You may be aware that I wrote an article in May of 2022 proudly announcing that I had applied the basecoat/clearcoat to the 63 Etype. Now it is October of 2022 and I am writing an article about finishing the paint. What gives? Some explanation is required.
Indeed, I completed application of basecoat and clearcoat to the entire car in May. One of my first steps, before the paint cured very much, was to wet sand it with 1500 grit paper. The goal was to remove orange peel. Even the best paint jobs have some orange peel. But there are also small blems such as dust particles, runs, etc. that are also removed in the process of sanding with 1500. It is slow going but when you are done the paint is very “flat”. Ultimately, this will result in a superior shine. After the work with the 1500, I followed up with 2000 and 3000. And then I left on a road trip to the west coast. It may seem that I left things hanging but in reality this worked out well. The paint had time to more fully cure before I began final polishing. Well, the 4 week road trip was followed by 10 weeks of projects for my wife (recompense for going on a road trip without her). So it was September before I got back to the paint. By then it was substantially cured.
Based on the recommenation of my Glasurit rep, I purchased a gear driven random orbital polisher from Rupes. These polishers are designed to minimize “swirl marks”. I must say their equipment is very effective. I purchased both a 4″ and 7″ polisher. On the Etype, I found the 4″ polisher to be the most useful, as the Etype body is mostly curves, where the 4″ polisher works well. Rupes offers 3 steps of polishing, similar to the 3M product I used to use. I skipped the “blue” coarse step, which is for removing defects and went with their “yellow” and “white” compounds, followed up with their URO sealant. Cellphone pictures don’t do it justice. It came out really well. The Opalescent Golden Sand really pops in direct sunlight. I must admit it struggles in artificial lighting but there are worse problems in life, eh?
As a final check, I had a JCNA judge friend of my inspect the final paint. He found a few things that I was able to easily correct. That same day we loaded the body up on my trailer for the short trip to my “assembly garage”, where it was installed on my mid-rise lift. I look forward to doing some mechanical work. I am really tired of body and paint work, which has taken over 2 years!
BTW, I keep a spreadsheet for all my work and expenditures. Doing a rough review, it appears that I have logged approximately 1600 hours from the time that I initially tackled the bodyshell work to completion of the painting. My cost for materials and miscl outside labor came to $20,600. That does sound like a lot but modern paints are not cheap and this includes all the prep work to get the body ready to paint, including sandblasting, purchase of new panels, and labor I paid to a helper during the intense sanding phase. It all adds up!