Part 07- Paint Stripping and Metal Prep & Painting

The devil is in the details.  What you do in the beginning will influence what you get in the end.

Before starting any sheet metal work, you need to have a clean starting point. While there were not layers upon layers of pain to remove, what was there, had existed for a very long time. If you have access, you may want to have the car media blasted.  But, the old school way was to use strippers, wire brushes, sand paper and fortitude to get down to the bare metal.

DASH – Underside

It took me a day to clean and scuff sand under the dash. This was not one of my favorite jobs. Once that was done, I masked off the area and prime coated it.


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As the firewall had no primer sprayed over the paint, I decided to scuff the paint. The first job was to remove the old seam sealer. Much of it just flaked off but some was stuck like glue. All and all, this job was completed. I then used the drill and wire wheel to clean all of these areas. Scuff sanded the paint and then applied new seam sealer.

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From my experience, one of the areas that gives access to the little buggers is the flow thru vent area. This air exits thru the kick panels and gives them a highway to the interior. Using 1/4″ hardware cloth I covered the access points and used seam sealer at the edges. This may not look pretty but it will do the job and these areas are covered by the inner fenders so will not be visible.

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The last major area to be stripped to metal was the roof. This took some time but eventually was completed. I was very fortunate in that there were only three same areas that required some filler. Trying to get this expanse of metal smooth would of been a major challenge.

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I got some odd jobs done during  the summer, but really got underway again in October.  After a lot of dirty work with stripping and sanding, I got her primed.
I used conventional primer (grey) on the inside and areas where paint remained and two part self etching epoxy primer on the outside (olive green).

In general, if you have bare metal, you need to use a self etching primer that can ‘bite’, seal and adhear to the bare metal surface to provide a secure stable base for the regular primer and paint finish to adhear to.

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FINALLY, after all the prep work, I got to spray some paint.
This is the same colour as my original car. It is from a 1964 Ford Galaxy 500 and is called Guardsman Blue.

Using an HVLPgun (High Volume, Low Pressure), I painted all the interior surfaces, firewall, door jambs and windows
the rear fenders, underside of the hood  and trunk, etc.

I still have all window moldings, dash and numerous other small pieces to paint but will do that at a later date.
This was a real milestone on the rebuild.

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So now it was time to move on to the exterior. After priming and masking, I waited for a nice calm warm day to spray. This was still in early October and the weather was pretty nice out. Needless to say, I had spent several days draping poly all around the interior walls of the garage and more hours cleaning the ceiling and  floor. I know it is a garage paint job but wanted things as clean as I could get them. I decided to try the base coat / clear coat system. I had not sprayed this system before but figured I would give it a try.


I also decided to use an HVLP (top load) spray gun , which was a brand new top line gun from a friend. So now I had to variables, the paint and the gun both of which I had no experience. The day arrived and so I sprayed. The base coat went on nice and even and looked good to go. So after waiting the required length of time, I sprayed the clear coat.
Well, to say this was a disaster is an understatement. The shine was not bad but it had terrible orange peel (and I mean really bad orange peel, felt like 80 grit sand paper or worse). I decided to think about this for a day or two and do some consulting to see what I may have done wrong. Forgot to mention, that before the base and clear, I did have an old hood that I used as a test panel. After thinking about the problem, I decided to spray it again.


So, out with the sanding papers ( 100, 180, 220 and 320 ) . I did this all by hand as I was afraid to use any  power equipment and go through to the metal. That would have meant priming some areas again and I thought this deviation in paint depth would show on the final result. I was able to use the masking but both it and the garage needed cleaning again. Again this took a few days as the sanding dust finds it way into and onto everything no matter how careful one is.  Again, waited for a nice day or as nice as it was going to get . This
time I decided to try the base coat/clear coat again but to use my old siphon feed gun. This time the base went on good and even the clear seemed to go on evenly. Upon inspection  at the time it didn’t look right to me so waited till the next day. I found the clear coat had gone cloudy in many areas. As you can see in the photos, it was hit and miss. So off to the paint shop, Mr. Goggle, some autobody shops to see if anyone could tell me what went wrong or what I was doing wrong. The best I came up with is that this is called clear coat failure. It is usually caused by the humidity and temperature ( both of these I had little control over in the garage). So what is the remedy? You guessed it spray again. Some said it may eventually clear but this is doubtful.


Out came the sanding papers again. Yes , I sanded it by hand. Must say I was getting a little tired and frustrated by this time. Found the clear coat tough to sand, I guess that is why it is so commonly used by everyone today. It is one tough customer. I had to remove all the masking. After using it twice it was starting to set up at the edges and in areas was tough to remove. New masking was required and again much cleaning of the  garage and vehicle. Here we are and what do I try this time. Well, I elected to go with the old stand by,
single stage (one coat). In using the test panel, I decided to use the new HVLP gun as it seemed to spray the best pattern over the siphon feed gun. I’m pleased to say that this time everything came into place. It is not perfect, but for a garage paint job more than acceptable. After curing for several days, I rubbed it down with wet/dry paper (1500 and 2000) and then using very fine rubbing compound buffed it up to a shine.

Finally, I am satisfied.



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