View Full Version : Painting it...

06-02-2009, 08:10 AM
So last weekend I was whining about not having time to fix the kick dents and keyed paint in my otherwise really nice 1 owner '91 GT-S and my wife suggested that we just start messing around with it one dent at a time little by little.

We decided to just take the rear bumper cover off to push out a binked rear quater panel. I was finding high spots on our fix and Kelly got a little bored so she decided to peel off the front fenders.

Now the entire car is stripped down and getting the full prep job so I can finally use my paint. I was a little reluctant to tear into it because work has been so busy but I think that was Kelly's plan all along. My wife is awsome!

Then again, she has a wrecked 6th gen GT now so I'll be retuning the favor pretty soon...

06-02-2009, 01:33 PM
Sweet, be sure to post pics of the progress!

06-02-2009, 08:08 PM
Yes! I want many a picture!

joe's gt
06-04-2009, 12:16 AM
professional, diy spray gun, or rattle cans?

06-05-2009, 05:34 PM
I bought a couple decent spray guns in several sizes, sanders, the filter thing that takes the moisture out of you air lines and the related necesities last year so we will be doing the entire project ourselves. If I mess it up I'm going to do it over again until I get it right. It's time to learn how to do this stuff. There's to many good deals on cars out there that are pretty much perfect other than being a little banged up and in need of a few panels, body work and fresh paint.

I've done lots of fixes that involved body work, paint prep and blending/wet sanding/buffing color matched rattle can so I am pretty sure of myself on everything but the actual spraying. I think I'll practice on some scrap metal or old fenders before I shoot the car.

We will get lots of pics. :bigthumbu

After this we are doing my wife's 114K mile '94 GT (that we got for $500!) in some kind of metalic blue.

06-05-2009, 08:53 PM
Yeah man, if you could get pics and maybe some instructions, my last paint attempt was pretty much an abortion, so I could use the pointers.

Good luck!

06-21-2009, 04:45 AM
Making some good progress finally. Work has been so busy I haven't been doing much the last couple weeks. Body work is about 90% done and we are getting ready to sand the entire car as soon as I get done with that. I've learned alot about filler and tapping down hi spots... overall I'm pretty happy with the way it's turning out. One fender and a rear corner were pretty bad. The deepest filler is probably 1/8" and most of it is so thin you can see the metal through it. Getting the messed up panels that straight with hammers and dollies is really time consuming but nobody wants a car made of bondo right? :)

I have been taking lots of pics as we go so I will try to make a nice write up when we're done.

I really miss driving the car especially as gas goes up! $$

06-21-2009, 10:39 AM
sweet, i was a panel beater apprentice til rescently and i kno what ya mean bout getting it nice with a hammer, unless youve got the right tools wich require about 20 different types of dollys etc. lol.
have you used the spray guns before? if not i recomend getting a shitty panel and just practicing over and over again til your comfortable as every gun feels diffent plus type of paint and the pressure produced by the compressor etc.
good luck with it

joe's gt
06-21-2009, 07:47 PM
I've had a lot of experience with diy spray gun painting. Hardest part is getting the gun settings right. Proper air pressure, fan width, and mixture control all have to be set perfectly because they all interconnect. Its just a matter of trial and error to get it right.

Unless your renting a dust free booth, I recommend wet sanding with 600 or greater grit after primer, base, and clear because you are inevitably gonna get dust on in between coats, even in a spotless garage.

Good Luck. Its a very rewarding experience. And once you have the equipment, you realize with a little time and effort you can make any future car you own any color you want. The initial up front costs involving experimentation are whats expensive. Once you get the hang of it though, you can produce very respectable results for just the cost of paint and buffing materials.

06-22-2009, 12:40 AM
Thanks guys! I have an extra fender and enough paint for two cars so I thought I'd practice alot before the final go. I am actually pretty nervous about spraying but I have to learn sometime even if I have to screw it up once to learn... Just like anything else you just have to do it to learn.

06-22-2009, 07:50 AM
o yer i forgot, if at all possible wet down all the floors and walls after a really thorough clean out, let it sit for a bit and all the dust settle, go in soak it all again, let it settle then paint, youl still get dust yes but you will dramatically reduce it

07-28-2009, 07:33 AM
Started spraying parts! Entire car is prepped so I will have a write up soon. This is time consuming but not hard...

07-30-2009, 07:16 AM
Sprayed 2 coats tonight in our home made ventilated clean room. Everything laid down good but there is some lint or something on the hood and the top that appeared out of nowhere. I'll let it dry and maybe do a little 600 grit on those tomorrow and add another coat to finish.

07-31-2009, 12:02 AM
Keep us posted. I'm getting ready to do this myself.

joe's gt
07-31-2009, 12:19 AM
Sprayed 2 coats tonight in our home made ventilated clean room. Everything laid down good but there is some lint or something on the hood and the top that appeared out of nowhere. I'll let it dry and maybe do a little 600 grit on those tomorrow and add another coat to finish.

haha. good luck. No matter how clean you think your room is, shits always gonna fall on your paint if its not in an "actual" paint booth. I've been there man. Best thing do is primer, sand, base, sand, clear, sand.

Its a lot of work, but in this way you only have one coat with dirt on it. Since you already sprayed, just sand the clear with 600 and redo the clear and it should end up with a smooth mirror like finish. The problem with spraying all 3 coats at once with a home made booth is that crap that fell on your car is now all the way down to the primer.

But you should be fine with a sand and re-coat of clear.

07-31-2009, 06:14 AM
I was able to sand and reshoot a couple problem areas with better results.

Oddly I resprayed the hood outside in the afternoon sun with bugs flying around and everything and it turned out way better than it did in out home made paint booth! I kind of wish I had done the entire car that way. As it sits it turned out about 90% good with only a couple small blems that I think will wet sand out. We are using a 1 step urethane with no clear so tomorrow we will wet sand the entire car and polish and see how it turns out. While painting was a bit daunting for me, color sanding and polishing is my comfort area, so the sressful part is over... :)

joe's gt
07-31-2009, 06:40 AM
meh, two stage is better, but 1 stage will do for a budget. But right now...


07-31-2009, 07:06 AM
meh, two stage is better, but 1 stage will do for a budget. But right now...


It is very much on a budget. 2 stage is better, but you have to walk before you can crawl, er crawl before you run, whatever...

Pics will come soon I have quite a few!

07-31-2009, 09:59 PM
I was assistant manager at a dealership body shop for three years with very nice downdraft, heated booths. Even in a regulation paint booth that is cleaned regularly you still get crap in the paint at time. I think it is just a natural law of the universe! ug2

08-03-2009, 09:16 PM
I had a couple thin spots on the trunk lid and the back bumper that show prety bad in the sunlight. There is also a goober in the right front fender where I tried to spot shoot a thin spot that just didn't work out. You just have to spray the entire panel at once with metalics I guess... Anyway I ordered a bit more paint and I will repaint those panels and then post some pic.

Overall this has been a really good learning experience and the parts that have turned out have turned out awsome. Hopefully it all looks as good when I am finally done!

joe's gt
08-04-2009, 01:08 AM
Easy once the gun settings are right, huh?

08-04-2009, 02:50 AM
Yes indeed... and it's also good to have much better lighting in your garage than I have at this time. :brick:

08-12-2009, 05:36 PM
Need some pictures!

08-15-2009, 07:07 PM
So the bit of extra paint I ordered ended up being quite a bit darker, which made it necessary to re-sand and re-shoot the entire car. We thought maybe since my first batch of paint sat for a while over the winter it might have screwed up the color... On the up side though it turned out way way better the second time around! The green is almost black, just like the stock color was so I am happier with the color as well.

08-15-2009, 09:15 PM
Cool! Now we need to see some pictures!

joe's gt
08-18-2009, 07:38 AM
Still no pics? Ur killin us.

09-07-2009, 06:39 AM
So as soon as we got it off the jackstands I pretty much started driving it. Work has been pretty busy so I have not been able to take the time to resize photos untill tonight. Here are a few pics...

We bought the car on ebay with only 104K on the odometer for $1200 from a guy named "Melinda" down in San Fransisco. It had "butch" keyed into the hood and both fenders hade been kicked repeatedly and it looked like the rear quarter panels had been side swiped into things. The drivers rear was the worst with about a 2 inch deep by 8 inch long crease gouged into it. It required alot of work with hammers and dollies so we wouldn't have a car made entirely of bondo. I was able to pick up a passenger fender for $150 from a yard in WA, but, being a wide body car we never did find a drivers side fender for a reasonable price. Here is a pic of my hot wife painstakingly working the massive damage out of the drivers fender...

One of the tricks we learned with body filler was to apply a thin skin of filler to the entire area, and then sand it off untill you can almost see through it in most places. If you sand through, your high spots will stick out pretty bad. In this case the entire fender was pretty bad so the area we had to work was fairly large.

We ended up with a perfect looking fender with about 1/16 inch of filler in the deepest spots. Still too much filler but hey we didn't have to buy a $400 fender from Toyota so what the heck...

09-07-2009, 07:12 AM
At certain times after sanding you will get little pits or discover low spots in your work. I think there are special products for the final touch up but we found that just mixing a little bit more filler and retouching the spots worked just fine.


Another trick to get your surface smooth was to spray the area you have filled and sanded with some cheap primer and then gently sand it off with some 240 on a block. This will reveal high and low spots that you can't see with just the shop lights and the sanded filler...

This rear quarter was the worst part of the car with a 2" deep crease and probably turned out the best with a very minimal thickness of filler after alot of work and learning with the hammers and dollies...

Here it is with a coat of primer:

One of the cool parts of painting your car is dressing up like one of the bad guys who come to disect ET...

Before the real spray I did the jams and any areas I didn't think I could reach.

We really only needed to prime the areas with bondo, but I found that I had enough primer to prime the entire car, so I did. I would not recommend doing this as it only created more work and required more paint to get a good dark coverage over the light grey primer.


You really need the suit and the mask, or you will pass out from the vapors. I probably could have used goggles too because my eyelashes looked like I had mascera on for about a week after spraying...

We had a couple runs on the passenger fender and the rear bumper. I tried to wet sand them out but single stage metalics are VERY unforgiving. We didn't have enough paint to re-spray so I ordered more... Only top find it was about 2 shades darker!!? I don't know if it was mixed differently or if it was because I bought the paint about a year prior to using it, but something was way different. We ended up re-shooting the entire car, twice because we hade some tiger stripe issues with the darker paint over the much lighter first coat. The lesson here is to order about twice the paint you think you need and don't use single stage metalics because they are a pain in the butt.

Had a few bugs and bits that required a little wet sanding but after some cutting polish it turned out pretty shiny! Pretty nice reflection shot of the iced tea on the hood...

Like I said, we've been driving it so here is a dirty pic... I don't even have the emblems back on yet! I lost my exhaust gaskets so I even had to run the crappy monza exhaust for the last few weeks...


I'll get it clean and wax her up for a good photo shoot soon, but as you can see, there are no dents and it's pretty much new looking. It is not perfect but I think it turned out pretty good for our first attempt at a paint job and the learning experience was priceless!

Next time will be my wife's '94 GT and I will do a few things different (no single stage metalics for one!). I highly recommend trying it yourself though. Don't be afraid! You just have to screw up a few times to learn how to do it right. Even it you don't get it perfect it will still be better than driving a hammered beater around :hehe: .

Last but not least: Buy a REALLY BIG air compressor!

Wheel On!

09-07-2009, 05:04 PM
It looks great! The body work came out really good since nothing seems to be showing in the color. It's hard to hide anything with a dark color like you have.

What may have happened with the difference in the color between batches of paint is that whoever mixed it the second time used a different variance. I used to work in a dealer body shop and we ran into this with the white on Hyundai Scoupes. There were, no kidding, 53 variances that ran from snow white to a slight greenish tint. There was really no way of know which one you had till you laid some color on and then it was PAINFULLY apparent.

You guys did a great job. It's cool to see that you've got a wife that knows how to operate a hammer and dolly. Hold on to her! She's rare commodity! :D

09-07-2009, 05:38 PM
looks really good!

09-08-2009, 07:42 AM
what color is the paint?

09-08-2009, 04:36 PM
what color is the paint?

It's the stock color, Aquamarine Pearl which is kind of a black green metalic with some blue in it. If I had it to do over again I probably would have just painted it black. I like the color and all but it was kind of a pain to work with as a novice first timer.