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Bare metal respary going horribly wrong


Freshman Member
Country flag
I have used one of the 'leading' UK Healey restoration companies to do a bare metal respray of my BN1.
Apart from being 2 months overdue I have had 3 abortive attempts to collect the car due to major snags.

The specification was to spray 3 layers of the base green then overspray where required 3 layers of the two tone white and finish the car with 3 layers of lacquer.

When I rub my finger firmly along the edge of the drivers side door sill I can remove the layer of white paint to start showing the green - surely this can't be right ?

Also where the 2 tone green and white paint meet there is a sharp lip which you can feel when you rub the flat of your hand over it. I had been told by that the join would be smooth if it had been over sprayed by 3 layers of lacquer?

Also from their single return drive to the MOT shop the paint beneath the bonnet strap is now scratched. Surely this would not happen if it had been lacquered?

Is there some simple way to prove whether the layers and lacquer have actually been applied?

The doors also foul the rear wings at the rear edge knocking off the new paint! Their attempt to adjust them has partially alliviated it but cause two new problems:

- The line for the two tone paint join now steps at the rear of the door since the door wing alignment has changed
- They have had to move the door stops laterally more than 2-3 cm leaving gapping holes where they previously where.

The final straw is that the drivers side wing is not centered for aft around the wheel and where the lower edge joins the car you can see light shining through the gaps - they tell me this is to let water drain out of the wheel well !!!

Any advice and guidance on how a proper job should be done or what actions I should request to redemdiate errors to date would be greatly received. Given it seems the car has not been lacquered at all then presumably it should return to the spray booth and re preped for a proper job?

Many thanks



Jedi Warrior
Country flag
Man, what a story.

First, the white removable by just your finger is not right.
Most common failure is a bad preparation
It needs the right time to dry and a sometimes a fine sanding

The "lip" could be avoided by polishing or sanding before the clear coat is applied

A fresh clear coat can easily scratch :-((

The proof of thickness is given with a paintdetector(.com)
Proof of a clear coat beeing applied can be given by a light polish
The residue schould not have a colour as with a single stage coat.



Jedi Knight
Bigger problem than the paint is that the frame has settled causing the doors to hit the rear fenders . Anyone that's restored a Healey body before would have planned for that. Three coats of Lacquer clear won't leave a thick enough film to cover a tape edge over.


Jedi Knight
Country flag
Hey Ian,
Like Elrey said, YIKES ! This all sounds awful. I have no idea where you are in the UK but see if you can look up Frankenhealey on the BCF members list and PM him as he obviously knows his stuff based on his Nasty Boy Healey. Maybe he can suggest someone for you to speak to. Believe he is in on Isle of Man so no idea where that is to you but hopefully he can help !
Good luck,


Jedi Warrior
Take the car to another shop and pay them to tell you what is wrong , how it can be corrected, and how much it will cost. Present this to the original shop where a discusion will likely unsue.


Legal Bill

Jedi Knight
Sounds like there was no dry time between coats, easpecially the second color. It also sounds like there was no prep or sanding between coats if the second color came off with your finger.


Darth Vader

Have you discussed your dissatisfactions with the servicer? If so, have they offered a plan of corrective action?

I appreciate your frustration and would suggest you move from the technical and start thinking about the psychological. Remember, you paid them for their technical skills and you don’t want to be put in the position of having to justify your statements within their domain.

YOU ARE DISSATISFIED with the product received.

A quality shop will want to keep their good reputation and not risk their stream of high-income business. Although exposure of your negative experiences to potential customers from local organizations could motivate their response to your request, presenting their response as a means of stimulating business opportunity usually will be received with greater positive enthusiasm (i.e. your plan to participating in local shows posting their contribution or presenting at local organization meetings showing the quality of their work).

Ian, I know this is not what you were looking for when posting, however, I hope it helps.

Good Luck,
Ray (64BJ8P1)

Bob Hughes

Luke Skywalker
Country flag

They should have advised you about the state of the fit up before they let go with the spray, you should have also known how things were closing together - or not.

Having said that, there is no argument for the quality of the two tone work, if it is that bad take it back and show them.


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