Paint and Body Work 101

Imperial Home Page -> Repair -> Body & Paint -> Paint & Body 101 -> Part 11


February 22, 2003

The paint party crew all came in Friday evening and after an early breakfast Saturday we hit the shop.  

Before we go any further I need to say a few things about paint and safety.  THIS STUFF CAN KILL YOU!

Modern paint (anything hardened including Urethane Primers) contains Isocyanides.  Isos are bad things.  They are absorbed into the skin and are cumulative in the body.  That is, they build up and your body does not absorb or expel them.  One day, your lungs just quit taking in O2 and you fall to the floor of the paint booth and flop around.  If you are lucky, someone finds you and gets you medical attention before you die.  Bad news.

The drill is paint coveralls, and fresh air paint respirator hoods, and NO exposed skin.  I use an Israeli gas mask and try to stay upwind in a well ventilated paint area.  I realize this is a risk but I just have not yet invested in the fresh air system.  I usually only paint a car every year or so.  This is a risk and I'm a big boy. Make your own decision but understand I am recommending you follow the correct drill.  Read the Material Safety Data Sheet and understand what you are dealing with.

If I start painting more cars, I'll get the hood for sure.

The first thing we did was mask off the painted roof and engine compartment.  Then Jeff Carrothers (In the lovely blue coveralls) and Elijah Scott wiped down the body with wax and grease remover.  We did this twice and tacked it twice before spraying anything.

Feb22RS0001.jpg (96690 bytes) Feb22RS0002.jpg (101244 bytes) Feb22RS0004.jpg (96826 bytes) 


Robert bought a new Sony camera that takes movies (with sound) and we have some short movies of the process. 

  Click here to watch touch up of thin spots with primer in an airbrush.

  Click here to watch Elijah wipe the car with a tack cloth.

Getting ready for paint, I made everyone garb up.  Paint socks and Nitrite gloves with masks.  No exposed skin and STAY UPWIND.


We put the hood, decklid, fender skirts, etc in the lift roomFeb22RS0003.jpg (86068 bytes) Notice the big fan.  I've set it up to pull air out of the shop and it creates a nice draw.  Jay King came by to check out my 73 and we waited for him to test drive it and then had to do the paper work so he could buy it.  A little after 10 we were ready to make some shiny.  Randy recommended not kicking up any dust on the day of spray so I cleaned up everything Friday and Saturday we just tried not to kick up any dust.  With HVLP, you do not have the high pressure spray moving as much stuff around so dust is not that much of a problem.

Base coat goes on first.  Base is mixed 1 to 1 with urethane reducer.  Robert Soule was the desiginated paint mixer and was chartered with keeping the chemicals mixed and my paint cup full.  I only had to slap him around a couple times.  (Just can't hire good help anymore) Actually, he was also busy taking photo and movies.  Anyway base goes on shiny but dries dull.  If you have a major problem, you can sand or scuff it out and put on another coat.  Base by itself is pretty fragile.  The technique since the hood and decklid were off the car was to basically paint one side up from the bottom, across the back below the rear window, and down the other side.  I made long even passes front to rear with about a 50% overlap of the spray pattern.  

Feb22RS0005.jpg (77284 bytes) Feb22RS0006.jpg (88542 bytes)   Note Jeff and Elijah standing downwind.....Some people don't take coaching well. Feb22RS0007.jpg (83096 bytes) Feb22RS0008.jpg (88852 bytes)  

Click here to watch spraying base on the hood while Jeff tacks the trunk

Click here to watch spraying base on the trunk

Click here to watch spraying the right side of the car.

 Clear goes on with the same technique.  This particular paint is mixed 2 parts clear to 1 part hardener.  Robert mixed in a big plastic paint 'measuring' bucket with a lid and just refilled my gun cup as it ran low.  I tried not to stop spraying in the middle of a side because it can cause a dry spray. 

Feb22RS0009.jpg (84774 bytes) Feb22RS0010.jpg (93632 bytes) Feb22RS0011.jpg (96362 bytes)  I did have some runs above the side panels but realize my technique was the problem.  As I came up the side doing my 50% overlap, the top coat 'overlapped' on the top of the fenders and doors.  I then put two  50% coats on the tops also which overloaded the paint and caused runs on the right front door and fender.  Sigh... 

Click here to watch spraying clear on the right side of the car

Good news is it is easily fixed.Feb22RS0012.jpg (47556 bytes) Next chapter will describe the process.  We ended up with 3 coats of base and 4 of clear.  The sides of the car are very nice and the panels are very straight.  Thanks to Randy's coaching we dun good!  There was a problem with the hood also.  As I was rolling along putting down the clear, I noticed a hair in the paint.  We could not pick it out.  Trying to fix it was not a good paint match so I'll scuff up the panel and reapply base and clear Monday.

In spite of the runs, the car looks great and it is obvious that everything will clean up well for a good paint job.

Here is the motley crew  before we cleaned up for supper..  From the left:  Elijah Scott, Jeff Carrothers, Robert Soule, and me.   Feb22RS0015.jpg (102300 bytes)


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