preparing single stage paint for artwork



i've got a honda car panel that is painted white from the factory, it's a single stage job. I want to keep that base white color so i'm wet-sanding it with 800 grit to get enough key without scratching up the existing finished.

It's now got a smooth surface and enough key but in direct bright sunlight i can see a lot of swirl marks, they are very fine, once I come to clearcoat after having painted my artwork, would the clear fill those marks?

Normally the clear should fill in a lot of the fine sanding marks and makes em quite hard to see, especially with artwork on top, if your worried as I am everytime I do the same LOL, I run a 1000-1200 over it as my last sanding lightly to try and get it as smooth as possible..There may be some auto experts around ere that can give ya a better answer m8...Generally also I try not to use the wet and dry in a circular motion and keep an eye that's its not getting loaded up as that's the bit that tends to scratch..I find running a hose lightly all the time directly onto the sandpaper helps in that regard, I tend to try and keep it straight, seems to work OK for me but I'm no panel pro m8...GL
Thanks a lot!

yeah i'm planning to sand it all again with 1200 now. when i run water over it you can't see any of those marks so guessing from that the clear should fill a lot if it, kept the sanding straight and with a ton of water, can't seem to avoid those fine marks though.

Used to starting from bare metal so will be interesting to see what happens with this one lol
Hey joti mate, from what I remember and it has been a few years since I was in the bodyshop trade! But I recall when sanding down fine with 1200 it was all in the feel of it and constantly checking your paper for build up, we used to add a bit if soap to the water and that way you would hear a slight squeak noise if it was clogging the paper and you would see a line in your work if the there was a problem. You'll know when you got it right and it will feel as smooth as the preverbal babys butt!!
I use dishwashing liquid mixed with water. 800 is pretty aggresive I'll use 1500 to 2000 for prep. If the surface is damaged then Ill start with an aggressive paper and work up to the 2000. Then the marks are so minor the clear will cover everything.
Thanks - some good tips in a short space of time, i'll be sticking around this forum for sure! gona prep with 2000 and then get painting :)
I use a flatting paste in conjunction with a fine grey scotch pad. This de nibs /cleans/abrades the surface perfectly and using a scotch allows you to get those edges without being too aggressive .The flatting paste i use is also degreasing while in use and at the end you can just wash the panel with water to remove any residue .I also use non rotating movements when doing this to avoid swirl marks .This is also the same method for blending and clearing into an adjacent panel when needed and produces seamless fades .