First off thanks to the both of you. If I can go a little bit deeper without driving you crazy, here is really what I am getting at now after your replies: 1) I take it you wet sand after last primer coat? 2) What about the final color, do you sand in between each coat or on the last coat? 3) Do you rub it out then prior to clearcoat? 4) Lastly on the Clear Coat, spray as many layers as you need and then follow up with wet sand and rubbing out? Thanks for sticking with me. Tom
I'm not an expert on painting, but I've been doing this for quite some time and I manage to get good results, so I will answer your questions as best as I can.
1) It is not always necessary to sand your last primer coat if everything looks good. Nonetheless I usually give it a very quick sand with 600 grit paper, used wet. I wouldn't really call this a sanding, just a bit of a rub to ensure there are no local high spots or junk in the primer, etc. Wash the body thoroughly afterwards, before painting.
2) Personally I do not colour sand between colour coats unless I have managed to get some significant junk in the paint or it has all gone horribly wrong somehow and turned out pebbly or badly orange peeled, but this is rare. In these cases I will let the paint cure then colour sand before the last wet coat, but this hardly ever happens. Never colour sand metallic paint. If a metallic paint job goes irretrievably south I strip and start over.
3) Here is where I differ from many of the painters on this forum; I rarely use clear coat (personal preference) except for on metallic paint. And the only reason I use it then is, as mentioned above, you can't colour sand directly on metallic paint. However, I also rarely use metallic paint, so I polish out the colour coat with micro mesh pads and Tamiya polish and finish off with Tamiya wax.
If I was to use a clear coat, I would lightly colour sand the colour coat just enough to ensure it is flatened out, remove any junk in the paint, and ensure ridges from any masking operations are smoothed out.
One thing I'm sure your are discovering is that, though there are a few hard and fast rules that must be followed when painting, many modellers have developed their own very personal process for getting the job done. Over time you will develope your own process that you are comfortable with. And as I mentioned, I'm no expert but this is what works for me.