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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Edit 1/15/08: Added pictures in post 13

Well its time. I have enjoyed the car this summer, but come october the pink is officially going to disappear forever! :partyon:

Step 1: Remove the paint were it is chipping and/or has lost adhesion to the fiberglass.

Step 2: Wash entire car with solvent. What is the best product to remove the dust, grease, and anything else that will ruin my paint job?

Step 3: Apply body filler to areas with bare fiberglass to level out edges of existing paint. Again, what product is recommended? It is my understanding that I can apply the filler before my sealing primer.

Step 4: Sand filler and paint using 320 grit dry paper. If this is incorrect what should I use? Specify grit and wet or dry.

Step 5: Apply primer. I will be using AutoAir Base Coat sealer Dark

Auto Air Base Coat Sealer White and Dark are a low build, adhesive sealer coat. Base Coat Sealers have higher adhesion properties that most other Auto Air Colors. They cover well making them ideal for use as an initial coat.

Once surface has been prepared, apply either Base Coat Sealer over the entire surface. Base Coat Sealer White and Dark can be used to remove small, minor surface imperfections to create a uniform, even surface for base coat color application. Product works best when sprayed on in light layers. 1 or 2 coats should be applied, although 1 coat will often be enough as the Base Coat Sealer is opaque and covers well. Base Coat Sealers should be cured with heat before applying additional coats. When applied as directed in lightly layered coats, curing time should be quick. Please refer to Curing on page 5 for further information.

Base Coat Sealer Dark should be used as an adhesive primer under most Auto Air Colors for more pronounced effects. Base Coat Sealer Dark is a very black-like grey shade that can be used as a black undercoat to enhance the effects of other colors, such as Auto Air Chameleon Flair Teal/Purple.

Base Coat Sealer White can be use as an adhesive primer for under lighter colored base colors to allow for more luminescent, brilliant colors. If needed after curing, Base Coat Sealer White or Base Coat Sealer Dark may be nibbed with dry, fine grit sanding paper or scuffing pad. Any dirt specks or other foreign material should be nibbed off before applying colors.

Step 6: Sand sealer. 600 Grit wet dry paper. I assume this should be done wet.

Step 7: Apply base color.AutoAir pearl blue (it looks purple on the website, but I have used it before and its blue. I of course will buy a small sample of the primer and color and try it out on some cardboard to make sure its the color I want.

Pearlized Colors
Auto Air Pearlized Colors are semi-opaque colors with a semi-gloss finish. Pearlized Colors are recommended for use with airbrush sizes 0.5mm or larger. A 0.3mm size airbrush may be used when colors are thinned with Auto Air Reducer. Pearlized Colors are best used over Auto Air Base Coat Sealer Dark or Auto Air Series 4200 Deep Black Graphic Colors.

Pearlized Colors may be used alone for pearlescent finishes, as a base for 4200 Series Transparent Graphic Colors for custom pearlescent blends or as base for the 4600 Series Candy Colors. For custom pearlescent blends, apply 2-6 light coats of 4200 Series Transparent Colors over Series 4300 Pearlized Colors.

Step 8: Inspect and sand imperfections in color coat. What grit paper should be used here?

Step 9: Re apply color to required areas, blend in to surrounding area. If my first few coats are perfect Ill skip this step, but I doubt they will be.

Step 10: Clean body with solvent. AutoAir recommends using 4004 Transparent Base to level the color coat prior to clearing. Does anyone have experience with this? Should i skip this step?

Step 11: Apply clear. Eastwood's Premier Clearcoat Quart

Step 12: Sand and buff Clear. Should I start with 1500 grit and move to 2000 grit wet? What products are recommended for buffing? I have some articals on this step but havent focus my attention on it yet.




If you have read this far, I thank you. Please feel free to critique the overall process and add anything I have forgotten. I hope that this thread can shed light on the painting process and give people the confidence to take on this monumental task. I will of course post lots of pictures of the entire process along with materials and prices. :thumbsup:
 

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mab_man20

I see your ready to bite-the-bullet and Git-R-Done.:thumbsup:
You have a lot of questions...........I will be happy to
offer any advise I can........just don't have the time to do it tonight.
Bear with me and I get a post up this weekend........I'll also see
if I have some "video" I can post as well.

Maybe someone else will chime in in the mean time.

Till then........:cheers:
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Sweet take your time. I bought some books off amazon last night so Ill have lots more reading over the next few weeks.

I cant wait to cruise down the street in my shiny corvette. :partyon:
 

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Wow, are you ready for the adventure? Good luck, and pics are a important.
Hey do you live in oak park?
 

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From what I'm told you want to block sand the primer with 320 grit. Anything finer than that and the paint won't stick.
 

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Hey, I am not really familiar with the Auto Air Color stuff, but I have worked with it a little bit. I mostly work with solvent based paints on my cars, but a lot of the same principals still apply. If you can, get ahold of any technical data sheets on all of the products you are using. These will tell you exactly what you need to be doing to use these products correctly. But maybe I can cover some of the basics at least.

Step 1: Remove the paint were it is chipping and/or has lost adhesion to the fiberglass.

-How many paint jobs are on the car already? The more paint you can get off now, the longer the new paint job will last, and you will have less of a chance for problems to pop up.

You will probably even want to wash the car really well, and then wipe the car down with wax and grease remover before you start sanding to prevent sanding all of the contaminants down into the paint when you actually do start sanding.


Step 2: Wash entire car with solvent. What is the best product to remove the dust, grease, and anything else that will ruin my paint job?

-You will want to use a wax and grease remover that is designed for plastics and fiberglass. I believe these are usually a waterborne or alcohol based cleaner that should be designed to minimize static buildup. This will keep the static down and will lessen the amount of dust and dirt that will be attracted to your paint job. It will also minimize the chance for a static spark that could cause a flash fire.

Step 3: Apply body filler to areas with bare fiberglass to level out edges of existing paint. Again, what product is recommended? It is my understanding that I can apply the filler before my sealing primer.

-You should be able to feather out the paint for the most part just by sanding it and get it smooth enough that you shouldn't need to put any body filler on it unless you have some sort of damage there. If it were me, I would actually primer the whole car and use that to even out the feathered out areas. And then when you block out the primer, it will help to smooth out the surface and minimize and waves that you might see later in the paint job. This will also help with adhesion to your existing finish and the fiberglass.

Step 4: Sand filler and paint using 320 grit dry paper. If this is incorrect what should I use? Specify grit and wet or dry.

-If you do have any filler, usually you will want to put some sort of high build primer over that to finish it off. Most high build primers will fill around a 180 grit scratch no problem. This will save you some sanding time, and help with adhesion of your primer to your filler. Covering up your filler with a primer will also help with your paint because the filler will soak up a lot more paint than the primer, so you will have to put on less coats of paint to get a smooth finish. Once you have your primer on there you will probably want to sand it with around 400 dry or 5-600 wet. You may be able to sand it with 320 grit, but the sealer may not have enough build to fill those scratches, and they could end up showing up in you finished paint job.

Be carefull if you wet sand because some primers will soak up the water and if it doesn't dry completely before you apply your sealer or paint, you could have problems later on with blisters and what not. And if you are working on metal and the primer soaks up the water, you could get some corrosion under the primer itself.


Step 5: Apply primer. I will be using AutoAir Base Coat sealer Dark

-This will work well as a sealer coat to get the car one consistant color and to soak into the primer so your paint doesn't have to. But this primer doesn't have enough build to cover up any imperfections in the paint or body work. So that is why I recommended the high build primer above.

Step 6: Sand sealer. 600 Grit wet dry paper. I assume this should be done wet.

-On most of the sealers that I deal with, you actually don't want to sand the sealer at all. The only time you would sand it is if you got a run or some dirt in it. And if that happened, you would lightly sand it with some 5-600 grit and then re-apply some more sealer over that. But it is not necessary to sand your sealer, unless you let it dry for too long and you lose your chemical adhesion. In which case you should sand it and reapply the sealer.

And again, I am not really familiar with the Auto Air Color stuff, but since it is a waterbased system, it might not be the best to sand that stuff wet.


Step 7: Apply base color.AutoAir pearl blue (it looks purple on the website, but I have used it before and its blue. I of course will buy a small sample of the primer and color and try it out on some cardboard to make sure its the color I want.

-Definately spray the color out to figure out what it looks like, how it sprays, and how many coats you need to get the desired color. Air pressure and and how your spray it will also affect the color because it is a pearl. So if you don't paint the car as one whole piece, make sure you stay consistant on how you spray it, otherwise you could end up with a couple of slight variations on how your color looks from panel to panel.

Step 8: Inspect and sand imperfections in color coat. What grit paper should be used here?

-I usually use 6-800 grit depending on how well your color fills. Just so that you don't have sand scratches showing up after you are done.

Step 9: Re apply color to required areas, blend in to surrounding area. If my first few coats are perfect Ill skip this step, but I doubt they will be.

-It sounds like you know already, but you will always need to re-apply your color on a metallic or pearl after you sand, because you are scarring the pearl with sanding. You will need the new paint to cover up those sanding marks. When you are working with solvent based paints, the clearcoat actually doesn't like to stick to sanded paint. You need the fresh solvents and stuff for a chemical adhesion between the base and the clear.

Step 10: Clean body with solvent. AutoAir recommends using 4004 Transparent Base to level the color coat prior to clearing. Does anyone have experience with this? Should i skip this step?

-You sholdn't need to wipe down the basecoat with solvent unless you are handling it, which you shouldn't really be doing anyways. The solvent could soften the basecoat and damage it. I will usually just run a tack rag over it really quick to grab any dust that may have settled on it, and then move to my clear coat. The only reason that you might need to use the transparent base is to level out the pearl if you have some orange peel or texture to it. If your color looks good, I wouldn't worry about it.

Step 11: Apply clear. Eastwood's Premier Clearcoat Quart

-I don't know anything about this particular clear coat, but just keep in mind that this is the main thing protecting your paint job. So try not to cut corners here if you can afford it. Most of the really good clear coats that I have seen will cost around $250-350 per gallon with the activators and reducers. There are some clears out that you can get around $150 that are still very good as well. Just make sure that it is a good, catalyzed, urethane clear coat.

Step 12: Sand and buff Clear. Should I start with 1500 grit and move to 2000 grit wet? What products are recommended for buffing? I have some articals on this step but havent focus my attention on it yet.

-Sounds like you have the general idea here. Just carefully wet sand with 1500 and you can probably just buff it out from there, but if you want to lessen your buffing time, you can use the 2000 or 2500 grit too. Then you use some sort of a foam cutting pad or a wool cutting pad with a rubbing compound to cut out the sand scratches. Then you use a foam polishing pad or a fine wool pad with some sort of a polish or glaze to take out the swirt marks from your compound and to shine the finish up. Just be really careful of any edges on your panels or any bodylines or high spots. These are the areas that will burn through first when you are buffing.




If you have read this far, I thank you. Please feel free to critique the overall process and add anything I have forgotten. I hope that this thread can shed light on the painting process and give people the confidence to take on this monumental task. I will of course post lots of pictures of the entire process along with materials and prices. :thumbsup:
 

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From what I'm told you want to block sand the primer with 320 grit. Anything finer than that and the paint won't stick.
I block sanded to 400 grit on the primer. make sure you have one consistent color and don't sand thru the primer anywere. I did my sanding in stages. 220 grit and then a coat of medium build primer then 320 grit (or 340 something like that) another coat of primer then wet sand.
 

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I'm back........been up since before 6am uploading some video I think some
may find helpful. Looks like "KUP" did a real good job answering your
questions. Personally..... I have no experience AutoAir Products or waterbase
auto paints....so I can not comment on them.

Just like V-8 engines........not all paint products are the same......though they
may look the same in the can and all perform the same function.
Eample: Some clears buff easily while others are like buffing the driveway.
Some are easy to spot repair down-the-road others are not.
(Just like anything else........you get what you pay for).

Prep techniques may vary from one product to another so always follow product
makers recommendations.

I will add a few points to "KUP"s post.
In Step 2:
1st wash the car with a "water base" cleaner.
NOTE: "Water Base" cleaners will not remove "Solvent Base" contaminates.
2nd wipe the car down with a "Solvent Base" cleaner.
NOTE: "Solvent Base" cleaners will not remove "Water Base" contaminates.
(It would be best to preform both.)


In Step 3:
If you are not going to strip all the old paint off and the body work needed
is minor you can use "Evercoat Metal Glaze". Forget the term 'metal", it will
work fine on fiberglass. This stuff is made to be applied over paint and primer.
Sand easily and feathers real nice.

In Step 7: They make "Sprayout cards" for this but you could use a piece of
white poster board as well. I think it would work better for you than plain Cardboard.
Besure to prime the board and paint it just like you intend to do the actual car


"TACK" Everything, not just the body of the car. Tack the paper covering the
glass and anything else that was masked off. Use two separate tack rags if
you prefer. A lot of trash will come from the dry overspray that is left on the
paper if it is not tacked off. Especially after the base coat is applied...prior
to clear coat.


In Step 11:
I would not recommend using one companies clear over another companies base.
This is almost a guarantee for paint problems.


In Step 12:
I would recommend masking off the edges before any sanding is done.
This way you don't sand any edges accidently that would force you to have
to buff them later.

Here are a few "Basic Videos" that should provide a good visual and maybe
give some tips to help you along with your project.

Paint Gun Tech

Wet Sanding

Buffing Basics

Bumper Cover Prep
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for the indepth replies, both of you. (the videos are worth a million words :thumbsup: )

I need a few clarifications though.

What brand/product wax/grease remover is recommended?
What brand/product water based cleaner is recommended?

I am going to contact Autoair and get their clear coat recommendation, I will spend the money to get some good stuff.

I didnt go into the tools required in my first post because I thought that would get too confusing. Here goes with the tools.

Im going to pick up this paint gun set or this paint gun set. Im leaning towards the second one because the first set gives me the correct tips for the color and primer, while the detail gun will let me easily paint over imperfections in the color coat (after sanding).

I was also going to get this accessory set. It comes with paint strainers. Should I use them with the sealer, color and clear? Should I use different filter levels for each product, or should I plan on running everything through the finest filter the product will flow through?

I lost my link to the sanding blocks I was going to use, but I will post it when I find them.
Im going to buy lots of sand paper. 400 grit for the high build primer (should i get a lower grit for initial knockdown?), 600 and a little 800 for sanding imperfections in the sealer and color coats, and finally 1500 and 2000 for wet sanding the clear. Im going to pick up a buffer and pads from a local paint store and im still looking into the best compounds to use. Car craft did a great artical a few months ago and i will probably pick up everything they used.

I already own a 3M filtered paint mask and a friend has a painting suit for when im doing the clear.

The final step is my "paint booth" aka a garage. Im planning on spraying and sanding the high build primer before I do too much booth setup because its going to be a mess and the last thing I want is all the dust trapped in my clean booth. When Im ready for sealer I will move the car out of the garage and clean every last inch of it. I will then put the car back and hang plastic drop clothes around the car and on the ceiling using duct tape and maybe a few nails. Im not trying to make it air tight, I just want to minimize the dust that can get in. I have 2 box fans, one will blow out, one will blow in. They are the same size so I shouldnt have positive or negative pressure in the booth. What type of filter should I put over the fans? Prior to each painting session I will dampen the floor to ensure it is clean and to help trap floating dust and paint.


What else am I forgetting?


edit: Here is the painting blocks I dont think I need a long block due to the many many curves. Should I get one?
 

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Thanks for the indepth replies, both of you. (the videos are worth a million words :thumbsup: )

I need a few clarifications though.

What brand/product wax/grease remover is recommended?
What brand/product water based cleaner is recommended?
Any of the major paint manufacturers have a product to fit this bill.
When you go to your local auto paint store tell them what your doing
and what your looking for and get their product.

I am going to contact Autoair and get their clear coat recommendation, I will spend the money to get some good stuff.

I didnt go into the tools required in my first post because I thought that would get too confusing. Here goes with the tools.

Im going to pick up this paint gun set or this paint gun set. Im leaning towards the second one because the first set gives me the correct tips for the color and primer, while the detail gun will let me easily paint over imperfections in the color coat (after sanding).
If the second matches the requirements of the product being sprayed then
you should be OK being you don't do this for a living I'm not going to recommend
any high dollar paint guns.

I was also going to get this accessory set. It comes with paint strainers. Should I use them with the sealer, color and clear? Should I use different filter levels for each product, or should I plan on running everything through the finest filter the product will flow through?
I would pass on this......over kill..........the paint store you buy your other
goodies from should give you a hand full of throw away strainers at no charge.
Wooden stur sticks are usually free as well when buy other items.
You can also buy the mixing cups individually..........just get a dozen or so in the
size you need.......I usually only use the quart size but for an all-over you might
get one or two of a larger size.
I would strain everything......to be on the safe side.



I lost my link to the sanding blocks I was going to use, but I will post it when I find them.
Im going to buy lots of sand paper. 400 grit for the high build primer (should i get a lower grit for initial knockdown?), 600 and a little 800 for sanding imperfections in the sealer and color coats, and finally 1500 and 2000 for wet sanding the clear. Im going to pick up a buffer and pads from a local paint store and im still looking into the best compounds to use. Car craft did a great artical a few months ago and i will probably pick up everything they used.
Depending on how much body work needs to be performed I generally block
my first application of primer with no less than 180. Even with 180 you'll
be blocking your ass off......on a whole car. If you plan to prime the entire
car, after blocking the first time and if everything is looking good, prime a
second time and gently DA the car with 320 and a soft interface pad on the
DA. Not much need to go finer if you plan to seal the car.
( JMHO others may vary.)
NOTE: 400 wet sanded is = to 220 dry. Keep this ratio in mind


I already own a 3M filtered paint mask and a friend has a painting suit for when im doing the clear.
Has this mask been stored in an air-tight container? If not then it probably needs
to be replaced. Only use paint masks with the black band around the filter,
they're the ones for auto use.

The final step is my "paint booth" aka a garage. Im planning on spraying and sanding the high build primer before I do too much booth setup because its going to be a mess and the last thing I want is all the dust trapped in my clean booth. When Im ready for sealer I will move the car out of the garage and clean every last inch of it. I will then put the car back and hang plastic drop clothes around the car and on the ceiling using duct tape and maybe a few nails. Im not trying to make it air tight, I just want to minimize the dust that can get in. I have 2 box fans, one will blow out, one will blow in. They are the same size so I shouldnt have positive or negative pressure in the booth. What type of filter should I put over the fans? Prior to each painting session I will dampen the floor to ensure it is clean and to help trap floating dust and paint.

In my garage / paintbooth :laughing: I just raise the roll up door a couple of
inches and keep the ground wet in that area. Personally in this type set up
I would not have a fan "pushing" air into the garage unless I had a great way
to filter it. Two fans pulling out will create enough air flow to get the job done.
The trick is not to stir up any dust moving around while painting the car.
Remember that you introduce dust into your paint job.
(JMHO other may vary)

NOTE: Tack Rags...........open them and unfold them completely and let set for
5 to 10 minutes before using them. This is so they can dry.....they should not
make your hands feel all sticky when handled.
If you don't do this you may end putting crap on the car instead of taking it off.



What else am I forgetting?


edit: Here is the painting blocks I dont think I need a long block due to the many many curves. Should I get one?

Check out:
http://www.digitalcorvettes.com/forums/showthread.php?t=83075




:thumbsup:
Hope I'm clear......I did this in a hurry....:D
Got to get out of here now.............got to attend more I-CAR tonight.;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I seems im ready to create my full list and start hunting down the best prices. :thumbsup:

2 quick questions:

Paint mask: I have extra filters which have been properly stored (ive airbrushed for some time now, which is one reason im going to take on this project!)

"Paint booth": Do you put the fans just outside the door sucking air out the opening?

:cheers:
 

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I seems im ready to create my full list and start hunting down the best prices. :thumbsup:

2 quick questions:

Paint mask: I have extra filters which have been properly stored (ive airbrushed for some time now, which is one reason im going to take on this project!)

If they are new and never be opened then you will be fine.
Those filters will only absorb but so much and that is it...........it's only good for
a dust mask after that.

"Paint booth": Do you put the fans just outside the door sucking air out the opening?


Yes this will work.
It doesn't have to be super High Tech, all you need is just enough air movement
to get the over spray fumes out and just enough so when the solvents
start to evaporate out the the paint the air flow will move it away from the car
so that it does not settle back on its self........this will cause the paint to
"die back", have a sorta semi-gloss look to it.

After you are done spraying just set the fans on low.

When I paint something in my garage I just set the fan in the window.
I don't spray much in mine anymore because: 1..I can use the downdraft
at work anytime I need, and 2....I have more trouble with tiny knats than
I do with trash in the paint.


Remember that those big fancy paintbooths in bodyshops are more for production
than anything else.


:cheers:
.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I finally started the stripping process. Im not planning on removing every inch of old paint, just the parts that are chipping and or easy come off. I figured id post some pics of the progress. I spent about 3.5 hours up to this point. Ive been using a razor blade and a painter's trawl. The front was a very thin coat of paint and came right off with the razor blade in small flakes. The rear end paint of coming off too easily. It came off in large sheets which would jam into the razor handle which was a huge PITA! I busted out the sharp trawl and proceeded to pull off 6x3" sections.

Here we go...sorry for the bad quality its dark and I dont have much room around the car.




 
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