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Painting Preparation How To

In most cases it is best to take the vehicle down to the bear metal. This is best accomplished using a dual action sander (DA). The paint should be sanded off with 180 grit. Then the primer should be taken off with 220 grit. This is to minimize the depth of the scratches in the actual metal of the car. You can also strip the car with a paint stripper. When doing that tape off any rubber, gaskets, windows, and body lines (where stripper may leak into). If you don’t tape then the stripper will damage those parts. After stripping, sand any remaining paint or primer off with 220 grit.

At this point Bondo may be applied to correct any dents. Then prime the vehicle. Use multiple light but even coats. I usually use at least 3 coats on metal and 6 on Bondo. When applying the primer, spray on one coat and then wait until it flashes (looks dry but you know it is still wet) then apply the next coat. Then using a can of dark paint (black, dark green so on) lightly spray a little splatter on the primed surface. Don’t cover the area with paint it should just look speckled. This is called a guide coat. The paint will actually find the lowest points (pin holes and such) so that when you are sanding you can ensure that there are no minor blemishes that will show up when the paint is applied.

Next comes the sanding. First using a sanding block and 220 grit wet sand the areas where you used bondo. Dry and reapply 3 coats of primer and re guide coat. Then using 220 grit and NO block wet sand the entire area. You want to sand until the entire surface it one color (the color of the primer, with no guide coat spots). Remember to wash the area between steps. The whole idea of wet sanding is to allow the water to wash away the grit that is removed from the area. Remember to rinse your sand paper often and to keep a soaked sponge flowing water onto the area where you are sanding. Then wet sand the entire area again with 500 grit.

Then wash (I recommend using dishwashing liquid) with a soap that has NO WAX!!!

Then comes the taping, cover everything you don’t want paint to get on.

Then you should go over the car with a no lint paper towel soaked with an adhesive/grease remover. Then go over the car with a tack cloth.

Then spray with paint. Or bring to maaco and have them paint.

Good Luck and if anyone has any specific questions please feel free to IM me.

Pat88ramcharger
 
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