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Thread: color sanding and buffing 25 year old clear

  1. #1
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    Default color sanding and buffing 25 year old clear

    Hi all,

    It has been some time since I posted here. I am getting to be an old guy and don't spend as much time on and under cars as in the past. In any case, I purchased a 65 corvette coupe a few months ago. Evidently, the car was painted with a urethane base coat/clear coat back in the 90's. The other day I decided that it would be a good idea to cut and buff the paint to freshen it up. I started on the hood, used a 3000 grit on a sanding pad, wetsanded the imperfections out and then moved to buffing with lambswool on a Makita buffer and 3M machine compound. The wetsanding was effective and easy, but the buffing is turning out to be virtually impossible. The sandscratches just will not disappear.

    In the past, I have been successful with the above process, but it is possible that the paint I was working with back then just wasn't 25 years old. Am I missing something here? I have no problem with sanding the hood and spraying some clear on it to just start the process over. Help?!

    Tom

  2. #2
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    Nov 2005
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    Quote Originally Posted by ytr1903 View Post
    Hi all,

    It has been some time since I posted here. I am getting to be an old guy and don't spend as much time on and under cars as in the past. In any case, I purchased a 65 corvette coupe a few months ago. Evidently, the car was painted with a urethane base coat/clear coat back in the 90's. The other day I decided that it would be a good idea to cut and buff the paint to freshen it up. I started on the hood, used a 3000 grit on a sanding pad, wetsanded the imperfections out and then moved to buffing with lambswool on a Makita buffer and 3M machine compound. The wetsanding was effective and easy, but the buffing is turning out to be virtually impossible. The sandscratches just will not disappear.

    In the past, I have been successful with the above process, but it is possible that the paint I was working with back then just wasn't 25 years old. Am I missing something here? I have no problem with sanding the hood and spraying some clear on it to just start the process over. Help?!

    Tom
    The difficulty can come from the kind and quality of the paint used. Some paint is much harder than others and can be very difficult to buff. You may want to start with a more aggressive compound like the Presta product linked below. Also use a wool pad if possible.


  3. #3
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    Nov 2013
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    3000 scratch should buff out using a wool pad, even on 25 year old clear. in fact 3000 should not need much at all to come up to shine. did you pick up some of those little pigtails that cut deep or it the scratch nice and uniform?
    if it's uniform maybe go to 5000 before buffing? paint does get harder with age, but it should still buff out. maybe the presta len recommends will help. what's the color?
    b marler

  4. #4
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    Nov 2006
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    Are you sure the sand scratches are in the clear coat. Sometimes people put 2 part surfacer on scratch that is to deep and later when the surfacer shrinks the scratches become visible because the base coat is drawn into the scratches too. It could be that you didn’t see the base coat problem until you polished the clear coat.

    Bob K

  5. #5
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    b Marler and Bob K,

    I am going to probably get the product that Len suggested, but to answer your questions, the color is Glen Green, which is a very dark, metallic green. I am pretty sure that the scratches that I see are from the colorsanding that I did. There were no scratches that were evident before I started messing with it. Just in case, would it be alright to spray clear over the present finish after prepping the surface?
    Thanks,
    Tom

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by ytr1903 View Post
    b Marler and Bob K,

    I am going to probably get the product that Len suggested, but to answer your questions, the color is Glen Green, which is a very dark, metallic green. I am pretty sure that the scratches that I see are from the colorsanding that I did. There were no scratches that were evident before I started messing with it. Just in case, would it be alright to spray clear over the present finish after prepping the surface?
    Thanks,
    Tom
    As long as it's prepped properly you can spray clear on top.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2020
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    164

    Default Calling out “Ronf” to the table!

    Call out to “Ronf”

    Ron is a perfectionist and just finished doing a comprehensive test using different polishing pads and compounds. Although this test was performed on newly sprayed clear coat, I’m sure he will have some great suggestions for getting that beautiful Vette of yours polished out to perfection.

    Link to test here: “Wool vs Wizards blended buffing pad”

    This test may not pertain to your situation, (unless you decide to re-clear the hood) but interesting information nonetheless.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by ytr1903 View Post
    b Marler and Bob K,

    I am going to probably get the product that Len suggested, but to answer your questions, the color is Glen Green, which is a very dark, metallic green. I am pretty sure that the scratches that I see are from the colorsanding that I did. There were no scratches that were evident before I started messing with it. Just in case, would it be alright to spray clear over the present finish after prepping the surface?
    Thanks,
    Tom
    len is absolutely correct, you can clear over it if you prep it good. you might find you'll be "chasing the bad spot" though. once the hood has new clear you may want to do more. i'd try some different compounds on small sections of the hood first to see it it can be worked out. be careful though, especially if you don't know how much clear is on it.
    b marler

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
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    Quote Originally Posted by ytr1903 View Post
    Hi all,

    It has been some time since I posted here. I am getting to be an old guy and don't spend as much time on and under cars as in the past. In any case, I purchased a 65 corvette coupe a few months ago. Evidently, the car was painted with a urethane base coat/clear coat back in the 90's. The other day I decided that it would be a good idea to cut and buff the paint to freshen it up. I started on the hood, used a 3000 grit on a sanding pad, wetsanded the imperfections out and then moved to buffing with lambswool on a Makita buffer and 3M machine compound. The wetsanding was effective and easy, but the buffing is turning out to be virtually impossible. The sandscratches just will not disappear.

    In the past, I have been successful with the above process, but it is possible that the paint I was working with back then just wasn't 25 years old. Am I missing something here? I have no problem with sanding the hood and spraying some clear on it to just start the process over. Help?!

    Tom
    When you say "buffing with lambswool on a Makita buffer and 3M machine compound", are you talking about the 3M 06068 Ultrafine Machine Polish? If so this is not a compound, it is strictly a polish and will not remove 3000g scratches. If this is the case you need a true compound such as Wizards 11048 or the 3M 05973 (Perfect-it system).

    Just as bmarler states you have to be cautious when not knowing the amount of clear on the car. I would think anyone who painted, or had painted, such a great classic spared little expense when new paint was applied, but no guarantee this is the case. If you hand blocked your 3000 wet I would consider going over it with 3000 Trizact, which is more of a thin foam cutting polishing pad, followed by 5000 Trizact, both applied wet on a DA. Then hit it with Wizards or 3M compound on your wool pad. Follow this with your 3M 06068 Machine polish (if that is what you originally used) either by hand or on an orange foam buffing pad with your Makita. Again, just as bmarler states try this on a small area before proceeding to entire car or hood.

  10. #10
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    Dec 2015
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Ronf View Post
    When you say "buffing with lambswool on a Makita buffer and 3M machine compound", are you talking about the 3M 06068 Ultrafine Machine Polish? If so this is not a compound, it is strictly a polish and will not remove 3000g scratches. If this is the case you need a true compound such as Wizards 11048 or the 3M 05973 (Perfect-it system).

    Just as bmarler states you have to be cautious when not knowing the amount of clear on the car. I would think anyone who painted, or had painted, such a great classic spared little expense when new paint was applied, but no guarantee this is the case. If you hand blocked your 3000 wet I would consider going over it with 3000 Trizact, which is more of a thin foam cutting polishing pad, followed by 5000 Trizact, both applied wet on a DA. Then hit it with Wizards or 3M compound on your wool pad. Follow this with your 3M 06068 Machine polish (if that is what you originally used) either by hand or on an orange foam buffing pad with your Makita. Again, just as bmarler states try this on a small area before proceeding to entire car or hood.
    FYI,

    If you use the 3M Trizact 5 or 6" DA pads, clean them as you sand with lots of water using the same brush used for large foam polishing pads to keep the debris off the pad as well as extending their use. These pads are expensive but can last a long time if properly maintained. I couldn't find them in Lens store but maybe he can start carrying them as they are a must for the Trizact DA pads.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ronf View Post
    FYI,

    If you use the 3M Trizact 5 or 6" DA pads, clean them as you sand with lots of water using the same brush used for large foam polishing pads to keep the debris off the pad as well as extending their use. These pads are expensive but can last a long time if properly maintained. I couldn't find them in Lens store but maybe he can start carrying them as they are a must for the Trizact DA pads.
    that's a good tip. i haven't used those brushes before, will be adding one to my toolbox.
    b marler

  12. #12
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    Southern Illinois
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    I finally decided what to do with the Corvette's hood. I went ahead and sanded and resprayed clear on it yesterday. The hood turned out very nice. I am going to wait until tomorrow to color sand and buff, but I don't see obstacles at this point of the process. Thank you all for your advice and efforts at helping me. Now I have to rethink whether I am just going to leave the rest of the car as is, or remove all hardware, sand and prep and spray clear on it. The older I get the more tolerance I have of minor imperfections. Or maybe that is just an increased amount of laziness. In any case, thanks again.

    Tom

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