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Old 04-22-2010, 11:29 AM
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Painting first car!!! Help

First of all, just wanted to say this forum is THE best!!! I have spent so many hours wandering around on here not even a member yet and you guys have answered SOO many questions for me. So, again, thank you! This is my first post, and maybe a long one to explain. I have a 1980 Trans Am that I bought myself through a long summer working when I was 16. I am now 23 and am in college. I got screwed over by a local "DIY" painter that was "supposedly" good and cheap. I was 20, thought I could trust him and got screwed over. No contract, no proof of an agreement, nothin. So i was out $1,500 and have a half painted car. I wanted it two toned and he did the one color and now its half primer with (you guessed it) rust coming through. So I did a lot of research and bought the Sharpe Finex 3000 HVLP (supposedly best gun for $110 delivered) and will be using my dads 5 h.p. 60 gallon compressor. I will be starting in 2 or 3 weeks when school is done with all the body work.

HERE IS THE QUESTION.

The paint I have left is Sunset Orange Metallic, but the reducer and hardener WERE open when the other guy painted them, but are sealed back up, should they still be good or junk them? It is Western Automotive Dimensions paint. I know, I know, cheap but hey guys, im on a big budget here. Im taking advice and have other "wrong" mixed paints from paint stores and spare body parts to practice painting before my project, but wondering if I would have problems with my old material. Any advise would be GREATLY appreciated guys. and dont worry, I can take critism!!!! Hahahaha

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Old 04-22-2010, 12:02 PM
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usually you can tell just by looking at the paint in the can. If it has that oil and water seperation look, or grainy, it's probably not worth using.
I'm not very familiar with automotive paints though.
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Old 04-22-2010, 05:39 PM
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Hardener is funny. Sometimes it seems to last forever if the can is sealed back up right away, and moisture doesn't get in or subject to temperature fluctuations. Other times it doesn't seem to last a week. Reducer should last a long time if closed and in stable temps, as long as its not one of the special activator-reducers like some brands such as chromabase use.
If the hardener looks seedy at all or is hardened up, then its junk. If the hardener is going bad the paint can also spray out seedy, and look like its loaded with dirt, or if the activator is bad with a urethane or polyurethane type paint, the paint would never harden properly, and may never stop fingerprinting.
What I do if in question, is mix a little up paint and activator in the proper ratio in a small container, and leave the container out overnight and see if it hardened up as it should the next day. Or even better mix some up, and spray a test panel, and see how it looks the next day, if its curing as it should.
I've never used that paint in color, but did spray some western clear a customer supplied on a grand prix a few years back. Actually looked pretty good for a dirt cheap clear. Did see the car sitting at a gas station over a year later, not a real long time, but did still look like when sprayed. I swear its the same clear as nason select clear, at a little cheaper price, sure looks, acts, sprays a lot like it (even used each others hardeners in one another as a test, and they both seemed to harden just fine).

If thats single stage, orange metallic could prove to be a bit of a challenge to a new sprayer without much gun time. Specially in a cheaper line. Orange and reds typically aren't the best hiders in the first place, and cheaper lines often don't have the greatest metallic control. And add to that spraying a single stage in a metallic is going to be a bit tougher then with a basecoat to spray. As you have to both maintain a good glossy look and even metallic, and what you spray is pretty much what you get. Just won't be able to do any amount of sanding and buffing afterward with single stage in a metallic without getting into and affecting the look of the metallic. Also reds, oranges, ect, wouldn't expect the greatest life in a lower line when being exposed to uv till they start to degrade, without the added uv protection clearcoat provides. Sorry to point out the downfalls that may be in front of you. But will be a good learning experience if nothing else.

Too bad you weren't closer and didn't hook up about 4 or so years ago when I was doing more side jobs. Think I told a college kid somewhere between a grand and 1500 to do hus 79? transam he brought over for me to look at, for a base clear urethane job. He had emailed me a few times prior for over a year. Never heard from him again after i told him the price. He maybe didn't realize it, but I was offering to do it for him at a killer deal (I could relate to being young and broke), and finish what I start, and usually ate labor on the work I did. His still had the original lacquer on it which was all checked and needed to be stripped of. Had some rust repair to do and needed some patching in the floor and trunck, some work to do on the urethane bumper, and I always remove and install majority of parts-only way to do it right. I am probably glad I never did hear back from him.
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Old 04-22-2010, 09:39 PM
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Wow! That helped out tonnssss Kenseth! I think Ill just mix a little up and shoot it and keep an eye on it and see if it cures correctly. And yes, 1500 is an awesome price for a paint job for an older car with body work involved. Around my area I was looking around 3500 and up for a pro to do it. usually more I figured I will be way more proud if I do it myself anyway. And it is a 2 stage bc/cc. Sorry I didnt mention. I am still unsure of a few things, like how there are a lot of plastic bumpers and spoiler, and other body parts that i see cracked and spiderwebbed I see on SO MANY T/A's. Would I shoot those SEPARATELY with flex agent mixed in the paint? The top half of the car the other bum painted on 3 years ago has already cracked on those parts...
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Old 04-23-2010, 07:26 AM
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This is being caught between the rock and the hard place. Do you use the materials you have and hope ---- or do you trash them and buy new. My first thought would be to pick up some new hardener and give the paint a try (assuming you have plenty) on an old and damaged fender that a body shop might donate to your 'cause'. The reducer will probably be ok if it was capped firmly, unless it was really cheap stuff and has too much water in the formula. In that case, you might have some rust from the can. As far as the brand of paint, the Western is what Brookville uses for a primer on their bodies and this seemed to be a pretty good protector - I can assure you that it was a pain to strip so I could start with fresh bare metal. Supposedly Western is a PPG lower end product.

Whatever you do, work with the pros here and you will get great help - I did and got great advice and did a much better paint job then I had ever done before.

Dave W
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Old 04-23-2010, 09:36 AM
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IMO, paint itself should be fine.. have it shook at a hardware store.. they may charge but it's worth it if it has sat for any length of time... but I'd toss the hardner and probably the reducer.. hardner is cheap and altho it may last forever. it is only supposed last for a week or so
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Old 04-23-2010, 10:00 AM
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SPI Vs. Nason Vs. Omni Vs. Restoration Shop

Okay guys, I know I will prolly get alot of gruff about this post. (The "why put so much work then get cheap paint" deal). But here is the deal. Ive had my 80' Trans am since I was a teenager, and I am TIRED of it still not looking good. I am in college so the PPG and Dupont stuff is wayyyy outta my league. I can put all the work in the world and countless hours, but that doesnt cost anything, thats labor. Paint does cost. Ive heard such good things about SPI, which is the most expensive I have considered, and I still believe its out of my league. 400 Universal clear:$206 Epoxy primer AND 2k Highbuild (going bare metal): $227. Thats $433 WITHOUT base color!! I know for some this isnt bad but PLEASE understand this is my FIRST time painting AND im still in school. Thats why I priced out Nason, with an economy clear and AUTOBODY master primer, that came out to around $350 for EVERYTHING (with reducers, hardeners, etc.). And believe me, I have searched for stuff on Restoration Shop paint, and I can't find any "quality" reviews of the stuff. Its all peoples opinions based on not spraying it or seeing it. Tcpglobals restoration shop stuff is $240.00 with everything minus primer. I havent priced omni base or primer or clear. And I realize I am kinda all over with this, but someone please point me in the right direction. Please, PLEASE keep in mind the price. I do want it to be nice sanding primer and quality clear, and a good coverage base, but not top of the line showcar prices. Thanks guys!!!!!!
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Old 04-23-2010, 11:07 AM
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first time painter has enough troubles and yes the expense is a factor..

So here you go..Get some red scuff pads and some Dawn dishwashing detergent and scrub the H out of that thing until it is absolutely clean..Then shoot the SPI epoxy primer which is 150$ for 2 gallons which will be plenty of primer..then do your blocking as you will probably find an amazing pile of dents and divots in that car..then on a economy job get some nason or omni base coat in a solid color and shoot that just get that from whoever has a good price..Then use the spi euro clear which is about 90$ per gallon..So far 210$ then some base coat and remeber red base is high dollar so pick something else out unless you really want red..

Check out the Spi forum as there is a fellow there who handles pro-spray base and may be able to help you out.

for the beginner the SPI products just cannot be beat for the customer support and help that you recive..

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Old 04-23-2010, 11:12 AM
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You think Euro clear as opposed to SPI's Universal??
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Old 04-23-2010, 11:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matt167
it is only supposed last for a week or so

Not so - longevity depends on whether it was opened, how long it was left uncovered while mixing paint and storage conditions - neither too hot nor cold.

Dave W
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Old 04-23-2010, 11:39 AM
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We use the euro for the budget used cars and it works out nicely but it does not shoot quite as well as the universal though it is still a good clear. the universal just lays out and buffs so well that it is worth it to me..

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Old 04-24-2010, 01:50 PM
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typed a reply yesterday, but lost it when submitted.

Actually I believe Western is a Sherwin Williams brand.

I say if you have paint already, give it a try, spray some, and see if its acting and spraying as it should. Is the activator you are talking about for the basecoat, or for clear or primer? If its hardener for basecoat, then when mixed, probably wouldn't harden up in a cup the next day. Hardener will help a great deal with durability, adhesion of the clear and repairability, but many basecoats hardener is not used or is an option. If the basecoat doesn't use a special activated reducer, then you could just add a capful of your clearcoat activator per mixed quart of basecoat. Thats what I normally do. And also use any good brand of reducer. Like if you bought southern polyurethanes clear, could buy a gallon of reducer (which would probably be a higher grade reducer in the first place) and use it in your basecoat and clear, and just add some of your clearcoat activator to your mixed base. I tried looking up sherwin williams dimensions base, and if I got the correct tech sheet, don't activator listed anywhere on the sheet. Doesn't appear to use a special reducer from the sheet, but not positive not having ever used the line.

As far as the bumper, believe those are urethane (endura) bumpers. Hard to say where the cracks are coming from could be in the paint, or in the plastic itself. You would have to sand and investigate. If in the paint, sand it off, and prime, if in the bumper, then doing any repairs needed with proper repair materials for urethane bumpers and prime. If still happens to be original lacquer paint, that paint drys hard and not very flexable, and known to shrink and crack with age. If still original lacquer, if would strip it all off down to the urethane and start with modern materials. If the paint softens and wipes off fairly easily when wiped with a rag soaked with lacquer thinner, then its probably lacquer, or at least a outdated 1k product.

Flex agent I believe to be a waste of money with modern basecoats and urethane-polyurethane materials which are fairly flexable as it is, much more so then old materials. At least I have not had any problems skipping it painting modern urethane bumpers. Some may disagree with me. Many eventually evaporate from the paint anyways, or will add very little flex, if it gets hit hard enough to crack the paint, likely flex would have done little to help. flex should not to be added into basecoat. Most important will be cleanliness and a thorough job of sanding, including nooks and crannys. Thats what I feel is the biggest reason you see paint peeling off many bumpers, laziness. Or in the case of problems plastics such as tpo not knowing or researching the proper way to prep and repair the particular plastic.
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Old 04-24-2010, 10:56 PM
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Thanks again kenseth. I thought it was activator for both the base AND clear. I have it all in a box at my moms, ill have to check this weekend. And even though I wanted to save money, I think with me deciding on the SPI primers and clear, I am just going to buy new paint. I think I might use my dimensions to practice on some spare hoods and fenders I have and get used to the pattern and getting used to tuning in my gun to spray right. And as far as the bumpers, you are right on, I did some checking and they are urethane. I talked to the guys at SPI and they said after correct prep, an adhesion promoter along with their epoxy then 2k primer is actually very flexible. Also, like you said, the polyurethane clear makes the flex agent a waste of money also, so I should be fine. Im learning sooo much! Im excited to actually start! Just don't get annoyed because Ill be shooting alot more questions in the next few weeks, haha
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Old 04-24-2010, 10:57 PM
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And thanks too all that helped guys, I appreciate it!
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Old 04-25-2010, 01:26 AM
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Bandit,
As a fellow novice to car painting I can tell you that you should spend the extra money on some good body filler. I am gonna recommend Evercoat Z Grip and thier Metal Glaze. You should be able to buy both for $60 at your local auto parts store even if they have to order it. I started off using Z Grip and ran out. The guys at the local store talked me into buying another product that was supposed to be just as good and in stock. It was half the price so I jumped on it. Well it hardens faster than you can use it and is a MF'er to sand. I am wasting about 50% because it hardens to quick and am having to slather it on the car to get it on before it can harden. That means more sanding. The Evercoat Z Grip sands easy and so does the Glaze.
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