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Painting tips for mirrors

Discussion in 'Detailing & Truck Care' started by sstoner911, Nov 6, 2011.

  1. sstoner911

    sstoner911 Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    Iam going to be re painting my mirrorss due to some rock chips. This is going to be my first attempt to paint my own exterior parts. Iam guessing I need to remove the clear down to the base coat but not sure how far to take it or if it matters since iam redoing the entire mirror.
  2. pmf608

    pmf608 Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    Because rocks see a lot of wear, I would sand them down at least to the base coat. Personally, I would probably go to primer on smallish parts like that. Then prime, paint, wet-sand to get a nice flat surface, lots of clearcoat to protect against rock chips, and more wetsanding to get a mirror finish on it.

    If you have any more questions or need any more help, feel free to ask.
  3. sstoner911

    sstoner911 Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    Thanks for the reply... I took the mirror off today and sanded it down to the base coat/primer. There is a lower and upper parts you can remove on the mirror (mirror caps) that I took off to make it easier to paint and it looked like the first time when they were painted those parts were left on the mirror and they weren't prepped well where the 2 parts meet. The paint was starting to peel off on the seam so I want to try and avoid that this time.

    I got the paint, clear, and primer form automotivethouchup.com. Hopefully the original paint/primer doesnt react badly. I also got tack rags but I havent gotten the prep/cleaner that you apply before you paint. What would you recommend?
  4. pmf608

    pmf608 Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    I always just clean my parts with soapy water (dish soap is safe to use here since there is no clearcoat to harm), then rinse and dry them, making sure to not leave any fibers on the parts. I recently bought some duplicolor paint prep/degreaser solvent, and wouldn't use it for painting since it leaves a residue that isn't really oily, but is definitely petroleum based. I've never had a problem with anything lifting or peeling with the soapy water prep though.

    I also agree that taking the caps off is definitely the right way to paint the mirrors so that the paint edges aren't on seams. This is one issue that influenced my choice of where to take my truck to have the dent in it repaired. The woman whose son hit my truck suggested a shop that quoted me $750, but I chose a shop that quoted $1368 because they were the only one that would take off the plastic cladding on the top of my avalanche to get the paint seam underneath the plastic instead of in the gap between the metal and the plastic when they repaint that panel. When those seams are exposed, there is just too much potential for the paint to peel for me to be comfortable.
  5. sstoner911

    sstoner911 Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    Ok I got the parts primered today and will wet sand them Friday and try to paint this weekend. On the mirror I missed a couple spots and didnt get enough primer and i ran out before i noticed. Do you think its safe to buy a rattle can of primer to hit those spots? Otherwise I will wait til I order some more to do the other mirror and my front valance.

    I only ordered a pint and in hindsight I should have gone to a Qt probably. I am using a cheap HPLV gun from Home Depot, $50.00, its so much easier than rattle cans! Hopefully the paint goes on as good as the primer

    Attached Files:

  6. pmf608

    pmf608 Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    I'd say its probably safe to rattle can the the spots you ran out of primer on as long as the primer you are using now is lacquer-based. If your primer is urethane or water-based (a lot of paints are going water-based now for environmental reasons), then you'll have problems, but if both are the same type you should be fine. I want to get one of those inexpensive guns to start working with a bit better paint, but I need a compressor that can handle it first.
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2011

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