How To Respray A Car – Part Seven

Finally! It’s done. My sincere apologies to our readers that have been waiting a LOOOONG time for the continuation of this series. Back in 2005 I suffered a back injury that led to the closing down of our workshop and the start of this site and the old injury has come back to bite me again over the last couple of months, anything more than bed rest has been a struggle.

I’ve had to shelve the idea of doing a complete re-spray on the VN for now, but what I will do is continue this series with a panel or two off the car and you can just ‘scale it up’ a bit if you are doing a complete respray 🙂

How To Paint A Car

In Part Six we looked at the final sanding process of the undercoat using a guidecoat and in this installment we will cover masking up what we don’t want to paint and the final preparation steps needed before applying the colour.

The first thing we now need to do is remove all the ‘sludge’ that is left over after wet sanding our panels. Of course if you chose to dry sand the vehicle you can just use air pressure to remove the sanding dust, just be sure to get in and around every little crevice and area where dust is likely to settle. Time spent doing this is very important and don’t skimp on this step or you may find sanding dust ruining your flash new paint job.

Ok, back to the wet sanding sludge. What we need to do is give the car a good thorough wash with clean, fresh water keeping a couple of things in mind – the least amount of time that water is allowed on the primed surfaces the better and we need to make sure that the car is completely dry before proceeding further. Using compressed air to dry down the car is good, as is leaving the car in the sun for a couple of hours – just be sure that the panel surfaces have cooled down before spraying the colour. Either way it is important to ensure that there is no trace of water left anywhere as moisture can seriously ruin a paint job!

Masking up the car is pretty self-explanatory, any areas that you don’t want to paint mask it up! In my opinion it is allways better to remove an item if possible rather than masking it up. As an example, although it takes a bit of time, removing the door handles and locks rather than masking them up is better as you have a nice even paint edge around the handle when it’s refitted rather than a build up of paint against the masked up area. This is of course only my opinion, I just think the finished result is a bit more “professional” looking. Items such as headlights, tail lights etc that don’t necessarily have an edge close to them are fine to just mask up.

Spending a bit of extra dosh on good quality masking tape is also a good idea, there is nothing worse than your masking coming loose mid-way through spraying. Also the cheaper tapes tend to leave a sticky residue on the surface they are stuck to if left on for more than a couple of hours and if you choose to sand between coats it is going to be there for quite a while.

If you have flexible window seals on your vehicle such as the ones in the pictures on my VK there is a great little trick that will give you a really good paint edge and prevent the new paint from lifting. What you do is run a piece of string (I’ve even used whipper snipper cord before) around the outside of the seal which lifts it off the panel surface enough to be able to spray the paint under the seal and also gives you a good edge to apply your masking tape to.

The photos aren’t the best but believe me it does work well! It is a bit time consuming going around all the flexible seals but the end result is worth it.

Once you have all the masking done it is time to wipe down the surfaces with wax and grease remover. Wax and Grease Remover, sometimes called Prepsol, will be available from where you bought your paint and with Acrylic in particular it is important to remove all traces of wax or grease from the primed surface.

The idea is to apply it with one rag and then wipe it off with another clean, dry one. Do half a panel at a time or quarter of a panel at a time with the bonnet, roof and boot. Try not to touch any panels with your hands once cleaned down with Wax and Grease Remover as there is grease in our skin that can have an adverse effect on paint, particularly Acrylic.

I’m going to go and have a rest for a bit and then I’ll fire up the compressor and start putting some top coat on a panel or two. Don’t worry you won’t have to wait weeks for the next installment, all going well it will up later tonight or first thing tomorrow.

Part Eight can be found HERE.