Honda Prelude Forum banner

1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,226 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I dug up some old pics of my paint because I forgot to take before shots:


^^^ That's not wet. Those are permanent water spots! My hood, roof, and trunk lid were like that, and the hood was the worst: It was faded almost to white right above the exhaust manifold!

Here's the stuff I bought:
  • 1000, 1500, 2000, and 2500 grit sandpaper (2 sheets each. Doing the trunk, roof, and hood, I only used one sheet of each). Unless your paint is *seriously* fubared, You should skip the 1000 and 1500. I started at 1000 and swirl marks are clearly visible at night under street lights :( About $0.80 per sheet.
  • Buffing pad for my drill. $15
  • Meguiar's Fine-cut polishing compound. $9
  • Turtle Wax Ice $16 (Already had some)
The process:

(For best results, do this on a cold car in the shade. Heat softens paint.)

1) Wash your car. You don't want dirt stuck between the paint and your sandpaper. Don't bother being super-thorough, because you're going to need to wash the car again after you're done sanding and buffing. Don't bother washing parts you aren't going to sand, either.

2)Don't dry the car. Starting with the lowest grit (Again, I reccomend 2000 instead of 1000), keep the panel very wet while you sand in circles with very light pressure. You'll feel the sandpaper doing its thing. When there's no more resistance, step up to the next grit. Make sure to keep spraying your work area with more water to wash away the paint particles you're picking up.

3)Very important: Don't spend too much time at the lowest grit. Try to be more thorough each time you step up to the next grit so that you remove the marks from the previous grit. This is very important to avoid swirls. Also be careful around body contours, edges, and high spots so you don't sand right through the paint.

4)Once you've used your finest grit sandpaper, rinse the area off again. Chuck your buffing pad into your drill, put some compound on the paint, and start buffing. Keep the pad flat, and move back and forth slowly. Don't press down hard. Occasionally switch directions and your movement patterns. If you have a random-orbit buffer, this is a lot easier. Don't be afraid to use a lot of compound. A few drops of water keep it from drying out, too. You don't want to rub dry compound into the paint because it balls up into little boogers that can scratch the paint.

5)When the compound starts to dry, wipe it off with a microfiber towel or clean t-shirt or terry towel. Anything clean and soft except your uncle's polyesther bowling shirts. Take a look. If it's not showroom shiny, buff some more.

6)What's better than showroom shiny? Waxed showroom shiny! I wasn't too impressed with the Turtle Wax Ice when I first tried it on old-ass paint, but on shiny paint, it works some magic. And it's way easier to apply than a paste wax, and leaves no residue in crevices. Apply the Ice with the supplied sponge according to the directions on the bottle.

7)Stand back and admire your handiwork:


Night time is the true test of how good a job you did. I was pretty proud of myself until I saw the swirls at night under spotlights :( I'm pretty sure it's because I started at too low a grit. I'm going to buff again next time I wash the car, and use a clay bar. But the difference, even with the swirls, is astounding. Your hand glides across the surface like it's glass, and cruising around just before sunset, you see people putting their shades on when you roll by :D

Overall, it took me about 5 hours to sand the hood, roof, and trunk, buff everything north of the moldings, and wax everything except the bumpers. Huge time investment, but you spend a lot of money paying other people to do simple yet tedious stuff like this. It's very meditative, and if you've got a friend to help you, it would go way faster.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,397 Posts
dont keep the pad straight, angle it a tiny bit to one side than the other, you dont want to buff with the center of the pad.

other than that, good write up, seems to be a good technique.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,226 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Err I guess what I meant was keep a slight angle. Don't go too far or you're just putting the edge of the pad on the paint, which is not only inneficient, but that's the fastest part of the pad, and all the pressure is being concentrated on a small area.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,397 Posts
ya, i've had my bad experiences with the far edge of the paint, i was trying to miss a moulding and caught the edge of the pad on the paint and ripped it, luckily the paint was already chipped and shitty in that area:D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,015 Posts
Awesome write-up with awesome results... rep point for you.
Did you notice the HP increase? Being smooth allows your car do glide through the air faster than a car wtih un-smooth paint...think about a swimmer with hair vs a swimmer without.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
643 Posts
brentm said:
Awesome write-up with awesome results... rep point for you.
Did you notice the HP increase? Being smooth allows your car do glide through the air faster than a car wtih un-smooth paint...think about a swimmer with hair vs a swimmer without.
Did you use JDM sandpaper and water? Cause if you did, LOOK OUT - you might need to check to see if that thing is still street legal...

Serious note, awesome job on that car...looks like new. Nightime is when swirls show up very easy when looking at the car at an angle, but you gotta remember that no matter how hard you try you'll never get them all out. I've sorta accepted it as a fact of life, especially since I think the first owner of my lude washed and waxed with poor technique, but it doesn't hurt to keep up your own technique so you won't make the problem worse.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,226 Posts
Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Yeah the swirls don't really bother me anymore. The paint went from looking crappy during the day and tolerable at night to fantastic during the day and not too bad at night, which is pretty damn good for 18-year-old paint :D Maybe a few more coats of wax :D

After a few days of heat cycling (I park outside) the paint seems to have "settled" into a new sort of orange peel texture. It's still shiny, but you can see dips and stuff. This may just be the wax curing, or a purely psychological effect, since i'm not quite as dazzled by the new shininess anymore.

I used a lot of 3M products, which are USDM and have no compatibility issues with my ECU. And the lowered wind resistance inproves VTAK response by at least 40%. The shininess also reflects heat, which keeps the pink puppy happy on hot days.

Next up is re-painting the moldings and weatherstripping.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21 Posts
It does look really good. I really screwed up doing my toyota 4runner a while back. I completely sanded the freakin paint off on one spot on the door. I also figured out that its best to clear coat the whole panel you are working on if you plan to use clear coat to do any touch up. When you go back to sand you can see the edge of the clear coat where the overspray stops. I still git pissed thinking about doing that.
 

·
Opinionated Bastard
Joined
·
7,258 Posts
It does look really good. I really screwed up doing my toyota 4runner a while back. I completely sanded the freakin paint off on one spot on the door. I also figured out that its best to clear coat the whole panel you are working on if you plan to use clear coat to do any touch up. When you go back to sand you can see the edge of the clear coat where the overspray stops. I still git pissed thinking about doing that.
I hope you realize that you just bumped a thread that's nearing 7 years old. :rofl:

While some of the info in here is still somewhat relevant, there's few things you should do differently.

-Dry your car when you're done washing it- leaving it wet could allow pooled dirt or dust to stay on the paint where you're sanding
-Wrap the wetsand paper around a rubber sanding block- using just your fingers will cause an uneven distribution of pressure, and could lead to sanding lines.
-Use a bucket of warm, soapy water. A little bit of dishsoap helps the paper last longer, makes sanding easier, and helps wash some of the contaminates away while you sand.
-DO NOT just keep re-using the same water on your panels- rinse rinse rinse! Rinse a thousand times! You'll want all that old clearcoat to get washed away, not sanded into the final product!
-After doing a pass or two of sanding, dry the entire panel off using a squeegee or the rubber sanding block- this keeps track of your sanding progress. Any glossy "spots" designate a low spot that hasn't been sanded yet; if there are no shiny spots left, then stop sanding!
-Use good materials! Meguiars has a ton of different compounds that they sell all over the place now. Pay attention to what you use- you should polish the paint at least twice- once with heavy cutting compound, and once with hand glaze or the equivalent.
-If you start seeing the color of your paint rub into your sandpaper or water, stop sanding! Odds are, you burned through the clearcoat to the paint. A tiny spot here and there is hideable, but if you sand a whole portion of clear off, you'll have to re-clear the entire panel again.


Here's a picture of one of the quarter panels on my Prelude after painting them this past summer. I wetsanded the primer before shooting the color coat (black), to get the "orange peel" knocked flat. Remember: your paint will only lay as flat as the layer of primer before it.

 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top