Well, I’m a few days and five coats of paint into my Cheapskate’s Paint Job, and things are looking… OK. Not wonderful, but not terrible either; just OK.
In my last post about the paint job, I had two coats on it. Those runs & drips turned out to be something of an issue, and had I known how much of an issue, I would’ve dealt with them when the paint was still wet. After they dried though, they needed to be sanded down flat, and that took a fairly large area on the driver’s door right back down to the original paint. There were a few other spots in the same boat, but that was by far the largest area with that problem.
What I’ve learned is that the method to this madness is to put down a little bit of paint, trying to keep it as smooth and thin as possible, then after a couple of coats like that, use the wet-sanding to smooth out any imperfections and get rid of any little dust pimples. Things are infinitely easier on the horizontal surfaces when the paint is applied with the roller; whenever the brush is thrown into the mix, or when the roller is used on a vertical surface, look out. And when using the foam brush on a vertical surface… It’s really easy to hose things up, but good. That’s what my problem was on the driver’s door.
So I’m pressing forward with the project, and it’s looking better all the time. There are a couple of places on the hood and on the roof that make me cringe a bit; the old respray had cracked in places, and was fairly thick. Plus whoever did the respray had put some Bondo on some dents in the hood, which had cracked & allowed the metal below to rust a little, so I had to grind that down. But in those places where the cracking had occurred, I should’ve spent a little more time making things smooth before painting, because they’re still visible. Dang. I guess that’s one nice thing about this method of painting; if something looks bad enough that it needs attention later, there shouldn’t be much difficulty in getting the colors to match!
One thing I’ll need to do after I get things back together is spend a little time detailing and painting the door jambs and the inside of the doors. Right now, since I need to be opening and closing the doors during the repainting, I’m stopping at the edges of the door skins. I figure I’ll be able to get to those areas afterward by doing a door at a time; pull off the door seals, sand, paint & allow to dry, then put it back together. And for that, I should be able to use spray paint and/or full-strength paint to get it done in one shot. I won’t be so stressed about any imperfections there.
I was able to get paint into the channel around the hood and trunk lid, but the trunk seal is in the way for part of it, and that will need to be dealt with. The seal is held in place with adhesive, and probably needs to be replaced anyway, but I’m not ready to spend the $80 on that right now. I learned on the Nordstroms parts car that getting that seal off can easily lead to breakage; don’t need that. Later on, when I do replace the seal, I figure I can get it off, get the channel thoroughly cleaned out, and paint under there with full-strength paint. The hood channel along the fenders has several exposed bolt heads, and I don’t want to get a bunch of paint gooped up around them, so I’m painting that as I go now. It’s looking fairly well covered with four coats.
I’ve been busy enough with the paint and the holiday and other stuff that I haven’t even thought about the trim yet; all the stuff that is going back on is gonna look really tacky if I don’t do something with it. The black plastic pieces on the bumper and the mirrors are pretty badly faded, and the aluminum bumpers are a little scuffed. I’ll need to spend a little time cleaning them up and trying to restore some depth to the black plastic. Not sure if I’ll paint the plastic or see if there’s some kind of restorative goop that will help; I’m thinking the paint will be the fastest/cheapest option, but I also don’t want it to crack & run on me, so the jury is still out on that.
Another issue I’m having is with my mixed paint; I started out by mixing the paint & mineral spirits in a plastic container that I found in the house, and for the first few days it worked fine for storing the paint. But the last couple of times I’ve opened the container the paint has had a skin on its surface. I haven’t been successful in keeping the bits of skin out of the paint, and have had to pick several pieces off the car that I didn’t get off the roller. I think the the plastic is being affected by the paint and allowing some air to pass through, drying the paint on the surface. I should’ve stored the paint in the original can or a better container, but I didn’t want to spend the extra couple of bucks for that; lesson learned. I think I’ll stop by the store tonight & pick up a container, then use some cheesecloth to strain the chunks out of the paint. And mix another batch, which will be needed because I just remembered that I forgot to pour the paint from the tray back into the bucket! Dang!
Sorry; no photos yet, but I’ll get some tonight and put them up next time.
To read the rest of the story and see the final product in pictures, click here. Enjoy!
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