7. Clear It
Now is the time to be critical of your artwork and masking. Look for mis-taped areas and blow-throughs, and repair any problems before the clear is applied. Once the clear is dry, some little problems become a bear to fix, so fix everything before you seal it in. Wipe down your entire truck once again with wax and grease remover followed by a tack rag, and you're ready for clear. A durable finish is dependent on the quality of clearcoat and a quality application. Clearcoat provides shine and UV protection for the base coat color. There is not a standard technique for applying clearcoat. Five professional painters may tell you seven different ways to do it. Always check with the manufacturer for specific application methods for the product you are using.
Always pull masking tape back and away from the graphic, keeping the tape as close to the panel as possible. Make sure color is dry. Failure to remove the tape correctly can cause the paint to be pulled off the truck. Do not get in a hurry! Double-check all of your masked areas before clear to prevent unwanted overspray on glass and trim. Look for problems now; after the clear is down, they are a pain in the butt to fix. Not pictured is John actually spraying the clear, he was moving so fast we couldn't get a usable shot.
8. Show It!
Once your clear has dried, it's time to unmask your truck. Remove all the masking work in the jambs, being careful not to peel off your new finish. Do not hurry. One slip-up here could cause you many hours of repair time.
Use 3M Perfect-It 3000 and a wool pad to cut the sanding scratches to produce an incredibl
If you are a perfect painter, you can skip this part. If you are like the rest of us, you will need to sand out the tiny specs of dust, any runs, or orange peal you may have in the clear. To get the surface smooth as glass, you should be using wet sanding paper that is no more coarse than 1,000 grit. Keep your area as wet as possible with a sponge or spray bottle. Sand until the surface has no tiny shiny spots. Once you are finished sanding, it is time to move on to buffing. You will need an electric variable speed buffer, a wool pad, and compound for initial cutting. Use your favorite cutting compound for this part; John uses 3M Perfect-It 3000 Compound. Work the buffer in a sweeping back-and-forth motion, using the compound per the instructions on the bottle. After initial cutting, it's time to get out the swirls or the scratches the compound left. Get out a foam pad and Perfect-It Black Compound and buff lightly until all swirls are gone and you have a clean finish. It is recommended that you do not wax your new paint for at least 30 days. Consult your paint manufacturer for their specific recommendations.
The Final Word
Adding a set of simple well-thought-out graphics to your ride will set you apart from crowd, and if you do it right, the results will be sick.