Re: Anyone painted their rear tailgate "applique"?
So...now after probably 20+ hours of sanding in various stages, I'm finally done. I may have mentioned it already, but if I had to go back and do it again, there's a few things I learned along the way Id do different.
Getting the primer and paint on was surprisingly easier than I thought. The only problem I had with it is Id hit it with one or the other and Id get a hair or a spec of dirt or something on it. Ended up painting it in a small outside storage closet to keep the crap off it while drying then Id let it air/sun dry for a while to bake in.
For the paint and clear coat, I went to a local Wesco auto paint supply place here in Seattle. The guys there were VERY helpful and seemed interested in what I was doing instead of just selling me some stuff. So that was kind of nice for a change. Paint was mixed and put into aerosol cans.
The clear coat was pretty scary. Its a two part cyanide derivitive so you have to wear a legit respirator and rubber gloves. Clears on very easily. Watched a few videos and adjust my stream and distance from surface to what the guys in the video were doing and it came out pretty good. Seems even in the last stage there were some super tiny little air bubbles and I never could completely sand them all out so now you can really only see them if youre looking really closely in an angled light and FOR them. Otherwise you won't see them.
Mistakes this go-round: When I got 3 coats of clear on I was starting with 1000 grit going up to 1500 then to 2000. When I started with the 1000, I wasnt even putting much pressure on with hand sanding and I got some burn thru. Had to repaint and start all over. Starting with the 2000 the next time significantly helped and I went even lighter this time.
After that the surface was very hazy and scratched so I used some Maguires rubbing compound and an electric cheap buffer from Oreileys followed by the maguires polishing compound. It was still sort of hazy and not glossy, so I rubbed it down by hand with a micro fiber towel and now the finish is very close to stock, maybe slightly glossier but close. Once the rest is cleaned and waxed again, itll be even closer. Here's a few pics.