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Old 05-16-2011, 11:14 PM
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Painting Newbie - With a more detailed then the average newbie plan!

Alright... so I'm not getting much in the line of answers on another forum so I'm guessing the people are just either not there or think I'm just another one of those newbs that will come and go. I promise you I am not one of those people!

Here is a copy and paste of a post on another forum. I just do not feel like typing it all out again! lol

I plan on easing into this - not just jumping feet first. I have been painting model cars with an airbrush for a long time so I have a good idea on how some of this works. But obviously I've never tackled something of this size, or worked with these specific materials so I'm definitely not saying I know anything.

What I want to do is repaint my 1999 Grand Am. As a practice run, I am going to be repainting my new front bumper cover just the plain stock white until I gather the funds for a better air compressor and the quality paint to do the entire car. I want to describe what I'd like to do and here from some experienced people if I'm on the right track to creating what I am looking for.

I haven't decided on exactly which, but I am going with a white, red, or black pearl. Yes, I have read its not the greatest place to start but I plan on starting with the plain white bumper cover as well as practicing on a few test panels before jumping to the entire car. What I have in my head is using Kustom Shops paints. I'm either going to use my grinder and 80 grit to take all of the old finish off, or I'm thinking about using a stripper. I'm open for input on which is best. I'd then like to go over that with Epoxy primer followed by the 2k high build primer (including using a 3m guide coat to make sure every last imperfection is taken care of) as well as a final sealer coat of the same stuff. (adding the reducer) I would then like to lay down the base color with the final basecoat having a very low amount of the pearl added in. I then would like to use the mid coat to add one coat of clear by itself with the 2nd and third coats containing the pearl again to create some depth to the paint. This is really where I'm looking for input because i"m not sure if its a good idea or if it will even create the effect I"m looking for. Maybe I wont know until I shoot some test panels. I would then follow up the pearl clear with 3 coats of regular clear.

If someone from Milwaukee reads this and does projects on the side or you own a shop - I'd love to help out and learn the trade from someone willing to share. Not even really looking to get paid initially, though it wouldn't be refused. When I was younger auto body is all I ever wanted to do but then my uncle who was in the field died of Brain Cancer and via some rumors in the family I was scared away. Well years later I'm still not happy in the workforce and I still have the urge to work in the field and now that I've educated myself I'm starting to realize I may have been falsely scared away from something I should have been doing for years now. I'm looking at this car project as a way to figure that out. If I get ot the end and am still begging for more... I'm hoping that taking the car around as a resume might land me a job starting out somewhere and learning from the beginning. I'm very good at not being a know it all and pretending I know nothing so I can abosrb all knowledge offered to me. I dont want to end up at a Macco or some crap - I want to end up at a shop that takes their time to do quality work. Because that's all I am interested in.

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Old 05-16-2011, 11:24 PM
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This is my brain thinking a little further on how to get some experience with this stuff.... again a copy and paste from the other website. And again I want to reitterate I will be finding as many test panels and ways to use my gun before tackling this so my first time shooting - isnt on my car!

So here is a thought I came up with... maybe this will help me with my final product.

My car is currently white. What if I were to take care of the little nicks and rock chips here and there by cleaning the spots then adding some base and clear... wet sanding and buffing flat... then scuff the whole car down and shoot the pearl midcoat over my current color and shoot some clear over that? I would obviously play with some test panels and such before going at it. But it would just be another practice step (albeit slightly expensive with buying all the clear, pearl, and reducers) before taking the whole car down to metal and starting over for a perfect finish.

Or would that be stupid? Seen it done to a few cars I found surfing around so it got me to thinking. Which can be a bad thing sometimes! lol
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Old 05-17-2011, 12:28 AM
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Maybe try taking down the wordiness of your posts and you might get more responses. I say that in the most helpful way possible because I promise I'm not trying to be a jerk here! But people will open a thread, see a wordy post, and then pass on it (I'll be honest, I did too).

In the internet forums culture a phenomenon came to be known as 'tldr,' which means 'too long, didn't read.' I only tell you this because I tend to be wordy too, and in the preview of each post before I submit it I go through it to try to skim out every bit that's unnecessary.
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Old 05-17-2011, 12:58 AM
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To be honest I totally get it and normally do the same thing to except body work is so detail oriented I figured anyone in the know about this stuff would understand the need for the length and all details provided.

Thanks for stopping in though.. I totally understand what you are saying. Hopefully I find someone on here with some patience. I'm pretty good at teaching myself things but just want to make sure I'm on the right track.
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Old 05-18-2011, 07:58 AM
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I am still fairly new to painting urethane BB/CC. When I stopped painting a few years back, we were still shooting enamel. I recently started back up again and there is a learning curve there...especially with these new HVLP paint guns. Anyway, I will give it a shot at answering since no one else will. My attention span is still there . This is all opinion and you will get 10 different ones.

I have the same grand am in metallic teal. If I can give one piece of advice, take the plastic trim piece that runs down the middle of the doors/quarter off. If you do not, you will hate yourself for this. You should be pulling trim/handles/lights/etc off anyway, but specifically reiterating this.

I have and still use on occasional Kustom Shop products. Although some will shoot it down for being too cheap, I have had decent luck with it. I can't vouch for its longevity as I use it for my cheap (typically collision) work, and I do worry about it being an 18 month peeler, but it does look good and sprays decent.

I would not use a stripper. You have no way of truly neutralizing it or verifying it is all gone. I used stripper back in the day occasionally on wheels. Sometimes you get lucky, sometimes you don't. I wouldn't touch the stuff now. You will be amazed how fast 80 grit takes paint off. If your factory paint is good, leave it on. There is no need to take the paint off if it is adhering.

If you take it to bare metal, use an epoxy. If you just scuff the original finish, you don't need an epoxy. That is my belief. I would recommend SPI regular build 2k primer. It has a thick film build (high build by other companies standards) and is real good stuff for a good price.

I have never shot pearl, although I have shot flake. Shooting 3 coats of intercoat is a bit excessive. Mix your pearl with the intercoat and shoot one or two coats. Too many coats of intercoat can cause problems (I am basing this off of HOK, other brands may be different). Remember, intercoat is not a true clear, it is more like base with no pigment added. Three coats of regular clear after that is fine. When spraying 3 stage like this, keep in mind your film build. More thickness is not necessarily better.

Painting with an airbrush is good practice, but it is a bit like riding a motorcycle. When I went to a motorcycle safety class, the instructor asked who all had ridden dirt bikes...and to forget everything you think you know. You can ride dirt bikes all your life and dump a 250cc starter bike your first time out...it is totally different worlds. I play around with airbrushing, but it is a bit different than painting a whole car. If you are wanting to shoot pearl on your first paint job, good luck. You will have issues with orange peel, runs, and solvent pop and if you are lucky that is it. Getting the right technique down for pearl will be a difficult task to master. Find an old hood and fender and put a few quarts on them. It will really make a difference. I am a few cars in and I still don't think I am ready to try pearl.

Make sure you have something to cut the water. A water separator a good distance from your compressor (50 feet) is a good start. I still use a desiccant filter. Water (and dirt) in your air supply is just a bad start. On the old school siphon guns my 20 gallon 3/4 true HP devilbiss compressor kept up just fine. With the HVLP, I run out of air getting my spray pattern set on paper... My new 80 gallon, true 5hp ingersoll doesn't think twice about that gun. A small air compressor will cause nothing but problems. If your compressor cannot put out the CFM requirement of your gun, you will be blowing nothing but hot air. Hot air holds moisture.

I am also going to cut and paste this from another thread. It is very important knowledge. To even think of shooting ISO paint without a fresh air respirator is slow suicide. I spent months lurking this site and others. Although some claim that those disposable cartridge respirators will filter out ISO's (despite manufacture claims otherwise), is it worth the risk? I was also researching the homemade air systems people have created. I put some serious thought into it as these FAR are not cheap, however, unless you are completely sure of all of your equipment, you may be putting yourself in harms way anyway. Not all motors are sealed and designed for respiration. It would be very bad to have your sole source of air heavily contaminated. I still wash my hands in a bucket of diesel, but I am not going to play around with ISO's. I bit the bullet on the Hobbyair 2 system with full face mask and 80 feet of hose. 40 feet of hose sounds like a lot, but I use all 80 feet and need a bit more...

The hobbyair (the only FAR I have experience with) does pressurize the mask and seals very tight. With my full paint suit, I do not have any exposed skin (ISO's will transmit through skin contact, not just breathing). The hobbyair can keep up with my frantic running around out of breath state and outside of the huge cost, I am happy with it. The pump is a bit loud and gets warm to the touch, but it keeps on going. It cost me $570 and is one of the cheaper ones on the market.
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Old 05-18-2011, 06:38 PM
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Thanks for all of your input. I guess my idea of creating depth by shooting that mid layer of intercoat without the pearl and then a coat or two with the pearl is just not a good idea. It sounds like it would work so well, I just wish I could create what i'm looking for. I guess I'll just have to play around!

I will admit I am not going to immediately have a fresh air supply system but I will be putting that on the to buy list and getting it taken care of quite quickly. In the meantime I do have a very nice respirator to use that a buddy actually sold to me a while back when he got out of body work. I forget the name brand but he said a lot of the guys in his shop used them so I can't imagine its all that bad. I do however like the idea of a fresh air supply much better so I'll be working on that purchase right after I get everythinge else taken care of.

The more I read about kustom shops products the more I'm thinking about working with something else. Maybe a PPG base with a SPI primer and clear. Seems a lot of guys are oogling over that SPI stuff. I just talked to a local jobber that sells ppg that said he is happy to deal with me on a cash basis. the other couple places insisted on having a business account. So now I easily with in 25 minutes of driving have access to PPG, Dupont, Spies Hecker, BASF, and several others.

Thank you for stopping by! And i read every last word because I'm all about the details!
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