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Reason why I am posting this thread? Well, it is to let you all know that you can do this also EVEN if you have NEVER painted before. If I can do this, so can you! You can do this just as good as a professional instead of paying him $5k-$6k. AND YOU WILL FEEL GREAT ABOUT THE FINISHED PRODUCT AND WILL HAVE A SENSE OF PRIDE !:thumbsup: AND YOU CAN BRAG (This is another reason I am posting this thread) :D


I had clear coat problems on my Nissan Titan. It is a 2005 with 22K original miles. Lowest estimate I got for an all over paint job was ~$4500 and the highest I got was $6800. :eek: I'm like WTF? For paint? Definitely did NOT want the Maaco crap for ~$200. (Just to let you know, some decent, mid-grade primer, base coat, and clearcoat along will cost ~$300-$400. So you can imagine what you are getting in a Maaco paint job) Truck is too nice and I plan on keeping it for a while longer.


I went to several body shops/auto painters to ask then if they could tell me how to paint or if they could teach me. No one was willing. All I heard was:

"You have to go to autobody school to learn this and must paint many many cars before you get good at it."

"You can't do this and DON'T even attempt painting it yourself or you'll fuck it up so much that it was cost you double to correct it.:eek:"

"Unless you are 1 in a million whose is a natural, you will create several disasters before you get the hang of it."

blah blah blah. Seems that everyone I went to just wanted the job and money, not that I blame them.

So I thought to myself, how hard could it be? I went through medical school for God's sake! (Yeah I do know that you can't learn technical stuff just by reading books, you really have to get your hands dirty and practice the skills of a trade). So I read a lot on the net about auto painting, the process and steps. I REALLY want to restore a classic one day so I thought, what the hell. If I fuck it up, it's mine, and I'll live with it and keep on painting it until I have learned it. So I decided to use my truck as my guinea pig, my learning tool, my canvas. I THINK I DID GREAT ON MY FIRST ATTEMPT ! What do you guys think? I will take more pictures after I have finished putting it together. THEN I will take this truck back to some of the painters I spoke with.

I honestly was not expecting good results or even decent results after hearing all the garbage from the autobody painters. How good can a first attempt at painting be on a car? It's not like you are painting a wall in a house.

So I thought about what qualities I possess and what qualities are needed to do this job and I came up with the following:

1. Being able to read and understand and being able to follow directions. (I'm good at that). Research a LOT on the net.

2. PATIENCE! A LOT OF IT ! If you mess up, you should be able to laugh it off and get back to it the following day. (I got a run, stopped everything, let it dry and next day sanded it down again).

3. Steady hands (I have surgical steady hands)

4. Attention to detail (This is what we are trained for in med school)

5. You need some tools. I didn't have any so everything was done by hand, ie sanding.... I only had a hand drill which I used for final buffing. I will definitely be buying some tools.


Here are some pictures:
 

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From the Pics the finish looks good.

In telling a really good job from one that "looks really good" takes;
1) a trained eye,
How easy is it tell the vehicle has been repainted.
2) time,
How does it hold up after a few years.

How much prep did you do?
De-badge and de-trim?
Sand through at least the original clearcoat everywhere?
Putty and prime imperfections?
One-step, or two-step paint?
 

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At this point, I'll bet you can appreciate all the naysaying you heard from the pros. It's certainly possible, but few have the space, tools, and patience needed to pull it off. Prep work and more prep work...and a respirator
 

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Looks fine to me. I'd say you did great, no runs.

I also have a vehicle with serious clearcoat peel, '90 Lotus Esprit, but haven't mustered the cojones to try it myself... yet...

Been talking to a relative who's in the business. Prep is a big part of it, and a reason I'm leery of letting someone else remove body parts from the Lotus. Not simple. A couple of the badges appear to be glued on, will need a hot knife to remove them without damage.

As for applying the paint or clearcoat itself, there's an art to keeping the 'wet spot' going without overdoing it and getting a run. Practice, practice, and a keen eye on that wet spot. I'm still practicing, getting better.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Looks fine to me. I'd say you did great, no runs.

I also have a vehicle with serious clearcoat peel, '90 Lotus Esprit, but haven't mustered the cojones to try it myself... yet...

Been talking to a relative who's in the business. Prep is a big part of it, and a reason I'm leery of letting someone else remove body parts from the Lotus. Not simple. A couple of the badges appear to be glued on, will need a hot knife to remove them without damage.

As for applying the paint or clearcoat itself, there's an art to keeping the 'wet spot' going without overdoing it and getting a run. Practice, practice, and a keen eye on that wet spot. I'm still practicing, getting better.
Although I didn't do it and dipped straight in, to build your confidence, I'd suggest going to a junk yard and buying a fender or a door and practice on it. You can use that part again and again to practice and practice. Don't worry. You CAN do it.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
From the Pics the finish looks good.

Thanks!

In telling a really good job from one that "looks really good" takes;
1) a trained eye,
How easy is it tell the vehicle has been repainted.

I really cannot tell if it's been repainted. The only clue IMO would be that a 2005 model should not look this good.

2) time,
How does it hold up after a few years.

I may keep it for another couple of years or so, maybe even more because it only has 22k miles on it. The comforting thing to know is that if something doesn't hold up, I can do it again:thumbsup:

How much prep did you do?

Prep was a bitch. 90% of the time is initial sanding, removing lights/bumpers, etc. and the wet sanding. Buffing and polishing is not that bad. Paint is mirror straight and has mirror shine. No evidence of any orange peel.

De-badge and de-trim?

OK this is where I skimmed. Took off some trim but not the badges. Removed lights, bumpers, grill, etc. Tinted my tail lights also just a tad. This was just a test run just to see what kind of results I could achieve. May do it again for the heck of it after I finish my man cave.

Sand through at least the original clearcoat everywhere?

Sanded like hell. In some areas, down to bare metal.

Putty and prime imperfections?

Didn't take care of the little dings. This time it wasn't my concern. Just wanted to see what kind of quality I could achieve.

One-step, or two-step paint?

1. Sanded like hell.
2. Self etching primer on bare surfaces (2-3 coats).
3. 3 coats of filler primer.
4. Sprayed a black guide coat on primer before hand sanding primer. (Guide coat covers the "hills" and also goes down into the "valleys". So you wet sand until all the black is gone leaving only the primer. Now you have a very well prepared straight surface for base coat)
5. 4 coats of base coat color.
6. 4 coats of clear.
7. Wet sanded the clear with 2000 grit sand paper. (This was a bitch!!!)
8. Buffed with compound
9. Polished
All in all, it looks excellent. I have a lot of work left to do on it like putting it back together. I also plan on getting underneath it to sand off the surface rust on the chassis and any on the underside and re coating it completely on the underside to protect it. I know its over kill on a pickup but I am actually trying to get some practice doing these things for when I purchase mt classic car to do a frame off restoration.
 

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Looks terrific, nicely done!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Looks terrific, nicely done!
THANKS! I'm patting myself on the back because this was my absolute first time ever attempting something like this with absolutely no practice. I think "patience" is the key.
 

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Not debaging probably means you did not sand through the clearcoat near the badging.

That will be a spot where chipping may start if there are any adhesion problems.

With the wet sanding and polishing, you took off any orange peel that would have been there. How was it before sanding and polishing?

(BTW, I hate you! I know all the friggin steps, worked in a body shop one summer, and have shot several cars, but don't have the patients to get good at it. Did I tell you that I hate you?) :D :D
 

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You should switch career to plastic surgeon. Think about all the boobies you get to feel
 

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Not debaging probably means you did not sand through the clearcoat near the badging.

Yes possibly. I did however make it a point to sand all the way to the edges of the lettering, and in between them by folding the sandpaper and cleaned every area with prep spray. I then very carefully taped the lettering. Even used a surgical scalpel to cut off any extra tape. Would have been easier to just debadge but I would have never gotten them back on and straight and evenly spaced. I need to research this method. But yeah, that would indeed be the weakest point.

That will be a spot where chipping may start if there are any adhesion problems.

With the wet sanding and polishing, you took off any orange peel that would have been there. How was it before sanding and polishing?

Oh definitely there was orange peel there but it didn't look too bad.

(BTW, I hate you! I know all the friggin steps, worked in a body shop one summer, and have shot several cars, but don't have the patients to get good at it. Did I tell you that I hate you?) :D :D

LOL, yeah, I think patience is the key. Even though I am a severe type A personality, I do have a lot of patience in doing something that requires great attention to detail. I do get frustrated but the best thing to do at that point is wrap everything up for that day and start all over the next day instead of trying to finish. You have to think that you are under no time restrictions and the car is yours and its not going anywhere. What I get to that point, I know its time to wrap it up for the day. Do you know what is the best quality of a physician or who is the best physician? The one who knows when to refer a patient to someone else.;)
You can do it bro!!:thumbsup: Just don't set any time limits. If it takes you the whole day to finish just 1 panel, then be it. You will have accomplished much more on that particular day than you think and the end results will have you grinning from ear to ear.
 

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You should switch career to plastic surgeon. Think about all the boobies you get to feel
LOL. Seen and felt more boobies than most people can count but something is very sacred about a patient.

BTW,
1. I would initially see either small or droopy or ugly boobies.
2. After the boob job, no matter how good the results, I'd still know they were fake.:D
 

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Discussion Starter #14
This is all just practice for my dream classic car frame off restoration project, a 1969 Mustang Mach 1.
 

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You can do it bro!!:thumbsup: Just don't set any time limits. If it takes you the whole day to finish just 1 panel, then be it. You will have accomplished much more on that particular day than you think and the end results will have you grinning from ear to ear.
Dude,
Been there, done it, know my limits! :bowdown: :bowdown: :bowdown:
 

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Dude,
Been there, done it, know my limits! :bowdown: :bowdown: :bowdown:
I see myself camping out at your place doing a project together if you promise to feed me only kosher food.:D
 

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This is all just practice for my dream classic car frame off restoration project, a 1969 Mustang Mach 1.
Be careful, soon you'll be wearing band collar shirts with dusters, putting fireplaces in your bathroom, and hanging track lighting from any surface that will take them.
 

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Be careful, soon you'll be wearing band collar shirts with dusters, putting fireplaces in your bathroom, and hanging track lighting from any surface that will take them.
Please promise to shoot me if that happens!:eek:
 
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