’ve been ignoring this blog, much like many of my other blog children. I’ll try to remedy that now.
After consulting with some folks on a bicycle forum about painting metal, I came away with the idea that wet sanding was the way to go. Always before I was fine with spray, dry and spray again. I thought that wet sanding was for anal-retentive people who stayed up nights pondering if anal-retentive indeed had a hyphen. After seeing the results, I could be willing to stay up late consulting several dictionaries for an answer.
First comes prep, which a lot of people overlook in any sort of painting. But it’s far easier to waste some blue tape on masking off areas than it is to try and scrape or scrub overspray off something you don’t want coated.
Then comes primer.
At this point, I tried what is called wet sanding. Instead of simply using dry sandpaper, you spray a fine mist of water and then sand. The water and grit from the sandpaper makes a sort of slurry that doesn’t so much abrade the paint off as buff and polish it. You don’t use a very coarse grit (I used 400 grit wet-dry sandpaper, readily available from most hardware stores) and a superfine mist from a repurposed hair product bottle.
Another sanding. I can’t describe how much better it feels after the paint has been sanded down and wiped dry. In terms of texture it’s the difference between feeling an orange skin and feeling a piece of polished marble. Both are relatively smooth, but the marble is a magnitude higher in smoothness.
I let the paint dry almost a week before putting a second coat on. I was warned by several people who used the wet sanding method that sanding too soon was almost as bad as not sanding at all. It lets the paint harden fully and is more willing to accept paint. Think of paint like bacon: fresh out of the package it’s soft and rubbery, but once it’s cooked (dried out) it becomes much more rigid and brittle.
The finish, even for a first time wet sanding attempt, is a huge leap from my previous attempts with a rattle can. The finish is buttery smooth and delightful to look at and touch.
One of my two crafty sisters now has the original upholstery and the new fabric (I won’t even begin to go into the debacle the fabric shopping was), so this project is on hold until I get that back.
Well, not entirely. The caster wheels are all but shredded and finding a suitable set of replacement wheels may cost me a small fortune. Hopefully, I can find a worthwhile and affordable solution.