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Thread: How to paint?

  1. #1
    Senior Member GSXRBOBBY's Avatar
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    How to paint?

    I can build and I can custom fab., but I have always had a paint guy do my work in that dept.
    I am looking at learning how to paint and I have some notes I have been taken, I would like Mike D,
    Bondo Bob, and some others pick my notes apart and give out some tips!

    This is the paint system that I used. You will need to pick a color. I
    used a pearl metallic versus a flat color or a metal flake. Here is a list
    of the Dupont Chroma Series part numbers:

    (1 gal) 3919S Prep-Sol solvent for de-waxing and cleaning /
    preparing the car
    (1 gal) 7175S ChromaBase Base maker This turns the 1KM into
    base paint
    (1 qt) V7585S Activator for the clear coat only
    (1 gal) V7500S Clear coat
    (1 gal) 1KM Base you pick the color (reds and blues are
    expensive) But they look great.
    (1 gal) Virgin lacquer thinner for clean up of gun only

    I also purchased:

    (1) 32038 3M 400 grit wet or dry Imperial sand paper
    (2) 32023 3M 1500 grit wet or dry Imperial sand paper
    (2) 32044 3M 2000 grit wet or dry Imperial sand paper
    (1) 3M series 5000 respirator disposable Please use this. Isocyanates
    are a nasty thing.
    (2) Generic air line dryers and oil filters
    (3) 3M Scotch masking tape rolls of 3/4"
    (1) Roll of 1" masking tape 3M
    (1) Roll of fine line tape 1/4" vinyl very thin 3M
    (6) 10' x 20' 2 mil plastic tarps
    (1) Rubber sanding block
    (2) 39004 3M Super duty heavy cut rubbing compound
    (1) 05993 3M Liquid polish

    I did not purchase:
    1. Adhesion promoter 2322S for plastics because the car was already painted.
    The rep said that I did not need it for this reason. Just prepare the
    surface as normal.

    2. Flex additive for ABS / SMC plastic bumper covers because mine did not have
    any cracking and they were already painted and the stuff would evaporate /
    harden after about 4 months anyway. (Actual quote from the Dupont
    representative). Not a bad idea to do though.

    3. Urethane filling primer Rep said he recommended it only for warranty and
    my old paint if prepared properly would serve as a fine primer. I had no
    peeling issues and needed no body fillers.

    Maker sure to get plastic stir sticks, filters / screens, a measuring stick
    that gives mix ratios. These items are usually free from the supplier. You
    will have to purchase disposable coveralls, safety goggles (use anti-fog on
    the inside) and plenty of lint free cloths. Wrap your coveralls with bands
    of tape to keep them close to you so they don't brush against painted
    surfaces. Make sure you have plenty of light. I used (2) 4' dual
    fluorescent shop lights per side of the car. Use caution if using a halogen
    because of heat and flammability reasons.

    How to paint your Fiero.
    The first thing is to wash the car.
    I used a lot of soap and a good sponge. As I washed it, I scrubbed every square
    inch very well. I then rinsed and dried the car.

    The second step was to remove all of the tar and bugs. This was not too
    difficult.

    De-wax and degrease using Prep-sol. You may want to do this step two -
    three times depending on how often you waxed your car. Reason being is that
    the build up can be pretty thick. I used the Prep-Sol by wetting a clean
    cloth and wiping over the entire car, bumpers and all rough and smooth
    paint. This was to remove all waxes and residues. I did this twice. It
    actually makes the car look great, until it evaporates. On the last
    application of Prep-Sol wipe on and wipe dry at the same time.

    Wet sanding.
    This will create a mess. This is where your arms get the workout. Use clear
    water in a bucket. Use 400 grit wet or dry sandpaper. I cut mine into strips
    3 inches wide by 8.5 inches long. I folded it in half and half again. (abrasive
    side out). Dip the sandpaper into the bucket and get it wet. Wet the car as
    well. I found it works best to keep the panel you are sanding wet at all times.
    Just like you are waxing use circular motions about 4" in diameter. You will
    have to rinse out your sandpaper as you begin to rough up the paint. As you
    start you will see a white foam start to form. This is the clear coat. As you
    proceed you will begin to see a foam the color of your car appear. At this point
    you are through the clear coat. It is not totally necessary to go through the clear
    but in some cases you need to know how deep you are going. Paint is not
    very thick. Watch out for curved areas and sharper corners as you can
    quickly sand through them and hit the plastic. Use your other hand to feel
    the surface as you go to see if it is smooth to the touch.

    Wet sanding rough spots.
    In some locations you will have heavily oxidized paint. Mine was the roof
    and hood. At this point I used a 320 grit wet or dry sandpaper. Be careful
    because this is more abrasive than a 400 grit. After it is smooth to the touch
    use a 400 grit to remove the deeper scratches left by the 320 grit.

    Wash the car thoroughly.
    After you are happy with the sanding it is time to wash the car. Use a good
    sponge and a little soap. Wash with the sponge in one hand and follow by
    wiping with your other hand to loosen any residue that may be clinging to the
    surface. Dry the car with a towel. Don't let it air dry by itself. This will further
    remove any residue.

    Prep-Sol the surface again.
    Use the same procedure as before. Wipe on and leave it to air dry and then
    wipe on and immediately wipe off.

    Inspection and preparation of your "garage". At this point you should see
    the entire car look very hazy. Inspect that the car has been sanded
    completely over every square inch. If you need to do some touch up sanding
    now is the time. The car will have basically the same color as before but
    there will be no shine. (Mine was black and after I sanded it was gray).
    This tells you that the entire surface is roughed up. I hung tarps all
    around the garage, on the ceiling and floor. Believe it or not the fumes
    from the paint kill bugs and they love to fall on the hood of the car you
    are trying to paint.

    Body work / repairs.
    If needed (mine did not) all repairs should now be performed. Instructions
    are on the container of what ever you use. Talk with your paint dealer on
    application techniques and working times and tools. Sand to smooth once
    completed and remove all dust and residue using Prep-sol.

    Pre-masking.
    Disconnect the battery! When you spray paint / primer goes everywhere,
    even into tiny openings. I don't recommend removing the plastic
    trim around the windshield but if that is your preference then go ahead.
    Prior to masking you can remove all the trim, door handles, ornaments and
    mirrors. I did not remove any of these items. I used a product from 3M
    called fine line tape. This is a thin vinyl tape that stretches and curves
    to form to the contour of any surface. It is thinner than conventional
    masking tapes so it will leave less of a witness line (raised area where the
    paint stops). I used 1/4" to cover all the windshield seal, around the
    mirror bases, around the antenna base, sunroof gasket that meets the roof,
    metal trim over the top of the windows. The purpose of this tape is to give
    you a place to stick the regular masking tape. You do not have to cover a
    whole item with this. I used one piece to run along the windshield seal
    just where it meets with the roof. It will take you some time to mask this
    off the way you want it.

    I am in Lowell, Indiana<br />Building an 88 Fiero GT with a 93 STS Northstar and 5 speed Getrag. <br />Custom Mr. Mikes interior, Norms fiberglass nose and custom paint.

  2. #2
    Senior Member GSXRBOBBY's Avatar
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    Re: How to paint?

    Masking.
    After masking with the fine line tape you can mask with the
    regular masking tape. You can purchase masking paper for large areas like
    the windshield or use a couple of layers of newspaper. It is your choice.
    With whatever you use, you will invariably run into a spot that curves.
    Simply fold the paper to follow the contour and stretch the masking tape to
    cover the rest. Yes, masking tape will bend a little. Just pull and press
    into place, it will stick. I recommend removing the tail light assemblies.
    Roll the wire harnesses up, twist tie and remove the bulbs. You may want to
    mask the sockets to keep them clean. Mask off and cover the engine. You
    can remove the trunk gasket but mine was brittle so I did not. You will be
    painting the underside of the hood and deck lid (if you are changing the
    color) so cover the labels, etc. with masking tape or fine line tape. If
    your labels are loose or peeling off you can use a heavy layer of Petroleum
    Jelly to cover it and then wipe it off after the car has dried. Be
    extremely careful if you use this because wherever the Vaseline goes the
    paint will not adhere. Mask off under the hood as well. Cover all with
    sheets of paper. Cover everything. Make sure the overlaps of paper are
    taped off so no overspray can get in there. If you are going to paint the
    door jambs as well, you will need to leave the doors opened so that they
    don't get painted shut. (Disconnect that battery or it will be dead!) To do
    this you will need to mask off the entire door opening to the inside of the
    car. Hang paper over the entire opening and make sure it is tightly closed.
    Paint on an interior will not come out.

    Prep-sol again.
    Doing this will remove any oils left behind from your hands and lint / dust
    during the masking portion. Use one wipe on and wipe off immediately
    application. Leave the hood and deck lid propped open with something.
    I used a pop can under the hood spring and left the deck lid down but still
    open. If your car has the spoiler remove it. It uses 10mm nuts in (4) locations
    to secure it. Hang it for painting. Note: the studs and nuts will probably be
    rusted. Use WD-40 if you need to but Prep-Sol after to remove any oils.
    Paint does not like oil. I also propped the headlight covers up about 1
    inch to paint around the sides. I used a spark plug socket on each side to
    keep them propped up. (Don't use the headlights to do this, you do not want
    them up that high) only enough to paint the sides of the headlight doors.
    Spray equipment. At this point you are ready to spray. I used a Binks
    Model 62 spray gun with a 66SD tip and a 1 quart cup. I rebuilt the gun
    prior to painting to make sure it would work properly. This is a
    conventional siphon spray gun. HVLP (High Volume Low Pressure) guns are
    expensive but you get less overspray. I used a 3/8" diameter 25' air hose.
    Set air at 40 psi for base coat application and 32-35 psi for clear (less
    overspray). These pressure values are set by the manufacturer of your
    paint. I set the gun to a 5 to 6" fan spray vertical. I used a 20 gallon 5
    HP air compressor. I installed a disposable air filter/dryer at the inlet
    of the gun along with a pressure regulator for quick access. There are
    other guns available but be careful of the lesser expensive guns. The paint
    will specify a tip size know this if you have to buy a spray gun. You can
    get a decent gun for around $100.00. I have a second gun for just primer
    and primer only. I was told to never use paint in a primer gun, just so you
    never have to worry about left over primer getting into your paint mix
    "harder to clean completely out of a gun".

    Spraying
    (This is largely technique and requires practice for first timers).
    If you are spraying the car yourself then follow this closely. Practice
    without paint if you need to or if this is your first paint. Use air and an
    empty gun to get the feel of it. Whenever filling the cup always pour
    through a strainer. I mixed the basemaker with the paint in a 1:1 ratio
    (specified by manufacturer) in an empty clean gallon paint can then poured
    it into the paint cup of the gun. If you are using plastic flex additives,
    add them in the cup of the gun. For clear coat only, add your activator for
    the clear in the cup of the gun. Keep the spray gun at least 8 to 10 inches
    from the surface you are spraying. Follow the contour of the surface. If
    you get too close you will get a puddle or a nice run / sag in your paint.
    This is where the paint runs down the side of the car. Base coats are
    usually pretty tolerant to this. Don't get in a hurry to apply. Use a
    constant motion with the gun. You will usually spray in a left to right and
    then back technique. Do it this way: start at the left (press the trigger
    as you begin to move right) continue to move to the right, once you stop at
    the right let off the trigger if you are going to go back left then press
    the trigger when you begin to move. In other words, do not leave the gun
    spraying as you switch directions moving right to left or vice versa. Go
    one arms length or off the car. If your arm stops moving, stop spraying.
    This will prevent spray from collecting at the stop and start points. You
    can effectively spray 3 or 4 ft wide on each pass. Overlap each pass about
    half starting at the top and working your way down. The way I painted my
    hood, roof and decklid was I stood on the side by the front wheel and
    started in the middle and went windshield to radiator working my way out
    (towards me). I spray the sides of the car first including the front and
    back ends then the hood, roof and decklid. In my opinion, this will
    prevent overspray from settling on the hood, roof and decklid. Check your
    work before you move on to the next application.
    CLEAN THE GUN OUT WHEN YOU SWITCH MATERIALS.
    I used Lacquer thinner for this.
    Primer, clean gun, and then store it. I have a second gun just for primer.
    Spray your base with your selected base paint, clean gun, clear, clean gun.
    How many coats? I sprayed (3) base coats and (3) clear coats. I use a
    mid-temperature paint (70 to 80 degrees ambient temperature). It had a
    flash time of 10 minutes. This means that I can re-coat after 10 minutes.
    I waited over night to apply the clear. The paint that I used allowed up to
    24 hours for clear coat application. If you wait over night, then before
    you spray the clear, dust the car off with a dry lint free cloth. I used
    about 1/2 gallon of base paint and 1/2 gallon of clear coat.
    DO NOT MIX BASE PAINT AND CLEAR COAT.
    The base paint uses an additive called basemaker and the clear uses an
    additive called an activator.
    After spraying.
    Give the car a week or two to cure. Delivery time (cured and derivable)
    will be specified on the particular product that you used. Mine was 24 hours,
    but I gave it a week. At this time you can do one of two things:
    1. You can be tickled that you did an excellent job and un-mask
    everything and be done or
    2. You can polish.
    Polishing.
    If you are like me and want a perfect mirror shine then read on.
    I used a 1500 grit wet or dry sandpaper and wet sanded the entire vehicle.
    This will take some time. I used a firm rubber sanding block to sand the
    large flatter areas. Don't apply too much pressure but apply some. You
    should work up a light white residue. You will feel the paper grab when you
    are getting close. Dry the spot you are working on and look at the
    reflection from an angle. (While you are sanding you are looking 90 degrees
    to the surface), sight down the side or across the hood to see the images.
    Look at the way objects in the room appear. If they are not clear enough
    then continue sanding. Once you are happy with that, I used a 2000 grit wet
    or dry sandpaper following the same approach. After you are happy with
    that, I used a Dewalt 90 degree (angle) polisher to buff the car at 1400
    RPM. I used the hook and loop foam rubbing pad (made for polishers) it is
    about 7 inches in diameter, and 3M Super Duty heavy cut liquid rubbing
    compound. I followed this by buffing the car three times with a 3M clear
    coat safe liquid polishing compound and a new polishing pad at 1800 RPM.
    After this I was done. I waited 3 months before I waxed the car to give it
    ample time to dry out.
    I am in Lowell, Indiana<br />Building an 88 Fiero GT with a 93 STS Northstar and 5 speed Getrag. <br />Custom Mr. Mikes interior, Norms fiberglass nose and custom paint.

  3. #3

    Re: How to paint?

    I did my own car too. It was not that hard once I figured out the gun settings, distance from surface and speed of travel. Distance and speed are key factors for an even job.
    Where are you going to do it? You can make your own garage a temporary spray booth with plastic sheets and a small fan.
    The only thing I would change is the paint. http://www.endura.ca/topcoatsover.htm#
    I used the EX-2C topcoat for my yellow. I could not believe how nice it covered.

    Cheers
    Jim

  4. #4
    Senior Member GSXRBOBBY's Avatar
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    Re: How to paint?

    With me doing the painting "my own work" I would like to say with what I know, As far as a company goes!
    Also there is a place call Van Senus near us that sells go products.
    I am in Lowell, Indiana<br />Building an 88 Fiero GT with a 93 STS Northstar and 5 speed Getrag. <br />Custom Mr. Mikes interior, Norms fiberglass nose and custom paint.

  5. #5
    Senior Member BondoBob's Avatar
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    Re: How to paint?

    Bobby,sounds like you did your homework before you started.How did it turn out? One thing I would like to add is you could of saved a lot of time and money at the start by just washing the car with Ajax or some other clenser with bleech and a scotch brite pad.This would get the wax off and the road tar and also would scratch the surface for the paint to adhere.This is a good way to get all the hard spots like up agents the moldings,and all the little nooks and kranies where its hard to get sandpaper in.I have to do this for a liveing,so I speed things up a bit.On an average I do about 8 cars a week(mostley spot jobs with body work) Everything you did was fine.How long did it take?

  6. #6
    Senior Member GSXRBOBBY's Avatar
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    Re: How to paint?

    These are just my notes, I have them writen as a step by step. I haven't done it yet I still have my paint guy while I learn and practice this at. So with what your saying is the first wet sanding I did was really needed, just wash the car with a heavy or strong dish soap and a scotch brite pad "green on one side and a soft yellow side on the other" then go back to what I have writen?
    I am in Lowell, Indiana<br />Building an 88 Fiero GT with a 93 STS Northstar and 5 speed Getrag. <br />Custom Mr. Mikes interior, Norms fiberglass nose and custom paint.

  7. #7

    Re: How to paint?

    bobby it sounds like you did your homework thoroughly.i was a painter for about 15 years ,i havent painted regularly for about 10 years and i dont miss it.i mostly do frame work now.i have had some really good results with chroma base,and i hope you do,that shit is expensive[overpriced],but it all is.the most important piece of advise i can give you is to worry about your own body ,isocyanates are deadly poisons,those negative air respirators provide little or no defense against isos.if your going to paint regularly you should invest in a positive air respirator,the kind that provide you with fresh air from another souce.im not trying to discourage you,and i would use a negative resrirator on 1 car,but if your going to be painting regularly,get a positive supplird respirator.also get one of those cheap paintsuits,isos.and all solvents are absorbed through the skin and do terrible things to your innards.

  8. #8
    Senior Member GSXRBOBBY's Avatar
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    Re: How to paint?

    Thank you for that from the bottom of my lungs!
    I am in Lowell, Indiana<br />Building an 88 Fiero GT with a 93 STS Northstar and 5 speed Getrag. <br />Custom Mr. Mikes interior, Norms fiberglass nose and custom paint.

  9. #9
    Senior Member GSXRBOBBY's Avatar
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    Re: How to paint?

    I know that paint has a set time "flash time" does primer and clear? And does that time change at all if there is pearl in the 1st clear. I have also heard there are a few tricks to spraying pearl. I was going to do 3 coats of base and then 2 to 3 coats of clear with about 20 to 25 grams of matching pearl, then cover that with 3 more coats of clear. Is there a trick to the clear with pearl so I don't get those zebra stripes I have heard and seen?
    I am in Lowell, Indiana<br />Building an 88 Fiero GT with a 93 STS Northstar and 5 speed Getrag. <br />Custom Mr. Mikes interior, Norms fiberglass nose and custom paint.

  10. #10
    Senior Member BondoBob's Avatar
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    Re: How to paint?

    Bobby,not dishliquid,Ajax cleanser,it has bleech in it unlike Comit,unless you get Comit with bleech.3M selles schotch brite pads with different colors with different corseis(different grit)red is the harshist,eaquel to about 320 grit,grey is about 600 and white is about 1500.Grey would be fine for what your doing.Than after youve done that,you can go ahead and wetsand with 400. If you have clear breakdown on your top surfices,DA those spots with 320 before you get your car wet,than go over it with the 400. As for the pearl,its not trickey at all,its metalics that can cause zebra stripes if not done right. Just dont sag the pearl coat or you will have to start all over again,starting with the base.and you dont want to do that because Cromebase will react with the clear and you will find yourself with a big mess.

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