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Old 07-24-2008, 01:57 AM
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1st bc/cc -- epoxy prep help needed

Blocking with 220, sand-throughs, glazing questions.

I've been sanding (wet, block) my epoxy with 220 to get ready for 2k primer/surfacer and have cut through in a few small spots. There are a few places, also small, where I missed some high spots and the epoxy is nearly transparent by the time it's flat.

Should I just spray some more epoxy on each of these before going on to the 2k primer/surfacer or do I need to shoot a complete coat of epoxy? If I shoot a complete coat, will the 220 be a factor, versus the 80 that seems to be the norm for prepping for epoxy?

Background and tales of screw-ups:

This is my first attempt at basecoat/clearcoat. It actually started over 2 years ago, but things got in the way. The car says 'Fox' on the label, but it's really a lab rat -- I'm using my wife's car to learn how to do bc/cc for my real project. She set a low threshold ("As long as it shines") but I want to learn to do it right.

The epoxy is EPX-900/901, from some advice given to me by baddbob 'way back when I was trying to get the hood protected. data sheet (PDF) That data sheet shows beige, gray, black and white, but this stuff is close to Caterpillar yellow.

I shot 2 coats on mostly bare metal and then sanded most of those back off because (a) it was a mess and (b) it was far beyond any reasonable stretch of the recoat time.

After getting 2 decent wet coats on and waiting a day, I blocked with 80 and did filler work with Evercoat Lite-Weight. That was cut down with 40 and then 80. Well, that was the intention. Work was interrupted, I was in a hurry when I got a chance to get back to it and I ended up spraying a coat over some filler that had only been hit with 40 grit. It was hideous.

I'd already mixed enough for 2 coats, so I shot 'em and then sanded the whole thing back down flat. My whole garage floor turned yellow. The only good thing about the waste was that blocking it again showed a low spot I had missed before. It was right beside a high spot on the roof that's half way around a dimple. All together the area looks like a quick-frozen ripple in a pond -- dimple, wave crest, wave trough. After blocking that, it looked like a light blue smudge beside a yellow one next to bare steel.

Now I have 2 good coats over the filler, not counting the bugs. The tech sheet (PDF) for JP202 primer/surfacer says prep with 180 - 240 grit, so I started blocking with 220. I've cut some edges all the way to the metal and sanded really thin near some others.

My intention was to spray the JP202 at 4:1:1 (recommended by Janet at "The Bodyman's Friend" where I bought all the supplies) to get a better color under the base and to act as a sealer over some Icing that I'll need to fill where the bugs died. That local PPG supplier doesn't even stock the JP385 2k sealer, so I'm guessing none of the local body shops use it.

I was told that not using a sealer over the Icing and primer/surfacer will cause areas coated with Icing to be visible through the basecoat. Does that sound reasonable?

I've also been told that the color I've chosen, a VW "Tornado Red", will show every flaw I leave behind. Oh, well, it's a learning experience. Besides, another screw-up on my part regarding a list sent by way of a volunteer go-fer resulted in me being the proud owner of 6 quarts of Tornado Red. (I was able to return the extra gallon of clearcoat and hardener). The Fox/lab rat/guinea pig is about the size of a Pinto. Might have to paint a few more vehicles around here a bright red.

data for the basecoat (PDF)
data for the clearcoat (PDF)
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Old 07-24-2008, 04:12 PM
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Wow, lots to read through there , not sure what your exact question is. I'll bump you up, and hopefully some others will chime in with their advice.
I'd get any scratches left in worked down to at least 80 grit, better yet 180. As far as the 220 you've sanded the majority with, epoxy should stick to it.
I haven't used that epoxy, but I would just hit any thin areas or cut throughs to metal with more epoxy (unless there are enough areas where it will be just as easy to coat the whole thing), and then after about at least an hour, lay on the coats of your 2k primer. Then block sand the 2k and see how its looking, how if its blocking out, or if you still have high spots that cut through, or lows that the guide coat stays in and won't block out. When you've blocked the 2k you can also wipe down with some wax and grease remover and kinda sight down the side to see if its looking straight or not.
Once you've blocked out the 2k, then from how it looks you can decide if it will need more work or rounds of blocking, or if you can just apply more to final sand. You really wouldn't need to buy a sealer if you didn't want to. It would be okay to paint over everything in the sanded 2k, although using that epoxy reduced as a sealer would probably be a bit better in the long term. Although I believe most people use a white sealer under red. Red isn't known to be the best coverer(and you should have everything all one color before paint), so unless you have enough coats sprayed over your undercoat for total coverage, your choice in color of sealer is a ground coat under it may affect the final color some. I don't think bright yellow would be a good choice for a ground coat under red, don't ask me how I know, buff yellow primer spots under laser red many years ago that bodyshop manager wouldn't let me seal.
You can figure about how many coats where you have total coverage, by spraying a black and white checkerboard card with the color, and when you can tell no difference between where its over a black or white square, is when you have total coverage. If you don't spray to total coverage, then what was used as an undercoat would be somewhat helpfull to remember for future repair.
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Old 07-24-2008, 09:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grouch
Blocking with 220, sand-throughs, glazing questions.

I've been sanding (wet, block) my epoxy with 220 to get ready for 2k primer/surfacer and have cut through in a few small spots. There are a few places, also small, where I missed some high spots and the epoxy is nearly transparent by the time it's flat.

Should I just spray some more epoxy on each of these before going on to the 2k primer/surfacer or do I need to shoot a complete coat of epoxy? If I shoot a complete coat, will the 220 be a factor, versus the 80 that seems to be the norm for prepping for epoxy?

You'll be fine spraying more epoxy over a 220 grit scratched epoxy. Bare metal is where you need the 80 grit sctatch for adhesion. Think of the bare metal scratches as being a lot shallower than on softer surfaces -example: an 80 grit scratch on bare metal will have less depth than an 80 grit scratch on body filler and that's why these heavier grits are specified for bare metal prep-hope that makes sense. Any bare metal showing can be scuffed a little by hand with 80 grit prior to applying more epoxy.

Background and tales of screw-ups:

This is my first attempt at basecoat/clearcoat. It actually started over 2 years ago, but things got in the way. The car says 'Fox' on the label, but it's really a lab rat -- I'm using my wife's car to learn how to do bc/cc for my real project. She set a low threshold ("As long as it shines") but I want to learn to do it right.

The epoxy is EPX-900/901, from some advice given to me by baddbob 'way back when I was trying to get the hood protected. data sheet (PDF) That data sheet shows beige, gray, black and white, but this stuff is close to Caterpillar yellow.

I shot 2 coats on mostly bare metal and then sanded most of those back off because (a) it was a mess and (b) it was far beyond any reasonable stretch of the recoat time.

After getting 2 decent wet coats on and waiting a day, I blocked with 80 and did filler work with Evercoat Lite-Weight. That was cut down with 40 and then 80. Well, that was the intention. Work was interrupted, I was in a hurry when I got a chance to get back to it and I ended up spraying a coat over some filler that had only been hit with 40 grit. It was hideous.

I'd already mixed enough for 2 coats, so I shot 'em and then sanded the whole thing back down flat. My whole garage floor turned yellow. The only good thing about the waste was that blocking it again showed a low spot I had missed before. It was right beside a high spot on the roof that's half way around a dimple. All together the area looks like a quick-frozen ripple in a pond -- dimple, wave crest, wave trough. After blocking that, it looked like a light blue smudge beside a yellow one next to bare steel.

Now I have 2 good coats over the filler, not counting the bugs. The tech sheet (PDF) for JP202 primer/surfacer says prep with 180 - 240 grit, so I started blocking with 220. I've cut some edges all the way to the metal and sanded really thin near some others.

If you have a lot of edges showing bare metal and also other sand throughs I think you should just shoot one coat of epoxy over the whole thing , allow it to set a few hours or overnight then shoot your surfacer. What color is the surfacer? Light grey?-may be ideal for the color under the red.

My intention was to spray the JP202 at 4:1:1 (recommended by Janet at "The Bodyman's Friend" where I bought all the supplies) to get a better color under the base and to act as a sealer over some Icing that I'll need to fill where the bugs died. That local PPG supplier doesn't even stock the JP385 2k sealer, so I'm guessing none of the local body shops use it.

I was told that not using a sealer over the Icing and primer/surfacer will cause areas coated with Icing to be visible through the basecoat. Does that sound reasonable?


If you primer over the icing there shouldn't be any bleed through problems.

I've also been told that the color I've chosen, a VW "Tornado Red", will show every flaw I leave behind. Oh, well, it's a learning experience. Besides, another screw-up on my part regarding a list sent by way of a volunteer go-fer resulted in me being the proud owner of 6 quarts of Tornado Red. (I was able to return the extra gallon of clearcoat and hardener). The Fox/lab rat/guinea pig is about the size of a Pinto. Might have to paint a few more vehicles around here a bright red.

data for the basecoat (PDF)
data for the clearcoat (PDF)
You shouldn't need a sealer if that color covers OK, definately shoot a test panel to guage coverage.
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Old 07-24-2008, 11:20 PM
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My first question is why are you sanding the epoxy. EPX 900 stays open for a very long time. Even if your needing to rough up the epoxy just scuff reapply a coat then spray surfacer over it and block the surfacer. As far as the yellow primer under red that will really make the red POP! Yellow sealer under a red car makes the red much brighter. However if you don't want it brighter than consider that. Wherever you got your EPX from should be able to tint it to a Green/grey if you like. But man I feel sorry for you sanding that EPX, as it is the gummiest crap to sand. Loads up paper like a SOB! You are aware that is a lead based epoxy? You really should be using a more modern epoxy like DPLF or something along those lines. JMHO. I do use the EPX on tractors and wheels and whatnot and it is a good primer though. Will work fine. Just isn't as user friendly as DPLF.
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Old 07-24-2008, 11:45 PM
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Like all the great advice all ready given, I would spot the bare spots with the epoxy and feather in those areas. BC/CC need a very smooth finish to hide sanding defects most manufacturers recommend final sanding with 600-800 grit. A good sealer will create a barrier between the undercoats trying to bleed the top coats. Using tintable sealer will also help get coverage faster and help hide parking lot scratches. On any spots that needed more than two coats of primer surfacer let it dry for several days before the final sanding since I have also missed some 24 grit grind marks that took a while for the ureathane primer surfacer to find its level. Tornado red is solid so it will be more forgiving than metallic BC /CC. I have only used Dupont Colar epoxy and only used 220 to sand it. Being used to lacquer it was hard to sand. If I used it again I would want to use a waterbug to sand most of it. You are doing a paint job that is worth more than the 6k the Fox sold for new. Should be sharp when its done.
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Old 07-25-2008, 01:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kenseth17
Wow, lots to read through there
Yeah, I may have gone overboard a little. Just wanted to make sure I gave complete info.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kenseth17
As far as the 220 you've sanded the majority with, epoxy should stick to it.
I haven't used that epoxy, but I would just hit any thin areas or cut throughs to metal with more epoxy (unless there are enough areas where it will be just as easy to coat the whole thing), and then after about at least an hour, lay on the coats of your 2k primer.
It's still a little early to judge (I have 1 whole side plus a front fender yet to sand) but it's still just a few high spots and cut edges so far. Thanks for the rest of your tips, too!

Quote:
Originally Posted by baddbob
You'll be fine spraying more epoxy over a 220 grit scratched epoxy. Bare metal is where you need the 80 grit sctatch for adhesion. Think of the bare metal scratches as being a lot shallower than on softer surfaces -example: an 80 grit scratch on bare metal will have less depth than an 80 grit scratch on body filler and that's why these heavier grits are specified for bare metal prep-hope that makes sense. Any bare metal showing can be scuffed a little by hand with 80 grit prior to applying more epoxy.
That does make sense and seems logical, now that you broke it down. Bare metal feels slicker where I've hit it with 220 compared to the paint right next to it hit with the very same grit on the same stroke.

Quote:
Originally Posted by baddbob
If you have a lot of edges showing bare metal and also other sand throughs I think you should just shoot one coat of epoxy over the whole thing , allow it to set a few hours or overnight then shoot your surfacer. What color is the surfacer? Light grey?-may be ideal for the color under the red.
Looks like a consensus on the advice to just shoot a complete coat. I was worried about getting things too thick, but what I'm seeing while sanding doesn't look bad at all. Except for where I sand too much.

I haven't even popped the top on the primer/surfacer yet. I hope it's grey. The original factory primer under the original dark red was grey.

Quote:
Originally Posted by baddbob
If you primer over the icing there shouldn't be any bleed through problems.
Thanks, that was worrying me. I thought I was going to have to color the epoxy or find some Shop-Line sealer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by baddbob
You shouldn't need a sealer if that color covers OK, definately shoot a test panel to guage coverage.
Do you mean a checkerboard panel like kenseth17 described, or paint some metal just as I'm doing the car: epoxy, 2k primer, base, clear?

Quote:
Originally Posted by LCAAR
My first question is why are you sanding the epoxy. EPX 900 stays open for a very long time. Even if your needing to rough up the epoxy just scuff reapply a coat then spray surfacer over it and block the surfacer.
I've read several comments lately from folks on here who seem to do a *lot* of painting and they are skipping the 2k primer and putting basecoat on the epoxy. I had that in mind when I started blocking the EPX with 220. However, going over it with the 220 and a shop light is showing stuff I didn't see when I hit it with 80 before. If I can see it, I feel like it should be fixed before moving to the next stage.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LCAAR
As far as the yellow primer under red that will really make the red POP! Yellow sealer under a red car makes the red much brighter.
I thought it might show up any mistakes I made in the basecoat as orange places.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LCAAR
But man I feel sorry for you sanding that EPX, as it is the gummiest crap to sand. Loads up paper like a SOB!
It sat for a little over a day in the plastic tent in my garage. Temp was about 90 outside, higher in that tent.

It does tend to load up the first few strokes. I've found I can keep the area misted, run the block lightly for a few strokes, wash the paper, wipe the area, re-mist, and not load up so bad after that. I keep a piece of foam rubber floating in the bucket to swipe across the paper. It takes off the first globs that build up without dulling the grit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LCAAR
You are aware that is a lead based epoxy? You really should be using a more modern epoxy like DPLF or something along those lines. JMHO. I do use the EPX on tractors and wheels and whatnot and it is a good primer though. Will work fine. Just isn't as user friendly as DPLF.
I couldn't find any mention of lead on the MSDS. It has some familiar things like talc, toluene, MEK and xylenes as well as the oddball "aluminum powder" and everybody's favorite, crystalline silica. I'm pretty sure lead would be listed if it was in there.

I've used it on my tractor, too. When I bought a King Kutter 5' tiller, the paint on it was still gummy in some runs; it looked, felt and _smelled_ exactly like the EPX. I'm using it on this car because I had some on hand.

Quote:
Originally Posted by perrib
Like all the great advice all ready given, I would spot the bare spots with the epoxy and feather in those areas. BC/CC need a very smooth finish to hide sanding defects most manufacturers recommend final sanding with 600-800 grit.
Yeah, the data sheet for the basecoat says "400 grit (machine or dry hand) or 500 grit (wet) on old finishes and primer surfacers". I have some 3M 600 that I'll be using if I ever get past this epoxy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by perrib
I have only used Dupont Colar epoxy and only used 220 to sand it. Being used to lacquer it was hard to sand. If I used it again I would want to use a waterbug to sand most of it.
This stuff is not too bad considering it's going on the 3rd day since shooting it. I just have to watch for loading up like LCAAR pointed out above and change paper more often than I did when sanding the original finish.

Quote:
Originally Posted by perrib
You are doing a paint job that is worth more than the 6k the Fox sold for new. Should be sharp when its done.
Yeah, it wouldn't make sense except (a) my wife loves this car (and I hate my own cooking) and (b) it's a lot cheaper for me to learn to do this stuff with this car and this paint than to mess up on my '49er later. I hope to make your prediction about it being sharp to come true.


Thanks for all the advice, folks! I was starting to get a little panic that I was headed down a dead-end. It looks like I'm just a couple more steps away from getting that 2k primer on. At least this thing should be straight and flat when I get done. Or, it might look like a swollen tick going down the road, if I put that silly 6 quarts of basecoat on it.
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Old 07-25-2008, 02:55 AM
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When you get to the base coat all that you need to do is to shoot to coverage..I see a lot of issues with base when guys shoot the base too thick and load it up..Solvent pop..cracking..all kinds of nasties..Two coats should do it..leave it and then check it for any holidays or thin spots..

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Old 07-25-2008, 05:28 AM
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Sam is right about less base is better but you do need to spray enough to get full coverage. Spraying over a black and white test card works good to see how many coats are needed. Some colors in the cheaper paint lines can take as many as 7-8 coats for full coverage and using the correct color undercoat can help in these situations. My hopes are that you have a color that covers in 2-3 coats, spraying a test panel will verify.
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Old 07-25-2008, 10:18 AM
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Grouch
Most everything I paint the paint job is worth more than the vehicle that way I can afford a better paint job.

I only have $1100 in materials and booth time. But way to many hours.


The 90-92 Fox was a good car the AC worked and it had a five speed. Even the 87-89 Foxes were ok but the AC was very weak and they were four speed cars. Removing the intake and exhaust restrictors from Foxes made them quicker than the top of the line 16 Valve VW Sirroccos whose paint code you are stealing. Poetic justice the bottom of the line VW quicker than the top of the line VWE. VW forgot about power to weight ratios. I learned the hard way on my first BC/CC about using the black and white checkered cards.
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Old 07-25-2008, 09:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OneMoreTime
When you get to the base coat all that you need to do is to shoot to coverage..I see a lot of issues with base when guys shoot the base too thick and load it up..Solvent pop..cracking..all kinds of nasties..Two coats should do it..leave it and then check it for any holidays or thin spots..

Sam
What's a holiday?

The lady at "The Bodyman's Friend" warned me about the basecoat, "It's like crayons -- you just want to fill it with color between the lines."

Quote:
Originally Posted by baddbob
My hopes are that you have a color that covers in 2-3 coats, spraying a test panel will verify.
Looks like I need to scrounge up some black and white paint.

Quote:
Originally Posted by perrib
Most everything I paint the paint job is worth more than the vehicle that way I can afford a better paint job.
That first photo made me nostalgic. The second made me understand what my nephew meant when he said a paint job should be a color mirror. Very nice!

My wife's Fox is an '88 GL with 5 speed. It was sold to a local mechanic for next to nothing because of the 1st owner's frustration with the AC and the paint. (All the clearcoat had come off and most of the basecoat on the top and hood). The mechanic didn't really want it. I happened by with some frustration of my own -- 2 cars down with computer/electrical gremlins in a 4 driver family -- and he sold it to me for $500. He had replaced the tires and 'fixed' the AC with nothing more than an alligator clip and a wire.

The AC is cold, even though the radiator looks to be about 1/4 the size it should be. The car needs more power, but she's happy with it. It was made in Brazil and seems to be well assembled, except for a rocking driver's seat and bad paint job.
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Old 07-25-2008, 09:56 PM
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I've never heard the term holidays but I'd interpret that as being a run.
Check over that rocking driver's seat and I'll bet the frame has some stress cracks. These can be fixed usually with some welding if the cover comes off.
Your test panel can be something as simple as a piece of white poster board or simlar and add some black electrical tape. Is that red you're using a metalic or solid color? looks like a solid color in your link-this is good. Solid colors are much easier to spray and you could panel paint the car if you want as long as full coverage is achieved. Spraying a few panels at a time makes it much easier to learn the products-just a thought. When things aren't going right when shooting a complete the redo or repairs are usuaally extensive, when things go wrong shooting one panel it's a much easier fix.
See how your surfacer blocks out and how the color covers then determine if a sealer is needed. Let us know how it goes. Bob
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Old 07-25-2008, 11:03 PM
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The Baja paint is Valspar acrylic enamel with Matrix wet look hardener over Evercoat ureathane primer surfacer and Valspar DTM primer.
If the ac blows out all four vents it the upgrade. Is the FI electronic or CIS (fuel distributor with braded steel hoses to the injector). On CIS look in the throttle body a restrictor was installed in the sencondary, Unbolt the header pipe from the muffler pipe. There is a round sealing ring made from cast iron, don't drop it they like to break when dropped from a lift height. Open it up with a die grinder. Note the step added to the ring. They also pressed in a restrictor in the rear tail pipe. Wind it out when accelerating you can not break a rod or float a valve. Its meant to be run hard. Shift like an F1 car they don't like to be speed shifted. If its CIS you can use the CIS-E system and distributor from an 86-87 8v GTI with spark computor to gain 20 hp.
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Old 07-26-2008, 04:50 AM
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I agree with bob, if this is a solid color (much more difficult with a metallic, and have a match), even though the fox's are a realitively small car you may want to break up the job. It may be less overwhelming for you and could make for a cleaner job. If you are carefull in reassembly, you could paint the decklid(although the hatch might be pretty heavy) and the hood off, making easier to reach without leaning over the fenders, and could even hang them to lessen the dirt specks that are able to land on them. Maybe something like roof and quarters at one time, the doors and fenders another, and hood and deck seperate and off the vehicle, if you would want to bother with painting at seperate times.
How are the moldings? On the 89 fox I painted, they were pitted and faded. I ended up painting all the trim and moldings as well, after some good tips from bob and others on prepping the rubber quarter window moldings, figured they would really look like hell when a new paint job was on the thing.
If you have everything all one color for paint, then you only have to spray enough base where it looks even and looks like the color your after. But a black and white card should tell you where actual total coverage is, and undercoat color wouldn't make a difference. If you ever do get a very poor hiding color, and have spots of primer as well as original paint you were painting over, you could see how important primer color choice, or getting everything all one color with primer or sealer can be, I've been there.
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Old 07-26-2008, 10:47 AM
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Tornado Red is a solid color.
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Old 07-28-2008, 01:04 PM
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Holiday = missed or very thin coverage (and why I had to repaint the quarters on my project car).

I used DuPont ChromaBase - '08 Mustang Venetian Orange. Tech sheet says 2-3 coats, real life - four to six for full coverage and after discussing with my supplier, not unusual for some colors (he "helped" me pricewise with some more $650/gallon paint )

Dave W
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