• Hi Guest! Being a Paying Supporter is NOT a requirement to participate at BCF. However, subscribing will help ensure we can continue to serve the LBC community for years to come. If you enjoy BCF and find our forum a useful resource...Please consider supporting us by **Upgrading**
    (PS: Subscribers don't see this banner)
Tips
Tips

Thinking about learning bodywork/paint

bugedd

Jedi Knight
Country flag
Offline
My plan when I got my car was to strip it and take it to the local junior college, take a bodyshop/paint class, and do the work myself at the class. Well they cancelled the class due to budget cuts :frown:

So now I am thinking of having a friend blast the car and seal it in epoxy primer, then go at it myself. So, any good resources on how to properly do this, what materials to use, etc? Hopefully a fellow I know will let me use a corner of his bodyshop to let me do the work, and will lend some of his 40+ years experience.
 

Jimflorida

Jedi Trainee
Offline
My local paint shop (a PPG supplier) gave me excellent advice when I painted my first car. They will tell you exactly how to use their products, plus each type of paint comes with a user sheet with specific instructions. That and a decent how-to book should get you going. Jim
 

TulsaFred

Jedi Warrior
Country flag
Offline
I'm doing all my own body work and paint on my B/E, with only limited previous experience from 30 years ago.
I removed the paint primarily with a abrasive pad paint removal tool followed by soda blasting the remaining areas inaccessible to the abrasive tool. I opted for the soda because it washes away with the rain. I could blast outside of my shop and not worry about cleaning it up. Worked great. Bought the tools quite cheap at Harbor Freight. I took out all old body filler and replaced with new filler, both for my own experience and to know for sure what shape the body was in.
I'm using the single stage urethane paint available from Summit Racing, also very well priced. I've used the epoxy primer over the bare metal, and applied a second coat of primer/filler from the same line.
I've been very impressed with the paint quality.
I have also found it relatively easy to do. Not easy, relatively easy. After both primer coats I found that imperfections were quite easy to remove quickly with 180 grit paper. I plan another coat of filler primer in the spring, then top coat with Wimbledon White 2K single stage urethane (my original color is Old English White, pretty close). Based on my experience thus far with the primer coats, I expect a pretty good initial result, but with some imperfections like orange peel, occasional small run, etc. However, wet sanding and polishing should fix those right up, along with any minor trash from painting it in my garage. A gallon of the Summit paint (plenty of material to place multiple coats if needed to right any wrongs), including catalyst and reducer, is around a hundred bucks.
With the Summit single stage I may leave it as is, but I'll have the option of applying a clear coat over top if I'm not happy with the appearance with the single stage alone.
Very satisfying and I'm happy I decided to do it myself. The learning curve is rapid and I'll have a great new skill when I'm done. No doubt it will take a lot more labor for me to fix mistakes and put on new coats vs. an experienced painter. But all I've got is time, it's my car not a job. Besides, ultimately it's the journey that's important not just the destination!
 
OP
bugedd

bugedd

Jedi Knight
Country flag
Offline
Ya, I don't think I qualify for the $50 paint job. What I am starting with is a bit rougher than that. And I kinda am picky, which is the scary part of trying something like this.
 

RickB

Yoda
Offline
If you are anything like me then you have a few extra body panels hanging around.
I suggest getting some body beating tools and practicing on some old metal that you don't really need any more, that's what I'm going to do.

There are a couple small dents I need to straighten on my new shell, so I'll practice on a couple panels before I tackle that.

Don't really know about the stripping down to bare metal stuff.
Why is this so important? Just to see for sure what you're dealing with underneath?

I plan to sand and fix anything that needs to be fixed then prime and paint.
The Summit paint sounds very interesting, I will definitely look into it.
 

Westfield_XI

Jedi Warrior
Offline
TulsaFred said:
I'm doing all my own body work and paint on my B/E, with only limited previous experience from 30 years ago.
Very satisfying and I'm happy I decided to do it myself. The learning curve is rapid and I'll have a great new skill when I'm done. No doubt it will take a lot more labor for me to fix mistakes and put on new coats vs. an experienced painter. But all I've got is time, it's my car not a job. Besides, ultimately it's the journey that's important not just the destination!

I am just starting the exterior cosmetics on my car and I can relate completely. I had dreaded this phase, but now that I have started I am finding it to be very satisfying too. I don't think I will ever grow to like sanding though......
 

Bayless

Obi Wan
Silver
Country flag
Offline
The real reason for stripping to bare metal is the finish result is no better that what hides under it. Loose bits, rust just starting that you didn't see before, incompatible paints. If not really sure of the existing finish, it is advised to remove it if you want a lasting paint job.
 

regularman

Yoda
Offline
You can do it. It takes one of two things. A lot of patience for a long period of time (which I don't have), or the ability to realize when you don't have patience and need to quit it for the day and come back tomorrow. I do that latter. Two bad things that you need to avoid is 1. Hurrying up to just get it done and 2. Being too picky so that it takes so long it never gets done. You have to learn what is "good enough". Nothing in this world is ever perfect, including body work. You try and get too perfect and you are working with things that nobody else will ever see.
 

RickB

Yoda
Offline
50 footer
20 footer
10 footer
5 footer
or
1 footer

At 50 feet or 50MPH my car looks great.
I can see a lot of issues at 5 feet that disappear at 10 feet.
Knowing when to say "good enough" is an acquired thing for many of us.
I'm not perfect, nor am I a perfectionist.
I do have a certain level of what I want to see and try to get there but won't kill myself doing it.
 

60Bugeye

Jedi Hopeful
Offline
I'm also interested in stripping my bugeye to metal to assess all the body work and patching that needs to be done.

I have high hopes that I can at least perform <span style="font-style: italic">this</span> job in my garage over the next several months. I haven't decided if I am going to attempt metal repair (since I have zero bodywork experience) or farm it out, but I would like to save a few bucks doing the grunt work of preparing the body to have that work done.

I have a couple of questions.

1. While sanding/grinding the old paint, rust and filler to metal, should I be cleaning (with some sort of solvent) bare areas and applying primer to protect it?

Is a rattle can primer good enough to use or should I consider something else?

2. What sort of tools do I need to do this?

I have an angle grinder (4.5 inch) and lots of sandpaper in various grits. What else do I need?
 

Jimflorida

Jedi Trainee
Offline
I have come to really enjoy body work and painting, so much so that I look forward to doing the painting. It is a lot of work, but if you enjoy working with your hands and are a bit compulsive, its no problem. I have always thought that the difference between a professional paint job and the one I can do in my garage is basically the difference in the time it takes. A pro can do the job in a reasonable number of hours and charge for his time. I can wind up with a paint job that looks close to what the pros do, but it takes me five times as long. The only thing that I have some qualms about is that modern paints are pretty toxic, and while I have a basic respirator, it is not as protective as a pro set-up. But I wasn't using those brain cells anyway. Jim
 

BillW103

Jedi Trainee
Offline
I did all my body and paint in my garage. The body work went grate but paint is best done in a booth.


DSCN3390.jpg
 

Jim_Gruber

Yoda
Country flag
Offline
And with the Rustoleum Paint Job no nasty fumes to stink up the house. Easy to do and Bugsy is a driver and a mutt. BE Bonnet on a '68 Sprite body with a 1098 out of a '66. Nothing matches, Miata Seats, home rolled carpet kit, Kentucky Chromed Grille, and a Rustoleum Paint Job. He gets driven regularly and from 10' looks pretty good. After owning this Sprite for 11 years now I've realized several things 1) Even with a $2,000 paint job a 40-50 y.o. car will continue to rust after a short period of time. 2) We are doing our best at keeping the rust at bay for as long as we own this car 3) Rather be driving than buffing and sanding 4) Bugsy with a $50 Rustoleum Paint Job is just as much fun going around corners 5)Smiles per Mile/$ spent well I'm a member of the "We Tight" Club.

Now if I can ever get this guy to turn loose of the BE I've been negotiating on for the past year, that has been sitting in a garage and last titled in '78, well Bugsy II might be restored to a different level of perfection.
 

TulsaFred

Jedi Warrior
Country flag
Offline
I found this tool the best way to take paint down to metal:
https://www.harborfreight.com/electric-paint-remover-65990.html


I found the bondo "gold" filler (not regular gray/pink bondo) the best bang for the buck and readily available.

Be sure to get a longboard to finish filler and panels. Durablocks are good. 36 grit for rapid shaping filler, then 80 grit before epoxy primer.

I am not worried about the urethane 2k paints. The toxicity concern is overblown hogwash except for professional painters who are exposed daily for years. I'm a physician/ oncologist and used nothing more than a dust mask and half open garage door with box fan blowing out. YMMV.

Fred
 

jlaird

Great Pumpkin
Country flag
Offline
A car will not continue to rust if sand blasted then painted with two part epoxy primer.

Rust will never be a problem in your lifetime.
 

elrey

Darth Vader
Country flag
Offline
HOLD ON NOW! :nonono:


I'm no doctor but I'd wear a respirator of some sort when spraying these products. I've inhaled a mug full of these fumes a time or two and it ain't right and can ruin your day or worse. And furthermore... Playing fast and loose with these chemicals [because you think you may not become a professional in the future] may not only limit your future work options but could limit your personal future as well.
 

JPSmit

Moderator
Staff member
Silver
Country flag
Offline
I really vote for you doing it yourself - there are videos and youtube and all kinds of resources. I farmed mine out and while I am glad I did (or it might still not be on the road) I also know where the flaws are - and they did a very good job! So, do it, , be patient, learn, have fun and be able to say "I did it all myself."

I just use WD40 till it is time to paint (and yes, don't skimp in safety) Mark (Abarth69) uses and sells picklex. Or even use rattlecan and wipe it off when you use proper primer.

But, go for it! (you know you want to)
 

TulsaFred

Jedi Warrior
Country flag
Offline
elrey said:
HOLD ON NOW! :nonono:


I'm no doctor but I'd wear a respirator of some sort when spraying these products. I've inhaled a mug full of these fumes a time or two and it ain't right and can ruin your day or worse. And furthermore... Playing fast and loose with these chemicals [because you think you may not become a professional in the future] may not only limit your future work options but could limit your personal future as well.

Sorry, these comments seem to based more on fear than fact. Or at least they reflect a level of risk aversion that is pretty high.

The toxicity of Urethane paints is due primarily to the polymer unit known as an isocyanate.

The toxicity concerns about isocyanates are not general but very specific and amount to two things:
1. respiratory tract irritant
Big deal, so is smoke from my wood fire. If it's irritating your nose/throat/bronchi, then get away from it.
2. Hypersensitivity reaction/Asthma:
This is the real issue, and it amounts to an allergy to the substance. It can cause hypersensitivity reactions after repeated exposures, which in the lung can cause asthmatic attacks. So if you have Asthma or COPD, then by all means use a NIOSH approved respirator. If you develop an allergy to the paint fumes/isocyanates, then use a NIOSH approved respirator or stay away from it.
If you don't have Asthma/COPD and don't have a known allergy to it, then barring frequent repeated occupational exposure there is no problem. Unless fear of developing an allergy is a problem. However, in that case, you'll need to live in a bubble.

If the above sounds greatly concerning to you then, good quality NIOSH approved respirators are reasonably priced, though protection is still not complete.

The real reason there is such concern about the paints are less medical and health related and more:
1. Nanny state federal government regulators (OSHA) whose self importance comes from overblowing occupational risks. and
2. Our litigious society and fear of liability on the part of the paint manufacturers. This leads to overly hyped warnings designed to reduce liability exposure, not to protect your health. The same reason we have huge warning glued all over our stepladders not to stop on the flimsy paint shelf.

Check the OSHA website to read more, but the above is my version filtered through a lens of 20 years practicing medicine and seeing it all.

In the end, though, it's your own health, so do what makes you most comfortable.
 
Similar threads
Thread starter Title Forum Replies Date
JPSmit Thinking out loud and trying to understand. Restoration & Tools 31
Healey Nut What were they thinking Austin Healey 12
RickB Thinking of clearing out all Midget / Datsun stuff Spridgets 8
bugedd Thinking about winter time projects Spridgets 5
T Thinking of building an adaptor to allow a torque wrench to tighten the knock-ons Austin Healey 32
TRMark TR2/3/3A Thinking of a TR 2/3 ratrod project Triumph 23
R TR4/4A Thinking About an Electric fan Triumph 10
tinman58 TR2/3/3A Bad thinking? Triumph 25
jsfbond GT6 Thinking out of the box Triumph 2
danstr6 TR6 Thinking of selling my TR6 Triumph 4
G Thinking About My First Bugeye Spridgets 20
bugedd Thinking of some tunes.... Spridgets 10
Lukens Am I thinking right? Jaeger electric temp gage. Triumph 4
bugedd What am I thinking?? Spridgets 19
M_and_P Thinking of doing something funky with the Mini British Motor Corp 6
B thinking of buying a 1967 triumph 2000 Triumph 22
mailbox Wedge Thinking of parting with project TR7 Triumph 3
glemon Spitfire Thinking about a Spitfire Triumph 7
regularman Thinking about taking in another midget Spridgets 2
B Down shifting problems, check my thinking? MG 1
jlaird Been thinking - about time. Spridgets 4
JPSmit I'm thinking of a Vauxhall Viva Other British Cars 10
MadRiver Thinking of selling our C MG 9
M Thinking about buying a 52 MG TD Spridgets 2
M_Pied_Lourd TR2/3/3A I am thinking of installing this in my TR3A... Triumph 13
bugedd Thinking about rebuilding my ribcase Spridgets 16
T OT - I'm thinking about it... Triumph 14
G Thinking of getting a Triumph Triumph 24
M wishfull thinking? Triumph 10
C Hello - thinking of buying my first Healey [BJ8] Austin Healey 35
jlaird Thinking out loud, comment pls Spridgets 6
SCguy Wedge Thinking of selling my TR8... Triumph 24
T Weather and Transportation - alternate thinking? Spridgets 43
philman I'm thinking of wood veneer Restoration & Tools 3
sparkydave Thinking about paint Spridgets 8
jhorton3 Thinking Of A Discovery SE7 Rover / Land Rover 5
C I'm thinking its the fuel pump??? Spridgets 13
QuickSilver MGA Thinking About An MGA MG 9
judow Just thinking stage now... Rover / Land Rover 6
P Thinking about getting an XK120 Jaguar 16
M thinking about body work at home Spridgets 19
T Thinking of rebuilding my front suspension Triumph 6
JPSmit So, I was just thinking Spridgets 5
A 59 Bugeye. . .Thinking of Selling Spridgets 7
T I am thinking of selling...... Spridgets 17
DeltaAir423 I got to thinking the other day Triumph 4
T thinking caps required Triumph 59
G Thinking about the stock fan Triumph 7
B Thinking about heat shielding options. Spridgets 9
Bruce_B Spitfire Thinking of buying a 1969 Spitfire...but..... Triumph 8

Similar threads

Top