How to Correct Your Plastic Model Car Painting Mistakes
"Oh no, now I've done it." You have just applied to much paint and created huge sagging paint globs to your once perfect model. That perfect contest winning finish you were hoping for is now a disaster.
All is not lost however. You can fix just about any paint mistake that you have made on your contest model with just a bit of work. With a careful paint sanding technique, you can create a perfect finish.
Using four techniques; paint standing, re-spray, paint polish and wax, you can fix just about any mistake you make. I will show you how to use these techniques to fix your model and bring it back to contest level.
Paint standing is the first technique we will use to correct and over spray or orange peel situation you have created on your model. Orange peel is just extra paint that is applied to thickly and ends up making the surface of your model looked like the outside of an orange. The easiest technique I've found to correct this kind of situation is just to use sandpaper to grind off the extra paint. The hardest part of doing this is not to stand into the details sticking out of the surface of your model.
There are many different grades or grits of sandpaper. I basically classify sandpaper into two types, rough and fine. Rough sandpaper comes in grit numbers from 100 to 1000. The lower the number the more course it is. For heavy paint removal I typically use number 320 grit. Fine sandpaper runs from 2000 through 12000 grit. This fine grit is one secret to getting to a perfect finish.
Sandpaper comes with different kinds of backing. I prefer cloth backing over the cheaper paper backing because generally I use only a wet sanding technique. Wet sanding is where you use water to help lubricate the surface of the model and generally works better for my model paints.
Your first task is to let your paint mistake dry completely. Then start the uneven paint removal with a rough grit sanding being very careful not to sand into any plastic detail of your model. I will cut the sandpaper into very small pieces and hold them or glue them to wooden "tools" to get into small places. I will also use paint thinner to soften paint buildup around detailed areas keeping in mind that you do not want to ruin the plastic.
Once this is done, re-spray paint the damaged area.
Continue this process of sanding and re-spraying until you are satisfied with the finish. At this stage you are now ready to fine sand the paint.
Fine sanding is really the true secret to a perfect paint finish. I work the paint finish by sanding the paint using these grits in order.
The sandpaper I like to use is sandwiched between foam so that it conforms to the surface of the model more easily. Each step uses the wet sanding technique with water. Change your sanding strokes in different directions and try not to use a lot of pressure. At the end of this paint sanding sequence the surface of your model should be very even and smooth. This will bring us to the next step which is polishing the paint.
Paint polish is the next secret to that near perfect paint finish for your contest winning model. I prefer Novus plastic paint polish. I work the paint to a fine mirror finish by using No. 3, No.2, and then No.1 in sequence. This sets you up for the final step which is wax protection.
Wax protection is the final step in and creating your contest winning the model finish.
I use Meguiar's mirror glaze # 26 professional high tech yellow wax. You can find this at any automotive parts store. I apply it with a soft cloth and buff the paint to a showroom finish.
Well there you have it. It is a lot of work but it is well worth the effort. In the end you have fixed your pain problem and come out with a model that has a complete showroom and contest winning finish.