How to properly wet sand your truck and where is the best place to get supplies?

Discussion in 'Detailing & Truck Care' started by PantheraUncia, Aug 9, 2012.

  1. PantheraUncia

    PantheraUncia Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    Thank you Dylan,

    Does orange peel get worse as the paint/clear coat ages? While traveling I happened to come across a Bentley dealership so my friend and I went ahead and walked in to see a "high end" car in person and even the 1 owner, garaged pre owned car they had for sale had a piano like black finish that looked to the eye, better than what I have seen on a brand new black silverado.

    Does the orange peel get worse with polishing and waxing the paint? I have a 6inch orbital polisher and compared to what I was able to do by hand the orbital polisher/waxer did much better. Or am I able to see the orange peel more since that polisher really shines up the clear coat and removes the oxidation with the polish compound?

    I have gotten a few quotes from mom & pop's restoration shops that to repair all the dents I have in the truck, sand, and repaint 4 coats, and then 3 coats of a seperate high quality PPG or Valspar clear coat would run me about $7000 an they guarantee that it will be "Show Room Qualtiy" that will also be high enough for an auction house (not that anyone would bid on a 2000 silverado).

    And since I actually use my truck as a truck, putting that type of money in repainting the truck is not something I want to expense at this point.
  2. Dylan@Adams

    Dylan@Adams Member 100 Posts

    Nope. Orange peel happens in the factory... its just a symptom of paint being sprayed. It doesn't lay down perfectly flat so thats where you get that texture from. Even an aftermarket/custom job has orange peel when its first sprayed, it has to be sanded and buffed to remove it so you can level the clear coat. The only way you'd see paint jobs without orange peel from the factory is if the manufacture started sanding and buffing the cars as they came off the line. Given the speed at which cars are produced and the cost/time/labor involved its just not feasible to produce cars and have them orange peel free. I'm sure its possible that some of the higher quality aftermarket paints lay 'flatter' but nothing is going to be orange peel free without a sanding.

    Now I will say the degree of orange peel varies greatly from car to car.... I'd imagine with something like a Bentley the paint process is a little more 'hands on' than it is on a assembly line type car, but its still going to have orange peel, but maybe to a slightly lower degree.

    Its not always easy to see the orange peel at first glance, especially on a clean, corrected, and well detailed paint job. Below is a perfect example. That reflection is in the door of my 2006 Trailblazer SS. It had horrific orange peel as do most GM vehciles, but in the reflections its almost impossible to tell. I had hundreds of hours into detailing that truck. It was never sanded only polished/corrected and maintained meticulously... but if you look at the frame of the garage behind me you can see 'ripples' in the reflection, that would be the orange peel


    a couple more of the paint condition

    Now... that being said heres a customers car I detailed/prepped at the Grand National Roadster Show in 2011 that was in the running for the America's Most Beautiful Roadster Award (AMBR). This paintjob cost somewhere in the range of $50k was many many many many layers deep in clear coat and had been sanded to absolute perfection. You can tell simply by the reflection and how far into the hall you can see how absolutely mirror like that paint is. Thats the type of reflection you're never going to get out of a factory job or a finish that hasn't been sanded. In the 2nd pic pay attention to how the rafters look, you can't see the same ripples like you can in the reflection of my trailblazer. They're straight as can be.


    The shop that sanded and finished it did a pretty poor job of cleaning up the sanding marks.



  3. PantheraUncia

    PantheraUncia Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    Thank you Dylan,

    The paint job on the Roadster is amazing. Is there a guide somewhere that I can read up on the process and products used to get they the type of finish the Roadster has? I doubt I will ever spend 50k on a paint job in my lifetime, but when I am vetting out a quality restoration shop compared to the less than stellar stuff that a "Maco" would use. As an example:

    1. Start by cleaning and sanding the panels down to the bar metal.
    2. Prep the metal
    3. Prime the metal
    4. Apply the first coat of paint ( a "quality" layer of paint will be between 30 and 50 microns, etc) A cheap paint job would be 5-20 microns thick, etc
    5. Sand.... 2000 git? 2500 grit? 3000 git?
    6. Prep for the next coat of paint and repeat process?
    7. How many coats of paint is good? 2,3,4,5 etc?
    8. Prep for clear coat.
    9. Which clear coat to use? PPG, Valspar, (some other brand I have never heard of?) and what is the differences to look for in a cheap clear coat vs. an expensive clear coat?
    10. Each clear coat layer should be how many microns thick?
    11. Apply first clear coat.
    12. Sand clear coat with which grit sand paper?
    13. Prep for the next layer of clear coat.
    14. Repeat clear for next layer of clear coat.
    15. How many layers of clear coat do you need?
    16. After clear coats are applied prep for polish and initial waxing.
    17. What polish to use?

    This information would help me vette out a shop and see if what they are charging is reasonable for what they are going to do. I don't want to pay 7-10k for a job that should really be 3k, or 15k for a job that should be 10k. ( If Maco told me they could do a 10k job, I would really have a hard time believing them... they would charge me 10k, but I would not get a 10k job.
  4. Dylan@Adams

    Dylan@Adams Member 100 Posts

    Honestly, seek out a quality shop and let them make these decisions for you. No more than you show up to a good steak house with your own beef and ask them to cook it, you don't necessarily pick a shop and tell them how to do the job. Part of what you're paying for when you select a professional is their knowledge, just as much as their skill. I've found the best way to find a good painter is to visit a couple of local car shows. Find the cars with the best paint and ask where they had theirs done. Typically a pattern starts to emerge.

    Out my way theres a few places that stand out above the rest like Starbucks Customs, L&G Enterprises, etc. They'll charge a decent amount for the work, but the end result is worth it.
  5. sstoner911

    sstoner911 Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    Typically shops are not going to go to the bare metal when repainting. Prep includes sanding and any body work that needs to be done - small door dings etc....

    Once you have the car truck sanded shops will wipe off the truck with wax remover prior to priming. Once its primed you generally do a couple of coats of base(the color). As for the clear, it really depends on the clear your using as to how many coats you lay down.

    Some only require 2 coats @ 3 mil. I usually do 3 coats on my hydro dipped items. I rarely get orange peel, if I do something is not right either in my gun setup or conditions like humidity. I hate to cut and buff - its sucks - so I try to minimize how much I have to do. With a auto - being such a large area, orange peel will happen to some degree. Some guys are really good with clear - some arent.

    If your doing something that is in the sun - you want a good HIGH SOLIDS clear.

    There isnt really a need to sand between coats of clear..unless your looking for a show car finish.

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