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Advanced painting tips

January 18th, 2006 · 5 Comments

To get a very smooth paint job on your car, you’ll need to go to a bit more work than the basic painting tips. Wet painting, wet sanding, polishing, and even waxing can all give you a fantastic finish.

To wet paint, you need to spray dozens of thin coats of paint on your car without waiting for the previous one to dry. The coats will blend together, filling in and hiding small imperfections in your block. The trick is to paint while the previous coat is still wet, but not add so much paint that drips form. I first put on a solid coat of paint and then let it completely dry (about 48 hours). Then I spray in short, half-second bursts and wait about 15 seconds before spraying again. The short burst process is repeated dozens of times, and after about ten minutes, I have a fantastically shiny coat of paint.

Wet sanding involves using an extremely fine grit of sand paper on your car. The sandpaper will remove any high spots and fine wrinkles from your paint, leaving only a smooth car. After your paint has completely dried, use a 2000 or 2200 grit waterproof sandpaper and some water. Wet the surface of the car and sand in even, straight strokes. Don’t use a circular motion. Every few minutes, wipe the accumulated grit off of the car and dry it before starting again.

You can polish the paint on your car using automotive polishing compound. Follow the directions on the label. If you have a Dremel or other rotary tool, you might find it easier to polish complicated curves by using a cloth buffing bit in your tool.

And finally, for a perfect finish, wax your car. The same stuff you wax your real car with can be used to wax your pinewood car. As with the polishing compound, follow label directions, and you might find it easier to wax complex curves with a rotary tool. Make sure not to get wax anywhere around your wheels. You don’t want to mix wax and your lubrication and gum up your wheels.


5 comments so far ↓

  • Hypertech Pine // Feb 12, 2009 at 9:04 am

    The type of paint will greatly affect the way you accomplish multiple coats. If you wait 48 hours with an acrylic enamel like testors spray paint the finish IS going to wrinkle badly and ruin the previous coats through surface tension differentials when the new solvent hit the previously partially cured paint. You really need to read the manufactures instructions to determine the best way to approach multiple coats as there are numerous different types of spray paints sold and how to handle them properly varies greatly from type to type.
    Automotive spray lacquers are a great choice for this application like those sold in rattle cans at automotive parts stores i.e. duplicolor. They dry fast, build nicely and can be clear coated to achieve that automotive finish everybody really wants. Another very important step is to properly sand and polish the paint out after it has cured to get to smooth surface of the finished product.
    Dont forget you also need a high qualtiy wood sealer to keep from raising the grain that will happen with all solvent based paints before you prime it as well.

  • jon // Jan 25, 2010 at 4:34 am



  • Michael Blue // Jan 28, 2010 at 1:01 pm

    I just work with a friend who owns a body shop and use automotive products, wet sanding between coats and buffing the final clear. Just got “best design” this month. I’m sure the pretty blue pearl helped a lot. :)

  • Ernie Gonzalez // Jan 18, 2012 at 10:28 pm

    A fast way of raising the grain and stabilizing the paint surface is to paint it with a 1 lb cut of shellac. It dries in 5 - 10 minutes and two coats will get you ready to sand it with 600 grit. Then just paint it.

    last year I cut, weighted, alighned, and painted a car from start to finish in 40 minutes this way using 5 coats of green tinted blond shellac.

  • Joel Hacker // Mar 15, 2016 at 11:44 pm

    I’ve had good success raising the grain with Minwax wood hardener and using a heat gun
    To help speed the drying and curing times

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