repaint: over old paint or bare metal ? single stage or base/clear ? - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 01-11-2012, 04:46 AM Thread Starter
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repaint: over old paint or bare metal ? single stage or base/clear ?

Hi all,

this is for my W111 Coupe. It is a daily driver and is non metallic maroon. It had an older single stage respray 10 to 15 years ago. Paint is faded but is holding well. It is still very nice when I buff it but it does not stay shiny very long. I want to repaint the car because I have a few rust spots and dings I need to repair. I don't want a show quality finish as I would like the paint work to blend with the nice patina of the interior. I would like the car to look like a nice 3 to 5 years old used car when I'm done, not like a car coming out of the factory with a used interior. In short, I would like the paint to have some "patina" as well.

I've read and asked around and some say I need to go back to bare metal to do a quality job, some say I can respray over the old paint if it's holding welll. It will save some work and potentially some problems due to flash rust. They say nothing holds better than original factory paint so no need to remove it. Just use a good sealer first to avoid chemical reactions. I'm tempted to go that way over the bare metal option.

I also read that single stage paint looks more like the original finish and is easier to touch up in case I get some dings. But the paint is a bit more difficult to buff and maintain over time. Base coat / clear coat has a better shine and is easier to maintain. I'm tempted to go single stage as it sounds to me the look will be closer to original and it may be easier to obtain some patina than wiith bc/cc.

Thanks all in advance for advice and for sharing experience!
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 01-11-2012, 10:22 AM
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I'm going to end up doing mine with single stage as well, but that's because I like the look on non-metallic cars and for the ease of touch ups. If I knew my paint was original and was still holding I'd go over the top of it, but if there's any signs of coming up anywhere, I'd go bare metal.


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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 01-12-2012, 09:10 PM
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First off, your car looks beautiful.

I worked for several years in a dealership body shop. First as a body man's helper, then as a painters helper, then as a painter. Having said that, I am NO EXPERT.

Taking your car down to bare metal is a very bad idea if you're not going to do a full restoration. The best/cheapest way to do it is to soft medium blast it clean. That process will F-up glass, rubber, plastic, so on and so forth. It also makes a terrible mess in nooks and crannies that you will find for years.

I believe your car was originally painted with lacquer. I imagine your repaint was lacquer also. Any decent body shop can prep/seal/prime your baby sufficiently to apply any pro finish. I would make absolutely sure you seal the original material coats before a new finish even if it's a new lacquer. Also, make sure that there are no spider web cracks in the current material or you will always have paint issues. Lacquers are not environmentally legal any more, but there are some 'old school' places that will still do it. Lacquer is really easy to buff, polish and shine for years with little degradation to the material. BC/CC is an option, but single stage sounds like the solution to your esthetic preference. Either material can be mixed with a 'flattening agent' to remove a little of the high shine. It's the same thing street rod guys use to create semi gloss paint jobs. One tenth (or less) of that quantity of flattening agent might give you your patina.

Another option... and please take it or leave it... is to take your fresh paint job, regardless of material, and do what the shop tells you not to do: drive it through a public car wash a few times before it fully cures. It's goofy, but if the paint is still "green" the brushes, wipers, sprayers, and towel dry kids at the end will 'patina' a brand new paint job immediately. After that a fresh waxing and buffing will get her good and .... well... used!

Good luck out there. Their are no magic words. I would take a little time and talk to some old resto shops and hot rod shops in your area for some direction. When I say old, I mean old shops with old guys who snort out loud when you say "prius" or "environmental" and who are willing to look at an import. They are a dying breed but your answer is out there.
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 01-14-2012, 03:26 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks all for the info. I will indeed talk to some professionals around. I already did talk to a very reputable restorer and he said my paint was a good basis. He wouldn't strip it.
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