PaintScratch Touch Up Paint  ›  What to Order  ›  Painting new (primed) fender
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Posted by: jmc Posted on: November 11th, 2004, 7:26pm

I need to paint a new primed fender on a Miata. I assume I can skip the primer step - any other prep advice? Is just the wax and grease remover step adequate? Any sanding required before the basecoat? How about the inside of the fender? The OEM fender did not have color on the inside but it would appear to need something besides the primer. Also - preferences for painting the fender on or off the car?
Thanks much,

Posted by: admin Posted on: November 17th, 2004, 4:20am
Reply: 1

I would scuff the primer down and as long as no metal is showing, you can go ahead and spray it.

If you don't need it to match the outside, I would use a rubberized undercoating product to paint the underside of the fender as it will provide better rust protection.

I would always paint the fender on the car, especially if it is a metallic as it will have to be blended into the adjacent panel. See for more information on blending.

Posted by: jmc Posted on: March 24th, 2005, 3:05pm
Reply: 2

The temperature  finally got to where I could start this project last weekend. The car is a Merlot (metallic) Miata that I use primarily as a track car so I wasn't going to be too particular about looks. I wadded the car up in a tire wall last year so I bought a new primed fender and paint from Paintscratch to give it a try.
What I've done so far:
Washed fender,  degreased
Used blue tape around fender with newsprint to block overspray
Scuffed primer with 1000 grit wet/dry paper
Washed fender, dryed, finally wipe with tack rag
Sprayed a color coat, let dry, spray again, repeat
Next day - wet sand with 1000 grit. spray two more color coats.
Wait about four hours, spray a clear coat, let dry, repeat.

Sounds like more work than it really was. At this point, the car is sitting waiting to be compounded. The finish has *some* shine, but sort of matte looking due to the orange peel in the clear (as expected from your directions). The color base coat is very even and a  pretty close match (probably slightly darker at some angles than the 10 year old OEM paint - again as expected). I didn't bother to blend it ...
Hopefully I'm not going to jinx myself, but so far the results are way better than expected. It even rained last night and I half expected to see a puddle of Melot paint under the car this morning -:)
I'll report back Monday after I use your rubbing compound this weekend, but so far, so good ! My only painting experience to date was helping a friend (who has experience) paint his car with a HVLP gun. When he heard I was using a spray can, he sort of  shook his head ....

Frank :)

Posted by: admin Posted on: March 27th, 2005, 12:36am
Reply: 3

Sounds like you are doing a great job.

The best way to get a shine on this large an area is to use a power buffer. You may consider going to a detail shop as you don't want to make your fender the first one you attempt to power buff as it takes experience to use one.  There shouldn't be much shine at all before compounding so that is normal.

Posted by: jmc Posted on: April 5th, 2005, 2:02pm
Reply: 4

Being stubborn (and cheap),  I figured I'd buff it myself by hand. The rubbing compound you supply is indeed a "liquid sandpaper". Rubbing it on the clear really smooths the surface, making the shine "clearer". I followed it up with some 3M Finesse fine cut and 3M swirl remover.  It was  a  fair amount of work but not too bad . The finished product is pretty remarkable. A good part of the fender looks first rate. In a couple of places the finish is kind of "cloudy" looking, I'm guessing I didn't get enough clear on those parts although no color is on the polish rag. Any thoughts about this? Since its primarily where the fender curves at the top, I'm really leaning towards not enough clear ...
Perhaps I should have heeded the advice about practicing :-)
All in all, I was very surprised at how well this worked.  I would use  it again.

Posted by: jmc Posted on: April 5th, 2005, 8:17pm
Reply: 5

My bad, I used the 3M "Perfect It" products (not Finesse) .

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