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post #4 of (permalink) Old 10th July 2009
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Some pretty good advice already given, which doesn't really give me a lot to add...

Naturally, remove badges/wiper, etc before working on the panel.

I would paint it before it has been fitted (if possible), and under cover/indoors. This will mean that paint runs are minimised, and contamination from flies, pollen, rain, etc is eliminated.

You only really need to remove the lacquer layer, and lightly key the basecoat layer, before adding your own paint. Depending on the shade of blue you are applying, you may need to alter the colour of primer - if it is anything darker than a royal blue, I'd go for a matt black primer to kill the colour lightening effect of the silver. Then apply the basecoat (at least 3 coats), allowing an hour to dry between coats, and giving the surface a light rub down with a very fine grit of paper, and wipe off any dust with a dry soft cloth.

Lacquering is where all the difference can be made; you need at first a 'tack coat' which is a very light coating of lacquer over the basecoat - this prevents subsequent lacquer coats from absorbing into the basecoat. Allow to dry for an hour, then add a proper coat of lacquer, then whilst it is still drying, give it another coat of lacquer, as heavy as you dare (hence why it should be flat), this is a process called 'wet on wet', then immediately use a hairdrier or heat gun to fuse the lacquer (don't keep it in one position, or you'll melt the lacquer), you want to evaporate the solvent in the lacquer as quickly as possible (saving the shine), without allowing moisture to be absorbed onto the freshly applied surface (which would happen if it were left to dry atmospherically - this dulls the appearance).

I'd leave it overnight to dry off properly, then fit with care.

Hope that helps,


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