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Old 09-26-2013, 11:48 AM
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I would clear coat it when done.

I'm no body expert here so take what I'm about to say as a guideline - not an exact suggestion.

initial sanding probably something in the 60-80 grit range. use whatever tools you need to get rid of any loose rust. what you're doing here is getting all of the stuff out of the way and getting to bare metal.

bondo sanding - 80 or 100 to start with depending on how good your bondo skills are. then up to 220 for feathering

initial coat primer sanding 220-400

in between primer coats and finish feathering 600-800

between paint coats 1000-2000

between clear coats 4000, or rubbing compound

use a cream polish or clear coat polish and then wax


the general idea between paint coats is to not sand through the layer of paint you just applied. just a light touch is really needed. between color coats you're just aiming at knocking down the orange peel and any small bumps or paint splatters. If you see bondo edges or lines, then you need to go back and smooth out the bondo coat more. like I said, the first time you hit the bondo with primer you'll see all kinds of marks you swore were perfectly smooth. use finer grits, and a light touch and blend it all in. You'll know you got it right when you spray primer and all you see is the tiny bumps in the primer coat.

one way to give yourself an idea of how a paint coat should look on a smooth surface is to spray some paint on a mirror. you'll see the orange peel bumpy look clearly and you'll then know what to look for. you'll never get all the bumps out, the idea is just to blend things into the existing paint to the point where the repair looks as invisible as you can get.

one thing to watch for is paint lines from where you've masked things off. when you're taping things off try to place the tape and plastic at metal edges, folds, behind panels, that sort of thing. don;t be surprised if you end up having to spray more than a foot of panel to find an edge. Just take your time and blend in the paint coats.
It's kinda like doing mud coats on drywall. build it up and smooth it out best you can.
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Last edited by anothernewb; 09-26-2013 at 11:57 AM.
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