Car Painting


Old 01-11-02, 09:58 AM
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Car Painting

I am in the process of restoring an 86 Iroc and read the posts on painting. There is no body damage and the vehicle looks sound...however the clear-coat is peeling off badly on the upper portions of the car. Vehicle was left in the weather for about 4 yrs and took a beating. (but again no rust). I want to sand and prime the car for painting. Have began with 180 grit on the bad spots. Does all of this clear coat have to be removed before i prime? The lower portions of the car show no peeling. I have an air compressor and a paint gun... been experimenting on an old hood off a truck to practice spraying. Also, bumpers are fiberglass - plastic material.... are these ok to paint the same as the car, or is a special additive needed? Last.... i have been scouring the internet for a web-site that offers painting instruction for this type project.... does anyone no of one? thanks a bunch. jwd
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Old 01-13-02, 05:37 AM
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Yes, the bumpers need special flex additive or the paint will turn to dust when the first winter comes.

The whole car must be stripped to the metal if it is to be done properly. You mention the car is straight. Newsflash: Every car body needs filler or body work, even new ones from the factory Media blasting or chemical stripping works best. With the latter, be sure to clean out all of the nooks and crannies of solvent or they will come back to haunt you.

Visit a paint supply shop that sells to body shops. The guys/gals there are usually very helpful and deal with this all the time. They might even have free literature you can read up on.

Most public libraries have decent books on painting cars, as does

Read before you dig into it
Old 01-13-02, 12:31 PM
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I can't believe you said that mr moderator, "strip the car to the bare metal"......if this were the case nobody besides Bill Gates would ever be able to afford a paint job. You're on the right track with the 180 grit, whatever clear coat comes off, fine. The best primer for any paint job is paint already firmly adhered to the car, why strip it off? Simply sand with increasing finer grits to "rough up" the old paint and feather out the edges of peeling clear coat, and spray away........Although it's not necessary, I would spray the entire car with primer before applying color coat, mostly so you have a uniformly colored background to spray over......good thing Joe doesn't own a body shop, he'd lose his ***.....
Old 01-13-02, 02:47 PM
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mooser1 is right about not stripping the old finish. By totally removing the old paint you would be making twice as much work and possibly not as long lasting a job.
I have been doing back yard paint jobs for quite some time and have found that good information is quite scarce.
One thing is that paint products change so often, that everytime I do a project I'm working with something new. Especially now that isocyanates in the paint hardeners are found to be so toxic.
The grade of paper you finish up with will be determined by the type of finish you use. Basecoat - clearcoat finishes are very thin and require a 600 or 800 grit finish sand. Acrylic enamels can be sanded to 320 or 400 grit. Straight enamel with hardener could get away with 280 or 320 grit.
Any bare metal will have to be treated with metal prep and then primer. You should then use a primer/sealer on the whole car to prep for paint.
The most important lesson I have learned is not to apply the paint myself.
I have done about ten complete back yard paint jobs myself and have found that clean airflow, good lighting and correct technique is something that is hard to achieve.
The paint is still curing on my latest and best project. A full size Chevy Van that I preped and someone else painted......Looks like new!
If you are still determined to do the whole thing yourself I may be able to offer some more tips. (I work with DuPont products and only can advise on them.)

Good luck and have fun!
Old 01-13-02, 03:09 PM
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right on you say, doing the spraying yourself is a lot harder than one would think. I own a spray outfit and compressor and have sprayed a few gallons in my life, but for anything that I really wanted to turn out nice, I would definitely pay a professional. One final thought, if you decide to do it yourself, buy a good quality paint such as Dupont, ask the supplier for the right thinners, hardeners, etc. for the climate where you live (temperature plays the most important part in any painting exercise), a good counter man will ask you questions about if you're painting indoors, outdoors, etc., and FOLLOW the directions on the can of paint closely as to mixing ratios and especially air pressure at the gun for the best results. If you don't have a water trap on the output side of your compressor don't attempt a paint job, moisture will pollute the paint and REALLY annoy you......good luck
Old 01-13-02, 11:19 PM
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Thumbs down

Sorry guys...

GM primer in the 80's is horrific and delaminates, not only the clear coat. Ask Dupont, Chrysler, GM, and anyone that had to pay out labor claims in the 80's what the problem was .

That is why you see most American cars of the 80's down to the primer (not just missing clearcoat).

If the surface is not sound, you're asking for trouble.

You can do it right, or you can just do it .

My car would be down to the metal if I'm going to do it. Even back in 79, when waterborne primer and paint was used on the Trans Ams like mine it peeled and GM was eating warranties...and those cars didn't have clearcoat, so you know the problem wasn't with the clearcoat.

If that's how you paint cars, I'm not bringing my classic to you.

1) You're assuming the surface is sound underneath. Newsflash: If you have peeling clearcoat it is not.

2) The best primer is NOT what is on the car now. Reasons listed above.

3) A restoration is not done well by the "Production" body shop you allude to. Understand that. That's the first mistake most folks restoring a car make. They go right to the production body shops like you are talking about. They have to cut corners on old classics like this, it's not their business. Those places look for in/out, in/out, fast and dirty work. A RESTORATION body shop understands that money is made on doing a good job and charges accordingly or continually calls you up to say, 'Guess what we found more rust than we thought". . The difference in quality out the other end is more than likely a world of difference when you're talking doing it right .

For the way you guys are advocating doing it, he can get it painted at Macco for 200 bucks and be done with it. I saw a car just done there (an 88 Cougar belonging to someone I know) and from a distance, not bad. Gatorleather's choice.
Old 01-14-02, 09:03 AM
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See below, in which I copied and pasted another post regarding bad primer.

Note he correctly mentions bad PRIMER not clearcoat.

That being said, THIS is why I wouldn't do anything short of sanding it bare metal. This is not an anamoly as you can see from others he's talked to:
michael van

Registered: Nov 2001
Posts: 47
bad GM primer
I seen the paint on many if not all GM trucks made from 89 coming off in sheets including my 89 that i bought brand new.My paint lasted till last yeat but it was well taken care of wash and waxed all the time.Was there ever a recall on this problem I think GM is at fault for the defect,I can see if there is a small number of trucks with this but I have seen almost all trucks with paint loss.
I have heard a water base primer was used by some of my buddies does this mean if you repaint the truck you need to get rid of all the primer and apply the good primer?Do I have any recorse at such a late date do to GMs crumey paint job?
I would like to hear from all that have any feedback Thanks a million.

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01-14-02 06:07

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At this point, probably not. Yes, there was a "recall" on this at one time.

It's not just a GM problem. It was a paint supplier problem due to bad paint/primer formulation and water borne primer/bad lots of it.

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Old 01-14-02, 08:29 PM
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You are no doubt correct in your assesment of the quality of GM paint, but I think that you may have a kind of narrow view of the word "restoration".
What you are assuming, is that gatorleather67 is prepared to spend a large sum of money on this car.
If he wants to turn this '86 into a museum piece then yes, you are correct. But if he just wants to spruce up an old car, then he probably could easily and inexpensively do that himself.
I know about the problems that GM has had with paint, but would you assume that ALL paint from that era is going to blow off on a windy day or is some of it OK?
The '89 GM van I just refinished had paint that showed no faults of any kind. Is the paint job that I just did going to fall off... I doubt it.
As bad a rap as Maaco gets they are capable of good work. Like you have said before you get what you pay for. Knowing what labor rates and materials cost, your $200.00 is only paying for a quick dusting with a tack cloth, a hasty masking job and the application of straight enamel with hardener. This equates to about two hours labor and about $60.00 worth of paint. Not a bad deal if you bring them a clean, straight and well primed body, and remove all the small parts that they would have to mask.
For an extra hundred bucks you could probably get them to apply acrylic enamel and have a job that will last for years.
Old 01-15-02, 06:05 AM
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You're talking about a car that was exposed with peeling clearcoat for 4 years to the elements. That's not a sound body.

Not only that, but it's not the CAR it's the PAINT COMPANY. All three car makers use the same OE suppliers, that's why you see it as a consistent problem with cars in this era. My neighbor had an 89 Taurus that had this exact problem. Needed a new paint job. Right down to the primer. Ain't no way you're getting that straight but down to the metal .

What most people don't realize is that primer is an absorbing substrate and exposed to moisture makes for a ruin to a paint job.

Again, as you said, it's up to Gator how he wants to fix it up.

As the saying goes, "Do it right. Do it yourself"

Any good body shop would tell you to remove the old finish.

There are numerous old cars in the local shop here where I work.

Newsflash: They are all sanded to the metal. No shop wants to trust anyone else's work. I agree.

The prep is everything. Paint is nothing when the prep is 100% .

My .02

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