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  1. #1
    FEP Senior Member jpywell's Avatar
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    Default Full Car Painting > Prep Q's

    Nearly ready to prep the stang for a full body paint. Now I have been doing a lot of reading and everyone has there special or custom tips for doing this job properly. Im going to make a list of pre-check steps that are required and if anyone has any input to the process or advice for us that would be great.

    Keep in mind this will be my first full car body paint job. I hear it takes quite a skill to paint a car, however I have artistic capabilities and I have a good eye so I am confident that I can do a good job.

    Now the ideal way about doing this is stripping the entire car of interior peices and exterior chrome etc... but in this case I wont be doing that as it is an economical paint job for this year, which means I wont be removing much and will be doing a LOT of taping and covering.

    Tools & Accessories
    1. Compressor and Spray Gun
    2. Sander and Sanding Paper (standard and compressor style pads)
    3. Painters tape and Painters paper or Lots of news paper.
    4. Water for the wet sand paper
    5. Paint
    6. Paint Booth
    7. Misc. garage tools to remove small things here and there.

    Break Down:
    - Compressor and Spray Gun
    - You can use spray bombs for small areas and touch ups, however to create a consistant smoot look too your paint job a full spray system should be used. In this case my tool is a Sears Crastman 30 Gallon, 6HP 7CFM compressor. This will be sufficient to do the task at hand. I also got a crastman professional series suction spray gun. I am considering however to upgrade to a gravity fed gun instead.

    - Compressed Sander and Standard Sander
    - The compressed sander is in order to prep the body all over, you can do that with regular sand paper... but you will be there all week. The standard paper will do hard to reach areas and touch ups.

    - Painters Tape and Paper
    - As far as my readings go, there are some very important reasons for using this rather then regular masking tape and news paper. First reason for the tape is that it seals much better and over spray will/should not get into where it should not. The Paper is used because it wont saturate as easily as newspaper does, this will prevent paint from seaping throught the paper and runing whatever was underneath.

    - Wet Sandpaper
    - This is used after the final coats of paint are added, is smooths the texture off the paint, you want to make sure you dont rub too much in one spot or you have to repaint. Once the sanding is done (here is where I am unsure of things) you was down the car and then buff up the finish. Now if you were using a clear coat... hopefully someone can fill us in in this process.

    - Paint
    - Everyone has an opinion on paint brands style etc... basically to break it down to basics I am still learning. As far as I am to understand there are 2 types, base coat/clear coat which have the clear coat and base coat mixed together to make the job that much easier and then there is the traditional seperated. I hope someone can clear that up for us more.

    - Paint Booth
    - Now not everyone has access to this, either where they live, dont have a garage etc... in my case, well I have 2 garages, the one is currently used to regular daily use drivers and the other is well it has a Porsche 911 in it and well, Im not about to start painting around that. So I have come up with an alternative. I am going out to go and buy some PCV or ABC plastic piping and will build a structure that will fit around the car outside. Now this is a great way to do it as it is not expensive and it will guard your paint job from the elements. The outside I will be tying down a large tarp and on the inside I will be lining the entire booth with thin plastic to trap the over spray. Now I scavenged an old bathroom fan unit that I will be wiring onto the structure to vent the air outside and will keep the elements out at the same time.

    - Misc. Garage Tools
    - And of course small things that can be easily removed that are not to be painted... well remove them.

    PAINTING THE CAR

    1. Remove all peices that you can and then tape everything down. Now when I say tape it down I mean tape it down and do it tight. No flaps etc... make sure that ALL seams are taped over so that any over spray or run off will not get in under that area. Not many people think of it as important and not many good body shops think of it either, TAPE all the rubber down and if you can get underneith, tape down all stripping and rubber parts off, painting them will dry them out, damage them and reduce the life of the rubber peice. Not too mention look TERRIBLE!.

    2. Once the car is all taped and papered off, take out that good ol sander (now I just realised that I assumed you would have washed the car very well before even attempting step one...) and start sanding everything down. Everyone has there own opinion on what grit of sand paper to use. I have heard a wide range. I personally will be going to the store at the time I am about to get started and feel the paper by hand before I make my judgment call, I have heard typically to rough up the paint you want to use 320 grit... or around there. Do as much as you can, any area that is going to be painted MUST be sanded down to make a good matting surface, so if your sander is not reaching that area and you know its going to be painted... get out the old hand sand paper and give it hell.

    3. RUST!! ACK! Well as much as we all would like to never have this, we all do somewhere when dealing with these cars, its just a fact of the metal that was used on these cars when they were made and the age of the cars. Honestly I have never found any solution to take care of rust, thats also why I am making this article. Can someone please tell us of the process and there success stories!!! Now if its terribly bad rust you will have to take it in and have the metal cut and new metal welded in, I am talking about surface rust that we can sand off.

    4. After preping the car and rust proofing it we now can clean the car down and use a degreaser (type unknown please fill in) to make sure the surface is 100% clean and clear of elements that will sorely disapoint our finishes. Once the car is clean we begin to prime the car. Again there are many types of primer out there, I personally am going to use an etching primer from an autobody shop. Once it is primed you will be able to see any imperfections on the car and begin filling, sanding and fixing. After fixing and filling, spray and review process until satisfied with condition of car in primer state.

    5. Get a high grit wet/dry sandpaper and go by hand as speed sanders will most likely mess things up. Sand the primer smooth as we dont want the primer texture showing through to the surface of our new paint job. Sand, review surfaces, prime and sand again as needed and once done good.

    6. Now setting time for primer is an iffy subject, I have seen it posted where its said to let the primer cure for a WEEK! well I dont believe a word of it, professionals can have a car primed and painted to show quality finish in under 1 day. So either your using terrible primer... or your just being cautious. Once the primer has set then you can begin applying your paint. Apply the paint in obvious thin layers and do not let the paint collect and run. Apply as many coats as required. Once the paint is on, again you will want to run wet/dry sand paper over the entire paint job to smooth out any bumps or textures. Once that is done, buff the suface nicely to a nice sheen, however becareful near corners and raised edges and paint will be thinner in some areas.

    7. Now depending on the paint you used at this point I believe is where you would add the clear coates. I am not sure on the process of this. I plan on using the combined paint and going from there.

    COMMENTS

    If anyone can contribute to this list please do, I will add the comments etc... too this write up.
    The economic times suck... GREAT TIME FOR BUYING FOXES!!!

    86 T-TOP RS, 32,000 Miles, near mint ONLY 320.00USD...

  2. #2
    Dave84
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    Hello. You seem to have the right tools and most info down. If I was going to paint your car this is what I would do.
    1. I would sand and fix any damage first. Rust, dents or scratches.After these repairs are done then you need to feather edge each area that has been repaired.(feather edge- to sand the edge of the area to thin out the surrounding paint and primer that was on the car when you started)
    2. Then I would remove front and rear bumpers to be painted off of the car with the flex agent with your paint. Don' forget to wet sand bumpers with 400 wet/dry sand paper.
    3. Now the rest of the car needs to be wet sanded with 400 wet/dry paper.Sanding with the 400 with water and a few drops of soap added to a spray bottle to help sanding debris fall away.Wet sand whole car.Not trying to get down to metal, just dulling the finish evenly all over.
    4. When this is done then you might be ready for paint! (didn't mean to get ahead of myself but are you changing the color of the car or will it be the same? If you are changing the color then you need to give all door jambs and under hood and in trunk the same treatment as the outside. Then the door jambs and trunk and under hood need to be painted FIRST!!
    Wheather you are painting the car now or the jambs, everything that does not get paint needs to be taped off good! If you do your best work here then the results will be that you won't have to spend a half of a day cleaning up paint spots that you didn't get taped off good!! Use a good brand of tape for best results!
    5. Ok on to the two part paint. This has two parts. You have the color and the you have the clear. This is a very easy way to paint. Very forgiving. You can fix runs and bugs in the color. You can fix runs in the clear!! Not too hard!!
    i will let this end for now!! See what else you have a question about! Hope this is some help to you.

  3. #3
    Dave84
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    A quick note! All repaired areas need to be primered. No metal can be showing when you go to paint. Also the wet sanding of the clear coat! This is to smooth out the paint to get the orange peal look out of the clear. You will need to sand with 1000 grit sand paper wet with a sanding block for this. You want to sand in the same direction and sand only lightly to smooth out the surface of the clear. DO NOT sand thru the clear to the color or you will need to repair this!!After your 1000 grit sanding then it is time to buff the clear with a compound. Here you need to be very careful you don't burn up the clear. After buffing then I use a hand glase by hand to get rid of buffing swirl marks! Ok that is going to be it for now!! bye!

  4. #4
    FEP Senior Member jpywell's Avatar
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    Great tips on the finer details of the process! I will add those notes to the list! - And make sure to give credit.

    My project: Rust colored 81 mustang to a jet black all over. Personally I wanted the metalic red thats on the 2005 mustang... but my better half who's driving the car mostly at this time wants black... so when I get myself another mustang, I can do it in my own color

    Thanks for the tip on doing the interior and door jambs first... I would have jumped straight to doing the outside first and now after reading your post, I realize that would be a grave mistake. Also good point about feathering the edges, makes complete sence as that is where the paint would build up.
    The economic times suck... GREAT TIME FOR BUYING FOXES!!!

    86 T-TOP RS, 32,000 Miles, near mint ONLY 320.00USD...

  5. #5
    FEP Power Member Puter's Avatar
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    If you look at the URL in my sig you will see that I just did my vert. I did my 84 2.5 years ago and have a ton of pictures there, too.

    Do not tape first. Trash in your tape will get into the paint.

    Wash, wash, then degrease. You do this so as not to sand in crap. Determine from your paint what kind of condition it and the underlying foundation is in. If it is the factory paint and not cracked, you can get away with scuffing it with Scotchbrite to give the paint a "bite". Otherwise, repair as needed then feather. The more work that you put in here, the better the car will turn out. Painting a car is 95% prep, 5% paint.

    On my 84, once I got all of the bodywork completed, I sprayed a couple of coats of urethane primer (Marhyde Ultimate II). I block/wet-sanded the whole car with 400.

    Clean the car thoroughly again. Use a nozzle and shop air to blow all over especially in the seams and such to get any sanding dust. Use a paint cleaner, then roll it into the booth to start taping off.

    Since you are not changing color, you need to backtape teh door jambs and hood. This will keep from leaving a distinct line. Another reason for automotive masking tape is that the glue does not pull of paint as easily. Take your time taping and papering. As you can see from the link, I started on the vert at 9 that morning. I went home at 9 that night with the tape/paper job you see. Nothing was exposed that would not get paint.

    Now, think about "Gravel Guard" and if it for you. Mine are daily drivers, so I used it from the mouldings down. Next step is sealer. That's the grey stuff. As the name mentions, it seals the underlying foundation from the paint. Not only does it keep it from bleeding through, I have found that paint flows and lays down much nicer/smoother.

    Basecoat/clearcoat is a 2-stage. Both of mine are painted that way. You lay down a couploe coats of base, then a few coats of clear. The base will come out dull. It's the clear that gives the wet look. There is no sainding inbetween. Clear sprays different than base. I can see base, I can't see clear. You can see the runs I put in the vert. Be careful. The first coat of clear you only want tacky. Very light. This gives teh second coat something to adhere to. If you go too thick with the first coat, the base will "sag".

    Once all coats are on, then it is time ti assess the job. As you can see, mine show a bit of "texture". Once I cut out my runs with a razor blade (oh, boy), I blocked with 1500, not 1000. Do not take it down much at all. Once blocked, I used a white compund pad with a polisher and 3m Perfect-It III Compound. This goes very fast. Be very careful not to burn edges. Now wash all of the compound dust off or you will be sorry. Oh, I left as much tape and paper as I could because this stuff will sling a bit. Once washed again, I went with a black polishing pad and 3M Perfect-It III polishing compound. Back comes teh lustre! Wash again. Last step, 3M Hand Glaze and polishing cloths.

    One last note - I went with an expensive clear (7550S) because my vehicles sit outside and are driven everyday. I wanted something durable.

    Hope this help.
    85 GT convertible

  6. #6
    FEP Senior Member jpywell's Avatar
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    Helps tons! It brings up the finishing steps which I was unclear of, this makes complete sence to me. However you made one mistake, I am changing the color of my car, from a rust brown (faded copper) to a black. This sounds like so much fun, I wish I had the income to get on it this week! Meh, oh well 2 more pay days.
    The economic times suck... GREAT TIME FOR BUYING FOXES!!!

    86 T-TOP RS, 32,000 Miles, near mint ONLY 320.00USD...

  7. #7
    Derek50
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    Great post.

    How much did your paint and supplies cost? Did you just use a mask or did you use a respirator?

    Also, where is a good place to get replacement trim peices? You know the ones that run down the side of the car from the fenders to the rear quarters and match up with the bumper covers.

  8. #8
    FEP Power Member Puter's Avatar
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    jpywell, I had both of mine to the point of changing colors. On the 84, I pulled the hatch and hood off. I painted underneath them and my door jambs and my engine bay. Usually they only need a degrease and scuff with Scotchbrite. Do those after the primer on the outside. You are not worried too much about overspray.

    Derek50, you mean me? I used a mask with new filters. The booth has excellent draft. My paint and materials ran ~$600.

    The body side mouldings are hard to find for the 84. Texas Mustang and 5.0 Resto only have the 85-up. I was able to take them off properly (without curling them) and refresh the ones that I have. I still need to put the ones back on for the 89. For the 84, it took 33' of 3M double-sided moutning tape. For the 89, 25' because the 4 pieces that mount next to the covers actually bolt on. I imagine if you need 84-earlier you should be able to find some from junkyards. I know of a couple Internet yards if you need.
    85 GT convertible

  9. #9
    FEP Senior Member jpywell's Avatar
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    About the rock guard on the bottom of the car, my mustang already has that there... do I remove it and re add it? Or leave it and just paint it up?? Im thinking it would be best to remove it and search for any hidden rust... how would I go about removing the stuff?
    The economic times suck... GREAT TIME FOR BUYING FOXES!!!

    86 T-TOP RS, 32,000 Miles, near mint ONLY 320.00USD...

  10. #10
    FEP Power Member Puter's Avatar
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    Yeah, since you are going that far. You remove it like anything else. I'd run some low-grit sandpaper on a DA until you get to the underlying foundation. Finish up with 400 and you are ready to prime.
    85 GT convertible

  11. #11
    FEP Senior Member jpywell's Avatar
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    Great... sooo cant wait to get started. I just spent the last 3 hours updating my project site. Just click on the link in my signature so you can see what I am up against and what I have been doing I am in the early stages of my project at this point. I have completed the front end of the brakes and suspension however I have to replace the rear springs yet. I have a 2.3L EFI engine with a T5 tranny that I am building over this winter and hope to place into the 81 next spring after a complete rebuild. This will also include a turbo charger from an 88 turbo coupe and the chemical cooling system that is featured in the MM & FF magazine this month. I will be placing my order for the kit later this summer.
    The economic times suck... GREAT TIME FOR BUYING FOXES!!!

    86 T-TOP RS, 32,000 Miles, near mint ONLY 320.00USD...

  12. #12

    Default

    Be very careful about how you set up your exhaust fan. Paint fumes are
    very flammable, and one spark could be cacastrophic. I think I once
    heard that you don't want an electric motor in the booth. Maybe someone
    else can chime in with an actual solution.
    '88 Mustang GT convertible, T5, 3.08:1 gears. 5.0 Explobra Jet: A9L Mass Air conversion, Fenderwell Mac cold air intake, 70mm MAF meter = 4.6 T-Bird/Cougar housing + '95 Mustang F2VF-12B579-A1A sensor, aftermarket 70mm throttle body and spacer, Explorer intakes, GT40P heads with Alex's Parts springs and drilled for thermactor, Crane F3ZE-6529-AB 1.7 "Cobra" roller rockers, Ford Racing P50 headers, Mac H-pipe, Magnaflow catback, Walbro 190 LPH fuel pump, UPR firewall adjuster and quadrant with Ford OEM cable, 3G conversion ('95 Mustang V6), Taurus fan, rolled on Rustoleum gloss white paint...
    Past Four Eyes: Red well optioned '82 GT 5.0, Black T-top '81 Capri Black Magic 3.3L 4 speed, Black T-top '84 Capri RS 5.0 5 speed.Over 200,000 miles driven in Four Eyes, and over 350,000 in Fox Body cars.

  13. #13
    FEP Super Member eric5oh's Avatar
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    Make sure you have one helluva good respirator (sp?). I painted 4 cars in my life, all of them with an insufficient one and now my sinuses are suffering. I used to paint other stuff too, and boy do I miss the smell of Dupont Centari.....
    2017 Lincoln MKZ AWD
    2003 Town Car
    2017 GTI
    Currently Foxless

  14. #14
    FEP Senior Member jpywell's Avatar
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    Wow, this is an old thread. Actually I work at a body shop now. I have access to full facilities this winter on saturdays so I will be using the paint that they have there cause I get it for cost. And I get pretty much everything at cost including my tools, outfit and breather etc... so not worried about it anymore... I may just get one of our preppers to paint the car for me... funny, our master painter seems to do some real **** sometimes and out prepper waiting to finish his ticket does awesome work.

    I also have decided that I will NEVER do a car black EVER EVER EVER... I hate black so much now. Dark green is not tooo bad, but dark blue is another AWFUL color, try cleaning it, its dirty by the time you finish. White isnt too bad, but it gets dirty quick too but it at least stays clean (looks clean at least) when done.
    The economic times suck... GREAT TIME FOR BUYING FOXES!!!

    86 T-TOP RS, 32,000 Miles, near mint ONLY 320.00USD...

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