Next up is paint. I believe I mentioned that I’ll be using a Carbonetics hatch and doors earlier in the post. I wanted to paint them to match the car. The engine bay was sort of my test and the paint color matched perfectly buying paint from PaintScratch.com. I ordered a bunch more paint from them and had to get a paint sprayer to do the doors and hatch.
First, I had to do some other work though. The hatch was originally purchased by my friend Paul Johnson and came in damaged. His family gave me the hatch after he passed so I decided to repair it and then it obviously needed to be painted. For the repair, I actually drilled a couple holes on the underside and filled the inside of the hatch with expanding foam to help stiffen it. Then I used sanding disks to take the carbon down some about 2-3” on either side of the crack. Once that was done, I cut pieces of fiberglass mat to fit in the reduced thickness section, mixed some resin and installed them. I did the same thing on the underside as well. Once I had the repair done, I also wanted to fit the lexan window so that I wouldn’t be doing that after the hatch is painted. Fitting the lexan was a huge pain and it took my dad and I quite a few hours to get it right. We probably could have done it quicker but I didn’t want to scrap an expensive window because we got impatient and took too much off.
Once that was done, it was onto painting. I did some minor cleanup on the doors to fill some imperfections then got onto painting. Before the morning of painting, I had literally never sprayed a paint gun before. All of my painting was confined to spray cans. My friend Louie let me use his garage for the painting (huge thanks Louie!). I got there early, we cleaned up, then setup the doors and hatch for spraying. We sprayed primer, base coat then clear coat all in one day.
I let the parts sit for a couple weeks, then wet sanded them and polished them out. The clear came out pretty awesome as you’ll see in the pictures below. Unfortunately, I made one big mistake and I think I’m going to redo everything. I wet sanded between the last base coat and clear. I swear I’ve seen this on painting tutorials (maybe I’m dreaming?). After the clear, you can see all of the wet sanding of the base coat, perfectly preserved under the high gloss clear. It doesn’t show in pictures and you can’t even see it in the garage, I took the hatch out into the sunlight though and it is pretty apparent. I have to decide if it’s worth redoing before drag week or if I should save that until after.
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