Imperial Home Page -> Repair -> Body -> Paint & Body -> Part 4
Elijah's comments in italics, Kerry's in normal text.
Saturday turned out to be a LONG day. The goal was to get color on before we stopped but we knew that would be a challenge. We drove the Imperial off the lift and masked off the top, engine compartment, front bumper, and tires. I have this huge roll of plastic sheeting that makes really good masking material. They were throwing it out at work one day and scrounger me glommed on to it.
Now for the hardest part of the job. Sanding the primer smooth. We started with 180 grit. Ken came out in mid afternoon and we made dust the rest of the evening. The lower parts of the car were the most difficult. There is no easy way to do this. We also found several areas that needed attention and some filler work was required. This slowed the process some. We were also hampered because the primer was not sanding as well as it should. We probably had rushed the drying some.
I was especially pleased with the little "booties" we made for the wheels. That big roll of plastic that Kerry had was a life-saver. It made it MUCH easier to tape off the roof and engine bay, as well as the wheels. The car actually looked pretty nice in primer. If I weren't so enamoured of the original Midnight Blue Metallic, I *might* even think about leaving it this way . . . NAH!
Finally, about 10 pm we decided the body was ready for color but rather than do it then, we decided to let the primer cure overnight and get up EARLY Sunday to spray the color. We washed the car and the shop and called it a night about 11pm.
Here I am laying down on the job AGAIN! Actually, notice my striking resemblance to the color of the car -- this is the result of LOTS of sanding. Sanding down the car was a dusty, messy, and tiring job, but it had to be done. No matter how good the paint, it's the prep work, and especially the sanding, that later makes the car look its best. Ken, Kerry, and I went over the car for hours, sanding every nook and cranny, watching for possible low spots that we might have missed in the earlier prep work. This process was one of the most tiring parts of the job, but was critical to the success of the project.
Yes, that's 4:30 am. The good thing about this time is that it is very still and quiet and there are few bugs around. It's also cooler which is important as handling the spray gun is hot tiring work.
Yes, that clock really DOES say 4:30 a.m. Ouch! I am NOT a morning person, and my body was totally in shock at being up this early. I managed to stay awake, though.
At this point, I'm mainly just observing as Kerry sprayed the car. The HVLP sprayer that we borrowed does a fantastic job of painting the car with very little over-spray and wasted paint.
I used my big shop fan to pull good ventilation. Since we were spraying the hood and trunk off the car, it is important to make sure they are painted in the same sequence as the body so the paint will match. Metallics are difficult. It took about 1 1/2 quarts of color to do one wet coat. Big car!
The first coat was a mist coat. The second was full wet and we immediately noticed a problem. The trunk lid was covered in fisheyes. Bigtime. Fisheyes are caused by foreign particles that cause the paint to push away from the particle. Silicone is the normal cause. I had forgotten to wash the car with the TING product that I used on my 73. #$@%%^%$. There were some on the hood and body as well but the trunk was beyond repair and would have to be redone. Carrying it outside, it was wiped off with lacquer thinner. The color had not cured fully and came off to the primer. This time, we washed it down with TING before rescrubbing.
In the meantime, Elijah took a toothpick and dabbed a small spot of paint on the fisheyes on the hood and body. This is certainly not the suggested way to do it but the alternative was to wipe the whole car down and start over and our schedule would not allow that. We knew we were going to color sand anyway so we took this approach.
Elijah's 71 Body and Paint Homepage
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