Final coat

After the last repair episode I had applied the first coat of paint to the injury.

I now applied a second coat of paint, waited a week and then applied a coat of clear coat to the area. I found that the clear coat did  cause some of the second coat to come off which was a concern.

I made sure that injury had a good coat (perhaps a little too generous with that upon reflection) of clear as well as applying it over some other minor scuffs in the area.

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You can see the final before and after shots above. Although far from prefect I am very pleased with what I have been able to achieve having no knowledge at all of how to fix this issue at the start.

With that in mind, here are my learnings:

1. Beware where you reverse so this sort of thing doesn’t happen in the first place. A little bit of caution on my part initially would have avoided this whole thing.

2. Mask the area off using masking tape.

3. Sand back the affected area using 300 – 600 grit sandpaper. 1200 grit will work but you’ll spend a lot more time sanding if you do. You will also probably get better results if you use a machine but you’ll need to be very careful about not taking off too much but I think a machine sander will provider a much smoother overall finish that by hand.

4. Fill the crack. No matter how small it looks you should fill it. I think resin is a better bet however that will generally leave a bulge which needs more sanding back. A filler, like bog, will probably be easier to apply and leave a flatter finished surface resulting in less sanding later. If you do use resin DON’T use the nozzle from the applicator but use a skewer stick to apply the resin into the locations you want. A toothpick is too small for the job in my experience.

5. Clean and sand back before every coat. This ensure a good bonding surface for the next layer.

6. Allow the layer you apply to thoroughly dry. In my case I learnt to leave it at least 7 days!

7. Less is more. You can apply too much paint, too much clear coat and sand too much. If it looks like it is enough then walk away, you can add more later if need be.

8. Be patient. This process will take a while given the need to have everything dry properly.

So where to from here? I’ll touch up a few areas, especially the edges of the repair, and apply clear coat to a few additional spots I painted last week under the car for completeness. I think the final stage of the repair would be to give the area a good polish using a rotary polisher. That should remove some of the bumps I can see in the paint repair as well as blend it a bit better. This doesn’t have to be done immediately as I want to get a dual action rotary polisher but practice doing paint correction on another car before I take the polisher to the F355.

The other job I’ll now look at doing is repairing the other scratches and chips the car has (mainly underneath the front bumper). No need for sanding there. All I should have to do is clean, paint and then apply clear coat. Easy!

Now there are still some hairline cracks in the rear bumper but for the time being I am going to leave those as I don’t think they are worth trying to fix at this stage. Maybe down the track after the area has been polished I will re-evaluate. So all in all a good learning experience and a good (if somewhat imperfect) result.

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