Got some paint on the roof today! This was the big test, since it’s the first large panel I’ve painted that is supposed to be glossy and “perfect”. I shot three coats of PPG Concept Acrylic Urethane (DCC) which should be enough to allow me to cut and buff it later. I am very happy with the results. I only got one bug in it and a few specs of dust. Not too bad considering my paint-booth is just my shop with the big door open and the exhaust fan to my bicycle-size paint booth running for cross-ventilation. It worked decently… I’m glad I decided to do it this way instead of wasting a lot of time and money building a plastic tent contraption which may not have even yielded better results.
I ended up mixing up two batches of paint, because I wasn’t sure how much it was going to take. With 3 coats, I ended up using 18 ounces of paint plus the hardeners and reduces which made for a total of about 32 sprayable ounces. This also covered the bottom ledge of the roof just above the rear window with two coats. I went light (just one coat) on and below the drip rail because these areas get covered up by stainless trim and the rubber weatherstrip. I suppose I could have left it in bare primer, but I didn’t want to take any chances in case some tiny part of it is visible between trim pieces or something.
I used my Iwata LPH400-LV for it’s intended purpose for the first time doing this. Up until now, I’ve shot the other parts of the car (firewall, trunk) where it didn’t even really matter how my technique or gun settings were. This time it really mattered because I want (of course) the paint to come out as smooth as possible with no runs and good coverage. I read up in forums about what experienced painters were suggesting regarding the usage of this gun, plus watched a few Youtube videos. I ended up setting the pressure at the manufacturer recommended 16psi (I know, that’s low) with fan and fluid knobs turned wide open, with the gun about 5 inches from the surface, moving somewhat slowly. Worked out great! Not perfect… that’ll take practice, but I did get it to flow out pretty good. I did notice a decent amount of overspray was happening, which surprised me because I was under the impression that this gun didn’t perform like that, but my frame of reference is pretty limited so maybe it was just as it should be… I dunno, I’m a rookie!
Should I color sand it and buff soon? Many pro’s suggest doing this asap before the paint gets too hard. If you wait too long, it is much more difficult to sand and buff… but, I dunno…. I am in no hurry, and honestly I’d rather take it slow and not risk sanding through or having the paint shrink back and dull-out after a while because I was in too big of a hurry.