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Okay now we have applied the gloss paint and hopefully it came out beautiful and will not need any rubout at all before decaling. Wrongo! There is always room for improvement. Fortunately there is a quick and easy way to fix almost any defect without having to strip the body and start all over again. I treat this always as what I term as "scale body work". I once went to a buddy's shop that did custom body work and paint of full size cars. He was doing a repaint of one of my cars in a black pearl finish. I watch carefully and learned quite a bit that I have applied to all my finishing from furniture to models. I even refinished the top of my rear wheel fenders on my old Ford Dually better than any body shop could have with just the cost of paint. So it ain't hard.
The key is the proper tools. For this I use very very fine sanding films. The best ones are made my Norton found at auto body supply shops. They come in "micron" grades. You can buy them individually and if you get the 8, 10, and 12, micron grades you will be set. The equivalent is to get the sanding films made by K&S.
You get five sheets of various grades. They are very very fine and are great for removing defects and getting the surface ready for decaling and clearcoating. Either of these sanding films are inexpensive and last a long time if you use plenty of water. The K&S films are plastic backed so they really last a long time.
Now on the Pontiac bodies there are several imperfect areas that had to be dealt with. I always start with the finest grade to see if it will remove the defects. If not I go to the next coarser grade and try. This way I reduce the risk of sanding thru through the paint to the primer. Mind you sometimes you have to, but if it was that bad it needed retouch up anyway which is easily done with the airbrush. Normally once I have removed the defect I will go to the next finer grades to insure the best finish. More than likely this minor sanding will remove the gloss. Not to worry as most NASCAR's have enough decals to cover the affected areas anyway or they will be taken care of by the clearcoating. If the car is a custom hot rood or solid color that will not have clearcoat or decals, you can now use a polishing cream like Novus #2 to bring back the shine. You can learn more about this in the Polishing article in my modeling pages. Remember to go slow and easy to insure that you do not sand through the finish. It is also very important to let the paint cure thoroughly before you start this. I wait a MINIMUM of 2 days sometimes longer before I do this on some enamels. If you use lacquer you can do this sometimes after only a couple of hours.
On the Pontiacs, I only had to use the Light lavender grade (#1 above) to remove the little defects and orange peel followed by the finest one (dark green #4) to bring back the shine a bit. It does not come back to the glossy shine, but it does not have too as most of the areas will be covered by the decals and the clearcoat. If you "burn through" the gloss paint, you can use the airbrush to spot repair the area and then rubout again to blend into the surrounding area. Just remember to think "scale body work". If you have a little dent in your car , they don't repaint the whole thing do they??
Well if you followed all the guidance, you r paint job should be ready for the next step which on the CAT cars is decalling.