Painting a truck - Pretty handy guy, but need a jumpstart
I'm restoring a 1974 Ford F100. I've rebuilt the motor, replaced the transmission and re-done the entire electrical system. I've rebuilt the front and rear suspension and welded in new floor panels, door jams and drawn and priced the additional cost to finish the wood flatbed.
I've finally come to a halt with Paint. It seems that the information needed to do all of the things above was pretty out in the open. Paint, on the other hand, seems to be a closely guarded secret. I'm looking to find out what type of paint I should use and the process for putting it on. I have an HVLP Spray gun and compressor and want to do it.
As I said, i'm pretty handy and have the will to do just about anything. Any help is massively appreciated!
Painting suggestions will vary with each painter you ask. They have their favored brands that they are familiar with... and opinions are widely varied about what types of paints to use.
It is also a somewhat complicated subject, as the paints of the last 30 years are not as simple to use as they were before. You have minimum and maximun times between coats that must be followed... and those differ with each type or brand of paint, plus metallic paints, and very dark colors will require a different set of steps. Sandpaper grits will vary too.
Another issue is your budget. People who are not familiar with today's products will be shocked by the cost of good quality materials... but you get what you pay for, and no more.
As the result of some of these things... there is no simple answer or plan that covers all people's needs.
Only a few things are sure...
Use a urethane paint system.
Make sure you understand the safety issues with catalyzed paints.
If you choose red or dark colors, you will need better paint.
Metallics will need a clear coat on top.
If you budget is tight, use light solid colors.
If your painting experience is small... use light solid colors.
Hope this gives you a start.
Body prep is the most important part of painting. If the body work is not correctly done, it will show in the paint. Even the best painter in the world can not hide bad bodywork.
I have been painting for over 30 yrs and if there is one thing I highly recommend using is epoxy primer . It covers and allows you to do bodywork over it there by sealing bare metal much better. Also once a body is done in epoxy primer it is sealed against rust.
I painted my wagon in filler primer and then topcoated with epoxy primer this past Sept. The filler primer was $400 for the gallon and the quart of catalyzer. The epoxy primer was $400 for a gallon and quart of catalyzer as well. Now you also add in bondo, sandpaper etc ,it can be expensive. But it is still cheaper then having a good bodyshop do it.
Thanks for the advice. If you wouldn't mind going into a little detail as far as the benefits of Epoxy primer over the other choices, it would be greatly appreciated. You seem to have a lot of knowledge on the area and I wouldn't mind picking your brain a bit.
The general technique, i've played with and got good results - really the paint type is the big thing for me. Each paint has a tech sheet that tells you what to do. I can follow directions pretty well.
Really, just the types of paint and what the best application for them is would be wonderfully beneficial.
Of course - if you want to give me a run down of the whole thing, I will most certainly read it.
The main benefit of epoxy is that it is not porous. So having it on a body and driving the car is not a problem even if it gets wet.
Shooting epoxy or a filler primer does mean you have to have the correct size needle in the gun. You should have at least a 2.0 gun. Anything smaller and you will have problems with flow.
I spray a cover coat on any bare metal area that needs bodywork(bondo). After getting the areas smoothed and blocked ,I sand the whole vehicle with 150 grit, then 220, then 320. You can do this wet as well.
Then I apply 3 good coats of filler primer,letting it flash off for 30 minutes between coats, which will fill in any remaining scratches.
Then I let that dry a good 2 days. Now comes the fun.........block sanding with 400 to smooth everything out. Then after that is done , you need to topcoat the filler primer with a couple of coats of epoxy. The filler primer is a polyester and will absorb moisture. Thats why it needs to be topcoated.
Besides the cost of all the materials you will need, you are also looking at lots of hours in preparation. I had close to 60 hours just in sanding.
It's like I said , the preparation is so time consuming to make it right. That's why a good body shop charges 15-20K for a start to finish paint job.
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