In the last post you saw me paint the bumper with black cellulose paint. Now the paint has dried (albeit slowly because of the cold!), it’s time to finish off the job. This means flatting out the paint with a fine grit wet/dry sandpaper, then using compound and polish to really bring out the shine.
(If you’re reading this blog for the first time, I’m in the process of restoring some of the bodywork of the taxi – as a test run, I’m doing the bumper first before I let myself loose on the rest of the car! See my restoration plan for more info…)
In the video below, you can see the bumper being wet sanded with firstly 800 grit sandpaper, then 1200 grit. This flats out any imperfections from the spraying stages, such as; orange peel effect (fairly self explanatory, but basically consists of small pits which are introduced by the spray gun and spraying technique), dust specs, and edge mapping (whereby the solvent in the paint is absorbed into the filler patches faster than the surrounding metal – this creates a similar effect to the edge of a coastline on a map).
You can see the bumper becomes very dull after the sanding, which is because the fine scratches no longer reflect the light – however the paintwork is now flat and ready to get cut and polished.
So, next I do 2 passes over the bumper using a DA (dual action) polisher. This machine basically does the same as you would do by hand with a cloth, but MUCH faster! The first pass is using a thick compound which eliminates all the fine scratches left by the sandpaper, and the second is using a fine polish in order to bring out the best shine possible.
The end product is a very deep mirror finish, which I’m fairly chuffed with! It certainly bodes well for the rest of the car, and I’ll get cracking on the wings as soon as possible – however, they need some welding before any paintwork takes place. You can see the amount of rust which needs removing here.