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Feature Article

How to paint your car Part 1- by Mark

Sometimes it is necessary to basically gut the whole car to get all of the moldings off.

Striping a car to metal is sometimes necessary (to be covered in a later installment)

Here are some books you might find helpful. Click on the image to find out more

Let me start out by saying that I am no expert in the methods of painting, but having roughly 28 years experience in restoring some of my own cars I thought I might be able to add a few tips for those beginners out there to help them avoid the same mistakes that I and many other fellow enthusiasts have made.

(I must preface this article by saying that there are plenty of books in the market that do this subject justice and that the purpose of this set of articles is not to tell you how to piant your car, but to share my experiences painting mine. I cannot be responsible for any work that you do on your vehicle based on my articles.)

I thought I would do this in a multi part series so as not to bore you all to death at once.  I am currently in the process of restoring my first car, a 1967 Cutlass Supreme.  This car has seen many years of hard use and probably will allow me to refresh my memory on the do's and don'ts.  Since this is a slow restoration, I will be supplementing other articles from time to time on other subjects that you may find interesting.  I will be detailing and polishing my cars in the coming weeks and will keep you posted on some of the techniques I have found valuable.

Getting the car ready- removing the chrome

My first installment will be on what to remove or not remove to get the car ready for paint.  It is my opinion that regardless of the type of paint job, a car should always be stripped of as much chrome and moldings as possible.  Many a fine paintjob look bad because or paint on the moldings and later lifting paint due to poor adhesion. It also makes it much easier to buff the paint out right up to the edge where the moldings will cover up the new paint.  Otherwise, dirt could cause the paint to eventually lift in the area's around the moldings. 

First start with the bumpers and then work your way around the car taking off everything that has external screws and attachments. This includes moldings, emblems, tail lights and head light surrounds. Some pieces have hidden attachments behind interior panels and may be difficult to get to.  Talk to your local automotive paint supplier for some tips on getting to those hidden attachments.  They will also have specialized tools for removing your moldings and interior parts.  If you are not doing a total restoration, removal of the window moldings, windows, and drip moldings probably should not be attempted as it basically requires the gutting of the whole interior, including as in my case the headliner too.  Just make sure that whatever you don't remove is well cleaned in and around the molding so that it can be tightly masked to allow paint to flow under as much of the molding as possible.  If in my case you have rust at the bottom of the windshield and rear window as well as rust under the vinyl top, you will need to take it all off.

Now that you have your chrome off, what to do to the paint to get it ready. 

For all of you who have waiting for part 2 I apologize but I do the articles as I actually do the work to my car and it has been some time since I have had a chance to work on my car.

I hope to start back up sometime in 2006. Please check out the books to the left to get you started.




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