Specific Body Paint Information For Your Imperial


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Question from Laurent:

Does anybody know what kind of paint or protector are on the panels behind the rear wheels?

While coming back from a trip to South Carolina, one of the tire on the back went nut and the sole(?) or the thread separated from the tire (at 70MPH). I was able to pull over without any harm even on the busy 95 and the thread at the speed I was going did completely break the plastic wheelhouse splash shield but, worst, ripped out some paint from the panel just behind the wheel. I checked it out and it seems that it is some kind of plastic paint or something that can basically be peeled off.

Anybody know what is it? I'd like to repair it myself, if possible.


From Ernie:

It is probably a product called Rock Guard or Chip guard which is applied to the panel in a lot of lower body areas. If the color coat is intact you can just apply it from a spray can. Available at most auto parts suppliers.

From Kenyon:

If you live in a populated area, you might want to locate a place that supplies the local body shops, normally found under automobile:body repair/supplies or some such. The stuff that I used was from 3M and came in a spray can that was about the largest diameter that I've ever seen. It contained a rubberized material that went on nicely.

Scrub the area for repair first so that the stuff will adhere properly (does not stick to dirt) and use spray paint to cover any exposed metal, sanding any oxidation first. Put down lots of newspaper and do this with the tire off. The stuff will drip a little like silly string, so that's why you want to cover the floor.

Question from Kenyon:

My car is completely apart.

I have rounded third and am headed for home on the free-form body-filler sculpture portion of my project (you have no idea what I've been through). I'm almost ready to prime and then block the car in preparation for painting in (maybe) May or June.

I'm thinking of doing a painting test run on the hood, trunklid, or doors, or all of them while off the car (as they are now). This due to the fact that I will be using a borrowed HVLP system with marginal spraying experience, and I'd rather sand down and redo a hood or door than the entire body shell if/when I see an error in my procedure.

Say that I paint the doors and the hinges seperately, then everything's subsequently dry and ready for assembly. I then have to attach them to the car with bolts that won't be already painted to match, or bolts whose finish will not survive my wrench if pre-painted and then wrenched on.

What do I do?

1. Paint the various fastener heads by hand once the painted door is hung on the painted car & relevant brackets/bolts are joined and aligned?

2. Respray the fastener areas surrounding the bolts and including them? What to do then? Mask off everything but the hinge and try to avoid overspray that way, shooting as small an area I can and then color sanding the masked edges to blend them into the previously painted areas?

3. Something else that I'm not thinking of?

Reply from Kerry:

I'd do the inside of the hood and decklid. A few runs won't matter as the finish on the inside of stuff including the engine compartment was not great from ma Mopar anyway.

Take a cardboard box, drill some holes in it and push your bolts through once they are clean. That way you can paint the heads and not get paint in the threads. If you need to touch up later get an airbrush.

Speaking of HVLP, as you know, I'm fond of the 60 buck one from Harbor Freight. What are you borrowing as it is good to get 'used' to a gun and not be changing every time you paint.

If it was me, I'd use single stage urethane instead of base/clear for non metallics. You can put on5-6 coats and then wet sand to perfection and not worry about going through a metallic layer. Also will look a little (not much because it's still Urethane) less plastic.

Follow-up question from Kenyon:

Good advice. I think that I see an airbrush in my future, as well as a cardboard boxtop with holes.

On the paint, the debate between single and dual stage paints rages on in my head. I'm partial to single simply because it's closer to the laquer that came on the car, and won't turn white if scuffed like clear will. I have a mediocre dual stage respray on my black, late-model Camaro (passable, done before I got it). When the car gets a nick of any sort, the clear coat in the gouge is white until buffed out.

The HVLP unit is reportedly new and is one of the non-air rigs (have not seen it). It has been offered on loan by a fellow member locally. The price is right, and I'm changing careers, so that's going to be a big help. Affording the paint materials will be a squeaker as it is. I'll try this one out and purchase a unit for myself on the next car (thinking about a red 1961 parade car already).

I keep looking for a paint man that has a single stage product to endorse, but due to the fact that the industry's so focused on clearcoating everything....

Reply from John:

If your painting an Imperial that '60 or newer, it originally had enamel paint, not lacquer.

Reply from Chris:

Have followed your paint saga with interest. Went down the same road with my '60 and '66. The '60 was brought to bare metal everywhere. It came together nicely for an amateur effort. The '66 was a color change respray with hood and trunklid removed and the side panels stripped , but no other disassembly.

It was my first time with a paint sprayer in my hand and I used Sikkens paint. I was very pleased with the results. Many of their non-metallic paints are formulated for non-clearcoat application. I would assume black would be one of them. You will also save money by not having to buy all the separate clearcoat ingredients.

In fact, the only trouble I ever had was with the clearcoat. I could never get it to lay right, and it required a LOT of sanding and buffing after the fact. Conversely, the paint itself went on perfectly every

I completely disassembled the '60 and painted all the components separately - doors, hinges, tailgate, fenders, etc. It was a much more manageable project that way. I also painted all bolts after assembly. It is almost impossible to torque them properly and not damage their pre-painted surface. I figured it would look better to paint them fully and not touch up cracks and chips, but I guess it is 6 of one.....

Reply from Kerry:

Regarding the paint products. I did use Omni base/clear on the 300. However, for the next car ('68 Imperial convertible) I will PROBABLY use PPG single stage urethane. The Omni paint does not carry as much pigment as the PPG and therefore takes more coats to cover.

Dupont is good paint. I use PPG because the PPG store knows me, talks to me, and gives me a discount. The Dupont store does not want to deal with shade tree types. This is a local issue only. The other reason is I already have a collection of PPG products that I can use such as reducer, etc.

Question from Don (1967):

I'm in the process of repainting my '67 Sedan and I have a few questions. The car paint code on the fender tag is "BB1" which I assume is Formal Black The inner door frames and complete interior is bright blue.When I removed the bumperettes there was shiny(non primer) blue paint as opposed to the black paint of the car. Was this normal for a '67 or was this a case of someone ordering a black car with a blue interior so the factory just repainted a blue exterior car black to satisfy a demand?


From Pete:

BB1 is, indeed, black monotone paint so it seems that the car left the factory as a black one.

People change their minds and orders do get screwed up though, so the car may have passed through the paint booth twice.

One of my '61 Continentals did just that. All the documentation says black paint and that includes the broadcast sheet and the "fender" tag. The car was definitely painted white first, though. And there wasn't any primer shot between the white and the black so every nick shows up terribly. I pulled the whole dash on the car to fix a factory defect (pinched wire) and the car was even black over white back there, too. As one of the very last '61's built, it is quite possible that a late order for a black car caused the color change.

More recently my brother ordered a '96 Dodge Ram pickup and initially picked a dark forest green color. After seeing so many on the road, he changed his mind and called the dealer to select moss green. When his truck arrived on the lot it was moss green but the door jambs and underhood areas showed evidence that it was originally painted the forest green color.

Chances are that your car had something similar happen. Scape some black paint under the sill plates or behind the kick panels and see what's hiding under there.

This page last updated August 22, 2004.  Send us your feedback, and come join the Imperial Mailing List - Online Car Club