Enamel paint is a hard-drying substance that typically gets baked on in heated bays. Enamels are tough when they dry, but can be tricky to apply for the inexperienced painter. Enamel with a top clearcoat is referred to as a two-stage system, and the enamels that don’t require the clear are categorized as a single stage. Urethane paints are fairly new to the auto world, they can be pricey, but are easy to spray and have the toughness of enamels. Urethane paints are made using three ingredients: the color, a reducer to thin the color to the right viscosity for the spray gun, and a catalyst used to accelerate drying time. Once these elements are combined, the painter must use it posthaste or the paint could get ruined. Finally, the newest type of paint is water-based paint. This is a nontoxic product that can bond effectively to metal, primer, or even over an existing paintjob. This is the top choice for the hobbyist; however it does require a topcoat of clear urethane to protect the paint. All three paint types can be found at Eastwood.com, even lacquer based.
When it comes to patching a rot hole on a complicated angle, you would think welding in a nice square piece would be ideal, but actually, some skilled bodymen prefer a patch with a more rounded shape. The sharp edges of a square can hold heat, unlike an obtuse shape, which distributes heat more evenly. If a panel gets too hot in a certain spot, it can warp the area, causing you more work. Rookie welders should practice welding with different settings on some scrap metal before attempting to “fix” anything permanently. Some, if not most serious rot repair jobs should be handled by a professional if you want to remedy them for good, but if you’re daring, broke, and/or comfortable with your mistakes, try it; they say practice makes perfect.
With California (and other...
With California (and other states such as New York) having strict Volatile Organic Compound laws, painters are somewhat limited when it comes to primer. Solvent-based primers, although preferred by most painters, can harm the environment, so a water-based primer must be used in a select few states . Our friends at STREET RODDER recommended a water-based epoxy primer, like what’s pictured from Squeeg’s Kustom’s in Chandler, Arizona. This primer can actually be sprayed straight to metal or even over old paint, as long as it is sanded. The green color is actually a zinc phosphate, which is an inorganic compound that resists corrosion and also helps it adhere to metal. Solvent-based primers can sometimes lift old paint, but with water-based, you can spray over old paint and it won’t lift. However, it won’t stop an old paintjob from coming apart if it was going to anyway, but if you have a decent paintjob that’s nice and settled you don’t have to strip the car to bare metal before laying down the primer.
Because old cars tend to have...
Because old cars tend to have layer after layer of paint coats that can mask problems, many bodymen agree that stripping the paint to bare metal is the only way you can accurately assess the damage. For those gearheads patient enough, chemically stripping the car and then attacking the residue with a grinder can be effective, but it’s a lot of work and takes a ton of time … take it from us. You can read about an alternative option in the “Blast Off” sidebar on page 40.
As we drove home in a ’63 Nova hardtop that we just couldn’t pass up despite seven rot holes, all we could think was, “please have a solid floor”. Assessing your project after a purchase can prove to be a mixed bag; sometimes you get more than you bargained for. In our case, we got lucky and found a running shoebox a couple months ago on Craigslist.com and although some rust had started to eat away at the roof in some areas, the fact that it was a straight and running specimen made it irresistible. Now since we are not metal fabricators, we are leaning toward remedying the rot using some DuPont rust inhibitor then filling the holes with All-Steel, the metal-bonding body filler. We know it’s not the absolute best way to get your car straight, but when you’re frugal and/or content with your projects being less than perfect, then this method may work for you too. Just know that rust bubbles can still show up years down the road if you just treat and fill the rust crevasses. Look for a series of buildup articles on this Nova in future issues of CHP, where we make it go from a regular beater to a face beater.
After speaking with a few...
After speaking with a few different car painters about spray guns and hardware, we’ve learned that there’s no common type, brand, or even age, really it all comes down to personal preference. Since car painting relies heavily on technique and not how expensive your gun is, even older- model spray guns are commonly used with superb results. Proper maintenance, which includes lubricating and cleaning the moving parts of the gun, is critical if you want a consistent spraying gun that won’t spit and spatter. Competent painters will also rebuild the gun after a certain number of uses. Eastwood.com offers extensive gun cleaning kits that include the brushes and picks needed to tidy up a clogged gun.
When you finally decide that adding that new coat of paint over your car’s 17 other layers of old paint is not the best idea, you’ll need to start thinking of your stripping options according to your elbow-grease-to-expendable-dollars ratio. We recently thought we’d try to manually strip our project’s paint to bare metal using some Aircraft stripper and a grinder, but after realizing how tedious and time consuming it was, we started looking into other options.
Soda blasting is a process we found out about that uses sodium bicarbonate (similar to baking soda, but formulated especially for blasting) applied to a surface using compressed air. Similar to sandblasting, soda actually does not harm the surface of your work (or the environment), during or after use. And because it’s a relatively gentle substance, you can oftentimes leave the chrome and windows in place.
Eastwood’s new Evolution Paint...
Eastwood’s new Evolution Paint Gun is a low-cost, high-tech spray gun you can pick up for around $100. Although there are really nice professional guns out there that can be pricey, this unit is a good alternative for the hobbyist. It features a composite body, so it’s light in weight, yet all the internal passages, needle, and nozzle are of stainless steel construction that will work with both waterborne and solvent coatings.
Carbon, grease, oils, gasket material, surface corrosion, paint and coatings from a variety of alloys, plastics, and composites are annihilated with the blasting process, however, soda blasting leaves hard-anodized coatings intact.
Look for an article in an upcoming issue, where we head to Cal Blast in Upland, California, with our new project car to get its terrible ointment-colored paint blasted away to bare metal. We’ll be able to see exactly what kind of metal repairs and patching it will need.
A machined brass air cap ensures...
A machined brass air cap ensures effective atomization and accessories are also available for the Evolution as well, such as 1.2-2.0 nozzle sets and even a digital regulator that allows the user to easily monitor psi while doing work.
Metal-to-metal fillers are...
Metal-to-metal fillers are also useful on old cars that have a lot of rot. The metal filler has incredible bonding properties and can be an alternative to totally replacing a panel. Of course, the correct way to repair a badly rusted area is to replace the metal, but it all comes down to how much time and money you have. In our case, we opted to use filler called All-Metal to repair a rust-corroded area of our Nova’s roof, after using some DuPont rust treatment to chemically seal the each area. We’ve been warned, however, that simply filling the holes will look fine for a while, but it’s almost guaranteed that you will find rust bubbles under the paint in time.
There are quite a few options...
There are quite a few options out there for keeping rust in check, but we ended up ordering DuPont’s 5717S Metal Conditioner, First Klean 3900S, Prep-Sol 3919S, and Kwik Clean to completely inhibit our car’s rust. Eastwood.com also offers various rust treatments, but when it comes to rot, unless you’re completely removing it and replacing the metal, has the potential to become a problem, so we recommend thoroughly covering a problem area before painting over it.