I'm painting my car.

Pablo

Active Member
This thread will be documenting my attempt to paint my own car.

Some background, I bought this car back in... Heck I don't remember. Late 04? I think the previous owner took a sanding block to it to get it ready for paint before I got it. This left the paint very thin. It started to surface rust on the hood, roof, trunk, door sills, and a few other parts of the car.

I stripped those parts here and there and spraybombed some primer to slow the rust down. Been driving the car with primer patches since then.

Here are some picts from a couple years ago (for some reason I don't have any more recent full car pictures) on this thread

http://www.turbobuick.com/forums/sh...-t-type-needs-help-im-ready-tackle-enemy.html
http://www.turbobuick.com/forums/sh...ir/167658-after-picts-my-front-clip-swap.html

I finally moved into a house with a garage and am doing what I always wanted to do. Prep and paint the car.

So I went ahead and stripped the thing down, this was pretty straight forward except for the stuff on the doors. This killed off several hours in and of itself.

DSCN0592.jpg

DSCN0594.jpg

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DSCN0596.jpg


Those are my most recent picts. My camera batteries died so I haven't been able to take picts of the progress since then.
I have since removed the side windows and started on the sanding. Ive blended out a substantial amount of the car.

What I did was remove the paint from the roof, trunk, and hood using aircraft stripper. This was a pain in the butt till I discovered that steel wool would not scratch the metal but would take the paint right off if you scrubbed it with aircraft stripper. If i had known that I would have been days ahead. I also wasted several days trying to sand off the old paint. This was taking forever and was not leaving a smooth surface. I'm glad I stopped doing that when I did. After I stripped, I washed the car and did my best to scrub every last bit of stripper off of it.

The reason I removed the paint is because there was so much surface rust poking through it here and there that I didn't trust what was on there. It looked like it had small cracks all over the surface if you looked very close.

A huge mistake I made was not adequately masking off the areas I did not want to strip with the stripper. I had some stripper run down onto areas that were good. This has caused me a lot of work because I am now sanding all of that out and blending it into the existing good paint.

What I am doing now has been going over all of the edges where I stopped stripping with the chemical and am now stripping away a good bit of that mechanically with sandpaper and blending it in to the good paint.

For this I am using 220 grit paper using a flat pad orbital sander, a 12" board, and some foam sanding blocks.
This is A LOT of work. After a couple of days I have the rear quarter panel pretty smooth after I did a once over on the whole car to get it somewhat smooth.

What I have been doing is looking at the paint like a topographical map... I see the distance between the primer and the paint on my feathered edges and I try to maximize that distance using my blocks to try and keep things as level as possible. I have found some low spots in the process that I smooth out manually with a small piece of wet 220 on my finger (we are talking about a couple dime sized dings here and there) and then i put a small piece of masking tape on them to show which spots need attention later.

I plan on sanding the car up to 320 before I prime it.

Right now I have been taking every little imperfection in the paint and blending it out with the 220... even tiny little rock chips that are like the size of the tip of a ball point pen. My philosophy is that anything I can feel will be very visible with primer and then paint on it.

Am I doing anything wrong? Am I right that even very small paint imperfections will come through the primer? Or will the block sanding on the primer take care of that? I was planning on applying a couple of coats of primer wet sanding with 400 in between and then doing 600 to prepare for the topcoat.

The small paint imperfections have been killing me. I have taken to using a small piece of wet 220 and using just my finger to blend them out in a very small scale and then going over that with a block to level it out on a larger scale. I was trying to get them out by just blocking but I ended up removing tons of paint from the entire panel and not just the part I wanted to clean up. Will this show through?

As it stands now, the work I have done is very very smooth. If you look at it from an angle it almost looks polished. I have run my fingers over it numerous times using the cloth over the fingers trick, the paper over the fingers trick, and just latex gloves. I found ridges here and there and fixed them and am now to the point where I don't feel them. Unfortunately the car had primer on it before I got it and I discovered that someone had sanded the ever living crap out of the car with what looks like 16 grit sand paper. I can tell they were trying to remove some rust from the sail panel. I will have to apply filler to this area no doubt. I also believe the car may have had portions repainted. The hood and front fenders have black primer. The roof has a red primer.. and that fades into a gray primer about halfway down the side windows.

I also discovered that sanding dry is a real pita that ends up screwing you over more than it helps. So since I have been sanding everything wet now I have been making much more rapid progress.

I'll have many questions. If anyone wants to help I would really appreciate it. If not this will be the thread where you see me learn from my mistakes so you don't have to. I have never painted a car or prepped a car before. I have just done a lot of reading on line about it.. thats all. If I screw it up, oh well.

I will be posting more recent pictures as soon as I get some camera batteries.

Questions, comments, complaints, suggestions, anything, please feel free to drop a line.
 
A few ideas...
1.Given the poor quality of the original paint, using it as a base can/will create more problems than just stripping the whole car. The "little cracks" are crazing. That paint has to be completely removed, or the cracks WILL come back thru.
2.Do not use the finger sanding on the small spots. Unless you use a high fill primer, such as K-36, and block the areas, they WILL show thru.
3.Sanding over areas contaminated w/ stripper residue will create problems w/ the new finish.
4.If you can see ANY "fly specks" in the bare metal,[or elsewhere] that's tiny specs of rust, and MUST be treated, or it WILL come back thru your new paint.
5.It's not necessary to use 400 grit under a primer coat. [220 is fine]. DP can be shot first, then while still active, K-36 can be loaded on, and allowed to dry. Once dry, you can begin the block sanding process. I use 12" rubber blocks, [square and round] as they have rounded edges, and don't leave "sand lines". Use of a "guide coat" is mandatory, if you want to have a "wrinkle free" finish. I use cheap lacquer spray bombs for this.
6. Wet sanding can create rust. If the paper is clogging, you have paint that's not cured, or other problems w/ the stripper. I use Gold, sticky paper on my d/a's, long boards, and rubber blocks. It's available in many grits, and will do the job right.
7. You DID dewax and wash the car B4 you started this job, right??? Sanding on a dirty paint surface will/can embed the crud into the remaing paint, and greate all kinds of "issues".

A start.. HTH
 
A few ideas...
1.Given the poor quality of the original paint, using it as a base can/will create more problems than just stripping the whole car. The "little cracks" are crazing. That paint has to be completely removed, or the cracks WILL come back thru.
2.Do not use the finger sanding on the small spots. Unless you use a high fill primer, such as K-36, and block the areas, they WILL show thru.
3.Sanding over areas contaminated w/ stripper residue will create problems w/ the new finish.
4.If you can see ANY "fly specks" in the bare metal,[or elsewhere] that's tiny specs of rust, and MUST be treated, or it WILL come back thru your new paint.
5.It's not necessary to use 400 grit under a primer coat. [220 is fine]. DP can be shot first, then while still active, K-36 can be loaded on, and allowed to dry. Once dry, you can begin the block sanding process. I use 12" rubber blocks, [square and round] as they have rounded edges, and don't leave "sand lines". Use of a "guide coat" is mandatory, if you want to have a "wrinkle free" finish. I use cheap lacquer spray bombs for this.
6. Wet sanding can create rust. If the paper is clogging, you have paint that's not cured, or other problems w/ the stripper. I use Gold, sticky paper on my d/a's, long boards, and rubber blocks. It's available in many grits, and will do the job right.
7. You DID dewax and wash the car B4 you started this job, right??? Sanding on a dirty paint surface will/can embed the crud into the remaing paint, and greate all kinds of "issues".

A start.. HTH

Hey Chuck, thanks for the reply
1) Yes the paint on the roof, trunk and hood were crazed. I think this is because they got the brunt of the sunlight. The sides of the car are still very good though. So I figured I would be ok just removing the crazed paint and leaving the stuff that looked pretty good. Is this still a bad idea?

2)Hmm.. ok... that just multiplied my work :) But if I have to block it out then I have to block it out.

3)The stripper is a problem then.. If sanding over the areas where the stripper was is bad then how do you prep the areas that you stripped? I had been proceeding assuming the paint absorbs the stripper to some extent outside of the edge of where it was at so I cleaned the car and sanded those areas out a good ways. Bad idea?

4)I was planning on sanding out the obvious surface rust on the hood and the trunk and then using a metal prep on all of the bare metal before I primed. Good idea?

5) Sounds good.

6)Im using the 3m wet or dry paper and when i sand it dry i find that it starts to load up and form little "rocks" of paint on the paper that end up scratching the crap out of the paint. This happens mostly when I use my orbital flat pad sander. I tried it wet and it worked much better. Whats the deal? Am I using crappy sand paper?

7)I scrubbed the crap out of the car with a scotchbrite pad and dawn dish soap before I started, and then after stripping to remove the paint stripper from all the areas I could. I hope that was enough


Any more advice and suggestions would be greatly appreciated
Thanks!
Pablo
 
So now there will be another rolled TR?

Rustoleum GN $50 ($200) paint job - TurboBuicks.com

I used the Rustoleum, but that was before all the talk about Brightside.

I had the same paint stripper problem and if you look close, you can see where it ran down the sides a bit. I thought I had it flat, but when the paint really dried, it shrunk a bit.

I am curious how filling the Brightside primer will be.

I am very pleased with my paint and people never believe how I did it.

Good Luck!
 
Dangit! How did you know?!? I was trying to keep that on the down low. I wanted to avoid a debate about the method. I saw picts of your ride on the moparts forum and wondered if you were on here. Your car looks great. Wish you were closer so I could see it in person.

Yes I did get the brightside primer and steel gray paint but I am rethinking using the steel gray because I don't think it is going to look good. Gray paint seems to need some metallic in it or at the very least a clear coat to look decent to me. So I have tentatively changed my mind in favor of white. I haven't read the thread on the other forum yet but I will have some questions for you.

I'm especially curious about the build qualities of this primer I purchased and your experience with the runs of stripper and how you dealt with them.

Glad you chimed in,

Pablo
 
Sorry to let the cat out of the bag.... :p I still stop by Moparts and saw your posts there.

I did not use any primer, but blocked out the Rustoleum. It did shrink later. I think the Brightsides primer will work well. People seem to have good results with it.

There was a Mustang on Moparts painted with the B-sides gray and it looked good. He put black striped if I remember correctly.

No regrets here. My car always had the worst paint around. Now it looks pretty darn good. Not perfect show, but pretty darn good.
 
So now there will be another rolled TR?

Rustoleum GN $50 ($200) paint job - TurboBuicks.com

I used the Rustoleum, but that was before all the talk about Brightside.

I had the same paint stripper problem and if you look close, you can see where it ran down the sides a bit. I thought I had it flat, but when the paint really dried, it shrunk a bit.

I am curious how filling the Brightside primer will be.

I am very pleased with my paint and people never believe how I did it.

Good Luck!

My god, man. Every time I see one of these Rusto-O cars I begin to kick myself for not having the testicles to have done it my self....Looks sharp man
 
Well, I decided to just strip the whole car. All of the external panels anyway. Sanding was taking way too long and was probably introducing more problems than I wanted to deal with. I'm about halfway done already. Only thing I am worried about is finding the door dings after all the paint is off.
 
Just Went Through What You Are Doin.. Just A Few Suggestions. Make Sure You Get"all" The Factory Primer Off,make Sure Jams Are Completly Clean (edges And All). I Would (and Did) Use Metal Cleaner And Conditioner Prior To Primer. Make Sure You Usa A "metal Etch Or Epoxy Type Primer To Etch The Metal,then Follow Through With A Filling Primer,i Would Stick,or Block Sand Around Door Handles,bottoms Of Doors That Are Normally Wavy. What A Huge Undertaking,but It Is Worth It,i Give You A Lot Of Credit.. My Gnx Clone Has Been In The Working For 2 1/2 Years,i'm Close To Paint..my Trouble Is I Have A Huge Family,i,m Always Working On Kids Cars,my Poor Buick Gets Pushed Aside..hay Anyways,good Luck...and Try To Enjoy The Process.
 
Thanks for the tips...

Right now I am working on removing the anti-chip coating on the bottom portion of the doors. Anyone have any suggestions? Right now i have just been using a razor blade and slowly peeling it away. A real pita.
 
Yep,sure Is. I Let The Paint Stripper Soak On The Doors(although They Were Off) And Scrapped With A Sharp Edge Putty Knife. Oh By The Way,if You Are Goin To Re-install The Chip Guard,"sem" Makes A Black Spray Can,probably Take 2 Cans,test It On A Piece Of Metal To Get Texture Desired,med Wet Coats,allow 10 Min Flash Time.. Sorry To Jump Ahead,but Not Sure If You Are Replacing The Chipguard.good Luck.
 
Ya See Your Point,but I Have Seen A Few Gn With Mud Flaps And Didn't Care For The Look, The Bottoms Of These Cars Really Chip Up Fast,the Nice Part About The Black C-guard Is That If It Does Chip,it Is Black Underneath,kind A Hides Small Chips For A Good While.. Good Luck,keep Us Posted On Your Progress.
 
Or just strip it down to that body line and leave the chip guard. It is so low it is hard to see anyway. Good Luck, Mark
 
Thanks for starting this thread. I'm in the same boat as you are. Although you have a good head start on me. I plan on taking off the fenders, doors, hood, trunk and working on it piece by piece since I work out of town and my time is somewhat limited. Good info guys, keep it up
 
Or just strip it down to that body line and leave the chip guard. It is so low it is hard to see anyway. Good Luck, Mark

I wish I would have done that. I was expecting the chip guard to come off with the paint stripper but it did not. Now that its soaked in stripper it has to come off :(


Though these cars acquire rock chips, It's not my daily driver.

Your mention of mudflaps made me gag Bill... never ever on any car I would ever own :) I'd rather deal with the chips.

Six, no problem. If you want to share your progress or experiences here you are more than welcome. I'm sure we can pick up tips from each other.
 
Hey Pablo,

I missed the method part of this entirely. This idea sounds like it'll be a blast. Keep us posted, I still have a car to paint...I'l be waiting for updates. Good Luck.
 
Update

I have the car stripped to bare metal. I haven't been working on it that much (got a little lazy)

I am at the point where I need to do the body work. I am not worried about the dings but I have a few areas of concern.

First, I have hairline cracks about a centimeter long extending from the rear top corner of my window openings. To compound this issue, I have some other substance in that area that is not the same as the sheet metal on the rest of the car. It appears that the roof is held on with something else.. i dont know if it was cut off at some point or if this is how they come from the factory.
A buddy of mine was telling me that it was most likely lead. It sands WAY too easily. If it is infact lead, how do I proceed in repairing the cracks? Also, my friend brought up a point that body filler may not stick to lead as well as sheet metal. He wondered if i would be better off removing the lead and filling the area with filler. I am using evercoat Rage body filler for all filling.

The areas are uneven so they will need some filler to compensate.

The rear quarter panel also has a troublesome area that is sort of crinkled. It looks like something hit it with a glancing blow awhile back. I'm not really sure how I'm gonna repair it.

Finally, I have been sticking to the plan of getting the body of the car to 220 grit all over. Before doing that though I got some phosphoric acid based rust treatment and scrubbed the surface rust areas (basically the whole hood, roof, and trunk). It works wonders, the rust scrubbed right off. I should have diluted it some though because it dried rather quickly before I could wipe it all off and left the protective residue that it leaves. I'm not too worried about that.
A friend of mine suggested that after I sand it to 220 I scrub the car with scotchbrite and a diluted amount of the phosphoric acid (like 50/50) and then clean that off and then go ahead and put the primer on. His experience is limited to painting airplanes so I don't know if his advice applies to cars. Any advice would be appreciated.

Pics are below of the car and the different metal between the roof and the rest of the car


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This next pic is of the rear quarter problem spot before I stripped the car:
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No one has any advice? I could really use some.


I was also wondering if I could apply body filler on a rainy day. I know you shouldn't paint when its raining out. Don't know about body filler.

It's been raining somewhat frequently here lately.
 
I have done bodywork for a living for 20 yrs,so heres a couple of tips to helpyou.yes body filler will stick to lead.but if you have a crack in the lead i would sand it down till its mostly gone,and level it out till it feels good and put a coat of duraglass over it.sand the lead with 80 grit carefully apply the duraglass then sand w40grit as it gets hard as hell when dry.after that sand w80grit and put filler on it.sand filler w80 then when you get it where you want sand back over it w180grit till 80 scratches are gonethen prime it and block it a coupletimes until smoth and straight.also if you use aircraft stripper,you should wipe it all down with laquer thinner to get rid of residue,or the primer and paint will never dry.any wrinkles in metal try to get as close as you can before filler.ie hammer and dolly or stud welder.and always use a block to sand if possible,you can use your hand but always keep it flat don't use fingertips as they will leave lines in bodywork/primer/paint.hope this helps some good luck!!
 
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