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Once you have applied the basecoat (I apply 3 coats), then you need a very light dusting of lacquer (I call it a 'tack coat'), this basically forms a barrier between the basecoat, and subsequent layers of lacquer which would otherwise dissolve into the basecoat. It is to each of these following layers of lacquer, that I apply heat.
Don't add lacquer to a hot surface though, as the preceding layer will not be solid enough to accept a further coat (and you'll get a run).
I tend to do full sets of alloys, and basically apply each coat in turn, so that by the time I'm back to no.1, it has cooled down sufficiently.
If you leave the lacquer to dry off atmospherically, as the solvent is displaced, the moisture in the air is absorbed onto the surface - this mixing of organic & inorganic compounds is what causes the dulling - the surface becomes more opaque as a result - the heat evaporates the solvents, but the surface becomes hard, and resists any moisture absobtion.
Sorry for the long-winded reply!
This job should never be complete - the day I think I've done it all, is the day I resign.
Currently in VelSatisfied's garage:
2005 FIAT Ducato 2.8JTD LWB Gran Volume, 2000 Kawasaki ZZR 1100 D7 'fullpower' in black + full GIVI & KAPPA luggage, 2007 MB R-Class 320 CDi Sport LWB uprated by Brabus to 300Bhp don't know if there's a 155mph limiter - will be fun finding out! 2004 Mercedes Vaneo 1.7 CDi Ambiente 7-seater