Paint texture along the bottom of the passenger door was fairly flat and did not
require focused leveling. However, the rest the door skin did. After masking
tape was placed along the door’s edge and atop sharp body lines, the large
curved areas and flat section were hand blocked using 1500 grit sandpaper.
Once initial sanding was complete, the tape was removed in order to allow
blending of the freshly sanded section with the outlying areas of the door. The
door handle area was strategically masked and sanded, too. The lower
section of the door was sanded using a dual action polisher outfitted with an
interface pad and 1500 grit discs. The goal? To even the inconsistent paint
texture and blend it with the rest of the leveled door. Prior to cutting, the entire
door was final leveled using the dual action polisher and 3000 grit discs.
By comparison, the front fenders were easy to refine. A clear bra had been
recently installed on the Ferrari 458 Italia, protecting an area half way up the
fender, stopping just aft of the headlight. The same process was used on
both the door and fender. Once sanded the orange peel took on a grayish
hue. This is used as a guide to determine how the level the paint was before
restoring gloss. The art was in making each area flatter with out over thinning
the top coat and dramatically shortening paint life.
The trunk lid of the Ferrari 458 was had less noticeable texture to
remove then the other body panels and was the easiest panel to
navigate because of it’s straight forward design. The trunk lid was
separated into two sides (sections 9 and 10 on the Leveling Workflow
diagram) and each was leveled separately. Finally the remaining
strip of paint separating the sections was hand sanded and carefully
blended in. The final picture (bottom left) shows the dramatic
increase in reflectivity and the crisp reflections of the ‘tuned’ paint.
4) Leveling Continued
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