A few posts back, I talked about how it’s important to let paint air dry, rather than force drying it. Baking clear to dry it can force too much solvent out, creating solvent pop. This is in regards to spraying more coats of clear, usually 5 or 6, in order to wet sand it completely flat.
Baking the paint though, is beneficial. Here’s a quick run down of one way to do it.
- About a day after the clear is sprayed, begin baking. It can be about a 90-120 minute bake cycle at about 160 degrees. Usually before sanding, there will be 2 or 3 of these cycles, allowing plenty of cool down between the bake cycles.
- Block sand the clear coat flat with 600 grit. Besides being the first sanding step, this will cut the clear open, helping it dry better.
- Bake again after the clear is sanded open. It’s usually the same 2-3 cycles, and normally close to 120 minutes each. Make sure you clean all the sanding residue good before baking.
- Repeat this process of baking, sanding, and baking again after each grit.
- Typically the last time the paint is baked is before 2,500 grit.
All of this is only based on what seems to help paint dry a little better. It still takes longer to actually cure. And the longer it can sit before sanding, the better. None of this is scientific, it’s just what seems to help.