Registered: 1st May 01
Location: Hurstbourne Tarrant
User status: Offline
Cobra 148ís Painting Guide
Iíve been asked so many times how I painted my Corsa interior parts that I have decided to write this guide. Please note: I am not an experienced painter, just an amateur like you. I can only comment on my own method of painting. I do not claim that mine is the best method by any means. I only know that my end result after trial and error is very good. It has a hard durable finish and shows no signs of peeling/fading even after several months use.
All my paint, primer and lacquer has been Halfords home brand, although not for any particular reason, any brand should be suitable. Remember, preparation is the key to a good end result, do not rush or try to cut corners, be patient and the result will be worth it.
Firstly, remove any plastic trim that you would like to paint. Now the first step is to remove the ďorange peelĒ surface as you want a glass smooth finish. Do this using a coarse grade wet and dry paper. Donít worry if it looks like its scratching the plastic too much as this will be smoothed out later. When the orange peel surface is gone, start to rub some more with a finer grade paper to flatten the surface. Finish of with 1200 grade wet and dry, this is the finest grade paper. Rub down until it feels really smooth. When your happy with the feel, stop rubbing down, you will now be left with a plastic part covered in tiny scratches.
Now thoroughly wash the plastic to remove any traces of grease, polish etc. I washed mine in water with a drop of washing up liquid added. Give it a good wash and ensure it is thoroughly dry before starting priming (a hairdryer comes in useful here).
Now your ready to apply the primer, some people use a filler primer as this is meant to fill the orange peel surface and reduce the need for rubbing down. Personally, I do not like filler primer, but used a grey plastic primer. It must be a plastic primer to ensure it adheres to the plastic part, ordinary exterior body type primer will eventually peel off. Make sure the can of primer is at room temperature before spraying, I stood mine in a bowl of warm water for a few minutes first. Now your ready to spray. Hold the aerosol can upright and spray from a distance of 9-10 inches from the part. Move can up and down, left and right. Aim for a very light coverage, it doesnít matter if its not all covered in the first few coats. Leave primer for about 10 minutes between coats. After the first few coats, leave for an hour, then using 1200 grade wet and dry, lightly rub down under running water. Donít worry if some of the plastic begins to show through the primer. After rubbing down, thoroughly dry, and again apply several coats of primer, and again flatten down with 1200 grade wet and dry under running water. Eventually, all the painted surface will be primed and it will feel glass smooth. When you are happy with the finish of the primer, its time to paint.
Ensure the part is clean and thoroughly dry before painting. Now apply the paint at room temperature in the same way as the primer, in several light coats. Donít put it on too heavy or it will run. Leave about 15-20 minutes between coats of paint, or follow the recommendations on the tin. When the paint is complete, leave it for 24 hours to dry and fully harden. If you are using a metallic finish paint, its best to flatten the surface with 1200 grade wet and dry used wet, before lacquering.
Before applying the lacquer, warm the tin slightly in warm water. If the lacquer is cold, it can dry with a milky white tint to it. Apply the lacquer in several very light coats, do not try to put on too much at once or it will run and look bad. Also ensure that the area you use is dust and insect free. Nothing is more annoying than have a fly land on your lacquered surface before it is dry. It will stick, and if you pull it off, it will leave its legs behind. Let the lacquer dry for a couple of days to fully harden before handling it. Even though it may feel dry, if you touch it too soon, you WILL leave prints on the surface.
I used Vauxhall Carabic Blue for my interior parts. This is a bluish green colour and it is metallic so has a nice finish too it. It contrasts nicely with the Arden Blue of the exterior.
I hope this guide is of some use to you, as I said before, I donít claim mine to be the best method, but it worked fine for me. Any problems mail me here