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Finally got a hood painted that has been sitting around in a box for over a year. I struck a deal with a local body shop that would paint the hood if I was comfortable owning the back half of the finishing work. I have zero body shop experience but wanted to take on the new challenge so I said sure why not.

I don't have pictures of the hood post spray but it had a bunch of micro raw defects in the clear coat. The paint had these tiny raised nibs or little pimples you could feel with your hand. I was reassured this was semi-normal and finishing solves all issues.

I have zero experience in a body shop, but have sprayed a bunch of random stuff in the past with a HVLP gun. I don't recall having these nibs when I sprayed stuff but whatever...

Tools utilized
  • Spray bottle + soapy water
  • 2000, 3000, 5000 sandpaper
  • GM clear coat touch up pen
  • 6” DA + 3" DA
  • m105 + m205
  • microfiber cutting pads + microfiber finishing pads
  • Griot foam finishing pad
  • Powerlock +
  • Collinite 845
  • Scangrip
The process condensed.

I sanded down most of the nibs with the 2000 grit and then spent a bunch of time running the 3000 & 5000 grit sandpaper over the entire hood. The entire sanding process took around 2-3 hours doing it by hand, nice and slow, in the same direction over and over again. With that said, the guys on YouTube blew through the wet sanding process with an orbital in under 5 minutes so YMMV. Again, no idea what I was doing outside of researching the web.

Next step was to run the scangrip over the hood and look for defects post sanding. I filled in a couple low pin pricks with some clear and then leveled/sanded them back down. I paid close attention to high spots and edges as to not blow through them. Some spots in the clear had this orange peelish feeling to them and were only visible to the scangrip. I targeted a few of those areas to level them, but they were a bit tricky to find without the scrangrip. You can feel the drag of the sandpaper change as the surface is leveled though so this is good secondary indicator when running over the paint. Jason Killmer has some killer videos on this sanding by feeling topic, but I’m not sure I have the level of skill or patience that guy does.

Once the hood looked like complete crap, post sanding, I sprayed it down with some IPA. Post IPA, the hood really looked like shit and I could see all the scratches from sanding. I really was nervous at this point and new I had my work cut out for myself with some heavy duty cutting work, or at worst I was shit outta luck from being so dam green.

Onwards to cutting the hood.

I hit the hood with both DAs, cutting pads, and m105. I worked the hood in a cross-hatch pattern over and over a few times and noted I had to increase pressure to cut through some really bad defects. Once you get some heat into the polisher it gets down and does it’s thing. I used a bit more m105 than I thought I would need, but I could tell the pad was really working when it would load up with crap pretty quickly. Catching this was a fine balance between introducing more scratches and or catching it in time and cleaning the pad. I used a turbo air gun to blow the crap out of the pad. (The YouTube guys made this look like cake with a rotary, but I was not ready to burn holes in the clear and end up with a larger problem...)

Post m105, I cleaned the hood with IPA and was not exactly thrilled by how the paint looked. It had a bunch of surface marks when viewing with the scangrip. This could be attributed to the pad loading up with clear and then the gunk reintroduced new scratches. I have also read that post cutting IPA removes all the polishing remnants that hide any and everything on the surface. This was shocking but I said whatever and continued onwards.

I then switched to m205 on a finishing pad and repeated the same process. In this step the hood really finished out nicely and had amazing depth. It looked like a mirror with zero webbing, ghosting, or any visual remnants from the nibs. The scangrip really showed the delta between m105 and m205.

To match the finish on the V, I then ran over the paint with some Powerlock +. I applied this with a finishing pad on the DA but I’m sure application by hand would be fine. The Powerlock has a suggested cure/bond time of 3 hours, so I applied it twice and finished the job the next day.

I then applied some 845, by hand, for the final final step. No notes here besides the stuff smells like death but is really easy to use.

The final depth of the paint is pretty amazing and overall it was a great learning process. I’m certain I spent 10 times the amount of finsihing time making it look perfect compared to the guy at he shop, that is on the clock, with 10 jobs in queue.

When the hood was off the car I did not feel all to bad about hitting it with sand paper, but there is something mental when you sand a non-removable panel.

If any of you guys are in the industry and could provide a tip or two regarding my process, I’m all ears. The body shop guy said I could skip the 3000 and 5000 grit paper but I had it in teh tool box so I figured why not.


Premium Member
869 Posts

Black is one of the most difficult to make look perfect because it shows everything.

I've painted a handful of cars over the years and am still a novice but know that the real beauty comes in the prep work and the finish work. You've done very well and while you probably could have cut the time down quite a bit by using different grades of paper to start with, the end product is what matters and the fact that you did it yourself and it turned out awesome is the most important part.

Job well done!!!!
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