The most amazingly smooth finish!

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Well-Known Member
Jan 20, 2009
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I have just discovered the most amazing product for giving a smooth finish: sandpaper! But not just any sandpaper. It's 3M's 800 grit Imperial wet/dry paper. My wife had some from when she was attempting to fix a ding in her car a few years back (before we were married) and I found it in our hardware drawer.

I used to think 400 grit gave a smooth finish. After feeling the finish with 800 grit, that 400 felt downright rough! I've never seen anything this fine at any of the hobby/craft stores around here, so I may have to start buying my fine sandpaper at auto stores!

when ever I paint one of my rockets it's allway finished with 400 grit. anything higher than 600 is to smooth not saying you can't do it. For better adheision 400 to 600 is the best bet. I paint cars and fiberglass molds for a hobby ,and paint all my rockets with automotive paints all base coat clear coat systems nothing beats the shine
I have a friend who works for an industrial spray giun manufacturer (ITW) Last summer he arranged for me to do a spray painting course in the their Spray Painting School- great fun.

Any way to the point... the advice from the experts is to move to increasingly finer abrasive paper as you add coats. They use a combination of 1200 and 2400 grit wet and dry between finish coats depending on the paint system and 400/600 depending on the initial surface substrate.

I now use 400/600 between base and primer and 1200 between finish coats and it seems to be working well. My biggest problem is opportunity - the garage isn't heated and living in the UK my painting opportunities are sadly limited to warm weather. Never mind if global warming continues I'll have more painting opportunities
The way I do it is final sanding the primer with 400 grit . then applying the base in 3 to 4 coats or until the paint has coverd completly. Then I wait about 20 minutes or so and spray a tack coat of clear coat on and wait for 15 minutes before the second coat this will be the medium coat.This gives the second coat something to hold on to, if not to much clear from the start may run. Then I do a wet coat the final coat. I use high solid clears on all my rockets no sanding between coats. when the clear dries usually the next day I wet sand with 1500 and then 2000 and then buff it out no orange peel looks like glass. Will have pictures soon

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