Join Date: Dec 2004
Bikes: 92 Giant Sedona ATX Custom
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Ok, that is combining types. Enamel can be coated with laquer, provided the enamel is hardened sufficiently that it is no longer outgassing, as the fumes will interfere with the clearcoat. That will cause lifting bubbles and peeling. The other issue, depending on the agressiveness of the clearcoat, is that laquer clearcoats can soften non-laquer bases. The general principal is anything can go over laquer, but not the reverse.
Urethane clear, on the otherhand will go over anything since the solvent is non-agressive. It costs more than the other types but for that regard it is worry-free.
Plain enamel clear can go on top of any of them, with the caveat that it is not always the most durable. In this instance I would go with enamel if cost/applicability is an issue, as urethane requires a little more facility and attention. Plain enamel will bake together with the color coat and be satisfactory.
You bring up a good question about the inter-coat sanding. You do want to rough it up, but not with paper. Take a superfine 3M Scotchbrite(available from any body/paint supply house) and lightly buff off the gloss. You will be amazed at how much "orange peel" effect you will smooth out in the process. Be careful, however, since you are rubbing off the surface. It is easy to wear through it, resulting in more color needing to be applied. The surface must be de-glossed(flattened?
)in order for the clear to bond propperly and appear to have depth. Clean the deglossed surface with a rag moistened with solvent(no pressure on it) to ensure no fingerprinting or dust. Let the solvent air out so you cannot smell it, then procede with the clear process.