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Your First Classic Car Paint Job

February 28, 2015
Your First Classic Car Paint Job

Are you ready to paint your classic car? Is this your first paint job? If so you need to know a few things before you attempt this undertaking. I don't want to discourage anybody from paint their own classic car but it is not as easy as it sounds.

Obviously if your ready to paint your classic car then the body work is done because that is a topic for another article. If your are truly ready to paint your car then it is already as smooth as glass and the time has come for the color.


Just for the sake of being right I would tell you to check it again. I know that it's a process to check the straightness of a car's body work but you just can't be too careful. So please do hit the car with another couple of coats of primer and guide coat the car and sand it with 180 grit paper until the guide coat is gone.


Once this is done hit the car with another couple or three coats of primer and sand the car with wet 400 grit sandpaper and then move to 600 grit wet sandpaper. I know it sounds like an extra step but as I said above you just can't be too careful.


Once this is done clean the car first by washing it with soap and water, and then after the car is dry you can use metal prep cleaner to finish the job. After you do this you can move the car to the paint booth and mask it off.


Masking is another one of those things that will make all of the difference in the world in your paint job so take your time and do it right. There is no time to hurry a good paint job they take time. Now that your car is ready your can tack cloth the surface of the primer.


Here is another word of warning, you should always follow the manufactures mixing instructions on all paint products. I know that you might have people telling you that they can mix by eyeballing it. But if your want the manufacture to back up their product use it the way that they tell you.


It's up to you is you want to put sealer on the car the paint will look great either way. Sealer will hide little imperfections in the primer surface of the car. It is also one more chance for dust to get in the paint of your car.


If your chase to use sealer on your car then you will need about three coats of that before you can spray the base coat on the car. Before you paint the car after sealing the surface you need to wait 20 minutes and no longer or your asking for trouble.


Like paint and primer your sealer needs 15 minutes between coats. This is called flash time and the needs every second of it so don't rush it. After your last coat of sealer you should already have your paint mixed and ready to go.


Everybody is a little different when it comes to spraying a car. But here are the setting I use on my gun unless the paint manufacture says different. I use 25-30 psi at the gun and a 6 inch spray pattern, but really your looking for a spay pattern with no dead spot in the center or on the edges and once you get you gun adjusted to that spec it's time to spray.


The gun should always be held and a 45 degree angle on flat surfaces such as roofs and hoods. It should be held at a 90 degree angle when painting side panels such as doors and quarter panels. The gun should be held 6-8 inches from the spray surface.


You will need to determine rather you should spray at 6 or 8 inches it depends on your gun and you preferences.


You should spray no less the three coats of base coat and the same in clear. If you plan to cut & buff the car you should spray a couple of extra coats of clear at least. I usually spray 6 coats if I plan to cut & buff the paint surface.


A word of warning if you do plan to cut & buff your car you should wait about one week before you do it. By doing this you make sure that the paint is cured before you cut the surface. Bad things can happen if the surface is not cured.


Well that is my two cents on paint i hope it helps some of you.




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