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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm going to paint my car myself and have been reading up and think I'm ready to tackle the project.

I need advice on painting...

I'd like to paint the car in pieces, since I'm doing this part time. I plan to paint the hood, trunk lid, front & rear valances, fenders individually, and finally the rest of the car. Should I be concerned about the paint not matching exactly once I assemble everything? I know about the risks of dinging and being very careful on reassembly, but besides that can you tell of any other drawbacks to my plan. I appreciate your advice.

-Danny
 

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I don't claim to be a painter, but my $.02.

It really depends on what color you are using. Of course metallic colors are the hardest to match. Tempture, humidity and air pressure will also affect final color (take note of all your settings). Also how you sand your primer will also affect final finish (final sand all panels with the same grit paper). Follow tech sheets to the letter for mixing materials. Some of the new materials can be complacated so don't be afraid to ask questons.

I would also recommend that you fit ALL your sheetmetal before paint unless all the parts are origanial to the car. It sounds like a pain but replacment sheetmetal doesn't fit the same as factory parts. I have heard nightmare stories of people final painting body parts and then finding there was no way parts would line up without more body work.

Good luck!

PS. If you get paint in quart cans buy a new gallon can from the paint store and mix all the paint together before reducing. This will help maintain the same color of material throught out the job.
 

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Danny sounds like your first time, should you be concerned yeah and prep is 90% of your paint job. If you don't prep it right, paint will look like sh*t no kiddin. For a first time painter, Dupli-Color has a pretty good system for the home painter. And the paint is pretty reasonable, but remember prep and don't be a mudder. Body filler is just what it says, for scratches etc. to smooth things out not dent repair. If you want to look down the sides, without seeing more waves then the ocean use a long flexable board. Can you weld? I don't know what your painting, and I don't know how good you want it to come out. As for a gun, you want to use an HVLP gun gravity fed. But you should paint it all together, so your paint matches. I just had a friend of mine, use the Dupli-Color system and it cost him under $500.00 to paint the whole car stripes and all. Danny do your research before you start the job, and it will come out much better. To an experienced painter, it's easy to blend to get your paint to match. But for someone like yourself, it will be much harder. Good luck with your paint job, Mike. SCT Tuner.:bigthumbsup
 

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Are you painting it unassembled so you'll have easy acces to the rears of the panels? If so I'd recommend cutting in the "unseen" surfaces first, assemble, then spray the remainder all at once. It'll just ensure a better color match and finish, especially for your first time.
 

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I think I know why you want to do this in stages but the guys are right, its very difficult to replicate a certain moment in time - humidity, air temp, chemical mixture of paint formula(to the tee) Wind, dust, viscosity of paint, AIR PRESSURE and Compressed air Temp........ its just better to cover all the pieces at once. This is not to say you could not do this in pieces but take it from someone who has sprayed dozens of $2800.00 a gallon paint, you just about CAN not repeat history consistently.
What color? Base clear?
Regards Joe
 

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Danny, I'm a novice like yourself and considering painting my own Stang (following some less than positive experiences working with a body/paint guy). These guys giving you advice have steered me in the right direction on many occasions. Joe in particular has been invaluable. I'd listen to them. I know I am. :D
 

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I would also recommend spraying the back of the pieces and unseen areas first, then assemble, prep again, and then spray the whole outside of the car. We do this all the time on the cars we rebuild and it makes it easier to see all the things that Mike was talking about. Other wise you can't tell if the panels are going to match not only in color, but depth and panel lines. We take a car apart and put it back together numerous times before it is finally done, just to make sure all the panels and lines fit correctly.
 

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I painted my own Mustang.

Primer: Painting it ourselves
Base/clear:
Paint
Paint booth: Paint Booth
Putting it back together: http://chris66dad.tripod.com/id26.html

We had it disassembled and shot it in stages because everything would not fit into the paint booth we built.
Shot Epoxy primer and high build primer.
Blocked smooth and then shot Basecoat clearcoat.
If you are doing your first painting stay away from metallics.

IF you want to paint and IF you have the time and IF you have a place and IF you want to put in your time LEARNING before you pick up the gun, it is something that can be done with good results. There are a lot of IF's there...

I spent months here asking questions and reading as much as I could.

Go over to Hotrodders Bulletin Board - Body - Exterior
It is a forum of professional painters who will answer your questions. Do a search to find information. There is a huge searchable database of questions and answers. Great bunch of guys there too.

Just be really honest with yourself before you decide to do it.
Do not think you can paint your car for $300 in 1 weekend. It will not happen.
But most important, no paint job is worth making yourself ill. Wear protective clothes, gloves and get a proper respirator or supplied air system.
Your safety should be number one.

Good Luck and Be Safe
Ron
Christophers 66 Mustang Restoration and Modification
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Let the games begin...

I started to sand the car yesterday for the first time. The before pic is where the auto body guys left off. They are no longer in business and I decided to finish it myself. It's been sitting for over a year now. The body filler is rock hard.

I started with a Durablock with 80 grit and i was getting nowhere. Switched to a 5" DA sander with 80 grit and i made some progress, but it was brutal. I want to hit it again with the DA with 36 grit, but worried about the deep scratches. From what it looks like, this is the first pass with filler on this panel.

PLAN:
1. SAND WITH DA WITH 36 GRIT TO TAKE DOWN FILLER.
2. WHEN IT GETS THINNER, SAND WITH LONG BOARD WITH 80 GRIT

Is it ok to sand filler with 36 grit? or will it leave too deep of scratches and will have to fill again? Also, did the one year of sitting make it rock hard like this?

Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Block Sanding Progress on Rear Quarter Panel

This is my first time block sanding. I've done a lot of research , but most of the information I found is on sanding filler for small areas, not entire panels like this.

Am I taking down too much filler? I'm currently using 80 grit.

At what point do I switch to 150 or 220 grit?

I started on the upper right corner and working my way down, then to the left. The lower curve area is tough to reach. I think i need a more flexible block here.

I really appreciate your thoughts.
 

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OK boss here goes. I'll share what little I know.
Go to harbor freight or online and buy a long air sander, usually a foot long or so is standard. use this air sander for all flat panels and cutting bondo down, its fast and creates a really flat panel. remember you are working on an X,Y and Z axis meaning x) up and down y) back to front and z) the curveature of your fenders and hood... use 80 to cut body filler, 220 to cut high build primer and 400 to 600 to final wet sand before spraying sealer and base and clear. the goal is the flattest and least amount of filler to repair a dent/ ripple. blend any dents over a larger area so you will not see it at all - think pothole on the interstate - dont hesistate to grind it all down and start over if you are not happy with a repaired part, once you paint it its permanent and YOU will notice it EVERY TIME you walk up to your ride, use 220 to 320 and a long foam block and soapy water in a crossing pattern on the panel and front to back long sweeps over doors and quaters to get a nice flat smooth surface. short blocks and hands simply follow the (usually uneaven) contours of primer and body work so a long block is a must use plastic gloves, use prpoer ventilation and dust/vapor masks - most of this stuff causes nerve and brain damage(kinda explains me)
the oil in your finger tips will cause rejected spots and fisheye in the paint, use final kleen and silicone remover to wipe down finished body on paint day before tack cloth wipedown, USE top quality paints, materials and chemicals because they are more forgiving and allow a "fudge' factor beginners need. Chineese proverb say - good thing no cheap and cheap thing no good. Go basecoat clearcoat - its easy and forgiving and you can redo pieces as needed and they wont vary like the 1 stage enamels and urathanes. You dont need a $500 gun to do a nice job, a good 250$ will give comparable results as a SATA $800 gun. READ - alot - find a piece of cardboard/old fender and practice your application techiques. Go easy with lots of light coats of pigment and clear - runs are hard for beginners to fix.
Follow the instructions on air pressures - they are critical to the color coming out right, too low and it gets dark and heavy, splatters, too high and your pigment never gets to the substrate and what does is so uneaven the color tends to be light this is concerning metallics. Solid colors are more forgiving. If you are going metallic any color after you edge and plant 3 coats of pigment bump your air pressure 3 to 5 lbs and tripple your hand motion and apply 1 coat moving 3 times as fast over the whole car in every crazy direction repeating none of them if you can help it, this "blending" coat does wonders for metallic colors and makes the final product look like a robot put down the paint.
Use fans and filters to keep the air safe - safe from an explosion proof standpoint for a confined space such as a basement and once you start spaying you wont be able to see very well either if you dont have some kind of air movement. All of us started knowing nothing and if we can do this you can too bro, read, read some more and practice. Looks like you are off to a great start from your pics but a wet sand with 600 and wash the fender down, look at it wet and if you like it - move on. the water will show you how the body will look under paint and clearcoat. keep it up man, we will help you howver we can
Joe
 

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I used 80 grit in an orbit sander to start with on filler and then went with 100 and/or 120. Also used a crossover and block sander. Sanding is a tremendous amount of work but worth it to do do proper body prep.
 

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Just my 2 cents. Don't use too much filler on the body or you'll have a lot more work sanding and trying to take the stuff down. That stuff can get just as hard as granite and just imagine trying to sand granite down. A little bit of filler usually goes a long way if applied properly.
 

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Try this link, I got some good ideas. I used a piece of pool noodle, a cut off drum stick for radius also a short 6" block and a 16" long board for panels. If you need to buy more filler make sure that it says "non cloging" on the lable. Stay away from the "bondo" brand too freaking hard to sand. BTW I start roughing in a repair with 40 grit then 80/120. 40 grit seems rough but you want to cut the shape, unless your real close and you are just skim coating.



Block Sanding Techniques
 

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I used PPG DP90LF epoxy which really was horrible to sand. It made tar balls on the sandpaper.
I only sanded the high build 2k primer for my final blocking.
I used 3m dry guide coat to make sure I had not missed anything.

Some of the the old painters at hotrodders say they dont use high build but only sand the epoxy but they are also pro painters. They also use SPI epoxy. I wish I had used for the whole car. I tried it after I ran out of PPG. Good stuff and 1/2 the price for a better product.
I see you are getting some good advice over there from Milo. He really helped me out also...

Good Luck and Be Safe
Ron
 
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