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.