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Body Work & Auto Paint Tips - Get Your Paint On
Bodywork Is Plagued With Pitfalls That Can Cost You Time And Money. We Asked The Experts For Their Advice On How To Stretch Your Restoration Buck.
By Stephen Kim, Photography by Stephen Kim
Chevy High Performance
June 01, 2009
Near the completion of any paint-and-body project, all cars look something like this. "This stage-after the metalwork is complete and the car has been stripped, primered, and block-sanded-is one of the most important," Austin stresses. "This is when you check panel gaps and perfect fitment before disassembling a car for paint. The last thing you want to do is have freshly painted panels rub against each other when you open the doors, trunk, or hood. It's very time consuming and a big pain, and the effort you put into a project at this stage can make or break the quality of your bodywork. If a panel doesn't fit right before paint, it won't fit after either. Bad prepwork is the biggest mistake DIYers make. Actually laying down the paint is only 15 percent of the job; the rest is prep. Any dents, scratches, or chips you see during prep will only look worse after they're painted."
Near the completion of any paint-and-body project, all cars look something like this. "Thi
Weatherstripping may keep water out of the trunk, but with no place for the water to drain, the lip that holds it in place will rust over time. Here, the bottom right corner of the lip has already been replaced, but the upper-right corner has not. The good news is that weatherstrip lips are readily available as replacement parts.
Weatherstripping may keep water out of the trunk, but with no place for the water to drain
Although installing new floorpans requires removing the seat riser, it can be reattached as far rearward as your heart desires. For vertically gifted hot rodders, this means a precious few inches of additional leg room. Here, Austin split the seat riser in two pieces and welded a patch panel in between them to allow mounting the seat brackets farther back for a tall customer.
Although installing new floorpans requires removing the seat riser, it can be reattached a
Regarding even the cars that command a premium price tag and are in decent overall condition, Austin says that 95 percent are rife with shoddy repairs. "The problem with buying a finished car is that a good body guy can hide a lot of imperfections that you can't see until you start disassembling a car. This doorskin should have been replaced in a prior repair, but it has a big hunk of Bondo in it instead. When you go to check out a car to buy, don't be shy about wrapping a magnet in a cloth and running it over the body to check for body filler."
Regarding even the cars that command a premium price tag and are in decent overall conditi
There's more to paint selection than the number of stages in which it's applied. The composition of different paints varies dramatically. The simplest are single-stage paints, which have nothing in them but solid colors. Metallic paints, on the other hand, have aluminum shavings mixed in for that sparkly luster many people envy. They can be either single- or dual-stage paints, but most are only available in basecoat/clearcoat systems. Pearls are different paints altogether. They have mica particles mixed into them that reflect light from different angles. The result is a color-shifting effect as you walk around a car. Kandies, on the other hand, are applied by laying down a metallic base, then sealing it in with a coat of tinted clearcoat. As light penetrates the colored clearcoat, it reflects off the metal flakes, giving the appearance of depth. Applying kandy paint is a three-stage process starting with a basecoat of silver, gold, or white metallic followed by a transparent kandy tint, and then a clearcoat on top. Kandies are very laborious, require lots of experience, and are not recommended for the backwoods bodyman.
There's more to paint selection than the number of stages in which it's applied. The compo
Reducers and hardeners must be mixed in exactly as directed in the paint manufacturer's instructions, or the consequences can be catastrophic. Their concentrations must be adjusted for changes in temperature and humidity as well. Straight out of the can, paint is like a syrup and must be thinned before it can be sprayed. Hardeners, on the other hand, are mixed into primers and clears to assist with curing. The exception is water-based paints, which are ready to spray right out of the bottle. Unlike urethane paints, water-based paints are nontoxic, so you can spray them without a booth. Some industry insiders believe that increasingly stringent state laws may someday phase out urethane paints in favor of their environmentally friendlier water-based counterparts.
Reducers and hardeners must be mixed in exactly as directed in the paint manufacturer's in
Cheap paint guns can sometimes yield acceptable results, but high-dollar HVLP (high volume low pressure) guns are the industry standard. Not only do they help cut down on volatile organic compounds (VOCs), they apply a greater volume of material at lower nozzle pressures. That means more paint on the car and less overspray on the ground. Furthermore, they provide a wider spray pattern and operate at up to 90-percent efficiency compared to the 30-percent rating of standard paint guns.
Cheap paint guns can sometimes yield acceptable results, but high-dollar HVLP (high volume
Austin's Collision & Body Works
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By Stephen Kim
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