The worst has happened – you’ve followed all the steps properly (at least you think so) but the final paint job isn’t as nice as you’d hoped. Here are some of the more common symptoms of problems in the process, and some suggestions for correcting them:
1) The Touch-Up is really obvious
Check to make sure you got the right color of paint. Did you paint to the edge of the panel? Sometimes your old paint may have oxidized, and using rubbing compound on the whole car will bring it back so that it matches your new paint better.
2) Lines that look like spider veins have appeared in my paint
The paint started drying before it got to the surface. You were either holding the nozzle too far away, or the temperature was too warm. Don’t paint over 80 degrees. Sand the problem area and recoat.
3) I’ve used the rubbing compound, but my paint won’t shine
This is a clearcoat problem. If you applied no clearcoat, the paint itself won’t polish. If you’ve used too little, or rubbed the compound too hard, the clearcoat will have been removed and won’t shine. The solution is to scuff the surface and reapply the clearcoat. Allow it to cure for three days, and try the rubbing compound again. Check to make sure you’re using medium duty rubbing compound (not polishing compound).
4) My clearcoat is hazy
It was applied under the wrong conditions. Make sure you don’t paint below 50 or above 80 degrees Fahrenheit, and that the humidity isn’t above 50%
What to do in case of a big mess
Relax. Keep calm, and sand on! Runs and other imperfections can be removed by wet sanding with 1000 grit, and you can always remove the paint you’ve applied with sandpaper (right back to bare metal, if you need) and start over. Painting is hard work, and the learning curve can be steep. Stick with it, you’ll get it.