Originally Posted by RV8R999
Dan you have given me hope my very mediocre paint job can actually be salvaged or at least improved!
Most paint can be improved, even a very good hired gun job. As I mentioned elsewhere, this work has become routine in the autobody world. Even pros don't spray perfect paint every time.
Two quick notes. Less need to worry about rivet lines if your first pre-paint step is a good scuff with a 400 grit stick-on disc on a hard backup pad (clean, sand, clean again). Look close at the rivet heads when you pass over them and you'll immediately see any which are not flush. Block sand, shave, or replace and they won't haunt you later in the cut and buff stage. If you didn't do something like that and your paint is now on the airplane, make a light pass down the rivet lines with the 1500 disc, wipe clean, and study the heads. If the dulled (cut) surface forms a sharp line at the rivet edge, better watch out. Mark that one with a tape dot and stay off it with the sander. Really nervous about the rivet lines? Fine, don't sand them at all! You can sand just the middles between the rivet lines, then buff the whole surface. The result will mostly fool the eye of the observer; without the light just right he won't see the little bit of orange peel along the rivet lines.....the majority of the surface is slick.
Second thing.....none of this will work if you don't have enough paint on the surface. If you sprayed a very light, barely covered, every-ounce-counts paint job, perhaps you should forget about cutting and buffing...or at least the cutting part. The pro who does my car work shoots a very light tack coat of clear, then two wet coats. That's his comfort level in case he needs to cut it later. I sprayed a tack coat and three wet coats, the extra coat being insurance, and besides, I like the deep look over the pearl base.
Moral of the story is "decide early". If you think you'll cut and buff, give yourself all the advantages from early in the paint process.
Jim: The color in the oil door photo is actually GM Silver Birch....the camera made it look green. The builder with the beautiful yellow composite airplane was Cory Bird.