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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Currently my car is a nice shade of magenta which is (thankfully) chipping away. I do not want to spend the big bucks on a new paint job because im going to do a frame off in a few years and I currently have the wrong front end on the car.

I think the matte black look would be a great way to go and I feel that I can tackle this job myself. My goals are to keep the cost as inexpensive as possible, but improve the look of the car enough that I can drive it around without being known as the guy with the pink corvette. :down:

My current thinking is to strip the car with a razor blade, apply a good black primer to seal the body and give me the color I want. I have heard back and forth about using a sealer for the fiberglass and then using primer vs just using primer. Is there a product which can seal and primer or what products should I use?

I hear that epoxy primers work well, but doesnt sand well. I could use the epoxy primer and then spray a black sandable primer.

The final step is how and if to seal it. The car will be kept in a garage except for cruises on nice days and the occasional gathering. If I dont seal it at all, i imagine that it will be harder to clean and will be more susceptible to scratches. If I seal it, what products should I use? I know there is a product that can be added to clearcoat which will dull it down, keeping the matte finish look.

Thanks in advance


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3,309 Posts
How good does this paint job have to be if you're doing a
frame off
in a couple of years?

I haven't mucked about with glass bodied cars before so I can't comment about stripping with a raxor blade.

However, if you want a pretty good job to last WELL into your frame off, I would suggest:

Rub the whole car down with 240 wet & dry paper (using it wet). Then mask it all up and squirt it with 3 or 4 coats of acrylic based primer. Hit the primer with a guide coat and knock it back with 400 wet. Then put 4 or 5 good coats of your matt black on.

Just my 2c...

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1,009 Posts
Since you plan to do a frame-off down the road.
Save all the stripping for then.

Do you have access to compressed air?
If so use a DA sander with a soft pad and P320 grit and sand it dry.
I generally do not recommend any kind of air sander on a Vette body
but in your case just dull the paint DO NOT try to perform body repairs
with it. A novice will usually end up doing more harm than good on a
Fiberglass Body.

If not use P400 wet n dry paper and wet sand it. (400 wet is equal to
240 dry) I think the 240 wet would be to aggressive and the sand scratches
will "really" show through your primer.

PPG makes a "DP" epoxy primer (DP90 is the Black your looking for).
You can choose between two different activators. One will give you
a pot life of a couple of hours the other will give you a couple of days.....
depends on how fast a worker you are.
Can be found at an Autobody Paint supply store that sells the PPG brand.

The DP primer will seal the car. But exposed to prolonged sun light will
cause it to eventually brake down, (Like ALL primers it is meant to be
top coated.) Seal: means impurities are unlikely to pass through it.
(Also primers are not Top-Coats so dirt will stick a little easier),
If the car is going to be garage kept till the frame-off you will be fine.
The reason I would not bother to strip now is it will be easier to remove
the Epoxy primer later if the paint under it is already susceptible to pealing.
Two quarts should be more than enough for the results your looking for.


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4,606 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks guys.

I dont need a top notch paint job at all. I just want to get rid of the pink for as cheaply as possible, but still be able to take the car to cruise nights.
What kind of pressure to the sander need? I have a compressor that gives me a constant pressure from 10-100. Will that work? After that ill pick up some of the DP90, a spray gun, and give it a try.

Im planning on doing this in my garage. I was going to use the plastic drop clothes to make a little room with a fan blowing the fumes out. Is there anything else I should consider? What should I sand the DP90 with?

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1,009 Posts
An air tool requires a lot more air than a paint gun.
More in volume-of-air than pressure. Typically 80psi
is what it takes for an air tool. So if you have a small compressor
you may find it "running" quite a bit trying to keep up.

On a DA (palm) sander I would recommend using a soft pad
(preferably Velcro II) with a sponge pad between that
and your paper. The Body shop supply guy should know what
I'm talking about. You will also have to buy the Velcro II paper
for this. This route should get the paint sanded with out worry
of digging up the body or flatting any body lines.

Before you start take some straight comet and a plastic scrub pad and
scrub the car with it. This will help insure you don't sand any unwanted
BS into the surface that might be a problem down the road.
If you have a Harbor Freight Tools in your area or equivalent
a gravity feed gun with work fine for the DP primer.
Follow the directions on the can or ask your jobber.
I wouldn't sand the DP90. Leave it as is.
(you'll be stripping it all down the road anyhow)

The garage with plastic and a fan will be just fine for this job.

I prefer to use a Down Draft Booth, but I painted this car in the garage
you it can be done.:cheers:

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4,606 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Wow, thats a gorgous car. My compressor is the continous running type so Im going to try the air tool method to save some elbow grease and time.

In some places the paint is chipping and im sure more will come up when I start sanding. What is the best way to approach the edge between old paint and glass? Im thinking I should sand it so its a smooth transition, but that will leave an indentation where there is was no paint. Will I be ok because im using just the primer which will not show the height change? Im thinking the matte finish wont show the lower spots like a gloss will because there is no reflection to distort.

I cant wait to start going this, unfortunately I have to wait till the woman is away in late june so I can completely take over the garage. Of course that is right AFTER bloomington gold. :down:

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1,009 Posts
Considering that you are looking for the line of least resistance, at
this stage of the game what I recommended will make your car look
OK at 50 feet away and at least it won't be PINK.:D

This method is not going to hide all your flaws so I wouldn't worry
about that till your in a position to do the car "RIGHT". DP epoxy
primers are meant for "sealing" and you can put body filler on
top of it. It IS NOT a filler primer meant for blocking
so expect to see flaws if they are already there and possibly some
light sand scratches. The difference is this stuff will not soak up
the moisture and road grime near as quick as the others.

Remember: 50 feet...............:thumbsup: You'll be fine. ;)

PS..When you are ready to do the restoration be sure to use
the best Paint Materials. Don't cut corners in this area, you will
be kicking yourself down the road if you do. It will cost you twice
as much to do it "Right" the second time. PPG, Dupont, Sikkens, Glasurit,
all have Good products on the high end, they also have their Generic
lines.....avoid the generic lines.

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4,606 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the guidance. When it comes to the final paint job no expense will be spared and its going to a trusted pro. :thumbsup:

Ill post pics of the process when I can get to it.

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951 Posts
Now you got me thinkin if I am going the right way with the 79. I was told to just use scotchbrite scouring pads and scuff the surface and then wipe it down with solvent , then wet the area around it (outdoor painting) and run a ground from the body to a metallic building or something that is made of steel in your garage. Gravity guns are great if you do not use all the paint in the bottom and change the filters in the gun. Also use some fisheye drops in the paint. And be damned sure you have a darn water filter on that compressor. Or crack the bottom air valve a bit so condensation leaks out. I am running a two stage compressor. Do not fool with those cheapo depot kind. Worthless. I learned the hard way. And yes I do plan on doing it myself. I am going the urethane paint. Flexibility. It will flex with the car. I was gonna go Enamel but it has a 30 day drying and it needs about 5 days in the sun to gas out. Be sure you have the right reducer also. If your paint instructions tell you 3 to 1 put 4 to one and put more coats. Less chance of drips. Those chips? Use a match or a toothpick and dip it in the paint and drop it in the chips. Let it gas out in the sun and sand lightly then put some more until it is even with the rest of the paint. I redid all my emblem on the 79 that way. A woman told me how to do that. She is a professional painter for Harley Davidson. I am like she is about painting. And I believe when she told me a horseshit 3 G paint job is bullshit, she is right. I like the matte look also. No waxing involved. Go with the paint you like. If you go cheap there are paint jobs on e-bay for under 200 bucks . I was told to use House of Color. PPG. 80 pounds of pressure on the gun and a wide spray. Keep it wide. If you watch any car shows on TV when they are spraying, the fan is very wide. They are using past the recommended reducer and spraying light coats 4 or 5. I myself am not gonna go through that bullshit either. Crossfan it. And one coat on top. Got er done! If you fan it just one direction it will leave you some humps. Crossfan and one coat the lenght of the car. Start from the front and go up and down on a diagnal motion (for a 3 coat process) then start from the rear of the car and go the opposite direction. Then the last coat is up and down, up and down. The doors are a total bitch. So, if you can take them off you are ahead of the game. If you do not want to just be carefull there. I think it is because the door angle gives it extra gravity . And don't forget the air mask for you face. Or you will have primer to the lungs. You can use a scuff pad and paint it with enamel for now also and then come back later and scuff it up and really do a real nice job with a paint booth. I painted the nose of the 79 (small airbrush) and that stuff is durable. There are so many ways to go. But if you leave it matte and do not put a sealer on it I can guarantee you will have impurities. Not only that, what about the bug season? They will not slide off like shiney paint will after road kill. JMHO . I was gonna paint mine stealth but decided not too. I would just scuff the darn thing up and shoot some paint on it. :cheers:
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