With Mechanical Repairs off my list of things to do for a while due to ongoing problems with my back I thought I would do a tutorial on what I know about Re-Painting a car. No, I am not talking about getting a tin of Mission Brown Enamel and the widest brush you can find like old Fred did down the road!
The real key to achieving a successful repaint is in the preparation. Sure it is hard, labour-some (is that even a word?) and you will feel like just skipping this part and throwing some paint on but trust me, if you take the time to prepare the car properly you will be rewarded with a good result.
The first thing to do is to decide on which type of paint you are going to use for your re spray. The most commonly used paints today are 2 Pack and Acrylic Lacquer.
Acrylic is by far the easiest and safest for the ‘car handyman’ to use however here are some pro’s and con’s of each to help you decide.
Acrylic Lacquer Pro’s
- Relatively easy to apply.
- Dries in minutes.
- Easily sanded back and touched up when you strike trouble
- Used with a clear-coat over the top and then buffed and polished can produce an awesome finish.
- Lends itself well to being lightly sanded between coats.
- Is not as harmful on your health, although precautions still need to be taken.
- Over-spray is easily removed
- Cheaper to buy, although you need more of it.
Acrylic Lacquer Con’s
- Has to be ‘buffed’ and polished to achieve a good shine.
- Is not as chip and scratch resistant as 2 Pack.
2 Pack Pro’s
- Has a shine straight off the gun, great for areas that are hard to polish such as engine bays and door jambs.
- Is very hard and scratch/chip resistant once set.
2 Pack Con’s
- Can only be used in a controlled environment such as a spray booth and must be used with a fresh air breathing apparatus.
- In my opinion is harder to achieve a nice flat finish with, could just be me though!
- Used in ambient temperatures can take hours to dry and the car needs to be kept dust and insect-free during this time.
- Over-spray is hard to remove, particularly from your garage-come-spray booth floor, not to mention the washing machine, dryer, laundry sink, you get the picture! She is still not over that one.
- Is difficult to ‘touch up’ and usually requires the affected panel to be completely re sprayed.
- Once set is a bi*ch to sand out any runs or blemishes.
- Is more expensive as a hardner, thinner and of course the paint itself needs to be bought.
As you can see, Acrylic is really the only choice for the ‘car handyman’ however in a lot of places spray booths can be hired out for a day or more if you are set on using 2 pack. Sure saves a lot of work on setting up your own booth and breathing gear and still forgetting to cover important white goods.
For ‘How To Re-Paint A Car’ Parts Two and on we are going to re spray a VN Commodore that has been sitting around for a while. We are going to use Acrylic Lacquer with a clear coat over the top. The clear coat is necessary in this case as the colour is a metallic silver and the clear is required when painting with metallics.
In Part 2 we are going to start the preparation, taking the flaky clear coat off and straightening out any dents we find along the way. We will also be sanding between coats and generally doing anything we can to see if we can get a finish from Acrylic that comes close to the finish that can be achieved using 2 Pack, bit of a trial and error learning curve for us and hopefully some useful information for you at the same time.
I am going to put a picture up here of my Commodore that I painted in 2 pack about twelve months ago and once the VN is done I will put it’s picture up alongside to see how we went. Not that pictures do justice to what’s been done but hopefully it will give you a better idea of what can be done with each of the different types of paint. The picture of the blue VK was taken about a day after the painting was finished and the paint has not been touched at all, straight off the gun and covered in a lot of dust. This is the advantage of 2 pack and I’m sure we will have a lot of polishing to do on the VN to get it anywhere near this. It will be interesting to see though.
Part Two, albiet a bit late can be found here.