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Discussion Starter #1
So... I've got this long list of items planned for the Nova... Right on top of the list at stage 1 of 7, is "Stop being ugly". Basically, the Nova runs as-is, but the damn thing has looked like a fricken field car it's entire life with me lol. I got it in a tiger stripe rattlecan paintjob special, and all I ever did to it was rattle can it "properly" and got it in a flat crap black. I also had the truck turning into a swimming pool every time it rained, so I used silicone caulk around the chrome trim on the back window. I daily drove it for 3 years this way! Wheee!

Anyways, so right now the patchy multicolor field car look is on its way out, and what I would like to accomplish is to get the car one solid color. Because of cost considerations, I'm not really shooting for a show-winning paintjob. The money could go to rebuilding the front suspension, a new wiring harness would be nice, and I also need a new rear end, everything in the interior but the gauge panels dash and seats, wheels and tires, and real safety equipment.

Now, some people were just telling me to keep rattlecanning it - one day, and 20 bucks lol. However, I don't want to just rattlecan it, I want to try fixing the small dents, priming it, and maybe applying a single-stage paint to the car as "practice" for a real paintjob in a few (but more likely several) years. Plus, I'm sure this will turn out way better than any rattlecan paintjob, and won't fade after a couple weeks. Oh, and a great excuse to get an air compressor and upgrade to air tools lol!

This is my first time doing this, so as you can imagine my to-do list is very short.

1. Use random orbital sander to remove rattlecan paintjob, and get down to the original blue.
2. Clean car off in preparation for primer and bondo, final clean using wax/grease remover.
3. Spray first coat of self-etching, sandable primer.
4. Do the bondo on all small spots, continue applying primer until smooth.
5. Final coat of primer, sand like hell with ex. Fine grit until smooth.
6. Clean off with compressed air, then use wax and grease remover.
7. Spray a couple coats of single-stage paint.
8. …done?

Does this sound right?

I got a few questions…

- Do I need to take it down to bare metal? Or can I build upon what’s under the rattlecan job?
- I heard before the first coat of primer I can wash the car with dishwasher soap and warm water to remove all dirt? It sounds like it would just rust, lol…
- The correct primer would be self-etching, sandable primer, correct?
- Once the primer is smooth all around, do I just use compressed air and wax/grease remover to clean off the car before the paint?
- Does single-stage paint just go on as-is? I am assuming that single stage just means no basecoat/clear topcoat.
- If I decide to do the door jambs, do I have to take the doors off the car? The doors align perfectly right now lol. The old hood had new-car alignment, then when I took the front end apart for the engine rebuild, aw crap it’s a jigsaw puzzle. I couldn’t put the inner fenders back in, nor did about 4 or 5 bolts LOL!

The colors I am thinking of are:

a. An easygoing blue, kind of like the glacier blue the nova originally was, since everything else in the car is blue like the door jambs and underhood and in-trunk and such…
b. White, because my bodywork will probably suck, but I can probably get body panel gaps right…
c. A burnt orange, because it’s amongst my favorite colors for a muscle car…
d. Black, because all the cars we got are black lol…

I’m leaning towards the orange because it’s not so dark that it’d show crap bodywork, and it’s more interesting than white. Plus, I was thinking of doing this little scheme: I like novas that have the chrome that runs along the rocker panel, and out to the back bumper… But since the rest of my chrome sucks and the pieces I’m talking about are probably uber-expensive… and (gasp) I like how Mopar used black graphics… I was thinking of adding a black stripe around the bottom between the wheels and out to the back bumper. I thought it’d look pretty good. What do you guys think? My only concern would be keeping the stripe’s edge to the orange straight lol. I would also paint the middle of the rear tail panel black, kind of like what the SS novas had.

Finally, some pictures of where the Nova stands as of last night. I’ve put maybe 6 hours of sanding and cleaning in already.

http://web.njit.edu/~gag0046/childslapping/stage1

Let me know what you think. If I’m an idiot, let me know that too ;)
 

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I'm also a painting wannabe

I'm going to be watching your post carefully I have the same goal!

I've heard you need a different spary gun for primer and regular paint?

I'm also concerned about air compressors. I've read you need so many cfm of air at 90psi to paint. And those compressors are all huge! What about the new LPHV guns? Can those use a smaller compressor?

What about welding!! Can someone learn to weld good enough with a MIG welder at home to put on some patch panels?
 

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I am not an expert at this by any stretch of the imagination. BUT I understand that sometimes there is a need to put a less then perfect paint job on a car. The following will get you a "decent" looking car but as with any paint job a lot of the final look has to do with the amount of effort you put into preping the car.....the better the prep work the better the paint will look in the end.;)

Since you not looking for a "perfect job' or an "award winning" paint job then I would just take it down to the original finish and work from there...fix any dents you have and then spray a high build primer over the entire car. Sand that smooth and if it needs it spray another coat (or two or three until you are happy with the results) of high build primer on it. Once the body is smooth (again a very relative term) then you can spray your color on it.

BTW change your masking paper each time you spray primer or paint. If you dont you might have crap blow off the old masking paper when you are spraying on new primer or paint. Not a big deal if it happens when you are primming...BUT it is a huge deal to blow crap off your masking paper on to fresh paint...very sucky.....Grrrrrrrr


Now I have heard some decent things about the Omni line of paints...and I think a few members have used it. You could also use something like dupont's Centari (my personal fav). Very durable and has a nice gloss to it. The paint should last for years until you are ready to upgrade to a better paint job. BTW JUST before you spray the car either for primer or paint go over the car with a tack rag. this will pick up any of the last remaining specks or what ever that might still be there after degreasing and blowing off with the compressor

Good luck....please keep us updated.

EDIT: since you have to remove the rattle can paint on the car(so by default the entire surface will be scuffed) I didnt mention that the entire car should be scuffed before you start spraying the primer as this will help the primer stick better...
 

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Thats a whole lotta questions lol. First off, the best thing both of you should do is get a book on bodywork/painting, theres plenty of good ones out there thatll help you out immensely. Itd be the best money youll spend, cuz theres a LOTTA tips and tricks to painting a car, and you cant really learn them from reading a few posts. You hafta get a good understanding of the complete process to be successful at doing it, but its well worth the time to learn, in my opinion. As far as equipment, youre gonna probably need a lot more than you think, but you can find good deals on stuff if you look around. The smallest compressor youll need is gonna need to put out at LEAST 12-14 cfm, and the bigger, the better. Youll never make it with one any smaller. Overall, youll probably be lookin at spending about a grand on equipment, more or less, but is a good investment unless you never plan on painting anything again.
Nate you can definitely learn to weld good enough with a MIG...very simple with a lil practice. And you dont necessarily need a different gun for primer and finish coats, just a different sized tip. But you can usually find a cheap gun to use for primer and get a good gun for finish coats.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
hey thanks for the response...

Do you know any good shops for paint and supplies around here in Atlanta that isn't $$$? And how many gallons do you think one single coat of paint on the car would take? 1? 2? :shrug:

What is a good sandpaper grit to use between coats of primer? 320? 400?


And one last question: My chrome trim is beat up. Should i just clean it best i can, or try painting it a bright silver? lol....
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I already have a compressor picked out... Ingersoll-Rand for $550, it puts out 11+ cfm at 90 psi, should be enough for most guns. Problem with that compressor is that it takes over a month to ship :eek:!

The only compressors I would be able to take home is a made-under-the-mango-tree one from Harbor Freight, and even for that I'd need to rent a truck for a day to pick it up :-\ I'm trying to buy american with the IR unit, even though it's $550 versus $430, but the delivery time is killing it.

Can you guys recommend a universal gun which I can change tips for primer and color? Nothing too pricey, of course.
 

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You are right on for the most part. Self-etching primer is for bare metal, so there is no need to shoot the whole car with it. If the original blue paint is sound, meaning it is not peeling, or cracking, it will be a good base for your paint job.
You do not have to remove the doors to paint the jambs, but you do have to make sure that you get the area around the hinges and the door latch VERY clean. (read lots and lots of scrubbing with wax and grease remover) You can scuff them up real good with a red scotchbrite pad, prime, then paint.

Generally, bondo should applied to bare metal, or over the top of epoxy primer. When I did the body work on my Nova, I would strip the paint off of the area where I had a dent, work the metal to make the bondo fill minimal, apply bondo and sand and feather smooth. Then I would seal it with epoxy primer. When you are doing your body work, check the panels with your hands for straightness, not your eyes. Your eyes will lie. You will be able to feel where there are high and low spots with your hand flat on the panel.

After all of the body work is done, seal the whole car with epoxy primer, then put on a good coat of filler-primer. I like to let this this coat cure for at least a week before sanding. This allows the filler-primer to shrink back into any sand scratches before you sand the surface flat. I would not sand the primer-filler with any finer sandpaper than 600 grit, and you want to do this wet with a large block. If you sand with anything finer, you will risk the paint not sticking well. After sanding, wash the car very thoroughly, and dry very thoroughly.

The only addition I would make to your cleaning plan is tack cloths. These will pick up any particles that are on the surface. Those particle will show in the paint.

Last, on your color choice, white as you said is very forgiving, and it will disguise less than stellar bodywork. Orange is not quite as forgiving as you may think, but, if you do a good job when block sanding the filler-primer, you should be able to get it good enough. Black will magify any body imperfections, so, unless you are 100% sure the body is 100% straight, I would avoid black.

Since this is going to be your first paint job, you should probably also avoid using metallic paint. Getting the metallic to lay right requires technique. It will probably be too difficult for your first try.

Randy (that should get you started!);)
 

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burningsquirrels said:
hey thanks for the response...

Do you know any good shops for paint and supplies around here in Atlanta that isn't $$$? And how many gallons do you think one single coat of paint on the car would take? 1? 2? :shrug:

What is a good sandpaper grit to use between coats of primer? 320? 400?


And one last question: My chrome trim is beat up. Should i just clean it best i can, or try painting it a bright silver? lol....

Well JMO here but with a single stage product you will need about 1.25-1.5 gallons of paint for a car the size of a Nova...you can get by with 1 gallon IF you know what your doing and use just the right speed reducer (for the temp) so that the paint wont go on dry...You need be able to get the paint to flow out so it will be smooth and shinny when dry and that can be difficult to do if you are skimping a bit cause you are afraid of running out...(been there done that...not happy with the results)

Well I have seen good results with 220 grit on an electric sander on primer....you will need finner paper if you intend to do this by hand...possibly someone else will give you some recomendations on that....

Well in the town I am in there is one autobody supply shop I know of...not sure their prices but I will likely be finding out soon...I have a possible non-Nova paint job comming up soon...for sure there are members on this site from the Atlanta area...I'm sure they will be able to tell ya where to go:rolleyes: ...if you get my drift:)
 

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Are you planning on doing the Jambs, under hood, trunk etc? If so I would say 1.5-2 gallons might be what you want not my lower estmate of 1.25 gallons
 

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Theres plenty of good guns on the market and everyone seems to have their favorites. For a finish gun, I bought a brand new Sharpe HVLP that was regularly $300 for $50 on eBay and it does good. DeVilbiss makes good low-cost guns but there are many others. Naturally, the primer gun isnt near as critical, and its usually cheaper (and easier) to just buy a cheap gun for primer, since the tips for a good gun are usually a lot more than a complete gun. As far as compressors, the last one I bought was at HF cuz it was on sale for $400 and I had a 20% off coupon so it wound up only being like $320 so I couldnt pass it up.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
thanks again gfor the replies guys.

In the big bare areas where the paint stops between the quarterpanel sail and the roof, the paint seems to be lifting on its own very slitghtly. how should I handle that? just keep sanding until i find parts that aren't lifting by themselves?

If i wanted to paint the lower rocker panel black, I know I would have to mask it off while painting the body white, and then mask the body while I paint it black... but what about the rear quarter panel on the bottom? If I mask the white and spray black, would there be a big thickness difference, as in would it look crappy when the black edge looks like it's plopped on top of the white? Or would it really not matter? How long would I need for the color to dry before I can mask it for the lower black paint part? As stated earlier I would also be painting the rear tail light panel.

Also, I would most likely be unable to spray any paints during mon-thurs, so there would be plenty of time drying between coats, lol.

Oh, and good news, the g/fagreed to maybe "help" me do some bodywork. Now, if I could only trust her not to hide a bondo smiley face somewhere :eek:!! LOL!

One last thing: Any recommendations for auto body books?
 

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I forgot to tell you, it may be much easier for you to go buy a gallon of aircraft stripper to strip the paint than to sand it all off. I use some made by KleanStrip and it saves so much time and trouble. Just brush it on and let the fun begin!!! ;) After it sits for a short time, you just wipe all the old paint off like mud. No dust, no sanding discs, and its fast. You can strip a whole car down to metal in a few hours.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
CDJr... Which compressor did you buy? I'm leaning towards the HF ones because they are available on the spot, without a month-plus waiting time. Just unfortunate as they aren't american made. Where did you get a 20% off coupon!?

http://www.eastwoodco.com/jump.jsp?...DUCT&path=1,2,503,523,524&KickerID=240&KICKER

Those are the guns I'm thinking of getting. Maybe it's the 2-for-1 thing that's got me, I don't know. I think the last Car Craft paint article used a craftsman HVLP gun, I forget which one.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I know about the aircraft stripper, but I'm afraid it might be overwhelming at first. I was hoping that maybe working on the existing paint under the rattlecan stuff would be fine and much easier to build up on top of for me.

That reminds me, I gotta set up a paint booth in the garage too. I also need to figure a way to either buy wheel dollies or make my own, the garage is so small, that if I pull the car in stragiht, you can hardly open the passenger side door. If I had wheel dollies, I might gain some comfort room to paint by rolling it diagonal. Dolly shopping time! :-\
 

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burningsquirrels said:
In the big bare areas where the paint stops between the quarterpanel sail and the roof, the paint seems to be lifting on its own very slitghtly. how should I handle that? just keep sanding until i find parts that aren't lifting by themselves?
I would say yes for this....you do NOT want to apply your primer and paint over a surface that might be letting go on its own...or you could chemically strip that area (sometimes a little faster then sanding...)

burningsquirrels said:
If i wanted to paint the lower rocker panel black, I know I would have to mask it off while painting the body white, and then mask the body while I paint it black... but what about the rear quarter panel on the bottom? If I mask the white and spray black, would there be a big thickness difference, as in would it look crappy when the black edge looks like it's plopped on top of the white? Or would it really not matter?
I am sure there are better ways to handle this but the way I did it in the past was to spray the main color, mask out the strips and spray them (prepping the area the strips go first) and then scuffing the whole car and spraying clear over the entire thing....this made the different paint applications almost inperceptable (this was a single stage paint but I used clear too)

burningsquirrels said:
How long would I need for the color to dry before I can mask it for the lower black paint part? As stated earlier I would also be painting the rear tail light panel.
once you know the paint you will be using you can get the info on that paint (the can has LOTS of useful info on it) it will tell you recoat times and how long to wait before masking etc
 

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Those Finishline guns are good, you can probably even find em on eBay for less. If you go to HF, look through the paint guns for one on sale maybe and just use it as a practice gun and for primer, etc. Find one with a 1.8 tip if you can. You can probably find one for like $15-20, if not less, and itll lay primer on as good as any. :)
 

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i have a devilbliss finishline 3 gun, it works very well, but i needed a jamb gun so i bought the "special" with 3 guns for 100 bucks, and i must say they worked just as good for my needs...just make sure no matter what gun you get, clean it like its worth 500 bucks and it shouldn't let ya down
 

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Discussion Starter #19
CDJr... holy crap that's a deal, lol... i can afford it, but my problem is how i'm going to get it home with only a compact sedan, lol...
 

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new2novas said:
just make sure no matter what gun you get, clean it like its worth 500 bucks and it shouldn't let ya down
Oh ya VERY VERY important....clean you gun...the cleaner the gun is kept the better it will work when you need it.
 
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