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07stanggt

Wetsanding my Shelby

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So, part of my winter mods included wet sanding and buffing my 2013 Shelby GT500. I have always wanted to do this, and after some practicing on a used trunk from a Lincoln and viewing videos and some expert advice from my painter, I decided to give it a shot. DO NOT ATTEMPT THIS unless you have buffed out over 100 cars in your lifetime, have extensive knowledge of what wet sanding is and does, or have a big set of kahonas ! This is a one shot deal, so messing up is NOT an option. I started by taping off my car to eliminate any and all clearcoat that has been sanded off so it doesn't dry (pain in the butt to get out of seams etc) and also to eliminate hitting any trim etc with the sandpaper or polisher. Maybe overkill but not taking chances. After the taping was done, I started with 2000 grit paper and finished it off with 3000 grit to make it perfect. I did use 1500 grit at the beginning, although it did remove the clearcoat, it seemed like an extra step that was not needed in my situation. The idea with wet sanding is to remove, smooth out , any orange peel on your paint. It leaves the paint looking like glass, bringing out all of the natural color in the paint, further enhancing the color in the metallic as well. Polishing takes out scratches, wet sanding removes that orange peel look. Big difference. After using both grits of sandpaper, l used Adams old Severe Swirl Remover, then Adams orange Paint Correcting Polish, and finished it off with Adams white Finishing polish to get the paint to be perfect after wet sanding. LOTS of hours but INSANE results. I'm about half way done, so any of the pics do not include any products like Brilliant Glaze or wax to give it shine, yet. I will post up pics as time goes on and will show some end result pics when finished. Fyi, I am replacing the hood with an aftermarket one and the bottom of the car which is taped off is getting painted so no need to wetsand those areas. Here are some pics. Again, do not attempt this, this is not just a weekend "hey lets try this" project !! Here are some pics for ya....

  

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Posted (edited)

Nice work. And that is a big project. I am curious as to why you wanted to wet sand the entire car though?  The paint didn’t look too horrible. We know about orange peel and all that. Did you car have a lot of it?  Photos can be often difficult to tell the real condition of the paint. We will typically wet sand spots down if they really need it. Some of the compounds that are out there now cut incredibly well when paired with the proper pads. This applies to Adams as well as others. When we do wet sand, we typically do the 2000/3000 combo like you did. We commonly use small sanding disks on our Rupes Nano with the orbital head to help blend it all. 

 

We are always striving to use the least aggressive methods required to get the results we (or our client) are after. Clear coat isn’t infinite and we want to leave as much of it there as we can. 

 

Out of more curiosity, did you measure your paint before and after?  Wondering how much clear coat came off?

 

Anyway, the car looks great. Nice work. Can’t wait to see the final shots of it when you get it done. Sweet ride!

Edited by shane@detailedreflections

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Isn't a lot of the "orange peel" actually UNDER the clear coat?

 

Interested to see if this actually gets rid of the "orange peel" effect.

 

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3 minutes ago, Beemer said:

Isn't a lot of the "orange peel" actually UNDER the clear coat?

 

Interested to see if this actually gets rid of the "orange peel" effect.

 

 

Orange peel can be in the color layers or in the clear. It’s often times difficult to tell exactly where the peel lies. It’s one of those things that makes it easy to get carried away when you’re chasing a defect like orange peel and before you know it, you have little to no clear coat left. It’s why measurements are so important. 

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Posted (edited)
38 minutes ago, shane@detailedreflections said:

Nice work. And that is a big project. I am curious as to why you wanted to wet sand the entire car though?  The paint didn’t look too horrible. We know about orange peel and all that. Did you car have a lot of it?  Photos can be often difficult to tell the real condition of the paint. We will typically wet sand spots down if they really need it. Some of the compounds that are out there now cut incredibly well when paired with the proper pads. This applies to Adams as well as others. When we do wet sand, we typically do the 2000/3000 combo like you did. We commonly use small sanding disks on our Rupes Nano with the orbital head to help blend it all. 

 

We are always striving to use the least aggressive methods required to get the results we (or our client) are after. Clear coat isn’t infinite and we want to leave as much of it there as we can. 

 

Out of more curiosity, did you measure your paint before and after?  Wondering how much clear coat came off?

 

Anyway, the car looks great. Nice work. Can’t wait to see the final shots of it when you get it done. Sweet ride!

The paint and luster is extremely good on the car, just want to get it as close to perfect as can be.I do feel the car does have way more orange peel than I like, more on the side panels than on the roof etc. I am not doing the roof, although I did do half of the roof without a huge difference in that spot, I am also not doing the trunk but the spoiler attached looks terrible, in my opinion  Areas like in the fog lamp bezels where its impossible to polish I will stay away from and any areas where I don't feel its needed I wont do, but everywhere else gets sanded. I am a perfectionist so if its not perfect, it will be !

No I did not use a measuring device, Ford typically has pretty hard clear coat so I did not measure and since its my car, not as worried as if it was someone elses. A decent amount of clear coat came off, not a real milky look to it though, as can be done if really aggressive as you know , didn't want to go to deep. Like you mentioned pictures don't do paint its full justice but the amount of orange peel in pics is different. If to much light you cant see the orange peel as much. My 2007 has been done and the paint is amazing ! I had 5 judges tell me at World of Wheels in Boston it wasn't factory paint, IT IS !! They were blown away ! The paint on my 07 is 11 years old. Here a pic of that car.

 

 

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Edited by 07stanggt

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Nice work!  But as you said, this is not for the faint of heart, and the 'during' shots can make your heart drop.  I did this to my Frontier when I first got into detailing (I did not have the prerequisite number of cars under my belt, but did have the guidance of a very experienced detailer).  It was a little scary to have fully scratched up car, but after the polishing the results were worth it!  My truck is now old enough to vote, but the black shines better than the other black cars in the parking garage at work (and it has not bee polished for several years).  And the paint readings are very similar to the reading on our new Accord (for whatever that is worth!).

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I give you a lot of credit for wet sanding such a beautiful car!  Stupid question about orange peel...does orange peel have peaks and valleys, or is it mostly peaks that your trying to sand down to the flat areas?  

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13 hours ago, BrianT said:

I give you a lot of credit for wet sanding such a beautiful car!  Stupid question about orange peel...does orange peel have peaks and valleys, or is it mostly peaks that your trying to sand down to the flat areas?  

 

I have never seen orange peel will large peaks and valleys, just the 'impression' of the skin of an orange, which can be seen at very close inspection.  From a distance you do not notice it, but up close with good lights it is very visible.  The shot below is an extreme case, but 'flattening' out the paint with wetsanding really amps up the reflection.

 

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On ‎1‎/‎9‎/‎2018 at 10:09 AM, ZMAN024 said:

Nice work Jimmy.  I love the '07.  Is the planned aftermarket hood on the '13 going to be similar to the '07 ?  

The new hood is the same company, Cervini, but wanted a ram air hood. I bought a GT500 Type 4 Ram Air hood in picture, unpainted, so will be installing it next month.

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On ‎1‎/‎9‎/‎2018 at 8:46 PM, BrianT said:

I give you a lot of credit for wet sanding such a beautiful car!  Stupid question about orange peel...does orange peel have peaks and valleys, or is it mostly peaks that your trying to sand down to the flat areas?  

I would say "smoothing" out of the clearcoat would be the best way to explain it. Once you get past that, the shine and perfection in the paint is very apparent. This before and after pic shows you the difference. This is a shot of the spoiler that I wet sanded. Look at the clarity difference of the sign and the very defined lines it presents in the first and second pics. The first pic looks great till you see the second shot !! No more "wavy" or orange peel look to the paint, very clear and defined in the second pic. Even the perfect lines in the white cabinets looks way better after the spoiler was done. When the entire car looks like that, then I'll be done . 

 

 

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Edited by 07stanggt

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There is nothing quite like having a paint job with zero or almost zero orange peel. Gorgeous work. Maybe I’ll tackle mine one day. I will say this however, I’ve been rather impressed with the paint on my ‘17. It is among the lowest or age peel levels I’ve seen on a factory Ford paint job in a while.  And lighter colors are more forgiving of orange peel than darker colors. Now if it would just warm up so I can polish and coat this sucker! G&G will have to do for now! 

 

 

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1 hour ago, galaxy said:

There is nothing quite like having a paint job with zero or almost zero orange peel. Gorgeous work. Maybe I’ll tackle mine one day. I will say this however, I’ve been rather impressed with the paint on my ‘17. It is among the lowest or age peel levels I’ve seen on a factory Ford paint job in a while.  And lighter colors are more forgiving of orange peel than darker colors. Now if it would just warm up so I can polish and coat this sucker! G&G will have to do for now! 

 

 

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Holy sweet mother that’s nice. 

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I’ve done some wet sanding myself. It’s a scary process haha. Nice job and great results you got. Flat paint looks amazing. The sun shots should be nice for you too. Here are my results. But my sanding was on a 2k dollar daily beater lolol.

 

 

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Edited by Ls1transam

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58 minutes ago, Ls1transam said:

I’ve done some wet sanding myself. It’s a scary process haha. Nice job and great results you got. Flat paint looks amazing. The sun shots should be nice for you too. Here are my results. But my sanding was on a 2k dollar daily beater lolol.

 

 

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Its a lot of work but the results cant be matched with a machine. My ocd went into overload !

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2 hours ago, galaxy said:

There is nothing quite like having a paint job with zero or almost zero orange peel. Gorgeous work. Maybe I’ll tackle mine one day. I will say this however, I’ve been rather impressed with the paint on my ‘17. It is among the lowest or age peel levels I’ve seen on a factory Ford paint job in a while.  And lighter colors are more forgiving of orange peel than darker colors. Now if it would just warm up so I can polish and coat this sucker! G&G will have to do for now! 

 

 

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Beautiful car. I took care of my buddies earlier last year. Same color etc.

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Thanks Jimmy. I like white anyways, but it’s the quintessential Shelby color, ya know?!!

 

great license plate BTW...that’s awesome. I just got FLAT 315. Figure most mustang and any Shelby guy will get that one!

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I have some more pics of the wet sanding. Getting pretty close to being done, all the wet sanding is complete, just buffing out the scratches is left. I will  be done this week. No rush as its -5 right now and car not going anywhere !! Here are some more before and after pics. Coming out awesome. The color, the metallic, the depth and luster of the paint is so much better. No B glaze or Patriots wax, yet so the pics are buffing out the scratches only !!

 

 

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