Imperial Home Page -> Repair ->Body -> Paint -> Clear Coat
Question from Dan:
The paint on my Imp is hopelessly dull. What are your opinions of clear-coating it (with spray cans) as a cheap way to make it shine?
I have tried buffing and polishing, but it takes the paint right off. No amount of wax of any kind will make it shine.
I am getting stains in the paint that I cannot get out, so I was thinking that the clear coat would help prevent that too. Any suggestions?
No, clear coating over your paint won't help you. It will immortalize your problems, and will give you sort of a soft luster that looks like you laid on old nitro cellulose lacquer poorly and have not rubbed it out yet. That is if it sticks at all. It may remove what paint you still have, as it probably is not compatible with your current paint. While the materials are definitely not cheap, the expensive part of a paint job is the sanding, cleaning, masking/part removal, and clean up after the spraying. This is not highly skilled work, it is just work, and any person who is willing to do it can do a satisfactory job if they take enough time and care. If you use PPG's economy paint, and do not pick a color that takes red, your material cost for base coat/clear coat would be somewhere in the $500 range. If you only want me to spray it in my shop, I'd do the spray for $100. I'd even let you bring it mostly finished and spend a couple days doing the final work there and reassemble it again. Now if you want to just drop the car off and pick it up when it is done, I'll clean it, sand it, fill little imperfections and pits, but not dents or rust holes, mask what I can't easily remove, paint it, color sand it, and clean and reassemble it for about $2,000, plus materials. If you are looking for black or any other really dark color, I may want a more than that if the sides are wavy, because that takes a lot more filling and sanding with the block to make look right. Light colors and especially metallic paints are more forgiving of slightly rough sheet metal.
If you can't afford a good paint job right now, I would recommend that you leave the paint on the car alone until you can afford it.
This page last updated December 8, 2003. Send us your feedback, and come join the Imperial Mailing List - Online Car Club