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How to paint/polish your coil covers...

Discussion in 'How-To' started by iwannacobra5, Apr 3, 2013.

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  1. iwannacobra5

    iwannacobra5 New Member Established Member

    Oct 28, 2011
    Corpus Christi,TX
    well i thought this would be a fun DIY project...turns out it was.

    before i go any further it's important to note that i had access to professional paint guns, but you could do this with aerosol cans and still get a good result (i think). we also used PPG "Shop Line" brand poly paint, primer, and clear that i got at a local paint shop. this was a two step paint (base and clear). overall supply cost for paint supplies and sand paper is around $200, but i'm also using it to paint my radiator and fuse box cover. the high cost up front will save me in the long run. you may also ask your shop about high temp paints and clears to see if they recommend them (i did not use them but the supplier said my paint and clear could take a decent amount of heat).

    there are several ways to do this, but here are the steps i took after removing the covers:

    1. we power sanded the fins and letters with 180 then 220 grit to get a majority of the power coat off, but i would recommend purchasing aircraft paint stripper from the paint store to get the powder coat off. after going through sandpaper so fast we decided to use the stripper and it made sanding MUCH easier to sand. use the stripper first with your project, then sand after. it basically took all of the powder coat off after 4 or 5 applications. a copper scrub brush was helpful here to scrub in and around the fins and lettering while the stripper was on. note: there was still some sanding needed in between the fins and lettering so i used 320 grit to touch it up. here's what they looked like after stripping/sanding...


    2. next i wet sanded the fins and lettering with 400 and 600 grit. 600 was the highest i went but i'd probably work my way up to 800-1000 if i had to do it over. i was just tired of sanding and happy with the look already. it's important to have good lighting when sanding so that you can look for fine scratches that need to be sanded down.

    3. after sanding we polished them using a bench buffer/polisher with polishing compound. after buffing, you'll have some compound to clean off. we cleaned it off with some lacquer thinner on a rag followed by scrubbing them with hot water and dawn dish soap. by now you're shoulders are so tired from sanding and scrubbing that you won't be able to wipe your ass when the time comes. here's the difference between one that is just sanded VS the other that we just finished polishing. it's amazing with that polishing will do:


    **pause for a cold brewski and to tell the wife that you'll just be "a few more minutes"

    4. now it's time to tape your fins and lettering. i used 3m "fine line" to tape everything. this tape is 1/4 wide and covers the fins perfectly. once you've got your fins and letters taped, bust out your razor blade and start trimming around the lettering. there may be an easier way to keep paint off the lettering, but i decided to tape. this method will take you about an hour....and a lot of patience. cut tape as close to the edges as possible.


    ** pause to admire your newly found taping skills..

    5. i don't have a pic for the next step but we hit them with one light coat of the PPG primer (could have handled a thicker coat though). if you don't use the aircraft stripper as mentioned above to remove ALL the factory powder coat like we did, then you can simply scuff the powder coat up good before painting....no primer needed. (do this before polishing if you choose this method). this method will save you some cash as well.

    6. next we painted 3 coats the PPG kona blue. let that dry and remove your tape.

    7. you will have a few areas on the fins and lettering where paint got under the tape or where you may be unhappy with the paint line. grab a rag and a little lacquer thinner and wipe all your edges clean until you're happy.

    8. lastly, apply your clear. we used two wet coats of PPG clear and it made the fins and lettering really pop.

    9. you be done! now it's time for you to post your pictures for all to see!

    the entire project probably took a total of 5-6hrs.




  2. Stri8ed

    Stri8ed Killer Established Member

    May 1, 2012
    San Antonio TX
    Good write up!
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