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Old 01-02-2010, 11:02 PM
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Necessary Steps To Prep For Paint

Hello,
My name is Nick and by my post count I am new to these forums. I've been lurking around for the past week or so and I've already learned a great deal by reading the stickies at the top of the page and some of the current threads.
Now I don't have a hot rodder, but a car enthusiast is a car enthusiast. The car in question is an early 90's Volkswagen coupe. It's a small car compared to a lot of modern cars and a lot of older muscle cars.
So, my reason for posting is I want to repaint the car. I've been reading like a crazy person about the prepping process and related bits and all the terminology. And still some of the terminology and different kinds of products still confuses me.
Now I don't want to be the one to lay down the paint as I don't have a proper booth and ventilation for a quality job. What I want to do is get the car smoother than a babies butt so all the paint shop has to do is lay down final primer, paint, then clear.

So my question I pose to you guys is once the original paint is sanded off do I use an epoxy primer to protect the metal, THEN spray on high build primer that can be sanded?

I appreciate any help and insight toward my project. I haven't yet did anything because I want to be 100% certain on the proper steps for a successful job.

-Nick.

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Old 01-03-2010, 06:32 AM
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It sounds like time isnt an issue..... First I'll assume you dont have much body work to do.....Second its not always nessecary to take it down to the metal so I'll assume its done that way.You have to clean the metal well,then epoxy....Let it cure ....do your little dents and imperfections then epoxy them. Heres the tricky part...you have some choices...You can use epoxy as the next primer and the sealer too,using up all the epoxy and not wasting it being unused or you can buy another gallon of more primer ,use half a gallon and waste the rest too ...Some Epoxy primers (like the one I use) sand very well and they actually work better than the building primers.So its cheaper and a better quality job, using one primer that does everything.I think if you look around you'll see that the ONE thing the pro's can agree on is what brand of epoxy primer stands head & shoulders above all the rest.It runs at around 100.00 a gallon and 100.00 for for a gallon of the activator.Good luck
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Old 01-03-2010, 07:08 AM
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Time is not an issue. I have a lot of free time between work and school so this will be a slow paced project. The car still has paint on it. I haven't done anything yet, I need a set "game plan" before I do anything as I don't want to get in over my head.

Thanks for your tips on the epoxy primer. That is exactly the kind of information I am looking for.
What brand is considered head and shoulders above all the rest? Cost isn't a huge problem as it is also a learning experience. I figure a couple bucks for supplies to help cut the cost of final primer and paint.
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Old 01-03-2010, 07:19 AM
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First ,Wecome to the site Nick,i'm from Ny (Saratoga) I grew up there a long time ago....Why do you feel you need to strip the car? It is best but it also will open a big can of worms sometimes,For instance old repairs might have to be redone.You probably got some rust issues also.Can you get some pics posted?
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Old 01-03-2010, 09:05 AM
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I have never used an epoxy primer before that fills and sands as well as a Urethane primer. DBM's favorite epoxy may not be available to you, as it isn't for me and you may have to go with a urethane.

But don't sweat it, urethane primer is used by a vast majority of painters and shops across the country for "surfacing" bodywork prior to painting. Some apply a sealer over it, some don't. I personally don't apply a sealer over the urethane. But there are many different ways to skin a cat as DBM and I have just shown you.

Brian
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Old 01-03-2010, 09:38 AM
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Man...I hate sealer too... after sanding and blocking and getting everything just right a sealer is never slick enough and I always end up sanding it again.Theres absolutly nothing wrong with the building primers either they just seam way to thick for me It all ends up sanded off and on the floor.I found it hard to believe that any epoxy was sandable too but when I tried it I was very impressed its just what I needed. Brian ,you know how i like to push things to their limits.....I abused this stuff just like a lot of body guys do with that building primer and actually filled 36 grit scratches on my old car just to see if it worked ...Well its been sitting for over a year now (closer to two) and its still holding up without shrinking or swelling.This stuff impresses the heck out of me,and as you know I'm not easily impressed....I'm sure he'll send you some if you call him....BTW another thing I really like is it comes in black so when your wet sanding it shines like a black paint job exposing any waves that might have been missed with guide coat (very small)I love black primer.It looks good even when its not painted.
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Old 01-03-2010, 11:24 AM
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I'm from the lower Hudson Valley region. For stripping the car I always felt that would be the best way. To be honest I don't want to strip it to bare metal, if I can sand it to the factory coating that would be ideal. Stripping it to bare metal would make it a requirement to seal it from moisture rust formation as soon as possible.
The car as it sits is pretty damn straight. The only rust is around the rear window which is good since it is attached to the hatch which is removable. I have since located a clean used one with no rust. So my rust problems are nil as for any dings and dents they are pretty minimal. I have maybe a half a dozen small door dings mainly on the drivers door and a tiny one on the drivers side rear quarter panel.
I'll get pictures of the car up shortly as it is stored in a neighbors garage and they aren't home at the moment.

Quote:
Originally Posted by deadbodyman
I found it hard to believe that any epoxy was sandable too but when I tried it I was very impressed its just what I needed. Brian ,you know how i like to push things to their limits.....I abused this stuff just like a lot of body guys do with that building primer and actually filled 36 grit scratches on my old car just to see if it worked ...Well its been sitting for over a year now (closer to two) and its still holding up without shrinking or swelling.This stuff impresses the heck out of me,and as you know I'm not easily impressed....I'm sure he'll send you some if you call him....BTW another thing I really like is it comes in black so when your wet sanding it shines like a black paint job exposing any waves that might have been missed with guide coat (very small)I love black primer.It looks good even when its not painted.

Do you have a name of this sandable epoxy primer. This seems like the perfect product for me to use.
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Old 01-03-2010, 11:48 AM
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Yep, needing to strip the car to bare metal is an "urban myth". If your paint is original or simply in good shape then sanding and paint it is fine in most cases.

Brian
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Old 01-03-2010, 12:36 PM
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If the paint still has ashine and hasnt been painted more than three times theres no need to strip it unless it has spots that are turning white in the clear or it has small cracks in it,theres really no need to prime the whole car either just sand it with 320 dewax and paint... mabee some sealer if you want to try it, but it sounds like a regular old repaint...what kind of paint?solid or metalic?No need for epoxy...
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Old 01-03-2010, 02:44 PM
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The paint has some decent shine but it is pretty obvious in certain places where it was repainted in the past. I just went out and took a couple pictures of the really noticeably bad spots. In particular the front end that has many stone chips that made it to the metal underneath the paint. It also has clear coat peeling along the roof rain trays, along the top of the windshield and along the bottom of the rear quarter panel windows. There are fish eyes in the front bumper and some (bad to me) orange peel on the doors. Also there is a very distinct paint line on the roof that separates the roof portion and the A and C pillars. There is a stone chip in the driver side rear quarter and oxidation on the hatch spoiler.

Sure it's possible to repaint the front end and fix the roof. But between the blending and color matching it's already covering more than half the car.

The pictures aren't the best since the light was going down already and the light was bad. Also I didn't have decent access to the drivers side of the car by the way it was parked.



















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Old 01-03-2010, 03:01 PM
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IMO that paint is very marginal and I would not put another coat on top of it. It shows lifting in spots that makes me very suspicious of it's stability to support another paint job. From the photos it's obvious that the underlying paint was not prepped properly. Now you will be adding more paint on top of a poorly prepared paint job, its a recipe for disaster.

Vince
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Old 01-03-2010, 05:07 PM
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you guys say stripping off the old paint is a myth or unnecessary, dont you think it would be safe to do it anyways so there is no chemical reaction from the old paint of yesterday to the new paints of today, in the case of my car being 40 years old, i felt compelled to strip the paint. even though it had its original paint, and there was no sign of the paint lifting or peeling ,i was under the impression that a possible chemical reaction could occur.
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Old 01-03-2010, 05:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crystalbluevib
you guys say stripping off the old paint is a myth or unnecessary, dont you think it would be safe to do it anyways so there is no chemical reaction from the old paint of yesterday to the new paints of today, in the case of my car being 40 years old, i felt compelled to strip the paint. even though it had its original paint, and there was no sign of the paint lifting or peeling ,i was under the impression that a possible chemical reaction could occur.
Now if there is anything that is a "Myth" it's a "chemical reaction". There is no such thing in this case, nothing, not by any stretch of the imagination.

The original paint may be crap and not a good base for your new paint or undercoats. But there is no "chemical reaction" like when you mix Bleach and Ammonia to create chlorine gas. It just doesn't work that way.

You are talking about a 40 year old car, that is a bit different. Would it "hurt" probably not. But it really depends so much on a number of factors.

1. What are your expectations? Can you paint over junk paint and have a "decent" paint job when done, heck yes! It ain't perfect, but most wouldn't know the difference.

2. What space and time do you have to do it? Stripping a car to bare metal is a HUGE undertaking. I always suggest doing one panel at a time if you are pulling it off at home.

3. Is it REALLY "better", it depends on the procedures you use. If you strip off some decent acrylic enamel like on a 1970 Ford to put some cheap primer on you are not doing anything better. Some original well kept 70 Torino has pretty decent paint on it! Sand it and paint over it. While a Chevy with it's lacquer is likely failed and needs to be removed.

It just isn't carved in stone that a car must be stripped to do a nice job.

Brian
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Old 01-03-2010, 05:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 302 Z28
IMO that paint is very marginal and I would not put another coat on top of it. It shows lifting in spots that makes me very suspicious of it's stability to support another paint job. From the photos it's obvious that the underlying paint was not prepped properly. Now you will be adding more paint on top of a poorly prepared paint job, its a recipe for disaster.

Vince
Amen, in this case I would be stripping those areas at the very least. It is so hard to say much without seeing and touching the car. These spots you are looking at may be where repairs have been made while the rest of the car is solid. Look around these areas and the complete panel that this damage is on. Do you see any paint on the mouldings edges where they were masked off while the panel was painted or something like that?

Brian
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Old 01-03-2010, 05:49 PM
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There is no overspray on the moldings. The two main moldings that run along the roof rails next to the major paint peel were not there when I got the car. I had added those after I bought the car 4 years ago. As far as I can tell the panel does not look damaged. It looks straight and not wavy.

What would be the ideal solution to this?

The tentative plan right now is to do one removable panel at a time. Making sure it is perfect before I move on to the next one. Mainly to keep track of things and to help keep myself from getting overwhelmed by the enormity of the project. Then once all the removable panels are complete, move on to the unibody.
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