Paint and Body Work 101

Imperial Home Page -> Repair -> Body & Paint -> Paint & Body 101 -> Part 12

Paint repair, sand, and buff

February 23


Got an early start Sunday but was delayed when the propane heater would not fire off.  Finally got it going and warmed the shop up.  First thing I wanted to do was start fixing the runs and sags on the roof.  I use a single edge razor blade held just past vertical.  When you drag it over a run, it scrapes a little off the top.  If you keep gently scraping you will eventually lower the surface to the same as the rest of the paint.  You have to be careful not to let the edges gouge into the paint but once you get the hang of it, it is pretty easy.  Monday, I bought a nib sanding block at my paint store that works very well also but is considerably slower.  However it does not dig in so it's safer.

Feb220001.jpg (94920 bytes)Feb220021.jpg (74454 bytes) Feb220003.jpg (72364 bytes)Feb220022.jpg (72728 bytes) Feb220004.jpg (57836 bytes) The sag on the left C pillar was pretty large.

  Feb220005.jpg (69824 bytes) There were a couple small runs on the left side of the roof also.   Feb220008.jpg (50278 bytes) Once the high spots were scraped down, it was time to wet sand.  Normally I start with 1000 grit but discovered my stash only had 1200, 1500, and 2000 in it so we used 1200.  Again, warm water with some joy for lubrication.Feb220011.jpg (99728 bytes)Feb220013.jpg (85012 bytes)Feb220010.jpg (54486 bytes)  Again the technique is straight forward.  Just work the entire panel methodically.  When you have it 'right' it will be uniformly dull.  Any shiny spots will show up as dimples in the final look.  Feb220014.jpg (80898 bytes)  Make sure you sand all the nibs and any trash out on the surface also.  This is a recursive process so you might scrape, sand, then buff, see more problems, and repeat until you are happy.  BE SURE to keep your sandpaper clean and use plenty of water.  Any grit you pick up can ruin the job in a single stroke.  Be careful where you lay your sandpaper and rinse often.Feb220012.jpg (102916 bytes) OK, time for buffing.  Jeff had never seen this part of the process before and was eager to see how I could save a panel that he thought was trashed.  I'm using 3M Perfect III rubbing compound for the first step with a 3M waffle pad on a 4500 RPM air sander.  The pad is Velcro backed and quickly attaches to the backing pad on the sander.

Shake up the compound and put some on the pad.  Smear it around BEFORE you start the motor or you'll sling it EVERYWHERE.  It's a pretty messy job.   Feb220015.jpg (96070 bytes) Feb220016.jpg (89072 bytes) Work the panel all over being careful around the edges.  I try never to let the rotation of the pad cut INTO and edge but rather AWAY from it.  Foam pads are not supposed to burn through the paint but I'm paranoid.  Feb220018.jpg (52812 bytes) The gloss comes out in a heartbeat and Jeff was amazed.  See the jagged lower reflection?  That is where the runs are still high and need further attention.  When you have it right reflections will be smooth and straight or curved based on the panel. Feb220019.jpg (78686 bytes) Getting better. Feb220014.jpg (80898 bytes) The top came out GREAT.  The haze will come off with polishing compound later on. Feb220023.jpg (91460 bytes) Jeff tries his hand on the buffer.Feb220024.jpg (99794 bytes) Then wipes the dried compound off.   Feb220026.jpg (88704 bytes) Getting there!   Feb220031.jpg (81568 bytes) Also had a few spots on the upper parts of the doors that needed work.

We had a problem on the hood.  While spraying clear, I noticed a hair in the paint that we were unable to pick out with tweezers.  Wasn't gray so it wasn't mine!  Ah well, stuff happens.  I should have stopped and just dug it out but instead I tried to paint over it with some base in the airbrush.  The color came out darker so I decided to sand it smooth and repaint.  Jeff and Elijah wet sanded the entire surface with 600 grit and made sure it was perfectly straight and all nibs were gone.

Feb220027.jpg (60212 bytes) Feb220006.jpg (81356 bytes)Feb220007.jpg (48400 bytes)Feb220009.jpg (96758 bytes)  I'll paint it Monday  Still quite a bit of work to do but this part is what brings out the "oohs and aahs"  Everyone was very impressed with the straightness of the panels and so was I.  You really never know until it gets shiny but it would have been good enough for black.  I do like the silver color though and it looks great with the burgundy interior.

We also did some work on the decklid but really need the 1000 grit.  1200 is just too fine for the first cuts.  With 4 coats of clear, I have plenty of material to sand smooth without fear of going through. 

Total man-hours 8 on Sunday before Jeff and Elijah had to leave.  Robert left Saturday night so he could drive to Savanna Ga and check out a 60 Imperial for Mark Harris.

Lots more work needed before I take it to Anniston on 3/28.

Monday 24, Tuesday 25

Spent Monday doing taxes *&^&*%%$#@

Tuesday spent about 5 hours doing the trunk and hood.  I had some more photos of the wet sanding process but lost them in the computer.  I'll get back and retake them.


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