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I lost my front bumper towing eye and have sorted a replacement but it needs painting, thought I'd have a crack at it myself as I've painted things in the past however although they have looked decent, they have never been perfect.

Whats the best way of getting the best finish possible?

I've got gray primer and the paint from Halfords, can someone give me a run down on what steps to take?

You obviously have-

Primer
Paint
Lacquer

What should I be doing in between in terms or sanding down to get as smooth a finish as possible?
 

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Benje's Guide to the best spary can finish.

Clean and prepare:

The surface should be keyed with wet and dry paper, then thoroughly wiped down with washing up liquid and a lint free cloth.

  • Prime:
If you are priming plastics I would advise that you use grey plastic primer, and put around 3 even coats on leaving 15 mins to dry between coats.
Key the surface again with a fine grit e.g. 1200 wet and dry, make sure that the surface is smooth as possible. wash the surface down to get rid of the dust.

  • Paint:
Make sure that the paint you are using is compatible with the primer and put aroud 3-5 thin and even layers on and leave each coat 30 mins until it is dry to the touch.
Once all of the paint is on make sure that the item is in a dust free environment and leave for 24 hours.

  • Laquer:
Only laquer when the paint is totally dry and again make sure that the laquer is compatible with the paint and that the surface is clean and free of dust .
spray the laquer in thin layers leaving around 15 mins for each layer, you will need 3-4 coats.
again leave for 48 hours making sure its in a dust free room.

  • Finish:
To achieve the perfect finish make sure that when the laquer is hardened use 1200 grit wet and dry to gently rub down any imperfections.
using just a cloth buff the finish up with a car wax to seal and remove any light scratches from wet and dry.
 
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