When painting, always read the can. These directions should be followed AT ALL TIMES. No matter what you read here or anywhere, follow the directions on the can of paint.
1. Before you begin painting, you will want to test fit the hood on the car. If it does not fit properly, you can still send it back. Once you’ve sanded, painted, or altered it in any way, you have to keep that hood. Start by removing the four bolts on the rear corners of the underside of the hood. They take a 6mm wrench or socket. Now, lift your old hood off of the car and place it on a flat surface. Place your new hood onto your car, laying it flat. Have someone help you lift the front end of the hood, while you bolt the new hood onto the hinges. Carefully, lay down the front end after all 4 bolts are in place.
2. Check that the right and left edges match up properly. If not, you need to loosen the hinge bolts, and shift the hood to get the edges to line up properly. Also, make sure your hood latch and emergency latches are holding properly.
3. Now you can start prepping for paint. Start off by wet-sanding the entire hood with 400-grit sandpaper. Wet sanding is just sanding with water on the hood surface (make sure you buy wet/dry sandpaper). I use a bowl of water and dip my sandpaper in the bowl frequently. You can spray water or pour it on. The idea is to reduce dust, and allow the sandpaper to work without getting gummed up. Your goal with the initial sanding is to remove the “shine.” DO NOT sand all the way through the white gel-coat. It’s not the end of the world if you do, but if you sand into the fiberglass strands, you will then have to patch that area before moving on. Start with small sections, wiping them dry after sanding, to see if the shine is gone. If it’s gone, move on to your next section of the hood. Repeat until you’ve sanded the shine off the entire hood. Spray and wipe the hood down with 50/50 rubbing alcohol/water mix. Lastly, wipe with a tack rag before applying the primer. This will remove dust, and also leave a light “tack” on the hood, which will allow the paint to adhere better.
4. Next is your primer. If you used 400-grit sandpaper, you won’t have deep scratches to fill, so you can spray a sealer/primer (rather than a high-build primer). This eliminates a lot of sanding you would have to do with a high-build primer. Start by spraying the edges first. If you spray them at the end, it will mist onto the hood, creating little dots of dusty paint that you will then need to sand off. Now, start on one edge and spray long lines up and down the hood, always keeping your paint gun moving. Paint using the “50% overlap method.” This means you want 50% of your paint to overlap your last line. This ensures good coverage and good “wet edge.” You want to keep your wet edge moving from one side, all the way to the other. Stop as little as possible, so the wet edge doesn’t dry. This is where a paint gun is much more efficient. It allows you to put down more paint, more quickly. The same principle applies to the base color coat and the clear coat. Clean out the paint gun with lacquer thinner when finished.
5. Let the Primer dry for 30 Mins. Now, get your 400-grit sandpaper again. Sand the entire hood. Try not to sand through the primer that you just put down. You are just trying to knock down any high spots or dirt particles that floated in as you painted. Spray and wipe with 50/50 alcohol/water mix.