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Custom Restoration Guide 2018

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149 FINISHED PAINT OVERVIEW Clears have a "tail solvent" that evaporates slowly during the 30 days following application. As the solvent leaves the clearcoat, buffing gets easier. During the first week, more solvent is releasing and buffing is difficult because the surface of the clear film is soft. As solvent evaporates, buffing gets easier. It is BEST to wait at least 14 days before buffing, depending on the temperature. However, you can speed up this process by sanding the surface with P800 grit wet sandpaper as soon as the paint is dry, usually overnight at 70°F. This opens the surface and allows the solvent to evaporate faster. Wait a minimum of 24 hours before buffing. Since the ideal time varies from job to job based on the temperature and paint film thickness, you can test a panel to find the optimum time to begin buffing. The test panel should buff to a deep glossy, scratch-free finish without hazing back overnight. If you are sanding a paint job with heavy orange peel, you have your work cut out for you. To achieve a smooth glass finish, it would be better to flatten the finish with P600 grit and reapply clearcoat (flowcoat). A smoother paint job will yield a better finish that's easier to buff. Move vehicle inside. Don't sand or polish on a hot surface. Work under adequate lighting to help see what you are working on—a light stand is helpful for viewing side panels. Use wet/dry paper and clean water. A hose or squirt bottle is a good idea. Dirt trapped under sandpaper causes nasty scratches. Use a clean sponge to keep sandpaper wet, and a clean towel or a squeegee to wipe dry. Stay off panel edges. Paint flows away from edges, peaks in fenders, etc., so the film is thinner and easier to cut/burn through. Use a piece of 1½" masking tape to help protect them.

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