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Thread: Getting runs out of clearcoat?

  1. #1

    Default Getting runs out of clearcoat?

    What's the best way to attack a run in the clearcoat? I just ordered a nib file and run razor from eastwood and I have some 3m buffing compound and 1500 grit paper.
    Also, how long should it dry before I attemp all this.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2005

    Cool Drying time

    Hi Ralph,
    Whenever I get a run I usually wait a few days to make sure the paint is dry all the way thru. I have rushed it once using a run razor and once using a nib file and the paint was still soft. It just kind of rolled up into a ball right down to the color and had to be sanded and cleared all over again. Also, if you level it out too soon the run area will eventually dry and shrink down below the rest of the panel, kinda like an inverted run. My rule of thumb is if it is still soft enough that you can leave a mark in it with your fingernail it is still to soft, let it dry for a few more days. Besides, you've got chrome and other stuff to put on in the meantime, right?
    Usually I take a nib file and gently work the dried run down level with the surrounding paint. Take care to have a file card or an old toothbrush handy and clean that nib file after every pass or two. If dried paint builds up in it it will scratch the heck out of your new paint. Once you are happy with that take your wet/dry paper and a good block and lightly sand the area down to make sure any ridges are gone. then you can rub out the entire area until you get the finish you want.
    Good luck
    Ye Old Armor Shop

  3. #3


    I will attempt it as soon as my tool order arrives. I went last night and bought some McGuires polish(#5 on the scale) and their foam buffing pad. I plan to use my random orbital sander(it's adjustable for speed) and try to bring out the shine.

    Thanks for the help,


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Southern Pines, NC


    A little trick I do is have some 2" masking tape around. If I should get a run in the clear give it a few minutes flash time (still somewhat wet) tear about 4 or 5 inches of the 2" tape and just barely touch the run with the sticky side. Don't throw the tape on the run though or you will have a big 2" line in your clear. If done right all you will have is a little textured area. Just put another coat of clear over that panel. You will still need to wet sand and buff but hey it takes out half the time.

  5. #5


    Thanks, I'll have to try that the next time. Right now I'm cutting it down with a nib file and then I will sand it with 1500 then 3000 and then try to buff it out.
    I bought a nice foam buffing pad only to find out it won't fit my air sander or electric buffer. It has a 5/8" arbor. So I'll have to find one.


  6. #6


    yeah what ralph said, if i catch it in the booth ill wipe it down with my finger and shoot another coat over it after it flashes. make sure your finger is clean before you touch the wet clear. sometimes they dont show up until you roll it out into the daylight. clear is rubbery for the first day or two. even worse in the thick areas of a run. but, if you start with 1500 you will be sanding that run for days. take some 180 and a hard block or paint stick. knock down the high spots but leave the run higher than the surrounding areas of clear. be real careful not to put 180 scratches in your good clear. then go 320. 180 and 320 are both used dry, and blow the dust off often to make sure your run is still higher than the good clear. if you have time, let this cure for a day after you knock the tops off, this thick clear is not as hard as the thin clear around it, if you cant wait, buff very carefully, as the soft clear cant take the heat or pressure as well as cured, and it may peel off if you heat it up too much.

    after the dry 320 hit it with some wet 400 or 600 and a hard block. it is ok to gently hit your good clear with 400 but dont work it over too much, the 400 will take material off pretty quick and if you go through the clear you have to re base and start over. when the run is almost the same height as the surrounding clear switch to 1000 .

    level the run with 1000 until it is gone. a few rubs with 1500 and 2000 or a 1500 da pad and you are ready to buff. sounds complicated but it takes me about15 mins from start to finish to remove a run. keep your gun moving and cut your material back a touch if you get a lot of runs. also, watch your flash times. touch some wet clear on the masking tape next to where you just cleared. if it is wet or if you get strings when you remove your finger wait longer. it should be sticky, but not stringy.
    if you rush it , runs are more likely.

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