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  View original topic: Beginner Going in with Both Feet
Shane Tuttle Wed Apr 07, 2021 9:18 pm

I'm restoring my '74 Beetle. My first car and had it since I was 17. Paint/body is one of my major weaknesses. I never kept up with it because it seems like technology (and overbearing EPA regs) keep changing on a daily basis. That, and I believe paint/body is an art form. Unfortunately, I'm no Picasso. I just couldn't help myself, though, and bought a paint gun set. With the exception of the transaxle, I want to do everything myself regardless of the outcome. I read up on the Sticky Posts here and elsewhere.

This is what I bought, what supplies I'm planning on using, and how I'm going to prep. Understanding you all can't cover everything in a post or two in a thread. But I sure could use any tips to give a beginner a fighting chance.

DeVilbiss Starting Line is what I chose for the paint guns. I almost went with the Finish Line. But I don't see myself painting that often.

Pan will be sandblasted and metal prep, POR15 the inside, Raptor liner the outside.

Sand body to bare metal. Metal prep. Using Rage body filler as needed. Epoxy primer.

Now, this is where I'm stuck: I have a National Coating Supply, here. I already overpaid for my paint gun set, there. But their customer service is outstanding. They recommend using Omni for the base color, but Axalta for the clear. NAPA's paint is basically Sherwin Williams. They recommend using the Crossfire base color and ProBase clearcoat.

Is there a major difference in quality of paint between the two companies? Does one brand have an advantage of being more forgiving when being laid on the surface? I'm staying away from pearls, candies, and metallics. I'm sticking with a basic opaque color.

ETA: I have a compressor that can keep up with the demands of a HVLP gun and sander.

bomberbob Thu Apr 08, 2021 8:26 am

Spraying in your garage, our out in your driveway?
I can't give real good advice, as I have only painted one bug, and it has flaws I am reworking. I strayed from the beaten path by using water based basecoat, and used a Motocoat gun instead of a regular HVLP. So most advice from experts did not apply. I think a newbie can screw up expensive paint just as easily as cheap paint. I know I did. When you spray your clear, give yourself enough coats so you have enough to fix when you sand it and buff. I did not, and now I worry when I sand an area to fix defects that I might burn through to the base. plan ahead. Runs, drips, you can fix all that if you have enough clear thickness.
I am sure there are others who have painted countless cars that can add their experience to mine.

Matt Wilson Thu Apr 08, 2021 8:48 am

As I'm sure you're aware, the biggest challenge is all the prep work and cleaning. Once it's sanded, make sure not to contaminate the surface with anything - use rubber gloves and prep solvent. Anything missed in sanding will be enhanced by the shiny new paint.

Paint when it's warm! Get a good respirator and spray suit, lots of extra gloves, mixing buckets, sticks, funnels, extra solvent to clean the gun, A hook or stand to hold the gun and paper towels. Set up a little work station with garbage can nearby.

For a beginner, I would recommend just doing a single stage paint rather than base coat/clear coat. You'll still at least need epoxy primer or etching primer, primer surfacer, and the paint. And don't forget the urethane seam sealer!

Get a few good overhead shop lights, so you can see what you are doing. A dark garage will hide problems that will reveal themselves in the sunlight. Get a regulator and water separator at the gun.

Spend the time to mask the vehicle, it could take 8 hours to mask the whole thing properly. Mask and protect your work area too - make a Dexter kill room if you have to, otherwise all your surroundings will be oversprayed.

Have some saw horses or racks for the smaller parts, like fenders, light housings, etc.

Don't try to do it all at once. Depending on pot life and cure schedule of the materials, you may only get smaller sections done at a time. The primer will give you some practice with the paint gun.

I like to spray the little difficult detail spots first, for example, the insides of the rear louvers above the engine, or underneath the rear parcel tray, knowing it may drip. Then I can go back and sand it later.

When starting the color, take your time. The paint can spray out of the gun as fast as you want. Just fog it on and lay down a 'tack coat' and let it sit. Once it's sticky, you can then start flooding it. Paint the edges of stuff first, and be sure the paint wraps around both sides. I also like to start from high to low when painting the body, just to avoid dragging the hose on the sides of the vehicle. Try not to tilt the paint cup too far, it can dribble out paint onto your nicely sanded surface.

jspbtown Thu Apr 08, 2021 11:33 am

I have used the Crossfire paint when I repainted a 3000GT and the front bumper cover on my Lexus SC430. I liked it.

I used Kirker clear on it because I just like the Kirker product line.

If the place you had screwed you once why go back? Get the NAPA paint, order the clear online and you are good to go.

While I might have many suggestions my first.....and foremost...would be to extend your flash times. If they say 10 minutes...go 20. If the time between base and clear is 30 min...then go 1 hour.

You will have far less runs.

Shane Tuttle Thu Apr 08, 2021 1:13 pm

Thanks, everyone, for the replies.

I have a big garage to do the work. Going to seal it off, Dexter style, and buy some quality filters for the air vents. I considered renting out a spray booth that's available 45 minutes away from me. Problem is hauling it back/forth multiple times. I'm properly fitted for my half-face respirator. I'm looking into buying a full face to protect my eyes better than what safety glasses offer. I also have spray suit.

I installed updated vapor proof LED lights in one of my bays. I liked it so much that I'm ordering more to cover where I'll paint.

I need to figure out how to hang my gun. Forgot to consider that. As a matter of fact, I need to figure a way to fabricate a stand to shoot the fenders, hood, doors, etc., too.

Didn't think of extending the flash times.

Shane Tuttle Thu Apr 08, 2021 1:19 pm

"If the place you had screwed you once why go back?"

As I said, I received outstanding customer service there. I said I overpaid for the product. That doesn't necessarily mean they screwed me. Amazon doesn't provide one-on-one time to educate as a physical store does. They provided a price. It's up to the consumer to do their homework on prices elsewhere.

Julio_Arcos123 Wed May 12, 2021 7:24 pm

I've used the devilbiss starting line guns before and they're greater the price. For paint, I'd get the most economic basecoat. Just make sure it's not water based or waterborne or you'll have a headache and lots of trouble. For parts, Eastwood sells some work work horses for like 50 a piece. Look into getting at least 2. I like to zip tie the fenders on them so they dont move that much when blocking, you can do the same when painting to mae sure they dont fall for any reason.
You have any rot, or is it just a paint job you're going for?

bomberbob Thu May 13, 2021 4:50 am

Why diss waterbased basecoat?

Braukuche Thu May 13, 2021 7:04 am

POR is not designed to adhere to rust free metal surfaces, it won’t stick. It’s a lazy mans way of dealing with surface rust. Since you are getting it blasted epoxy seal and shoot the pan with Acrylic Urethane black paint. I also wouldn’t use that crappy bed liner stuff it looks cheap. Use 3M body schutz like the factory spray it thick it protects and sound insulates as well which bed liner won’t do.

Paint brand matters. But here we get into opinions. I like TCP AU Restoration shop line of single stage. Lays down nice and thick and covers well. You have to use about 5% reducer to get it to flow out nice. They also kick ass on color matching to factory paint if you are going that route. Omni shoots like water by comparison. TCP also ships, pricey stuff, but think how much you are saving doing it yourself.

Julio_Arcos123 Thu May 13, 2021 7:37 am

Bomber- I'm not dissing waterbased more of a suggestion. Solvent basecoat is easier to work with, more forgiving, and theres shorter flashtimes in between coats. It's really good paint but for a beginner I think it'd be best to start off shooting solvent.
I've seen people not let it flash enough or spray it a bit heavy and run the basecoat. Or give it proper flash times, shoot clear, and have weird reactions like mottling or have it feel like jelly underneath. Of course there are many factors like temp and prep but to me, solvent is easier to start off with.

Another piece of advice for paint would be to clean clean clean. Clean before and after all sanding, and if u can use both solvent and water based cleaners before paint do so.
I'm sure there was a thread on painting here, it's been a while since I've gotten on here and I dont wanna look either haha. But if you update on your progress I'm sure you'll get some good advice on all the things you need and what steps to take, whether its metal, body or painting.

Mike Fisher Thu May 13, 2021 10:29 am

www.MasterSeriesct.com in silver & black is better than POR 15 & bed liner etc.

Shane Tuttle Fri May 14, 2021 1:41 pm

I just picked up my pan from sandblasting. They did a phenomenal job. I stopped by NAPA and ordered their Crossfire Epoxy primer. Should be in tomorrow. Going to concentrate on blowing all the excess media off and degrease everything. I have some patching to do on the framehead, napoleon hat, and a couple of spots on the floor. The NAPA guy said to apply the epoxy ASAP to the areas I won't be patching, even though we have a dry climate up here. Then, seam sealer. Whether I decide to use Raptor liner, Acrylic or whatever, it will protect the metal and provide a good surface to bond.

He also suggested using the epoxy on the body just like I would on the pan. The big side bonus is this will give me a chance to learn and get used to using a bona-fide paint gun before getting to the base/clear.

Braukuche Fri May 14, 2021 1:46 pm

Shane Tuttle wrote: I just picked up my pan from sandblasting. They did a phenomenal job. I stopped by NAPA and ordered their Crossfire Epoxy primer. Should be in tomorrow. Going to concentrate on blowing all the excess media off and degrease everything. I have some patching to do on the framehead, napoleon hat, and a couple of spots on the floor. The NAPA guy said to apply the epoxy ASAP to the areas I won't be patching, even though we have a dry climate up here. Then, seam sealer. Whether I decide to use Raptor liner, Acrylic or whatever, it will protect the metal and provide a good surface to bond.

He also suggested using the epoxy on the body just like I would on the pan. The big side bonus is this will give me a chance to learn and get used to using a bona-fide paint gun before getting to the base/clear.

If you spray the primer and then shoot the paint in the chemical bond time limit you’ll get better results. Otherwise you’ll have to scuff the primer in every nook and cranny a real PITA.
If you’re in a dry area that metal shouldn’t flash rust. Make your repairs fast and then prime and paint. He’s right it will give you experience with the material and gun.

Evil_Fiz Wed May 19, 2021 2:54 pm

A bit late but better than never.
Check out this thread over at the Southern Polyurethane (SPI) forums: http://www.spiuserforum.com/index.php?threads/whats-a-good-basecoat-to-use-nowadays.7899/. You may also want to look through the rest of the forum and ask questions there. A lot of PROs and knowledgeable hobbyists frequent it and can provide sound advice. SPI makes some very good products at a reasonable price.

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Good luck,
Emil

Shane Tuttle Wed May 26, 2021 1:57 pm

Quote: Braukuche: If you spray the primer and then shoot the paint in the chemical bond time limit you’ll get better results. Otherwise you’ll have to scuff the primer in every nook and cranny a real PITA.

That's good advice. Thanks for letting me know.



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