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Old 11-02-2004, 09:13 PM
something droll and pithy
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Finished first paint job - what I learned

First of all, thanks to everyone who posts good info on this board - it is truly a valuable rodder's resource.

So, to do my part, I'd like to share some things I've learned after doing my first paint job. These OBVIOUSLY won't be "expert" tips, but may help another first-timer doing it themselves.

1. Read - I bought a book called "How to Paint Your Car." Get the updated version with the Porsche on the cover. Very informative. Oh, actually READ the book. This way, when you go to your neighborhood paint supplier, you can at least converse with them.

2. Practice - If you are like me, you want to be finished already. But DO practice on something other than your sweet ride. Practice all the steps from beginning to end. I practiced on my wife's Jeep. She wanted it pink. I figured "Hey, how bad can I screw up a pink Jeep?" I recommend a fender from the junk yard unless your wife REALLY loves you! I ended up making one of every mistake listed in the book, but it generally turned out OK. And I leaned A LOT!

3. Spray gun - I used and liked the Harbor Freight HVLP There are a lot of good reviews on this board about this gun, and I concur with them - for doing one or two cars.

4. Air compressor - Make SURE the compressor can handle the gun. Mine was a 15 gallon system from Home Depot, and it kept up with the gun just fine.

Yeah, pink! Here is a picture:

I'll post the rest of the tips later.

For my reference: Booth, Wrap hoses, Ventilation, Ask ?s, Health, All your supplies, Nason paint

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Old 11-02-2004, 09:35 PM
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It looks good in the picture. Is it a single stage paint? Was it more work than you expected?
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Old 11-03-2004, 02:27 AM
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Holy Cow! And I thought my purple motorhome was distinctive.
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Old 11-03-2004, 11:26 AM
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Way to go McDuece, now do that rod.

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Old 11-03-2004, 06:34 PM
something droll and pithy
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Ghetto Jet - I used Nason brand paint (DuPont's "value" line), and I used a Base Coat / Clear Coat system.

So, to continue where I left off:

5. Booth - I made a booth out of my garage. I stapled 4 mil plastic around to make the walls, and hung it from my garage's rafters as well. I used two cheapo box fans, one to push air in, one to pull it out. I set the input fan on high and the output fan on medium to create a positive pressure in the booth. I taped filters in front of both fans, which worked well, but clogged up frequently. Change filters every two or three coats to keep up the air flow. The booth setup works pretty well, and if you are meticulous, keeps the bad stuff out.

6. Hoses - wrap your gun hose and your ventilator hose around each other, leaving slack in your gun hose to work. This keeps them from tangling up and they follow you around quite nice.

7. Ask questions - If you've read the book, you'll know what kind of questions to ask, both on this board and to your paint supplier. People will know if you've done your leg work and you'll get better help.

8. Health - Buy a Hobbyair forced air respirator system. Yes, it is expensive. So is the hospital. Plus, having nice cool air in a stuff booth is a real plus. Oh, get the full face mask. Sweat dripping on your paint is no good.

9. Supplies - Read the spec sheets on the paint you are using and make sure you have all your supplies, both before you leave the store and before you begin to paint. Otherwise, you may find you don't have a chemical you need for the next step, and have to re-do some of your prep the next day. Sucked.

10 Nason paint - I'm pleased with it. I used Ful-Seal to seal the old paint, Ful-Thane for paint, and Select-Clear clear coat. Good prices, and good results. All the mistakes in the paint job were due to inexperience and trial application, not the paint or the gun. BUT - use lots of filters before you pour paint (or any chemical) in your gun. Like 4-5 filters stacked all at once. I had some weird red specks show up (I wasn't using metal flake or anything, either) both in the filters and in the paint in places. For my rod, I'll probably pony up the extra coin for Dupont's Chroma system.

So, if you are considering whether to do your own paint job, I say go for it. Just read, ask ?s, and practice.
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