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QOTD on "Skim Coating"

1387 Views 4 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Dragon J
I've been stripping down all of the sheetmetal on my truck (57 Chevy 3100)--

And it seems that one of the previous owners got a little "Plastic-Happy". I'm just picking up on the art of bodyworking as I go along, so much of this is new to me, and I'd hate to waste everyone's time with a stupid question--

I'm just a little perplexed as to why THE ENTIRE TRUCK is covered in plastic?? I mean there is some minor damage in some areas, a couple bumps and bruises, but does this warrant covering all of the sheetmetal?

Regardless of the answer I get, I'd be interested in knowing the strategy behind "Skim Coating", when it is correct to skim coat, and when it is not.

As always, thanks for sharing your knowledge with me.
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Alot of times you skim coat the hole panel to try to get it as straight as possible.If it was alot of small dings dents warps or other on it or it is just not dead straight.Filling a lot of little spots never comes out that straight.GOOD LUCK JEFF

I'm currently taking down to bare metal my recently purchased '58 Stepside, and like you I'm learning as I go along. Though I didn't find all sorts of panels coated with "plastic", I have recently wondered if I was going to need to do it myself prior to shooting the epoxy primer I plan to use. Guys down at my local paint stores tell me that skim coats are used to fill in all the tiny imperfections like scratches, and that normally good block sanding should take off any excess. Was also told that if you use aftermarket replacement panels they normally require some sort of filler to get them to match up with the rest of the body. That there was just no way of getting around it because replacement panels just aren't made exactly the way the originals were done by the orig manufact. I personally plan on using all original sheetmetal, and plastic only where it's necessary, and as little of it as I can possibly get away with. The good stuff isn't cheap enough to put it on the entire truck! I'm hoping the PPG DP90 epoxy primer I plan to use will fill those tiny imperfections for the most part. Good luck.

[ March 10, 2003: Message edited by: primerbaby ]</p>
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Well I hope I'm not creating more work than necessary for myself.

I guess I wanted to strip everything down to metal so I could see what I was REALLY dealing with. One of the previous owners didn't bother trying to knock any of the dents out, he just used plastic. I figure the less plastic the better.

I guess I'll have to get everything stripped down and mock it up on the cab to see where I stand--At this point it's difficult for me to imagine why the panels would be so far out of whack that you would need to SKIM the entire truck.

I need to take a few pictures and post them, there's a few things I find really odd about this truck I want to see whether it's stock or someone did a hack job.
Been going to shows for years and some of the 'Pro' shops will 'skim' the entire vehicle for a 'show quality finish'- that is, with all that plastic you can block the snot out of it and get it super smooth, thus having a mirror reflection- however the same thing can be achieved with really good bodywork. I don't feel you need so much fill and you can get a great finish by taking your time. When you drive them a lot they are less prone to all that plastic cracking and maybe failing in areas where more stress is evident- (flexing) They also don't want to take the time to float out small door dings and imperfections so just skim them all. You'll be happier with much less fill!! :)
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