The Mequairs should be ok after the first rub out(if you see small scratches still or gloss does not come up enough-compound again). I don't that product contains any wax.Check label,but believe I'm correct.Finish with a Glaze to make it Pop!
Be patient and take your time.Let the paint cure on it's own.Force drying the wrong way can travel gases underneath.Later on they force their way to the surface and it's called solvent pop.Then you have to start over.I'll check in Wed afternoon and evening if ya need any help. Remember-WET-WET-WET.Take your time and it will come out great
 

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Have steps down correctly
I don't think it has any wax
Can trap gases underneath. Hell better start proof-reading before I post
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Get it, got it, good. I'm excited. I will wait to do it more than likely Wednesday morning......or maybe even tomorrow evening when I get off of work but I doubt it. Thanks again and I'll let you know how it comes out!!!!
 

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Tick....................Tock...............................Tick....................................................Tock
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Tick....................Tock...............................Tick....................................................Tock
Hahahahaha........that made me laugh. I'm at work so I couldn't paint them now if I wanted to. I thought I'd be tired but I'm feeling good right now so I'm debating whether or not to do it tonight. When it's done, I will give an update and MAYBE even some pics. We shall see.........
 

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Yamabob, would you be surprised if I said I got home from work at 12:30 and went ahead and worked on my pillars? Hahaha........well I did. If I would've known it was going to take almost 3 hours, I wouldn't have done it. However, I did do it and they look OUTSTANDING. Let me tell you my experience............

Well I got home and being that I have the patience of a fruit fly, I decided to tackle it not realizing how long it would take. I looked at the parts and started having 2nd thoughts because they looked decent as is but I snapped out of it and got to work.

So I soaked the sandpaper in water with a bit of soap in it just like you recommended. I then got to work. I started with the 1500 grit and after I started, I thought I messed up. I probably hardly sanded it and when I saw that it was a bit dull/gray. I swear I thought I went through to the primer and I was mad at myself and mad at you. Hahahaha. Then I sanded it some more and I realized what you were talking about with the shiny spots being low and what not. Because I was so nervous, on the first pillar I swithced over to the 2000 grit WAY too soon so I kept sanding with the 2000 grit for a while. To keep the parts wet, I would just put my hand in the water w/soap and just rub it on the parts. I could really tell when I was starting to smooth the surface. I would dry them and sand them again as needed. Although I am impatient, I give myself credit for trying to be reasonable about getting out all the shiny spot. I wasn't sure what would happen if I didn't. I found out after compounding and polishing but luckily I did a good enough job where I have to look at the parts very closely to see which spots I missed.

I did a part at a time as far as sanding, compound, and then polish. I wanted to do the complete process first to make sure I was doing it right. When I compounded the first part, I was a bit nervous because it was like a cloudy glossy and not a real deep shine. The directions on the compound say nothing about using polish and if you never would've told me that, I would've been lost. So after I used the compound, I wiped the part off real good with a soaking wet paper towel and then I used the Meguiars polish. After that, I could see my ugly reflection in the parts!!!!! I was talking to myself and saying how I couldn't believe it was working.

I followed the same process on all of the parts except I used the 1500 grit longer. I was too scared to use any paper harsher than that. I figured it wasn't worth the risk.

Overall, it was not that hard as you said and the results were well worth the risk. Between prepping the chrome, which honestly wasn't that bad, and wet sanding the parts, I see why a body shop would charge 150. It's a lot of work.

On a scale of 1 to 10, I'd give my results a 8. I did sand through on an edge or 2 :pat: (nothing major) and will have to get a little touch up paint to take care of that and the parts are glossy but not super glossy. My guess is that's a result of either the quality of paint, clear coat, compound, or what I'm leaning towards which is I don't know if I compounded them correctly.

Yamabob, you're my hero. I owe you one. I have pictures of the parts I took with my webcam but don't have a digital to take them on my car. I might just try the celly cam. Thanks again for all your help. Thanks probably isn't even a strong enough word.



 

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From what I see they look great! When you first did a fine cut and they weren't/aren't too glossy it tells me that maybe
A: Not enough sand with the 2000
B: Compound/polish not aggressive enough.
C: A High Solids Clear was not used.
I was damned if I was gonna tell it was a lot a work :) It can be. The better the paint job the less work it is. I only use a gun never rattle can paint.
I hope you're are satisfied with the results. NO ONE can spray and lay clear perfectly flat. I look at some stuff I spray and think-Damn. Then I color sand. Ouch.
I spent a couple hours this morning at work teaching someone to paint for the first time.The whole time I was looking to see if and what you were doing.Glad it came out for ya. Please finish with a glaze. You should see a deeper gloss.Congrats!!
 
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