Alright, so at this point I had most of the pieces painted with color and ready for clear coat. I have painted a lot of motorcycle bodywork and know just how sticky clear coat is but they are obviously much smaller panels and a lot easier to work with. Remember earlier when I said I had originally only wanted to paint the pieces with black and white and was going to save all of the solid white pieces for later but decided to paint them anyway? Well, when it came time to paint clear these few extra pieces kind of cluttered up my area and made the space a little tight to work in. This came back to haunt me as I was weaving in and around parts as well as having to pay extra attention to where my air hose was going. This also caused a lot of extra over spray on any pieces behind the one I was spraying at the time. I started with a single coat on the tailgate, fenders, hood, grill and the tub. I was going to spray a light covering first coat then follow up the full wet gloss second coat. I started with the tailgate which looked pretty good after the first coat.
The passenger's side fender was a little glossy after the first coat.
The driver's side fender was also looking pretty good after the initial spray.
I put a coat on the hood and then one on the grill.
This is where the problems started to arise. Since all of the parts were so close together, I accidentally backed into the freshly painted hood while spraying the first coat on the tub.
This left a nasty dirt print on the side of the hood. Here is a close up of the spot. This entire picture is just a little bit bigger than the palm of my hand. Also notice the little piece of hair in the lower right corner.
Knowing I couldn't do much about the dirt print on the hood I finished the coat on the tub. Only after I was done did I notice all the other specs that were getting kicked up onto the lower edge of the tub.
All of those specs werenít coming from dirt in the air or off of the floor, it was getting kicked off the plastic I had used to mask off the Raptor on the tub before I started painting.
That is the same plastic I had applied before I sprayed the primer, wet sanded and then painted the white. The air pressure from the gun was flaking the paint off the plastic and putting it right into the clear. The lesson learned here was to apply new masking before spraying the clear. Hopefully this will keep someone reading this from repeating my mistake. After going back and looking at the passenger's side fender, I noticed quite a bit of dirt in the paint. I think this was from trying to do too much at once. You really need to spray a coat and leave the area rather than moving around to work on other pieces right next to it. I wasn't worried about the orange peel because the first coat was sprayed light intentionally but the amount of dirt was simply unacceptable so at this point I quit spraying and had to come up with plan B.
I had to let the parts cure before I could do anything with them so disgusted with the results, I gave up for the day. The next morning I started taking a closer inspection of all the panels which revealed I had quite a few of those little hairs, the one I noted in the hood dirt print photo, were in just about every piece I had sprayed. It took me a little while to figure out where these came from but I eventually determined the hair was fibers that had came from the inside of the sweatshirt I was wearing while painting. Lesson learned here was to wear lint free clothing.
If that wasn't bad enough, here is where another wrench gets thrown into the scene. Since I had only sprayed one light coat, it was pretty easy to sand most of it smooth with some 1000 grit paper. I tried to only sand it enough to remove the dirt specs but in some places I broke through the clear and into the white. Since my first few coats of white were Oxford and the main color is High Performance, a few of the spots I had to sand pretty deep to remove the dirt and got all the way into the Oxford white. So now I had a few areas that needed to be touched up with more HP white. More work, more time, more headaches and more heartbreak.
I took pictures of this but there is not really a lot to see. I had to tape off the black, air brush the spots with white and scuff them up before shooting more clear. Before I wanted to attempt the clear coat again I had to either come up with a better procedure to only spray a few pieces at a time or a better place to spray. So my first attempt at clear coating the Jeep was an, in every sense of the currently overused term, "Epic Failure".