Never painted fender before

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  #1  
Old 09-04-14, 10:17 PM
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Never painted entire fender from scratch

I have a 92' Ford Ranger XLT with 2.9 V6. I am going to have a body shop install a left front fender that I purchased from Rock Auto. I am going to paint it myself to save money. It has some type of thin black coating (or primer?) on it now. Any suggestions on how I do this? For example: Do I need to add more primer?.........What type and brand of paint?.............do I spray paint?.............should I use paint sprayer?............Can I use a paint roller?................any sanding between coats?
 
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  #2  
Old 09-05-14, 03:41 AM
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By the time you buy a spray gun and the proper paint and clear coat, you may could have paid the body shop to shoot the fender with a factory pack, not sure.

You will need to lightly sand the fender's present coating, with probably 400 grit paper to get rid of any boogers. I would use a sealer at this point, then paint, then clear coat. I am not a painter, but have painted a few car rebuilds in my time, and find it a royal PITA. You will need to obtain a factory color match (Sherwin Williams has auto paint in some locations). Yes, spray it on with a sprayer. no you can't roll it on . Light sanding between coats.
 
  #3  
Old 09-05-14, 04:01 AM
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Any reason you can't install the fender yourself? Have you priced having the body shop do the paint while they have the truck? By the time you buy the materials and spray equipment you'll likely well exceed their price. It might be possible to paint just a fender with a rattle can but I wouldn't want to. Also if the rest of the paint job is original to the truck it will more than likely have faded enough for the factory color to no longer be a good match.

When Larry said to sand with 400 grit he was talking about wet sanding.
 
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Old 09-05-14, 04:02 AM
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I agree.
To save money it would make more sense for you to figure out how to install the fender and pay someone to paint it.

If the economics don't pay to have a body shop do it and you can find a close color match a good quality rattle can might work, although it would not stand up very well.

What color is it anyway?
 
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Old 09-05-14, 04:50 AM
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Not to pile onto what others have already said, but just to reinforce it a bit, I too suggest switching roles; hire the painting, and install it yourself. There is no sense wasting money on the right paint without investing in the proper airline filters, traps, etc., so, unless you are going to do it with a spray can, you will have a sizable investment in painting it yourself. And if you are going to use a spray can you may as well install it yourself, because a ding here or there is going to pale in comparison to the quality of the paint. I have painted just one complete car as I recall, but quite a number of fenders, motorcycles, etc., so have a lot of the right equipment, but haven't touched any of it in quite a few years because the cost of paints and thinners jumped significantly at some point and it is one heck of a lot of work. Like a lot of things, the actual paint application is not bad, but the prep work is very time consuming, and that is the part that makes or breaks the end result.
 
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Old 09-05-14, 04:55 AM
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worth repeating! ...................

the prep work is very time consuming, and that is the part that makes or breaks the end result.
 
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Old 09-05-14, 01:12 PM
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I just had the fender installed this morning. The labor was cheap, and it looks fine. I decided not to install myself because I heard that people sometimes run into snags when installing body panels. In fact, the body shop had some trouble with the fender because the mounting holes didn't line up perfectly.

It's an old truck so as long as it's halfway presentable, I might not be too picky. I don't know. I have a little time to think about it, since rust isn't much of an issue in this part of Arizona.

The color is white.
 
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Old 09-05-14, 01:22 PM
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Heck, leave it primer. People always steer clear of cars like that since they don't know what you'll do next...lol.

Seriously, wish you had posted earlier, would have been a lot easier to paint it BEFORE it was installed.

No rattle can is going to be exact even if it's the original paint formulation. All you can do is get a few shades that seem close and test for best match.
 
  #9  
Old 09-05-14, 01:38 PM
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It's true that aftermarket body parts don't always line up like they ought to but it isn't a real big deal to rebend a tab or elongate a hole to make it bolt up. You'll probably do better applying white with a rattle can than most any other color. The main thing is to wet sand, clean and then make multiple passes - aerosol can paint is extra thin and will run if you apply too much!
 
  #10  
Old 09-06-14, 11:05 AM
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That's a good observation into driver psychology, Vic. Eventually it will have to be painted. With the contrast of the black fender and pinstriped white, it is almost painful to look it. If the police were ever called to have it towed, I think they would shoot it first and put it out of its misery.

Someone told me the black stuff is not really primer. It is just a coating to prevent rust when it is shipped from overseas? Do I spray primer right over that black coating? And then do I wet sand over one coat of primer, and then wet sand between the two or three coats of white paint? Larry also mentioned clear coat. How is that applied over spray paint, if I go that route?

Once I spray painted over a body repair I did myself. It left a grainy, rough, particle like surface that made it difficult to wash or wax over. Don't know what I did wrong. But I want to avoid that this time around.
 

Last edited by bluesbreaker; 09-06-14 at 11:29 AM.
  #11  
Old 09-06-14, 11:23 AM
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It's a primer....you can sand and spray right over it. You can re-prime if you like, but there's no real need as long as you don't sand through anywhere.
 
  #12  
Old 09-06-14, 11:47 AM
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You want to wet sand with 360 or 400 grit sandpaper, mainly to scuff up the surface so you'll have good adhesion but it will also point out any defects in the primer if it has any. You then want to wipe it down with a clean lint free rag, wet with prepsol or automotive paint thinner to remove any dust or contaminants. There are basically 2 types of automotive paint, one is a gloss enamel and the other is a 2 part system with the color coat being flat and relying on the clear coat to give the paint it's shine.

You can apply multiple coats of paint without sanding between coats provided the paint hasn't dried. Once the paint has dried you need to wet sand again so the next coat [s] will adhere well.

Not sure what went wrong with your first paint job but the surface must be clean and smooth prior to painting and you need a clean area to do the painting, preferably not outside where the wind can blow junk/bugs into the wet paint.
 
  #13  
Old 09-06-14, 04:07 PM
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Ok, thanks. I'll post again if any further questions, or when it is done
 
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