Today, I went to buy 3 more quarts (Or 3 pints, that are mixed up to be 3 quarts; $165) of paint today. I got back to the car and carefully scanned every inch of the car with a bright light and was bummed to find a serious paint defect. In a few spots the paint had started to wrinkle/crack. The wrinkles were so small that you almost couldn't see them unless your face was inches from the car, but I was worried all the paint would just fall of the car. You can see here in the picture that it looks like a bunch of lint all in one spot.
The amazing staff out at the Sherwin Williams Automotive store, which is just down the street, listened to my concerns and Beth came over to check out the paint and troubleshoot. She gave me some tips and we figured it is the etch primer messing the color up. So, I had to wet-sand those area down, and reapply more color. If it goes bad again, I get to strip the whole area and start from scratch. Yikes.
I sanded and sprayed, and after some waiting... it turned out fine. (Bullet dodged!) I'll repeat, make sure you cover any etch primer with regular primer before spraying sealer or color. This applies to 2k etch, or spray-can etch, though my paint only lifted where the 2k had been recently sanded. The spray can etch didn't appear to cause any problems.
Next up was inspection time. I continued examining the car, and sanded any sags. There were also a lot of dust spots, whee dust or lint landed in wet paint and caused a tiny raised bump in the paint. I shaved these off with a sharp razor blade. I was pretty upset to find a pretty big ding where I must have let the hose hit the side of the car. It was low enough that it wasn't too noticeable, but I spent a bunch of time sanding it out. Once all these spots were ready and clean, I spot painted everything I had wet-sanded earlier. This took 1.5 hours.
Once all the spot painting was done and hand-slick, it was time to prep for painting the car. There was a TON of orange dust that had settled over everything in the garage since I hadn't left the fans running after I finished painting before. There was enough that I decided to use a clean dry microfiber towel to pick up the majority of the dust doing the whole car twice. Then I tack ragged the whole car twice. This took about 30 minutes.
Finally I was ready to paint. I mixed up the rest of the first quart (6th overall), and put one more coat over all the parts (bumpers, spoiler, gas cap, mirrors, rain rails), and then painted the car roof and pillars. It really takes some good light to be able to see the difference between new glossy paint and the exact same color of previously cured matte paint. I had lots of light and wish I had more lights. I really should have borrowed about 4 more shop lights to light things up.
Then another round of tack rags over the whole car. The next quart of paint (7th overall), covered the hood and sides of the car with a slightly lighter coat than I sprayed before. This was the 4th coat on these parts, and so I was just concerned with evening out the banding on the hood and evening out the repair spots.
Then more tack ragging. The last quart of paint (8th overall) gave me a nice thick third coat on all of the parts:
This time, I made sure to paint the rain rails first so I wouldn't forget them again. They turned out really nice and my hanging system really worked well:
I was also able to spray a fifth light coat on the hood. I was really struggling getting rid of banding at the center of the hood where it is hard to reach to. I was getting too much overlap, or not enough. So on this last coat, I rigged up a wood clamp to my booth frame and held onto it to lean/hang myself over the front of the car and painted strokes from side to side (where previously I painted strokes front to back), starting at the windshield and working towards the front of the hood. It helped and the banding was gone:
It took three quarts to get everything painted satisfactorily. I made sure the three heavy coats on the parts matched the four coats on the body of the car. Everything looked great. I had even gotten rid of the banding on the roof of the car. (you can't see the metallic very well once the paint has flashed dry, and I can't get a good angle to highlight the color.)
Here you can really see the color and metallic are amazing. This isn't far off from the original color I was trying to achieve, discussed here:
I do still have a slight flaw from where the dumb air hose hit the paint down by my driver-side rocker panel. Sanding it out and repainting it gave me uniform color, but I didn't sand enough, so some of the ribbed texture from my hose is still there:
Total time spent:7 hours (1 hr: sand and prep; 5 hrs: spray color; 1 hr booth and gun clean-up)
Total money spent: $165