Polyester resin on fine automobile veneer
Hello everyone my name is Michael. I’m from Dallas Texas and this is my first post.
I’ve been collecting and restoring cars since I was 16. Over the last three years, I’ve been getting into restoring more high-end vehicles like classic Rolls-Royce. I can restore just about anything on a car, but wood trim was something I always avoided and sent out, until this past year.
I’ve become quite good at stripping off old nitrocellulose lacquer and prepping wood trim for recoating, but I continue to struggle with fisheye and pinholes in my coatings despite everything I’ve tried. I would like to explain my process so that maybe one of you can guide me on how to avoid this incredibly time-consuming and destructive issue I continue to have.
I am using 2 products, both polyester resin-based and manufactured by Simtec In California. One is a sandable sealer and the other is a flexible clear.
my process is as follows (using nitrile gloves):
strip workpiece to veneer
lightly sand veneer with 320
prep workpiece for sealer coating using grease and wax pre-prep
move workpieces into the paint booth
lightly skim workpiece with a tack cloth
prepare resin and mekp catalyst
pour into strainer attaches to hvlp gun with 2.5 mm tip
Apply a tack coat to the workpiece
wait a few minutes
spray medium wet coat
wait 15 minutes
spray medium wet coat
let dry overnight
Sand with 300
repeat process with flex clear
flatten with 600
followed by 1000
I know that’s a lot but I thought it was important to share what I’ve been doing. Now the issues that I run into every single time, The sealer and flex always develop fish eyes.
I’ve tried everything I know to do, I have adjusted the gun until I’m blue in the face, I’ve adjusted my fan patterns, the distance from the workpiece.
in order to combat these fish eyes, I will let the piece dry and go over the fisheye with a small brush with the coating but it almost always causes a visible blemish after sanding flat. In addition, if the fisheye is in the final flex clear and you burn through the clear trying to remove the fisheye, it will leave a visible halo around the area which requires a re-spray or at worst a total strip and rework. I’ve had to rework a few pieces so much, I damaged the veneer.
The final straw was yesterday when I was finishing up a classic Mercedes and two of the pieces were covered with small pinholes and I just had enough. The coating manufacturer is useless and will provide no real support.
It’s to the point now where this particular coating has almost ruined the wood trim on two vehicles and cost me hundreds of hours in rework. I have included a photo of a piece from yesterday where you can clearly see a pinhole (the piece has not been machined polished as I stopped work due to pinhole), along with another photo of a Rolls-Royce I just finished. The Rolls in the photo was brutal and although beautiful, still not to my standards.
I would greatly appreciate any feedback anyone has to offer me.